Note: I have started a conversation with a high school social studies teacher about a collaborative project beween her class during fall semester 2011 and students in Egypt.She visited Egypt in April and has made connections with teachers who traveled with her from the US and schools they visited. Her name is Amy Sanders and this is the wiki for her course taught in 2009-2010 and her blog about her trip that was through the Harvard University Center for Middle Eastern Studies. This Project Design page will develop as Amy and I meet and plan this summer and fall.

When Amy and I meet on July 1 we will finish this proposal.

PART A: Global Project Design Essentials

Project Name
After the Revolution - Egypt interacts with the World
Curriculum Idea and Alignment
Middle Eastern Studies/Social Studies/Global Learning: 2011 Revolutions in the Middle East\

This project is interdisciplinary using students' communication/technology skills, historical knowledge and political understanding in the context of 21st century global awareness.
Guiding Question and Project Aims
  • What's ahead for Egypt after the revolution?
  • How can what's happening in Egypt inform students' understanding of government and democracy in each country?
  • How do the Internet and social networking tools affect communication and information available in each country?
Prerequisites and Skill Level
We will need to determine what common web 2.0 tools are available for communication and collaboration. Are blogs, wikis, twitter, etc. available in Egyptian schools? Students will follow clear digital citizenship guidelines using FlatClassroom documents.
Standards Alignment
The 5 ISTE NETS standards will be addressed during the project with teams focusing on one specific skill area in their research wiki (e.g. Communication & Collaboration, Digital Citizenship, etc.).

The Maine Social Studies performance indicators include Individual, Cultural, International and Global Connections in Civics, Government, Economics, Geography & History (p. 3, http://www.maine.gov/education/lres/pei/ss102207.pdf).

Selected OUTCOMES from the Social Studies Map from the Partnership for 21st Century Skills fit very well with this project:
  • Creativity & Innovation - OUTCOME: Students invent an original piece of work that can be published or presented online
  • Critical Thinking & Problem Solving - OUTCOME: using sound reasoning and relevant examples, students analyze the historical evolution of a contemporary public policy issue, place it within an historical context, and use a digital publishing tool to report their work.
  • Communication - OUTCOME: Analyze, synthesize, organize and present information from the social sciences in clear, complete and effective formats.
  • Collaboration - OUTCOME: working in small groups, students will research a current issue and analyze it in terms of historical, political and economic components, various viewpoints, and potential solutions, and create a digital presentation that clearly describes all sides of the issue.
  • Information Literacy - OUTCOME: Evaluate the nature of information ownership and the related accessibility of various forms of information. Examine issues of copyright and the proper way to cite various sources.
  • Media Literacy - OUTCOME: identify and analyze different ways that electronic news sources define and present an issue and raise significant questions about how the different points of view in the news sources might affect how people define and act upon the issue.
  • ICT Literacy - OUTCOME: using digital technology, communication tools and/or networks appropriately to create and share information.
  • Productivity and Accountability - OUTCOME: Students complete a project which incorporates problem identification, research, a written and oral presentation, and a related service project. Students evaluate their own work with project criteria, set goals for improvement, and strive to meet project deadlines.
Student level/age
Age will be 15-18 and grade level will be in the latter years of high school. This course is an elective, one semester course taught in the fall of 2011.
Focus Questions
Students will:
  • develop their own definitions of "democracy"
  • collaborate with students from other countries to compare & contrast the meaning of democracy
  • describe the history of democracy in their own country
  • describe their personal involvement in exercising democracy and how their involvement has an impact.
  • reflect on the technology aspects of the 2011 revolution in Egypt - how does the Internet affect information shared with the world and what impact did that have on change?
  • reflect on the public speech aspects of a revolution (demonstrations, wall art (graffiti), etc.)
Working Mode: Individual and Team Structure
  • Teams will be made up of students from the US and students from Egypt, our hope is that there will be students from other schools as well. We will look for a balance of Egyptian and non Egyptian schools for the teams.
  • We will determine in our summer meetings if and how we will use a posterous blog, the project wiki, Google groups and other tools.
Required inputs
  • Class video introduction
  • Individual profile pages including information about cultural questions
  • Students are expected to contribute to questions on the informational pages of the wiki based on guidelines developed by the teachers who are participating. Teams made up of students from different schools will create pages for specific topics related to the questions.
  • Multimedia project created by teams will be added to the informational pages.
  • Final multi-media projects will showcase what students have learned and will be shared online (summit)
Optional inputs
  • Elluminate organizer
  • Skype planner
  • iGoogle or Netvibes coordinator
Required outcomes and Learning Experiences
Students will become members of the wiki (http://arabspring.wikispaces.com), create a personal profile following guidelines given, contribute to discussions in the wiki and pursue other social networking options depending on access. We plan to explore Edmodo, Twitter and Facebook (our students have to sign in to Facebook outside of school hours) for additional conversations and interactions. We're going to explore Tumblr and Posterous as group blogging tools.

One critical question for all involved will be, "What web 2.0 tools are available to all of the schools involved?" Our students collaborate in Google Docs, but we don't know if that or Google Mail Groups will be available. We will look at Dropbox or Boxnet for sharing files. We will select a limited set of the 10 Flat World concepts for teams to include in their reflections.
Optional outcomes
We will determine the possibilities for timing a Skype real-time interaction, a recorded podcast introduction, and video introduction like this movie of our town that we shared with pen pals in China this past year: http://webapps.yarmouth.k12.me.us/~cwolinsky/China_Penpals_Web.mov
Workflow
Time frame of 4 to 6 weeks starting in October. Teachers and students who might participate will be contacted in August-September.
Assessment
This project could replace a section of the course assessment that had students teach each other about the countries being studied with a presentation on the interactions between students and a set of responses to questions that are reviewed for analysis of the "meaning of democracy".

More detail will be developed as Amy and I work on this over the summer.
Evaluation
We will develop evaluation tools for students to use and then teachers can use them as part of any grading involved.

PART B: Seven Steps Design Principles and Teaching Strategies


Connection
We will use the wiki: http://arabspring.wikispaces.com for collaboration as well as Dropbox, Twitter, Edmodo and Google Docs as they fit for the schools involved. Some of the schools in Egypt will be involved as individual students within a school and not through their teachers. The project has been announced in the CHOICES blog from Brown University: https://blogs.brown.edu/choices/

Decide on tools and strategies to be put into place to connect teachers and then students in preparation for collaboration
• Determine Web 2.0 and other tools that are available (not blocked) within the schools
• Decide which platform(s) can be used to connect classrooms e.g. wiki, Google Apps, Moodle, Ning
• Determine shared expectations for connection protocols
Communication
Teachers will connect via. email, Edmodo and Skype on a regular basis. We will explore the use of Elluminate for teacher meetings.

Determine appropriate tools and strategies for monitoring and facilitating communication
• Decide methods for communicating teacher-teacher, teacher-student and student-student
• Determine expectations for communication - asynchronous and synchronous – and make this very clear
• Document guidelines for reliable, culturally sensitive, gender appropriate, language sensitive, context aware communication
Citizenship
Digital citizenship and copyright guidelines will be posted on the wiki and will be discussed with students.

Decide the teaching approach for how to be a reliable, responsible and ethical online learner and collaborator
• Establish agreed standards for educational networking such as avatar development, online profile, customization of online spaces, managing an online presence
• Define collective practice for Copyright, Intellectual Property and fair use, creative commons
Contribution and Collaboration
The mechanisms for this will be developed as daily and weekly expectations.

Establish a mechanism for equal and fair contribution opportunities and expectations
• Provide mechanisms for discussion between students while jointly researching, contributing and collaborating
• Determine methods for qualitative and quantitative collection of student contribution and collaboration
Choice
Final projects will allow for choices of media and posting preferences. We have a school YouTube channel, students may have their own and we also have a media server for Yarmouth students that they can share with others when the teams collaborate on a product.

Determine outcomes that provide a challenge and engage students
• Consider varied outcomes, or varied topics that provide choices for participation, promote higher order thinking and problem solving and that build in success
Creation
Templates, exemplars and criteria will be added to the wiki.

Establish clear guidelines for format and submission of the final product(s)
• Construct templates if needed
• Consider a 'competition' or opportunity to share the work beyond the immediate participants
Celebration
Skype meetings across schools and other multiple setting conference tools will be considered for a final celebration. Students will have the option of posting to their online portfolios.

Define a culminating activity for when the work is completed as a form of celebration
• Build in time for presentations and reflection/evaluation of the project