Thursday, August 8, 2013

Reflection - Flat Classroom Live Hawaii-Style!

I think I'm finally coming down from my "high" of the 3-day global event at Punahou School in Honolulu, Hawaii.  The facility is state-of-the-art, the faculty is top-notch, and the staff is simply amazing.  The students were thoughtful, eager, and fun to teach and hang around.  Realizing after that President Obama graduated high school at Punahou makes it all the more special!  Emily McCarren, Director of the Wo International Center, invited the Flat Classroom team to run the event.  She was a wonderful host and resource, and now a new colleague.  I look forward to connecting with her in the near future!

Wo International Center
The students and several teachers were submersed in Flat Classroom learning.  They researched a problem that the school or state of Hawaii faced and worked to find a way to solve it.  Information, notes, and final projects were housed on the Flat Classroom Live Wiki.  Take a look to see the final projects as well as the process.  That's where true learning took place.

We shared our stories and the students learned how to become "flat".   Vicki Davis and Julie Lindsay shared important Flat Classroom strategies.  They are the co-founders of the Flat Classroom Project where I met and worked with them online. I finally met them face-to-face in Hawaii!  Frank Guttler taught the students and teachers the important basics of filmmaking.  He is a master at his craft and students listened well.  I shared my story on how I became a global "flat classroom" educator as well.  Many videos on the stories and presentations are on the FCLive UStream Page.

We had fun!  We went to a luau, we ate dinner on the beach, and we enjoyed the Hawaii weather.  After the event was over, we were sorry to see it end.  We enjoyed each other's company and marveled at the final projects the students and teachers created.

After the event, my daughters and I stayed a few extra days.  We spent one of the days on an adventure tour and the other hanging by the pool and ocean.  It was a nice way to relax and get to know our surroundings.

Thank you, Julie and Vicki, for allowing me to participate in this amazing event!  It was wonderful to meet and work with Frank and Emily and to find amazing educators to learn from and collaborate.  I also met creative educators in the conference:  Hui-Mei, Sonya, Bill, Ryan, and Maria  I hope to join you all, soon, through Flat Classroom projects and other types of collaborations as well!

Bill Brady, Hui-Mei Chang, Anita Chen,
Ryan Fujii, Sonya Van Schaijik, Maria Verhaar