Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Final Countdown

You are all doing a great job! I am so proud of you. Here are your items to remember.

1) Topic page lockdown tonight at 12 midnight GMT.
2) Your Additional Resources page will be left open for you to upload the full length videos. Make sure that you make an additional resources page to work on.
3) Remember your credits at the end and to include a screen that states this (You may use your own license, but I suggest this one):

(c) 2006 your Name and Westwood Schools
Creative Commons Share Alike Non Commercial Derivative Attribution 2.5

Good luck! Make sure that you get rid of an plagiarism and restate the words. You can do it!

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Home Stretch: The Last Two Days of Flat Classroom

1) Make sure that you go on your topic page and click on discussion. Read Mrs. Lindsey's Week 2 evaluation and mine. Ask questions if necessary.

2) Use your RSS reader to see the changes and questions posted by your partner. (It is easier to use RSS than to rely on your own memory!)

3) Use your time wisely! This is your semester assessment - 20% of your grade. I'll be here until 5 today and 5 tomorrow as long as I have students in my room.

I echo Mrs. Lindsey's statement on her blog! Read them.

Particularly this aspect:

Officially we only have TWO (2) days to go before the Flat Classroom Project is finished. You must understand that this is a 'real life' project and that there is a 'real' deadline. No, you cannot bring a note from home with an excuse, this will not cut it here. Take note, it will not cut it out there in the real world when you finally emerge from high school as a butterfly taking flight. Your boss will not accept a note from your mother.
As I always say: "It is not about your excuse, but about what you produce."

Here are the key elements of focus as agreed upon by Mrs. Lindsey and I:

  • Summarize, hyperlink, and get rid of anything copied -- that is plagiarism. I don't care if it was your partner that did it, you are responsible for your wiki also!

  • "Try to 'make a difference' to the world. What are you actually saying on your wiki? In what way will someone who does not know you want to read it and take notice? in what way will they learn from it?" (Quoted from Mrs. Lindsey)

    On this note, Tyler has already pointed out that his flat wiki project is now the #2 item on Google search for his topic. That is the power of information! That is what we are teaching you. You can become the expert on a topic and share it with the world!

  • "Remember: I am not the only one reading your work. Like it or not there are many others now very interested in you and this project. This is great! You have an authentic audience. Play up to this, take pride in your work and you will be rewarded with a sense of achievement." (Quoted from Mrs. Lindsey)

  • Finish and upload your video on Monday! We are very nervous about "glitches" causing problems with your video. Either your video is on the wiki or not. That is 50 points of your final grade!

  • "Keep collaborating with your partner. Some of you are losing vital marks by the lack of collaboration. If your partner is a little shy at least you can keep posting comments and suggestions and entice him/her to respond. This is a new experience for all of you. It is one of the most difficult challenges, especially if you are usually an independent student who like to do their own work in isolation." (quoted from Mrs. Lindsey)
I have learned a lot from this experience and am emerging more convinced than ever that education is evolving towards more experiences like this. I honestly feel that many of you have learned a wealth of knowledge in a very short amount of time. I look forward to working with my newfound experts on the flattening world in January.

I love you. That is why I push you to be more. That is why I push you outside your comfort zone to grow. Be excellent! Do not resort to excuses. Finish the race for you are very close.

I am proud of you!

Mrs. Vicki

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Seymore High School Makes Video about your project

This video has been made by Mr. Schneider's Web Design Class about YOUR project!

I have talked to you often about the "global stage." Now you are experiencing it first hand. Make wise use of this opportunity!

All of you should have skyped your partners by now and should be putting the final touches on your video. I look forward to the work day today. I'll be posting a video in a moment about using Google Video and uploading there. You may upload to Youtube if you prefer.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Grading Rubric & IMPORTANT reminders

To get to where you want to go, you must know where you are going. In a project of this magnitude, it is easy to get lost in the small details like the tweaking of a bit of text, etc. This is also common in college.

To be successful in college, I found that if I focused on getting the bulk of the project done, I could then have time to add the fancy things at the end. And if I didn't have time to add the fancy, then I still had the project completed. We all know "idea people" who don't get anything done.

Remember, if you can understand something about this world, let it be this:

It's not about your excuse, its about what you produce.

Everything you produce is on the wiki. The judges do not know how much time you've spent. They do not know how much you've done. They do not know if you attempted a grandiose video and it didn't render at the last moment -- all they know is that you didn't post it to your wiki.

The business world is a tough place. Some say it is heartless, but it is just reality based. In a flat world, it is more important than ever to be able to produce meaningful content on a timely basis.

So, here's a copy of the grading rubric as shown on the class wiki -- keep an eye on the goal.

Grading Rubric

Grading Rubric for Westwood Students

This project will be part of the final assessment project for Mrs. Vicki Davis' Class. It will be 20% of your grade for this grading period and is the culmination of the work covered in class thus far. You should use the information you have learned this semester, information from your book, acquired wiki skills, learned video editing skills, video recording skills, and information you have learned during class discussions and blogging assignments to complete this project. It is important that you keep in contact with your project partner everyday during the event in order to exchange ideas and collaborate on content and your approach to your given topic.
I am expecting a high standard of work and communication and collaboration skills to be shown.

Part A - Wiki Portion of Project - 100 points

An effective wiki shows the following:
  1. A collaborative effort (as seen in the history and discussion areas) --
    Wikis are collaborative. Each person brings their strengths and contributes things that they are good at to the project.
    You are expected to work with your international partner and contribute meaningful work to the wiki. Revisions either improve the editing or add additional content. You do not delete content of the other person unless that content is found to be in error. If such error is found, you are to communicate via discussion your reason for deleting the information. Each topic to be discussed will be created under a different "thread" or topic under discussions.

    10 points - Did you contribute meaningful information to the wiki? Did you communicate effectively with your international partner? Did you discuss differences and resolve them effectively? Did you use the discussion area and post fact on the wiki page?

  2. Visual appeal
    Graphics are used as needed and add to the message. Graphics are not distracting and used where needed to further explain a topic. If does not look cluttered. If a significant amount of content is added, a new page is added. (To make a new page - your page name should be the name of your project as shown in the header a dash "-" and the subtopic to be explored.)

    20 points - Effective visual appeal. You must include a minimum of two graphics for your topic.

  3. Organization
    A table of contents is used, headings and underlines are used appropriately (don't use underlines except for hyperlinks.) Additional pages are added as needed (see item 2.)

    10 points - Effective Organization - Did you use headings?

  4. Hyperlinks to sources
    An effective wiki hyperlinks sources and gives readers additional information about the topic. Because most people tend to not trust wikis (they don't know the authors), you must include a variety of hyperlinks to be considered an effective source of information. As people follow your hyperlinks, they will begin to look at the information you've linked to. They will learn that you are an authority and that you've "done your homework." Make sure that you have checked your hyperlinks and that they work.

    _ 20 points - Did you hyperlink to sources? Do they work? You must have at least 10 hyperlinks on the wiki including 3 hyperlinks within this wiki project to pages of other groups as appropriate.

  5. Original, intelligent wording
    The effective wiki summarizes information but never copies it! (Cite your sources.) The wording is intelligent and meaningful and jargon is not used. Wikis may be read by a global audience and authors must keep that in mind.

    _ 10 points - Sources of information are linked to. You explain or hyperlink to items that need clarification. You do not plaigarize.

  6. Multi-sensory tools are used
    The use of sound and/or video involves the wiki reader more through the increased engagement of hearing and sight. When it is used effectively, it can boost you into the hall of fame because you have more thoroughly taught your reader about your subject.

    _ 10 points - Your video. The Westwood students will be assimilating and compiling a video on the topic.
    _ 10 points - Your content for the podcast. Westwood students will be providing an mp3 file recorded in audacity and e-mailed to Mrs. Vicki on their topic. This information will be sent to your international partner for their inclusion in the podcast that they are creating. Due Date: December 1

  7. RSS Feeds and Cutting edge tools are used

    _ 10 points An appropriate RSS feed is used. (I suggest a Google news feed on the topic.)

Part B - Content Grade - 50 points

_ 20 points Background - Do you sufficiently explain the topic? Is it understandable to a person who does not know anything about the topic and is not necessarily an expert in technology?
_ 10 points Current News - Do you explain a sampling of current discussions and headlines about this topic. (This is a good place to include RSS feeds.)
_ 10 points Impact on Education - Do you effectively explain the impact of this trend on education? How should education change? What improvements should be made? What should students be studying? How should teachers instruct differently?
_ 10 points Impact on Employment - Do you effetively explain the potential impact of this trend on employment? How will it impact different parts of the world? What different types of jobs will be created in your part of the world? In other parts of the world?

Part C - Video Grade - 50 points

Students in USA will be creating a video, including content from students in Bangladesh (either video and/or podcast). This video may be uploaded to Google and must be hyperlinked to the wiki. Students in Bangladesh will be forwarding a short video clip or podcast or two to Mrs. Davis via Mrs. Lindsay that must be integrated into your video. It must be at least 2 minutes long. You will use Windows movie maker to produce this video. You will work with your partner to determine whether your video will be on the educational impact or the industry impact of your trend.

10 points - Background Information - You effectively explain the trend in the video.
10 points - Content - Your content is meaningful, clear, and effective.
10 points - Cite sources - All sources of information are cited.
20 points - Video quality and editing.

Part D - Integration of Prior Learning - 50 points

This semester we have been learning about computer safety and privacy, the history of computing, the IT Industry & ethics, binary numbers and memory conversion, computer hardware, collaborative wiki projects, and Web 2.0. Your work should reflect your knowledge of these areas that you have attained this semester.

10 points Computer Safety and Privacy
10 points The History of Computing
10 points the IT Industry & ethics
10 points Computer Hardware (knowledge of memory conversion, hardware, input, output, etc.)
10 points Web 2.0 knowledge

Restructuring of a Group

Because of some absences, we are restructuring groups 4 and 8 slightly to merge them together so that the project can be completed in a timely and effective basis. Here is what we did.

Group 4 Topic: 'The Changing Shape of Information'

  • Provide an historical account of the availability of information. Refer to developments in both Bangladesh and the USA and make global comparisons
  • Discuss the impact of the Internet and how uploading has changed the way we find, use and transfer information
  • Provide specific current examples related to business and education of consumers also being producers of content that is "uploaded."

Group 8 Topic: 'Personal Learning Environments and Social Networking'

  • Provide an historical account of the development of social networking and PLE's
  • Discuss the approaches taken in Bangladesh and the USA and others to the use of social networking tools for education
  • Provide current examples of how business and education use Web 2.0 tools to connect and deliver/find information

Combined – The Changing Shape of Information: Personal Learning Environments & Social Networking.

  • Provide a historical account of the changing shape of information particularly highlighting social networking and PLE’s as well as the overall availablility of information.
  • Discuss the impact of social networking, personal learning environments, and the fact that people can now upload information into these environments. How does it change the way we find, use, and transfer information.
  • Provide specific examples of how business and education use personal learning networks and social networking and how they use it with information that is uploaded.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Tuesday in the Flat Classroom: Last Day for Video

According to our calendar, today is our last day to dropload our video to the other class. I will ask Mrs. Lindsey to provide me with a list of all video that came through (see yesterday's blog post.)

The wikis are due on December 11th. All multimedia (your videos) should be posted by the 12th.

The Video

The video must be at least 2 minutes long and can be no longer than four minutes. (Remember that full length interviews should be posted to Google Video and should be embedded on the resources page for your project.)

Here is a suggested outline for your video.

45 seconds - You should narrate or record an introduction to your topic that explains it to a person who does not know what it is. (Use your voice, pictures, etc.)

**Middle Portion - Use excerpts of your interviews with excerpts as well as your voice over and other video to discuss the Bangladese and then the US perspective on your topic.

Last 15-30 seconds - A video of you with your summary of learning on your topic.

This is a suggestion. You may format it in any way you wish as long as you achieve the objective: to explain your topic and to present two world views of the topic and then a summary of your learning.

Monday in the flat classroom: Dropload your video to Bangladesh

As you know, blogger was down yesterday here in class. Here is a recap of our assigned work:

1) You should dropload your video to Mrs. Lindsey for her project group immediately -- in the subject, state who the video is from, who it is to, and your group number and subject. Also explain the name and title of the person that you are interviewing. (See the resources section of the wiki for more detail on how to do this.)

2) Finalize your background - You have feedback from Mrs. Lindsey and I -- finalize the background information on the wiki. Some of you need to work on cutting out text. Others need to add more substance.

Remember, we never copy from a website and if we do we are: a) brief, and b) we cite and hyperlink to the source. This is about putting it in your words. You are the experts. You will become the experts. Trust and cultivate your ability to summarize things in layman's terms. We'll let you know if you get off base.

You are rapidly becoming experts. I am so proud of how hard you all worked this weekend. You are putting in effort and I know you have many other difficult classes. I knew I could count on you to be the best because you are and have always been your best for me. I am proud to be your teacher -- you make me look good! Keep on going, class!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Congratulations, Atif, for your TV appearance

Atif has been featured on BBC news - take a look at Mrs. Lindsey's blog to learn more! He is Collin's partner for our flatclassroom project!

This is the new world! This is the opportunity for you!