Written by a team of 27 students at Sandvika High School (Oslo, Norway), Connected Learners: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Global Classroom is a unique compendium of stories, advice and how-to articles designed to help high school teachers and their students around the globe shift from classrooms that are isolated and teacher-centered to digitally rich environments where learning is student-driven and constantly connected to the global internet.

The 220-page collaborative book “takes the reader through all the steps to create a digital classroom,” according to a spokesman for the team of Grade 9 students, “ranging from setting up Twitter and blog accounts, to finding educators and students online for global learning activities, to how to optimize the use of search engines and teach the key elements of digital literacy.”

ann-mic-120sqThe connected classroom guide represents the culmination of a student learning project supported by English teacher and international blogger Ann Michaelsen, who also contributed articles to the book. Ann was recognized by Microsoft Partners in Learning as a “Global Hero in Education” in 2012. “This book offers a unique insight into what students and teachers need to know in the 21st century classroom,” says Michaelsen. “I’m extremely proud of what my English learners have accomplished and shared in this remarkable example of project learning.”

From the Introduction:

This year our English class is an active, web-based, networked educational environment and we want to teach YOU how to master the skills of webucation. We will teach you how to make a blog and integrate it into your learning; we will discuss the positive effects of a digital classroom and inspire you to use digital tools.

 

Teachers sometimes struggle to find good use of digital tools for learning. At Sandvika High, 27 students have dedicated their first year of high school to test out different ways to combine pedagogy with technology in the classroom.  In the process, we have written this book to share our knowledge and findings with you. Many teachers assume that students are tech savvy and experts in technology. The truth is that students mostly master only the areas they are interested in.

 

Our goal is to push you off a cliff into the swirling waters of digital education. After pushing you over the edge we will show you how to avoid the razor sharp rocks you might encounter in a digital world with unreliable websites and the constant danger of being distracted… So power up your computer and enjoy the ride.

The 10-chapter interactive digital book is designed to be useful for teachers and students in both high school and middle school. Entirely written, edited and designed by the students themselves, it is available from the Powerful Learning Press bookstore for $5.99.

“PLPress is helping with the promotion and distribution of this unique book as a public service,” said Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, CEO of Powerful Learning Practice LLC, “and in recognition of all the educators and students around the world who are leading the shift to connected learning.” All profits will go into a fund for the Sandvika High students to support physical field trips to schools they collaborate with online.

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Twitter Chat – May 21 at 7 pm EDT – New York City time

Ann Michaelsen and her students will lead a Twitter chat about Connected Learners, using the hashtag #plpnetwork. Learn more about the chat, the book and the students’ activities at the Connected Learners blog.

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