How to do the Flat Classroom 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.

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.

2) Survey your students

We have a survey that we are administering this year. It should be completed before you begin.

3) Prepare Students

What you do in the weeks leading up to the project is up to you. You can view Mrs. Lindsay's Lessons here and Mrs. Davis' 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 replying to e-mails in a timely fashion
  • 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
  • Social Bookmarking: Use of (recommended) or similar. See Social Bookmarking in Plain English (Common Craft) and Using Delicious (Jeff Utecht) and Tagging to Help Teachers (K12 Wiki).
    • Skills include knowing how to save, find and share bookmarks, how to network and bundle and how to use tags
  • Blogging: Use Blogger, Eduspaces, or any other appropriate service. See Introduction to Blogging (Will Richardson)
    • Skills include knowing how to post text, images and other embedded objects and how to comment on others blogs
  • Wiki: Use of Wikispaces environment recommended (Flat Classroom utilises this service)
    • Skills include being able to create and edit pages, embed widgets, use the discussion tabs, feed RSS onto pages, manipulate updates
  • Audio recording: Use of Audacity or similar. Here is a written tutorial, and a set of online tutorials
  • Video making: Use of appropriate software such as iMovie, Windows Movie Maker, Premiere
    • Skills include being able to produce a multimedia artefact and convert it as required
  • Putting multimedia presentations online: Slideshare, YouTube, Evoca
  • Synchronous interaction tools: Elluminate, Skype, Google Chat, MSN, Meebo
  • Online document and file sharing: Google Docs (includes word, spreadsheet and presentation modules), flickr (photos), Yousendit (sending large files)

Social and Ethical Approaches

  • Social networking: Able to work within a virtual network as a member of an online community
  • Digital citizenship: Responsible approach to using online tools and being aware of how to act in the virtual world
  • Communicating often and letting the team know what is going on (eg unexplained absences online can cause dissatisfaction within the group. Collaborating online is different to a face-to-face project)