The main goal for both of the strands was to come up with an idea for a global collaborative project. Lisa Schaa and I, the only two elementary teacher facilitators, chose to work with Kim, Bernajean Frank and the student strand. The students were divided into teams of 4-5 students from a variety of countries. There were 20 teams and no team had 2 students from the same school/country. With time constraints on the assignments the groups were initially given, there was no time to waste. I was very impressed how the students all had the initiative to get started right away. The self motivation I witness in these students was incredible. Each team had to come up with a project idea, give an elevator pitch on that idea to groups of the leadership strand who gave feedback, then create a presentation using a storyboard or animatic to compete to be one of the six finalist groups selected to work with the experts to create a movie for their idea. In previous conferences, the project voted best of conference became a Flat Classroom project that was actually conducted by classrooms around the world. Voting has just recently closed, however you can view all the finalist videos on the Flat Classoom Ning.
The newly created elementary Flat Classroom Project "A Week in the Life" connects elementary students in grades 3-5 from around the world in sharing what life is like in their respective schools and countries. It encourages students to connect and communicate to build an online learning community and to collaborate on a common set of guiding questions and objectives. The new project is beginning the end of March and running through the end of the school year and my 3rd grade class has been selected to participate. I am very excited for this opportunity to help my students understand what is out there in the world and how to use collaborative tools for learning.