Who made it? The project was made by two teachers: Vicki Davis and Julie Lindsay in 2006 and the project has been a huge success so far.
What is it? The flat classroom project is/was a collaborative project between students from all ages from all around the world together. Its main aim is to lower classroom walls. Usually it is carried out by international schools such as Qatar Academy and WestWood schools. The first year of the project was mentioned in Thomas Friedmans book The World is Flat.
The Flatteners Flattener #1: 11/9/89 The fall of the Berlin wall. Flattener #2: 8/9/95 Netscape Flattener #3: Work Flow Software Flattener #4: Uploading Flattener #5: Outsourcing Flattener #6: Offshoring: Running with Gazelles, Eating with Lions Flattener #7: Supply-Chaining: Eating Sushi in Arkansas Flattener #8: Insourcing: What the Guys in Funny Brown Shorts Are Really Doing Flattener #9: In-Forming: Google, Yahoo!, and MSN Web Search Flattener #10: The Steroids: Digital, Mobile, Personal, and Virtual
Flattener #1 The fall of the Berlin wall is the first flattener in Thomas Friedman’s book The World is Flat.
Flattener #2 The first flattener is this date: 8/9/95 This is because of Netscape finally launching and it was the first web browser so it brought the internet to life.
Flattener #3 "Work flow platforms are enabling us to do for the service industry what Henry Ford did for manufacturing," said Jerry Rao, the entrepreneur doing accounting work for American from India. "We are taking apart each task, [standartizing it,] and sending it around to whomever can do it best, and because we are doing it in a virtual environment, people need not be physically adjacent to each other, and then we are reassembling all the pieces back together at headquarters [or some other remote site]. This is not a trivial revolution. This is a major one. It allows for a boss to be somewhere and his employees to be someplace else." These work flow software platforms, Jerry added, "enable you to create virtual global offices - not limited by either the boundaries of your office or your country - and to access talent sitting in different parts of the world and have them complete tasks that you need completed in real time. And so 24/7/365 we are all working. And all this has happened in the twinkling of an eye - the span of the last two or three years" (p.91).
Flattener #4 Uploading allowed us to all make our own work and upload it to the internet for all the people to see.
Flattener #5 Outsourcing is hiring the cheapest labor all over the world to work for you. And the country who benefited most from this was India because of Y2K all people outsourced it to them.
Flattener #6 Offshoring: Running with Gazelles, Eating with Lions "On December 11, 2001, China formally joined the World Trade Organization, which meant Beijing agreed to follow the same global rules governing exports, imports, and foreign investments that most countries were following." (p.137) ASIMCO Technologies – an American auto parts manufacturer in China put the following African proverb, translated in Mandarin, on the factory floor:Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up.It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed.Every morning a lion wakes up.It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death.It doesn’t matter if you are a lion or a gazelle.When the sun comes up, you better start running.Ever since China joined the World Trade Organization, both they and the rest of the world have had to run faster and faster.
Flattener #7 Supply-Chaining: Eating Sushi in Arkansas Friedman describes the Wal-Mart's supply chain in Bentonvilee, Arkansas -- 1.2-million-square-foot distribution center.When a consumer picks up one of the products in a Wal-Mart store, the cashier scans it and the generated signal goes to the supplier of that product and pops up on the supplier's computer screen and prompts him to make another of that item and ship it via the Wal-Mark supply chain. Wal-Mart movies 2.3 billion general merchandise cartons a year to its stores.
Flattener #8 Insourcing: What the Guys in Funny Brown Shorts Are Really Doing FedEx and UPS not just delivering packages anymore. They are synchronizing global supply chains large and small (p.167). If you own a Toshiba laptop under warranty, and it breaks and you call Toshiba to have it repaired, it goes to a UPS workshop dedicated to computer repairs at their Louisville hub. UPS also dispatches the drivers and schedules supply pickup and delivery for Papa John’s Pizza.
Flattener #9 In-Forming: Google, Yahoo!, and MSN Web Search Google is now processing roughly one billion searches per day, up from 150 million just three years ago. According to Alan Cohen, "If I can operate Google, I can find anything. Google is like God, God is wireless, God is everywhere, and god sees everything. Any questions in the world, ask Google" (p.185).
Flattener #10 The Steroids: Digital, Mobile, Personal, and Virtual The first steroid: Computing power. in 1971, the Intel 4004 microprocessor contained 2,3000 transistors. Intel's Tianium processor has 1.7 billion transistors in 2006.The second steroid: Breakthroughs in instant messaging, peer-to-peer networks and file sharing.The third steroid: Breakthroughs in making phone calls over the Internet (VOIP) -- Skype.The fourth steroid: Videoconferencing -- people can collaborate, "communicate their thoughts, facial expressions, feelings, ire, enthusiasm, and raised eyebrows."The fifth steroid: Advances in computer graphics. "Video games are particularly important in this regard, because in addition to their very realistic visual images and great sound, they are highly interactive and increasingly collaborative." (p.194).The sixth steroid: Wireless technologies and devices. In Japan, you can get uninterrupted wireless internet service on your computer or cell phone while traveling on the bullet train at 150 mph. According to TamonMitsuishi, senior VP at DoCoMo, the Japanese cellular giant, " the mobile phone will become the essential controller of a person's life. For example, in the medical field it will be your authentication system and you can examine your medical records, and to make payments you will have to hold a mobile phone. You will not be able to lead a life without a mobile phone, and it will control things at home too. We believe that we need to expand the range of machines that can be controlled by mobile phone." These steroids made it possible for all forms of collaboration – outsourcing, offshoring, open-sourcing, supply-chaining, and in-forming – to come together. Friedman writes: "As a result of these steroids, engines can now talk to computers, people can talk to people, computers can talk to computers, and people can talk to computers father, faster, more cheaply, and more easily that ever before. And as that has happened, more people from more places have started asking one another the same two question:CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?CAN WE WORK TOGETHER NOW?"