How to do the Flat Classroom Project

We will post and share lesson plans and information here. All teachers are encouraged to post hyperlinks to all lesson plans and materials here. If it is numbered, it is something you should do and "check off" your list. Please type your school beside each item when complete so we may see an easy status.

A. Before You Start the Project

1) Get Parent Permission

Download and have all of your students sign the Flat Classroom Consent Form. You must keep this on file. This enables researchers to follow this project and publish documented research about this project. -- Done: WHS

Note: If virtual worlds are going to be used, this form is being used by Mrs. Davis at Westwood. It has been modified so that you may use it. Done:

2) Survey your students

We have a survey that we are administering this year. It should be completed before you begin.
Done: QA, SAS

3) Prepare Students

What you do in the weeks leading up to the project is up to you.

Pre-Flat Classroom Lesson Plans (Share yours here:)

Here are the most important skills:
  • Do students know how to use wikispaces?
    (editing, discussions, embedding widgets, embedding video -- Most of us have our own wikis to work on. Julie Lindsay's wiki, Vicki Davis' wiki )
  • Do students know how to capture video?
  • Do students know how to edit video?
    (We use the free movie maker or imovie. It is also highly suggested that you have a copy or two of Quicktime Pro to enable conversion.)
  • Do students know how to upload?
    (pictures, video to youtube or teacher tube)
  • Do students have their own e-mail?
  • Have you discussed the use of creative commons images and citing sources?
  • Are students aware of essential netiquette -
    eg Checking e-mail daily; replying to e-mails in a timely fashion; checking Ning for activity
  • Do students know how to use an RSS Reader?
    (Vicki teaches NetVibes, Julie teaches Bloglines)

Skills and Attitudes


This project expects that all students will develop ability with multimedia and online communication tools. These skills can be gained while working on the project however during the intense 3-4 weeks of the official project time is short therefore try to build up skills beforehand leading up to the official starting and collaboration time.

Suggested skills

B. Places to Join

You and the Students Need to:

1. Join the Wiki

They can click on join this space and a request will be sent. Please have them specify in the comment their first name, last initial and the classroom that they are joining from.
Status: WHS has started;QA done

2. Join the Ning -- This is where we connect and communication. Although the project will be publicly viewable here, that is where we communicate and discuss.
(Teachers please tell us when you've joined so that we can give you administrative privileges.)

Status: WHS has started will be complete by Oct 1; QA started will be complete by Oct 1

You (the teacher) need to:

3. Join Airset & Add your Class Sessions

Join - -- You will receive an invitation -- please make sure that you set your time zone in the preferences so that your times will show up correctly on all calendars and here on the wiki.
Add your classes -- After you've set up your preferences, add all of the times that you are in class onto the calendar. (You can set up a recurring appointment if it is the same time, then you can delete those that will not happen.) Make sure you pick a color that is not being used on the calendar. This will help us create synchronous times to interact and make effective use of the elluminate room.

4. Edit the Google Document

Add student names and any relevant comment about your students, we will use this to split up the teams also.

C. Audio Introduction

The first assignment is the audio introduction that each student will put on the ning.


Use these questions as a guide to record your short audio introduction to put on the Ning.
  • Explain who you are, where you live and what school you go to
  • Tell a little about what life is like where you live
  • Tell a little about what you do at school, for a hobby etc
  • Share your ideas for the project:
    • How do you think you will cope collaborating with students in other countries?
    • What will be the advantages?
    • What will be the disdvantages?
    • What new skills will you need to learn to be able to do this project?

Working with Audio Files

Here are some guidelines for recording, editing and uploading an audio file to the Flat Classroom Ning. The same tools and procedure can be used for other purposes as well.
  • Record your audio using either a microphone straight into the PC using Audacity, or use a digital recorder eg Olympus WS300. The WS300 and some others do not record into MP3 format therefore the file will need to be converted before importing into Audacity. Use winLame for this.
  • Edit Audacity and export as an MP3 file.
  • On the Flat Classroom Ning, click on Add Music and upload your file. Add an image if you want to as well.

Where to go next?

Go to our Lesson plans page where we share the plans that we use. And please, share yours.