The World Is Flat Collaborative Project

Teams will be comprised of one to two students in each classroom. Conversations will occur on the discussion tabs of each group project and fact will be placed on the wiki projects. Students may use the template to begin their outline.
Note: Page references are from the newly revised and expanded edition of 'The World is Flat' by Thomas Friedman (2006).

Group 1 and 2: The Age of Connectivity

Flattener #2, p 59-76
Overview of topic
  • Development of the Internet: low-cost global connectivity
  • The emergence of the World Wide Web: Individuals able to post content for world viewing
  • Spread of the commercial Web browser: Netscape and others, able to display WWW content on any computer, development of protocols enabling device to talk to one another
Ideas related to this topic
  • Global Persepctive on Internet connectivity
* Digital divide issues
  • Standards and policies for use of the Internet and the WWW: comparing differences between countries
  • Development of eCommerce, dot-com boom and bust
  • Development of social interaction and communication between individuals via the Internet
Group 1 Topic: 'Connecting the World Online'
  • Provide a Bangladesh and USA perspective on Internet connectivity: development, access methods and statistics
  • Conduct a digital divide comparison and discussion based on country and regional news and issues (Are there digital divides between countries, within the countries themselves? What is the impact of limited Internet availability on education and industry?)
Group 2 Topic: 'How the World Wide Web has Changed the World'
  • Discuss the development of the WWW (Netscape etc) and associated protocols
  • Provide a Bangladesh and USA persepective on WWW standards and issues
  • Conduct a discussion about the use of the WWW in education and business (local and global perspectives)

Group 3: Work Flow Software

Flattener #3, p 76-92
Overview of topic
  • Being able to create and manipulate digital content (words, data, pictures) from the desktop
* Through online connectivity being able to share and distribute this content: machines talking to machines
  • For work to flow seamlessly: connections between different platforms, transmission protocols and languages e.g SMTP, HTTP, HTML, TCP/IP
* Interoperability between departments necessitating software and hardware development
  • Standardization of business and other practices: PayPal, JPEG
  • New coding called AJAX: allows for online productivity (what you would normally do on a PC eg WP, can be done over the Internet)
Group 3 Topic: 'How Work Flow Software can Enhance Productivity and Communication'
  • It has become more important to standardize software and devise platform compatibility in order to be able to work more efficiently between programs and between users: Discuss the Bangladesh and USA persepective on this in relation to business and education
  • Provide current scenarios and examples of work flow software to support your comparative discussion eg how does a Mac OS PC 'talk' to a PC running WinXP? What are the most common applications that promote interoperability: packages and Web 2.0
  • How does the concept and practice of work flow software enhance/improve productivity and communciation: give specific examples
  • How must education change to instruct students in collaboration? How must industry change how they train their workforce? How cultural and geographic (time zone) issues impact collaboration?

Group 4 and 5: Uploading

(Harnessing the Power of Communities)
Flattener #4, p 93-126
Overview of topic
  • More people authoring more content and collaborating on that content; more people uploading files and globalizing that content
  • Power to individuals and self-forming communities to send up and out their own products and ideas-often for free
* "Uploading is....becoming one of the most revolutionary forms of collaboration in the flat world" pg 95
  • Ordinary people can now be producers as well as consumers
  • Three forms of uploading:
** community developed software
    • Wikipedia
    • blogging/podcasting
Ideas related to this topic
  • Students as producers as well as consumers of content
  • Enhanced communication now possible between individuals and groups
  • The impact of using uploading tools on everyday acitivities in education and business
  • Authenticity, privacy, security, globalization and cultural awareness issues
*Group 4 has been combined with Group 8 below but is left here for reference.
Group 4 Topic: 'The Changing Shape of Information'
  • Provide an historical account of the availability of information. Refer to developments in both Bangladesh and the USA and make global comparisons
  • Discuss the impact of the Internet and how uploading has changed the way we find, use and transfer information
  • Provide specific current examples related to business and education of consumers also being producers of content that is "uploaded."
Group 5 Topic: 'Why we should be promoting Web 2.0 Tools for Sharing Information'
  • Provide an outline of essential Web 2.0 tools (Blogs, podcasts, wikis) and discuss developments and trends in Bangladesh and the USA.
  • Discuss essential social and ethical issues to do with using Web 2.0 tools in both education and business.
  • Provide current scenarios and examples of using Web 2.0 as an effective collaboration and communication tool.

Group 6: Outsourcing

Flattener #5, p 126-136
Overview of topic
  • Definition of outsourcing: Taking a specific, but limited, function that was being done in-house (research, call centers, accounts receivable etc) and having another company perform the exact function then reintegrating their work back into the overall operation
* Drawing on 'brain power' from India, setting up companies outside of the USA/west
  • Using fibre optic cable and Internet to communicate with home bases
  • A Bangladesh/regional and USA perspective on types of businesses outsourced to South Asia
  • The Y2K story: India benefited from supplying workers for menial programming tasks
  • Call center development
Group 6 Topic: 'Globalization and Outsourcing'
The terms "outsourcing", "offshoring", or “nearshoring” are often used to refer to the movement of jobs from regions with high labor costs, such as the U.S., Western Europe, and Japan, to countries with relatively low labor costs, such as India, China, and the Philippines. Already commonplace in the manufacturing sector, outsourcing has recently spread to the service and high-tech industries, affecting workers who are traditionally among the most highly-paid and highly-skilled in their home countries. In fact, U.S. market research firm Forrester Research, predicts that by 2015, 3.3 million U.S. service jobs, totaling $136 billion in wages, will move offshore, fueled by advances in digitization, the Internet, and high-speed networks.
  • Discuss ways technology has changed the way people do business with each other and give specific examples from the South Asia/Bangladesh and USA areas
* Provide evidence of how the development of outsourcing has changed job opportunities and created new areas of expertise and opportunity in both areas. Discuss this in relation to both sides of the world (eg offshore tutoring)
  • Discuss what job skills are necessary for the 21st Century and how this impacts on plans and trends in education for Bangaldesh and the USA

Group 7 and 8: In-forming

(Google, Yahoo!, MSN Web Search)
Flattener #9, p 176-186
Overview of topic
  • Google: a great flattener
  • Searching, information, knowledge
  • How does searching fit into the concept of collaboration? (Friedman calls it In-forming)
  • In-forming: The ability to build and deploy your own personal supply chain - a supply chain of information, knowledge and entertainment, without having to go to the library or the movie theater or through network TV. It is searching for knowledge It is about seeking like-minded people and communities
Ideas related to this topic
  • Personal and Professional Learning Environments (PLE, VLE)
  • Search engines: comparative study
  • Social networking and Web 2.0
  • Information has become a business: eg Google
Group 7 Topic: 'Google Takes Over the World'
  • Explore and discuss the development and impact of Google and other search engines on the concept of In-forming
  • Compare Bangladesh and USA perspectives on using a search engine such as Google: developments and trends
  • Provide current scenarios and examples of the impact of Google on education
  • Discuss the business aspect of Google as an example of the impact of Internet connectivity and the potential for business development and possible monopolization
Original Group 8 topic has been combined with Group 4
Group 8 Topic: 'Personal Learning Environments and Social Networking'

  • Provide an historical account of the development of social networking and PLE's
* Discuss the approaches taken in Bangladesh and the USA and others to the use of social networking tools for education
  • Provide current examples of how business and education use Web 2.0 tools to connect and deliver/find information

Group 4 & 8 Topic:

Combined – The Changing Shape of Information - PLE's and Social Networking.
  • Provide a historical account of the changing shape of information particularly highlighting social networking and PLE’s as well as the overall availablility of information.
  • Discuss the impact of social networking, personal learning environments, and the fact that people can now upload information into these environments. How does it change the way we find, use, and transfer information.
  • Provide specific examples of how business and education use personal learning networks and social networking and how they use it with information that is uploaded.

Group 9, 10, 11: The Steroids

(Digital, Mobile, Personal and Virtual)
Flattener #10, p 186-200
  • Emerging and new technologies
  • Digitized content (connections, protocols and standards)
  • Mobile: anywhere, anytime, through a variety of devices (wireless connectivity)
  • Personal: By the individual, for the individual, on their own device
  • What does the flat world look like taking into account all of these new forms of collaboration?
  • The first steroid: Computing power
  • The second steroid: Breakthroughs in instant messaging, peer-to-peer networks
  • The third steroid: Breakthroughs in making phone calls over the Internet (VOIP)
  • The fourth steroid: Videoconferencing
  • The fifth steroid: Advances in computer graphics
  • The sixth steroid: Wireless technologies and devices
Group 9 Topic: 'Mobile and Ubiquitous'
  • Explore and discuss the development of mobile and ubiquitous computing from a global perspective, giving specific examples from personal use and from Bangladesh and the USA
  • Provide evidence of how mobile and ubiquitous computing has impacted on education and business
  • Provide current examples of the emerging new tools (devices and methods of connectivity) that we should all be taking notice of now
Group 10 Topic: 'Virtual Communication'
  • Explore and discuss the use of online and virtual communication tools such as VOIP, peer-to-peer networks and video-conferencing
  • Find current evidence of how these being used in education and business in your respective countries
  • Discuss social and ethical issues to do with the digital divide, security and privacy with the use of virtual communciation in each country
Group 11 Topic: 'Wireless Connectivity'
  • Outline the development of wireless connectivity for Bangladesh and the USA (Internet and mobile devices)
* Explore and discuss how mobile and ubiquitous computing has impacted on education and business
  • Provide examples of current use and trends in this area