There have only been two meetings of the Flat Classroom Book Club, but in those two short hours, I’ve learned so much about global collaboration. I definitely encourage you to get ahold of the book and join in. If you missed either of the first two, you should also check out the recordings.

One of my most profound takeaways has been about the connections you make during collaborative projects. In my mind, I have always focused on the connections between the students and how to make sure those were meaningful. However, in the first book club meeting, a participant (Suzie Nestico? Honor Moorman? I can’t remember, sorry!) recommended paying attention to teacher connections as well. This was something I hadn’t thought about too much. And it makes perfect sense.

If the teachers don’t find a way to form a connection, it’s still possible to have a good project. But when the teachers DO connect, it can take it to a whole new level. The connections between teachers lead to so many great things, including everyone pouring their hearts into the work, a shared sense of commitment, and a sharing of the workload. Trading emails isn’t enough. There needs to be a phone or web conference, or Skype call. That’s how the connections really happen. When you’ve “looked” someone in the eye on Skype, you are far more likely to go the extra mile for them, and definitely will feel more committed to the cause.

So if you’re planning a collaborative project, be it with a classroom across the globe or one across the hall, don’t forget to connect with your partner teachers. You’ll definitely be glad that you did.

Don’t forget to join us to discuss chapter 4 on Sunday March 25 at 6 PM Eastern. There’s still time to sign up for the book club here.

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  • Michael Graffin

    Hi Ben. Ironically, this is where we come in … a major focus of The Global Classroom Project is on “connecting teachers”.

    We have built the support network & community for teachers looking to make their first steps into global collaboration, while also providing a space for teachers to build their very own global projects …

    We had no idea that we would be fulfilling such a fundamental need in the wider educational community … but we are, and we are learning some big lessons along the way.

    Michael

    • engaginged

      It’s amazing how things like this happen when you open yourself up to collaboration with global partners…you end up discovering things you never set out to and the outcomes end up being even greater than you could have possibly imagined. The Global Classroom Project is awesome. We are huge fans. Thanks for the comment.

      –Ben