How the Objectives Demonstrate Mastery of Program Goals

1. Student Centered Learning

Learning is student-centered where the teacher acts as a guide and facilitator of resources in order to enable students to complete project tasks. Students are given an introduction to the project and are provided the necessary links and websites. Once students have a thorough understanding of the project, students contribute to developing performance-based assessments and rubrics that will be used to assess their work.

2. Learning and Doing

Rather than be taught about Friedman’s “10 Global Flatteners,” students learn about it by reading, research and utilization of Social Bookmarking tools like Diigo. Students learn how economic globalization is functioning by practicing it in outsourcing requests for pieces of video and multimedia from their global student partners to include in their culminating multimedia presentations.

3. Using Information

Students write about what they are learning on a collaborative wiki and then create a multimedia piece with team members in different schools, in other parts of the world, as the culminating activity. Students may use writing, graphics, video, etc. to convey their understanding of the information and topic on the team wiki.

4. Teacher as Facilitator

Teacher spends majority of time in the classroom moving from student to student, or group to group, helping students with multimedia projects and presentations. Teacher presents some material, directly, with appropriate scaffolding to lead the students seamlessly from one task to another.

5. Flexible grouping configuration based on individual student needs

Teachers create a spreadsheet in Google Docs breaking down Friedman’s 10 Global Flatteners. Each topic is further broken down into three sub-topics. Once teachers finalize the Google Doc, students may go in and add their name to the group/topic area in which they are most interested. Further, each topic wiki will be broken into areas of specialization such as the topic’s impact on government & politics; education; arts, entertainment & leisure; science, environment & leisure.

6. Higher-order thinking skills

Students need to acquire, synthesize and evaluate information in order to answer questions or solve problems about working with partners in different time zones about economic globalization. Students use information to create a product that represents their understanding or mastery of their chosen “Global Flatteners.”

7. Multiple instructional and learning modalities to include all students

Throughout their research, students may gather articles and blogs, subscribe to podcasts and/or vodcasts, watch informative videos on topics pertaining to economic globalization and multi-national corporations and then write or record reflections about their thought process. Students may choose from a plethora of ways to present themselves. (Learning how to learn is another mastery goal addressed here)

8. Collaboration

Extensive collaboration is done with individuals outside of the classroom. In order to complete the project, students collaborate with other student partners in different cities/countries to collaboratively build a wiki page on their topic. Students leave comments and questions for each other on the discussion tab of the respective wiki page. Initial student introductions are conducted via a Ning environment, where students can additionally form topic subgroups.

9. Performance-based assessments

Students are assessed on performance primarily through the use of analytic rubrics that measure design and technical quality as well as synthesis and construction of ideas. As a measure of formative assessment, students will also peer edit each other’s work throughout the process. In the beginning of the project, the facilitator provides a rubric shell with basic ideas on core concepts and students contribute to the weighting of the rubric in an attempt to identify what is the most important to them.

10. Technology fully integrated into the classroom

Virtually every aspect of this project involves the use of technology. Laptops and internet connections are readily available at all times in the classroom and students are accustomed to entering class and logging on to their laptop to begin. Every portion of the project involves technology, primarily Web 2.0 tools.

11. Learning how to learn

Students are required to write a weekly reflective blog post about their understanding of their topic and their progress in the project, as well as what is working for them and what is not. Much like Multiple instructional and learning modalities to include all students, students may choose from a plethora of ways to gather information and present themselves.

12. Students acting as a professional in the discipline

Students research and write to publish their work to the team wiki as if experts on their respective topic areas. At some point throughout the project, a keynote speaker is set up and students interact with the keynote speaker via Skype and/or Elluminate. In a prior project, students interacted directly with author, Mike Ribble, in a discussion about digital citizenship. Final student projects are judged by professionals from both the technology and education fields who are not involved with the project.

13. Multiple sources of information, including technology

Students are exposed to their class textbook, the book, The World is Flat: A brief history of the twenty-first century, by Thomas L. Friedman, shared bookmarked sources on a Diigo student group and a multitude of their own internet research. Additionally, students view several informational videos and instructional videos throughout the project. This project is supported by general concepts from the textbook, but is no way dependent on the textbook.

14. Teachers addressing the learning styles of all learners

The project is set up in a manner that students can work at their own pace based on their skill level with various tools. With virtually every assignment, students have choices in how they want to convey what they are learning: they can create a podcast, compile graphics and pictures in a video podcast, they can blog about it, etc. there is no ‘right’ way. Further, information and content presented throughout the project is done so through a variety of mediums including the internet, videos, and print text.

15. Interdisciplinary

The project is interdisciplinary and cross-curricular. We pull in examples of readings from other classes, such as Animal Farm when discussing political and economic systems. It is writing, reading, speaking, and listening intensive and students are held accountable for those standards, as well, through the performance-based assessment. While each topic generally refers to a global economic concept, each team wiki is broken down further into sub-topics of Areas of Impact such as Government & Politics, Education, Science, Environment & Technology, Health & Wellness, Arts, Entertainment & Leisure, etc. (see as example).

16. Using a variety of types of information to complete authentic projects

As previously mentioned, the project utilizes print material, audio, video, etc. that include critiques and reviews of concepts versus simply learning factoids about the global economy. Students must then evaluate and synthesize the information to present what they have come to understand about the global economy and how the world is changing. Further, students participate in a Keynote QA session with a professional from the field.