Warning: Personal Learning Networks Can Lead to Flattening Classrooms

I had a colleague from a former school “Facebook” me the other day (I love our human proclivity to, as Calvin of Calvin & Hobbes fame puts it, verb words)

Anyway, so I was asked, “Are you doing a flip classroom, where you videotape your lesson so your kids can access it whenever?” which naturally lead to my response that:

That’s part of it. Flipping a classroom is best for me when students receive information at home (or wherever) so they can do their creative work in class, with the potential for greater collaboration and access to the “expert” teacher when they are most needed. During active engagement. More on this here.

But that one little question got me motivated. Working in an MYP interested school, and being new to MYP, I used my Introduction to Design unit to define areas of difficulty with the design cycle for students to plan for follow up and ensure our year goes smoothly. I produced this SlideShare / YouTube one-two punch to enable students to review the basics at home through our Tech website, freeing up class time for collaboration, application and creation with peers in an environment with access to the tools and a knowledgeable “expert” immediately as the need arises.

<div style=”margin-bottom:5px”> <strong> <a href=”http://www.slideshare.net/seansensei/the-design-cycle-disk-introduction&#8221; title=”The Design Cycle @DISK Introduction” target=”_blank”>The Design Cycle @DISK Introduction</a> </strong> from <strong><a href=”http://www.slideshare.net/seansensei&#8221; target=”_blank”>Sean Thompson</a></strong> </div>

Now, preparing for a final unit of study for the COETAIL course, I get in touch with others to see what is on their minds as they likewise contact me. This gets me to thinking of collaboration on a project. The idea of collaboration, coupled with my recent Facebook exchange re: flipped classroom gets me thinking “flat” classroom.

After dialogues with Mitch Norris, Brendan Lea & Jamie Richards it presently looks like everyone is involved in something already.

Through my Facebook friend, however, I am now in touch with some teachers at New International School Thailand. Be careful. Connections pop up without any provocation leading to more effective integration & sharing.

UPDATE: Hey, hey! About to start my first FLAT Classroom project with Jesse Scott at NIST!

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About Sean Thompson

Sean has accepted a position as the Director of Technology at The Early Learning Centre, City School, in Bangkok. He is excited to be working with Giovanni Piazza and the rest of the staff to raise awareness of digital-age teaching and learning practice in this Reggio Emilia inspired environment. Sean is also an Apple Distinguished Educator, an International Baccalaureate Educator Network Workshop Leader and a Google Educator available for professional development at your school.
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One Response to Warning: Personal Learning Networks Can Lead to Flattening Classrooms

  1. Great to see you and Jesse collaborating! Two COETAILers can always find each other 🙂

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