I started thinking about the best way to "Tell the Kids" that the World is Flat. Then memories came flying back of a group of of kids who figured it out while Thomas Friedman was "sleeping". For almost 10 years (1995-2005) I've coached students in creating community web sites as part of International Cyberfair sponsored by Global School House. Each year, they became more and more aware of the flattening of the world. Part of the process is for participating students to conduct peer reviews of 6 other sites. Most of the sites were NOT from the United States. Year after year, the bar was raised by students from around the world as the winning entries were chosen -- and each year my students became less and less satisfied with placing 2nd as a Finalist in this International Competetion. In the early Fall of 2001, they said to me , "Ms. deLaBruere... when are we going to start working on Cyberfair this year... those 9 year old kids from Taiwan that beat us last year have probably already started their project". (note: my students were in grades 9 - 12 and didn't like being beat out by 9 year olds) Their insight about what it was like to participate on a level playing field paid off, as the First Place Winners were announced and a group of young people from a small rural town in Vermont walked away with a Platinum Win in an International Competition.
(Watch Video of the Kids who Figured out that theWorld is Flat in 2001)
Windows Media - 1 meg)
So my challenge is to figure out how to tell more kids. I do think that getting them involved in more Global Projects is an effective way to do that. Global School House offers many such projects.