The Flat Classrooms Debate, Live from Qatar and Philadelphia

(Recording links at the bottom of this post)

UPDATE: Tom Friedman, author of The World is Flat, will be speaking to the students in Qatar live the hour before this session and we will be streaming his talk as well. Details below.

UPDATE: Don Tapscott, author of Wikinomics and Grown Up Digital, also spoke to the students.

"The Flat Classroom Debates" live from Qatar and Philadelphia! on Saturday, January 24th, 2009. The debate topic is: "Education systems successfully prepare students for flat world global challenges."

Facilitated by Vicki Davis and Julie Lindsay, this session is a virtual link-up with the Flat Classroom Conference in Doha, Qatar and Educon 2.1 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. This event is also our official kick-off event for our interview series, sponsored by the KnowledgeWorks Foundation and with support from Elluminate!

There will an opportunity for audience members from all parts of the world to interact with the teams and ask questions. There will also be a final poll to determine a winning team of the debate. More information is at

Date: Saturday, January 24, 2009

6am Pacific / 9am Easter / 2pm GMT: Live stream of Tom Friedman addressing students (international times here)
7am Pacific / 10am Eastern / 3pm GMT: Flat Classroom Debates begin (international times here).

Location: In Elluminate. Log in at The Elluminate room will be open up to 30 minutes before the event if you want to come in early.

To make sure that your computer is configured for Elluminate, please visit Video, audio, and chat recordings will be posted here after the show.

The full two hour Elluminate recording: Click here
Tom Friedman interview: Click here to download
Don Tapscott interview: Click here to download

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Will there be an archived copy of this event for people who cannot attend live?
Yep. It will be posted right here.
See you Saturday at SLA. This will be an exciting debate. Thank you for arranging it.

To echo Tom Friedman's comment at the London School of Economics and Political Science in October when he was asked if it was already too late to address the global climate change crisis, he said, not too late if we start now! We still have time to remake, redesign, re-envision, rebuild education, but we have to start now!

Well, guess you know which side of the debate I'll be supporting.... See ya'll then.

Dennis Richards
Thanks you

Update: We'll be live-streaming Tom Friedman's remarks to the students one hour before the start of the debate. See details in the revised announcement above.
Great i will join the Elluminate Session tomorrow 4 PM Paris Hour, after my own Elluminate Session about "Learning French Elluminate Session 3"

Here are the videos about the best moments during our two first sessions:

looking forward to it

I am so bummed I cannot listen tot his LIVE but grateful that you will be posting the archive of it. NPR has spoiled me and I was stunned to sign on and see I was suppose to register and pay for listening. Oh well. Got out of bed early at least (west coast). Maybe next year you can stream live for those of us who cannot be there.

Thanks for pushing the envelope for us.

Angela L. Neff
Weird. There as no cost for attending. I wonder what it was that you encountered. Can you give me any more details?

I will be posting the recording here later today. :)
I'm so sorry I missed this. I thought it was 1pm EST. I made a mistake re the time
I hope that you will have a recording of this. I would certainly love to hear it

Mireille Massue
Toronto, Canada
I'm really looking forward for the notes on this conference for those of us on the other side of the world (australia) who can't get up at 2.00 am to watch it!!! thanks!!!!!!!
I delayed posting the recording because, honestly, this event was disappointing and I wanted a chance to sort it out. We were so close to a great event and yet...

First, we had a direct connection to the Skype call with Tom Friedman, but the microphone in Qatar was not muted during the call and it was often very hard to hear Mr. Friedman. I'm currently listening to the recording from (Dave Cormier was also on the call and recording) to see if it's better than mine. I'll post or link to the better of the two.

The video conference of the debate was, if possible, even more painful. Those of us live in Philadelphia were supposed to participate in the Q&A at the end, but the combination in Qatar of a presumably inexpensive webcam with trying to pick up sound from their auditorium left us with no real alternative but to disengage from feed and just hold a local discussion in Philadelphia. Actually, it was the last 30 - 40 minutes when we were having that discussion in Philly that I found--and I think most will find--really engaging.

This was not the kick-off event that I had hoped for! However, the technical issues were somewhat out of our control, and you'll notice that the video and audio from our side were quite good and that Elluminate is a really good platform for this kind of thing. And on the really positive side, I've made several connections here at the Educon 2.1 conference that are going to make for GREAT upcoming interviews!

The link to the full Elluminate recording of both hours is You can fast-forward in this recording or just to specific points. I'll post the audio-only when I figure out which is the best recording.


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