Julie Lindsay is based in Australia as a consultant, presenter and workshop leader, is Director of Learning Confluence, Founder and CEO of Flat Connections, co-author of Flattening Classrooms, and author of The Global Educator.
I am fortunate to have known Julie for many years and been lucky to have deep discussions with her at several conferences about global education. I really enjoyed our conversation and learned new things about Julie that I didn’t know. Below are excerpts from the podcast along with links, resources, and videos. Enjoy!
About you, your background, and your journeys
I started as a music educator. I was a jazz player, have a master’s degree in research and composition. In the 1990s, I did a lot with music technology so that was my bridge into educational technology by doing music composition through technology in an independent school in Melbourne. The internet came in then and it was so exciting to have that availability. I was doing Internet club after school and entered my students into one of Yvonne Andres CyberFair projects where they got an honorable mention. I went back to school to get my post-graduate degree in computer education. Right after that my husband and I decided to teach overseas. We ended up in Zambia exactly 20 years ago with our three-year-old daughter. I became a computer teacher in a lab with no internet and were there for 2 ½ years.
As a teaching couple, we went to a teaching fair and found a job in Kuwait and the middle east for 2 years. Then we went to Bangladesh for 4 years, back to the middle east to Qatar for 2 years, and then to China for 3 years. That’s where my daughter graduated, and we decided to come back home to Australia. We live in Northern New South Wales near the capital city by the beach.
Why you are so passionate about Global Education
It is my life. I was at the Learning2 Conference for international educators in China recently. I’ve seen the power of it and how it changes the whole learning paradigm. I see how the sparks fly, the engagement increases, and students’ curiosity about the world as an amazing thing to harness to do projects that connect to the world.
“Develop curiosity to learn about the world with the world.” Julie Lindsay
The whole thing about curiosity puts the ownership for learning back on the learner. Both the teacher and the student have to be curious and interested. We have to provide the stimulus so teachers are curious just like students.
The Global Educator
That first section of my book, The Global Educator, published by ISTE last year, defines a global educator from what people were telling me and my experiences as well. A Global Educator connects to the world. An educator can use different types of media to connect, communicate, collaborate, and share what they are doing with the world. Some schools are using an LMS to connect but it doesn’t allow educators to connect to the world.
My book had the full 36 case studies which made the book too long so the book is actually half what I wrote. Each case study is a short summary describing the study. The full case studies are in the eBook that is available through ISTE. I’m actually blogging each case study one a week on my website so all will be available on my blog. Section 3 on Global Collaborations can actually stand on its own. It is about design and planning how to embed this into the curriculum.
Learning Confluence and Flat Connections
My consulting company is called Learning Confluence. When you think of a confluence, it is the coming together and blending of ideas and influences. I work with schools across Australia which is similar to the USA. Every state has a different education department and rules. There is a national education department but every state decides how they will apply the curriculum and use technology. There are some states that don’t allow some technology so there is no real consistency. The thing is to try a workaround and talk to the IT department about how important it is to have tools that connect you to the world.
Teachers may get frustrated if they have limited access, but I tell them not to give up and to keep talking to make it happen. There are different ways to connect people. One way I do that is through my global projects so when newbies come in, we connect them to people who have done them before to mentor them.
Leveraging technology for collaborative learning and teaching
If you are going to connect globally, you need to consider how you are going to connect. What are the communication methods for keeping the collaboration going? Teachers need to model how to communicate effectively with their students. When you get students together, you have to have a plan. What are they going to do? What are the milestones? What’s going to happen by the end? How are they going to collaborate? This really takes some planning especially if you have 500 students or even 2 classrooms coming together. Or otherwise, those involved will not know what to do. Several tools that we are having great success with:
Flipgrid, a video recording tool. It lets kids or even students working on their master degrees record a short video with others. It is a very easy interface and can see results immediately.Below is an example of a Global Classroom project, “Global I am.. Poems” using Flipgrid.
From Bronwyn Joyce: Students prepare a personal poem that combines their individuality, their thoughts for the future and their connections to the world. Use the graphic organizer to guide your students thinking. https://t.co/7R7lW13OAJ
Google Slides, where kids can co-create slides together.
Padlet, an asynchronous collaboration tool where kids can leave a note like a post-it note on a virtual bulletin board.
What is a global leader?
Teachers may not think they are in a position of leadership. Leadership comes from the classroom, from positions of responsibility, and from every level of education. As a global leader in the classroom, I think of the word, “Teacherpreneur.” It means someone who is still teaching and in the position to influence others. They are the ones who are grabbing new ideas, connecting with others, planning to implement, and following through and acting on the ideas. The “Teacherpreneur Profile” is relevant. They need to understand what global education and global collaboration mean.
The way that administrators can learn to be a global leader is to really get your hands on the tools yourself.
Julie is a global collaboration consultant, Teacherpreneur, innovator, leader, and author. She worked in international schools for fifteen years as an educational technology and curriculum leader across Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Her passion is for online global collaboration and as Founder and CEO of Flat Connections she designs and manages online projects for all K-12 levels and customizes learning experiences for educators including virtual courses and live events.
She is currently a Quality Learning and Teacher Leader (online) and Adjunct Lecturer for the Faculty of Arts and Education, Charles Sturt University; Director of Learning Confluence Pty Ltd; an Apple Distinguished Educator and Google Certified Innovator; President of the ISTE Global Collaboration PLN, a former ISTE International Representative on the Board of Directors, and a member of the Horizon Report Advisory Board since 2008. She has two Master’s degrees (Music (Jazz research), and Educational Technology Leadership) and is completing a Ph.D. at the University of Southern Queensland with research focusing on online global collaborative educators’ and pedagogical change.
Her first book, ‘Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds’ is a definitive text on how to embed global connections and collaborations for meaningful learning, and her recent book, ‘The Global Educator’ shares approaches, updated practices 36 case studies on how to take learning global, and features over 100 educators from across the globe.
Based back in Australia, Julie lives in the idyllic seaside town of Ocean Shores, northern New South Wales. When not traveling, she works virtually from home, takes long walks on the beach, and dabbles in her ongoing passion as a jazz pianist.
Twitter: @julielindsay #theglobaleducator
Website: The Global Educator: http://www.julielindsay.net/
Flat Connections: http://www.flatconnections.com/ @flatconnections #flatconnections
Other resources Julie shares with you!
- Learn2 Talk (featured presentation at the Learning2 Conference, Shanghai, November 2017) – https://youtu.be/1rvZL7axO5c Global Collaboration – Learning on the Edge
- uLearn Conference (New Zealand) 2016 – EdTalk ‘We are a global community – let’s learn together’ https://vimeo.com/189736042
- K12 Online Conference 2016 – Keynote Trilogy –
- The Global Educator blog series – all 36 Case Studies from my book The Global Educator are being blogged, one at a time, http://www.julielindsay.net/p/the-g.html