Quotes from Flat Classroom Reflections

I've been reviewing many of the reflections of the students. There were a couple of mistakes we made: one small work group didn't have a student from another country (which the students were not happy about), several classrooms didn't really understand or use RSS to know when there were replies on the wiki, and some students used copyrighted music, however, overall, the students are very positive and glowing about the BENEFITS of the project.

I'll let you hear their words. You can also read this at our ning. Their reflections are available for you to see.

There is so far to go, but I want to make a point that we talked about at some length this past Tuesday night over at Wow2 with Aussie educator Jo McLeay.

Reflections should become a part of all we do in education. Our students and faculty should ALWAYS be reflecting at the end of a semester or grading period (preferably on a blog that is READ by the curriculum director and principal.) We should all be reflecting when we complete a large project or task. Otherwise, we are losing valuable insights. We are simply wasting our time because we're not learning from our mistakes.

Why do we pretend to be mind readers… we should be reflecting…even if it is just so that we can remember next year when we get ready to do the project again.

Flat Classroom Reflections

“Flat Classroom opened up our eyes to how the worlds need technology, but more importantly, how technology needs the world…communicating over long distances is hard now, but it used to be a lot harder. It seems to me that no matter the weaknesses of the project, the good outweighs the inconveniences.” Sarah H.

“Most teachers, parents, and etc. don't think teenagers can handle something this big, but you have to learn how to have self-confidence and achieve it. I know next time I have a project his big, I will know what to do, what not to do, where to start, where to end, so I know my next project will be better.” Kristi W.

“Now that so many companies are outsourcing everything, it will be crucial that we know how to communicate with people from other countries in order to survive in the business world.” Brayanna B

“Companies and jobs are going overseas to places like Dubai and China. To keep up with this kind of economy, you will have to be able to work asynchronously….like in this project I worked with somebody from Qatar and Missouri…I prefer a synchronous environment because it is something that I have become comfortable with and familiar with.” Christopher T.

“This video was worth my time even though I struggled the whole time.” Dustin W.

I could care less whether you reflect on a blog or paper, but reflections should be mandatory. The great thing about electronic reflections is that they are searchable. You could make word clouds and spot trends as well as use tagging to pull meaning from the data.

The greatest school improvement tool is sitting at your fingertips right now. I believe it should define what it means to be a professional educator. In fact, isn't what I'm doing right now a reflection as well?

So, as we look forward, don't forget to also reflect.

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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Ms. Mize January 3, 2008 - 10:24 pm

Sounds like the project was a great success! Congratulations with the culmination of it by reflecting. Thank you for reminding us the of the importance of reflection.

Louise Maine January 5, 2008 - 12:02 pm

What a great post! Reflection is key. Your students had some great things to say. I think most educators do not want to open it up to students for fear of what they have to say. I think as an industry, education is pretty poor in authentic reflection.

I also love how we realize what needs to be improved. We would not be learning along with our students otherwise.

You really have me thinking in how to solicit and use reflection in my classes. This reflection can also be a valuable portion of the portfolio that must be put together at the end of the year for the administration. My administration really does not completely understand though they are supportive.

rkasun January 5, 2008 - 4:49 pm

I agree that schools also need to make use of the Flat World. I commented on ways that I think a school district can use technology to “open” world-wide communication and reflection.

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