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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