December 11, 2011

Working as an expert advisor at Flat Classroom Project

I have been involved in Flat Classroom Project for about 2 months as an expert advisor. It’s the first time I work with Flat Classroom Project. I felt excited as well as challenged at the first beginning. For one thing, I am confident in technology. For another, although the responsibility of expert advisor is defined in FCP as “Your job is to provide feedback and point out resources to the team”, I didn’t quite sure what I should do can really benefit students. What kind of feedback I should provide? Waiting for students’ questions? Or participating in their activities to offer the support initiatively? How could I know what they need? And I found many of my classmates had same questions as I did.

After registration, I chose group 7- in-forming- “Google take over the world” to work with in consideration of the widespread use of Google around the world. Most kids today have experience to use Goolge tools to support their learning. Obviously, Google is widely recognized. My initial idea was to help students learn about how to use Google tools more effectively and efficiently through my technical support.

The old saying goes, “It is the first step that is troublesome.”  Fortunately, soon after I posted my introduction to both Ning and my group wiki, I received students’ responses. They introduced themselves to me as well as added me to their friend list. It was really a good beginning. But I still didn’t get the idea how the students collaborate at FCP until I received a question from a 14 years old girl. She needed a direction for reference because this was her first time working with FCP as well.  Although I didn’t do much for her, I got an opportunity to observe how they started as a new group. The students under GGL topic were signed to 6 subgroups. Each subgroup was responsible for updating an assigned part of GGL wiki. They posted question, discussed with their peers about the content and shared sources in the GGL wiki discussion board. The discussion within each subgroup lasted for about a week.

The world is flat. Technology connected information and resources all around the world. I am glad to have the opportunity to be part of FCP and see how students work in this flat world. However, there still are some questions remained in my mind. Was the entire projection all done by collaborating online?  Were the students within each subgroup from the same school or diffent one? Because it seemed like some parts of discussion and collaboration didn’t exist in FCP discussion board or Ning. Did they use other tools to communicate with each other or just meet face to face ?

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