Are we going to flatten our classroom walls today, Mrs. Goggins?

Embracing globally collaborative projects is definitely an interest area of mine. As Jeff mentioned in his post, the RSS reader is a big hit – I have really enjoyed using Feedly on my computer and Flipboard on my iPhone has made commuting much more enjoyable. The first blog I subscribed to was Julie Lindsay’s E-Learning Journeys, and imagine my surprise when the very first blog post was asking for applications for the Flat Classroom K-2 Building Bridges to Tomorrow project. I excitedly filled out the application and was quite pleased to find out my class was accepted.

I have participated in global collaboration projects previously with varying degrees of success. I’ve used ePals before and set up pen pals by email with my students, but found that many of our emails went unanswered. Another project I have enjoyed collaborating with other classrooms globally is the Flat Stanley Project.

We have begun the Flat Classroom project and have met twice now to speak to all the participants together, using Blackboard Collaborate to meet online. The first session I was in such awe of the ability to meet with so many different educators at the same time that I was just smiling the whole time. My class has been matched up with three other classes,  two from the US and one from Australia. We have begun by making a class handshake and watching the other handshakes from other classes.  We received a Voicethread handshake from the class in San Francisco, and my class sat watching, mesmerized. I can see how technology is changing the the learning landscape – I would have loved to have been a child and collaborating with other classes globally!

Here is the video of my class handshake.