Redefining "World Class"

While many are arguing about standardized tests and complaining about the things that are wrong, there are pioneers out there reinventing what it means to be educated. They are collaborating and traveling virtually and now, there are some that are literally moving the classroom every semester for twelve semesters.

Yes, if you haven't heard of it, THINK Global Schools opens their “doors” this Fall in Stockholm Sweden and then on to Australia and then to Beijing.  I had the opportunity to spend time with Aaron Solomon (CEO) and  Mike Hourahine (CTO) of this progressive program.  These students will not only be using social media but will be traveling to twelve different cities each semester of high school to learn and experience.  What a concept!  Of course, this isn't for everyone and it was exciting to hear their discussions about eventual plans for “flattening” and we're planning to work with them in some ways in the future (not all kids can travel but we can all learn from them.)

This is an exciting time in education for those who are reinventing it. It is discouraging for those who have budget cuts and are at the end of the year and worn out.  But over the summer, I challenge you to consider how you can either follow others who are traveling to learn vicariously or reinvent what you're doing.  Look at the opportunities.

In full disclosure, I was on the call with Aron and Mike due to their support of what we're doing with the Flat Classroom Conference 2011 in Beijing as we just filed the paperwork today to take the Flat Classroom Conference and Projects non profit.  With Ning charging and the huge demand for grassroots, genuine global collaborative projects that allow teachers to customize but that also evolve we're working to try to keep things available to everyone as much as we can.  We've never charged for these projects and have paid for everything out of our pockets but at this point we're going to have to take this to the next level for growth but also to keep things going.  Think Global Schools along with our existing sponsors Elluminate and Wikispaces, believe in this vision to link up students and classrooms from diverse backgrounds and we're very grateful for their support and actively talking to other organizations that fit with our mission and vision to provide the support and financing to help these projects become better and to share more.

But really, this post wasn't going to be about what Julie and I are doing, but really on how intriguing it is that Think Global School is even possible.  Every student will have an iPhone, a MacBook and perhaps even an iPad as they travel and in the fall they will begin their learning curve.  As this model is worked out, it is realistic to expect that hybrids of this sort of program will emerge with some travel and some virtual learning experiences.  The world is literally our classroom, particularly for those who want a world-class education. 

For truly, if you leave the world out of your classroom you cannot have “world-class,” now, can you?

Here is how you may link up with them. I hope they will keep all of us posted and that those of you who are skeptics will realize that this is part of the evolution of education. Learn from it or be left behind.

TGS on Twitter:
TGS on YouTube:
TGS blog:
And of course,

Never miss an episode

Get the 10-minute Teacher Show delivered to your inbox.

Powered by ConvertKit
Picture of Vicki Davis

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.

All Posts »


sregilio June 23, 2010 - 6:54 pm

The idea of having traveling classrooms and having a “world class” education is very exciting to me. Granted, not every child will have this opportunity, but there are so many things that we could currently be doing to bring the world into the classroom. I am currently in a Technology Instruction class and so many doors have been opened to me in regards to what technology there is out there to be brought into the classroom such as Ning, virtual field trips, wiki, etc. I work in Pre-School classrooms and so much of this technology can be implemented even in pre-school.

As technology continues to develop, I believe that it is the responsibility of school disricts to make sure that they have adequate technology to offer their students to access these valuable resources. Students need to learn about the world, various cultures, and have as many virtual expereicnces as possible. If we can’t bring the kids to Egypt to explore the pyramids, then we should be able to virtually transport them there at least. Reflecting back on my education, I would have learned and retained so much more if I would have had the technology available to me as our students have today. I do believe that educations can be “world class” even if a student is never able to leave their classroom. It is our responsibility as educators to make sure that the world is brought to our students.

Indo US Summit July 3, 2010 - 5:15 am

In celebration of its Golden Jubilee, the Indo-American Society (IAS) is proud to convene the first ever Indo-American Summit on Higher Education during 30, 31 July 2010 and 1 August 2010 at the Hotel Grand Hyatt, Mumbai.

The Summit will present participants with an invaluable opportunity to collaborate with key business, political and academic personalities at a national and international level and address important issues, particularly in regard to policy framing and regulations and international partnerships.

Comments are closed.

The Cool Cat Teacher Blog
Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere