Organization of the Class (Potential):

This will not be a traditional class in the sense of your teacher directing what has to be learned. Instead it will be more like a business or corporation that will have the core values of collaboration, innovation/creativity, problem solving and solutions. Students will be assigned into one of four core groups:

Team #1: Pipe Dreamers (Media Group)- Responsibilities revolve around creating either a documentary or a filmed News Report on one or two themed topics. Your topics will be more focused exploring what "the problem is."

Team #2: Inquisitive Pioneers (Writing Specialists)- Using the Phoenix Plum as a publishing base you will write a variety of articles keeping the class, school and community up to date on the newest trends, ideas and theories. Your role is mainly investigative and should have the feeling of a New York newspaper that is always trying to get the newest, freshest, most exciting ideas out there. Your topics will provide readers with a big overview the selected theme.

Team #3: Action Advocates (Marketing/Advertising)- Getting the word out is critical for any business, charity or other form of agency that wants action to take place. In other words you are the doers. Your job will be not only getting the class excited about the topic but also the school, community, nation and/or the world.

Team #4: Urban Philosophers (Problem Solvers/Think Tank)- As a group of problems solvers you will pick a couple of potential problems from themed topics and come up with solutions that can be put into action. This will take research, analytical, critical thinking and evaluation skills. At the end of each unit it will be the responsibility for the Urban Philosophers to take the lead on the explored and give their solution to a expert that will be provided by Mr. Spivey.

Educational Supervisors Expectations:


Since this is a process of learning together, the role of the "teacher" will shift. Think of your "teacher" now more like a boss that has the power to promote, demote or even fire you. There is a certain level of independence that each person needs to have. But there will also be minimum requirements set by the supervisor.

If a the head of the cooperation or principal were to walk in the room, it is desired that he would see the following aspects:
1. Organized Confusion- Everyone working, some in groups others as individuals on a multitude of tasks. Some talking, some reading, other silent in contemplation but all are engaged on a final goal.

2. Innovation- Taking chances and failure are a critical part of human progress. This classroom will be a place where ideas will be shared, evaluated in a positive matter (the "devils advocate" will not be allowed in the room) and eventually made into a tangible product that can be evaluated by a variety of audiences. IT IS CRITICAL THAT YOU TAKE CHANCES TO CREATE NEW ANSWER FOR THE PROBLEMS THAT WE HAVE TODAY! Also remember that you will be rewarded for creativity, therefore self-made will be regarded as more impress than pre-made from another source.

3. Support- I have said this once and will say it again, ten minds are always stronger than one. This has to be a safe atmosphere were support is the keep attribute for all groups. But with that being said being in a group is a privilege, not a right. If you do not participate in your role within the group you can be fire and will have to complete all the requirements by yourself.

4. Self-Responsibility- I am not as worried about this as much as other aspects of this list above except for one thing: procrastination. We will have limited amounts of time on each unit and there will be strict deadlines. It will be critical that you complete your project over the time allowed and NOT the night before. Also remember that you will be placing your ideas on the web. Make sure that all work is cited if ideas are borrowed from any form of published. For this class we will use MLA format.

5. Have Fun!- This is your world, so make sure that you laugh, smile and enjoy yourself while you explore the world you live in and try to make it better. Also remember that you will have powers to change the direction of class. If you have some ideas please let Mr. Spivey know so that the class can only get better.

Izzy's Contributions:
- Classes should be more like business meetings as opposed to classes. Maybe get students business cards to use when working with people outside of class
- challenge based learning – solution to an issue
- students can submit topics/questions/issues they want the teacher to address in future classes!


Work that Needs to Be Completed Today


1. Create an idea for this wikispace if you do not have one. For internet safety we do not want students using their first and last names. There are a lot of scary people out there and I don't want to be responsible for you meeting them.
Remember the format-- Real Name: Jason Spivey Wiki Name: JasonS or Jason_S or Jason_S30

Internet_Not_So_Cools.jpg
Click on picture for more information.

2. Create a "Bloglines" account for RSS feeds. This should help you with research and keeping up with the latest news, trends and ideas. Say goodbye to your parents newspaper and say hello to the paper of the 21st century. There are a couple of cool features that we can explore. For example sharing each others findings, get articles the second they are published, efficient way to organize your research and more yet to be explored. Remember to keep your website ideas on file and obvious in terms of user but NOT to obvious.

3. Our favorite web-based anti-plagiarism program, www.turnitin.com. If you already have a user name and password please use the same id UNLESS you are coming from a new school. This will be used throughout the semester to make sure that what we are publishing is our own.

Contemporary World Issues ID: 2790882
Ask me for password.

4. Look over syllabus, sign it and have your parents do the same. This will be your first official graded assignment (easy 20 points) due by 3:00 pm on Monday August 17th, 2009.


5. Sign up for "Mind Meister.com". Make sure to remember log-in and password.

6. Optional Project: