The Oracle ThinkQuest design challenge offers students 9 – 19 the chance to create a website based on their particular educational interest. The competition is unique because once the students form teams, they seek out their own coach to support their development. This is a real testament to the power of flattening the educational hierarchy. Coaches are there in a support and guidance role rather than to direct the process. Teams are made up of 3 to 6 students with NO restrictions on location. The team highlighted in the video was comprised of students from several continents.
You can visit the ThinkQuest page by clicking on the picture:
Imagine local school boards adopting a similar competition or attitude towards collaboration. Taking advantage of the collaborative technology available to our schools could easily make this possible. Using project-based learning in a networked context would have tremendous upside for both staff and students. Embedding 21st century fluencies into daily practice does not have to be directed from up above. Facilitating opportunities for mass collaboration is much more effective and sustainable because it is student directed.
Sandra Mustacato and Mike Papadimitriou from the TCDSB AICT team delivered a powerful Prezi at the Area 1 Innovator’s Day at Msgr. Percy Johnson (organized by VP Marcello Mancuso and Area 1 S.O Loretta Notten) where they displayed the power of Skype to facilitate such collaborative student learning possibilities. Follow this link to view this fantastic Prezi: