Aims of the activity:
  • To establish communication between students in two schools in geographically disparate locations
  • To investigate the collaboration topics set out below

Link to Learner Profile:
Inquirers: Students conduct local research and share findings with students in the other school
Knowledgeable: Students increase their knowledge of IT systems

Students reach conclusions about the impact of the digital divide
Communicators: Students collaborate as part of an inter-school team
Principled: Students are aware of cultural differences and show respect in their interactions

Link to Curriculum:
Strand 1: Social and Ethical Considerations> The digital divide and equality of access
Strand 2: Education and training
Strand 3: Hardware, Software, Networks, Internet

Topics the students could investigate:
  • Define ‘digital divide’
  • Describe the hardware, software, network, Internet access and technical support in your school
  • Compare hardware, software, network, Internet access and technical support between the schools
  • Discuss reasons for disparities in facilities, support and access
  • Analyse the impacts on students of any disparities
  • Evaluate solutions to address these disparities

Length of activity: Approximately four weeks

Suggested step-by-step process:
  1. The ITGS teachers discuss with their Network Managers any issues that may restrict the scope of the collaboration topic.
  2. Two ITGS teachers from geographically disparate locations connect through a forum, such as the OCC.
  3. Teachers discuss with their classes issues relating to digital citizenship.
  4. The class in each school discusses the concept of the digital divide and researches information using social bookmarking (eg.Delicious, Diigo) and RSS feeds.
  5. The teacher in each school ensures the students are familiar with the concepts relating to the IT systems. This may involve creating a glossary of terminology.
  6. The teachers collaborate and pair up one student in Teacher A's ITGS class with a student in Teacher B's ITGS class to create a team.
  7. A wiki is set up by the teachers that will be used for communicating. The agreed guidelines for the wiki are added by the teacher.
  8. Students connect with their team using the wiki. Students communicate with their teams using the discussion tab feature of wiki on their topic.
  9. Teams choose one area (ie hardware, software, network facilities, Internet access, IT support).
  10. A team member will gather research (eg using Google Forms) within his own school and share the findings with his partner (eg using Google spreadsheet) in the other school. Teachers provide guiding questions for each team to enable them to research their topic in more depth. Students may add further questions.
  11. Teachers provide a mechanism to ensure the members of the team contribute equally.
  12. Teachers provide students with a template page to assist them to create the content for the wiki.
  13. The team collaborates to create a presentation of their findings on the wiki.
  14. The students celebrate by presenting their findings to their respective classes.
  15. Teachers and students evaluate the activities according to pre-determined rubrics.

Acknowledgment for the concepts found in "7 Steps to a Flat Classroom" to Julie Lindsay and Vicki Davis, co-founders of Flat Classroom™ Projects

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