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on December 5, 2007 at 9:43:14 pm

The Global One Room Schoolhouse

David S. Jakes

Educational Technology Consultant





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It is now easy to create a globally-connected classroom.


What happens when schools and classrooms become permeable?


But what does this mean?  Should the learning be transparent, and made available to people around the world?  How does that change the classroom dynamic?


What kinds of competencies do you want your students to exhibit?  Do you want help students become self-directed learners, capable of working collaboratively in a digital environment where time and distance are relatively meaningless?


At the heart of the global one-room schoolhouse is the capability to network, and build networks.


With Web 2.0, that is fundamentally easy to do.  Sometimes it's not so easy to do inside schools.  Roadblocks exist.

How do we frame working with global collaboration within the context of best practice?


The concept of best practice usually illicits some strong emotions from educators; what exactly is best practice.  Best practice means different things to different people.  With that in mind, here is my perspective of a framework or scaffold that can help school districts implement learning technologies appropriately.  Again, my perspective; yours might be different.  Read my blog post on this topic.


  1. Does the use of the technology support a fundamental literacy that the school believes in? This can range from a holistic literacy like writing to content specific objectives for a particular course. For example, digital storytelling first and foremost seeks to improve the ability of students to write.
  2. Does the use of technology add value to the lesson? Does the technology extend the lesson to a place that could not be achieved unless the technology was included? For example, using the process of digital storytelling also helps students learn visual literacy skills, project management skills, network skills, and how to use media in an ethical way. If the products are shared, then the student can potentially write for a world-wide audience, and that's a much different experience than writing for a teacher.
  3. How will I structure the lesson so that the technology fulfills the first two criteria? For example, the time-tested methodology of preparing a narrative, developing a script, storyboarding, locating imagery and other media, and then building and sharing the story is a truly effective methodology or framework for effective digital storytelling.  What pedagogical process will I use to structure the lesson?


  4. How do I know what I did works?  How will I assess the outcomes, both from a student perspective (did they learn what they were supposed to learn?) and from a lesson design perspective (did the technology perform as anticipated, did the pedagogical process work as intended, and did I meet Criteria 1 and 2?).  How will I use assessment data to improve what I do?


Examples of community-building in action, from a classroom and global perspective.


AP Calculus-Darren Kuropatwa

Upload:  Barbara Barreda and Clarence Fisher

Ning and Wikis:  Elizabeth Helfant

Life Round Here Project: Chris Craft

Advice Through Ethereal Walls |Consumer Math | Darren...again


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