For the past three months I have been part of a Virtual Book Club with educators around the world discussing Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds: Move to Global Collaboration One Step at a Time by Julie Lindsay and Vickie Davis. What first began as a book club within a school, became a global virtual book club with teachers, parents, students, thinkers, and learners around the world to discuss “powerful educational ideas” with one another.
The book club was facilitated by blogger and technology integration specialist, Kyle Dunbar. We met for an hour twice a month for three months using Blackboard Collaborate. Each meeting Kyle facilitated thoughtful discussions and reflections about ideas raised in the book from setting up a global project to celebrating and reflecting on global collaborations. The fact that I am participating in a Flat Classroom project with my middle school students right now made the book club more meaningful. As I set up and launched the project I had this opportunity with the book club to discuss with veteran and newbie global classroom project teachers all aspects of a global collaborative project. In addition, Kyle set up a blog for teachers to post thoughts, ideas and reflections when we weren’t meeting (or if a person missed a meeting).
So, what were the benefits of participating in a virtual book club?
1. Connected with teachers around the globe.
2. Engaged in authentic literacy experiences – a model for what we want to do with our own students.
3. Learned more about global projects.
4. Inspired to do more – participate in another virtual book club, global project, become a certified flat classroom teacher.