Eracism 2013 Press Release

A Flat Classroom® Project

January 25, 2013

Announcing, the Eracism Project 2013-1, (another Flat Classroom® Project) - a global student debate that joins diverse cultures and includes authentic debate for global competence and international mindedness. The project opens eyes and hearts as students debate on an issue that will bring together diverse ideas, develop transferable skills and create lasting friendships.

Fact based debate is a very essential skill with students who often wrongly equate the term "debate" with argument. The Eracism Project: A Flat Classroom® Project was envisioned by the winning student team from the 2009 Flat Classroom Conference held in Doha, Qatar proposing that students hold debates using Web 2.0 tools to improve cultural understanding.

Schools selected for the Eracism Project 2013-1 will be asked to enter one or more 3-person debate teams with the remaining students in the class being researchers around the topic:

"The use of Facebook by students around the world to communicate with one another does more harm than good."

The initial debates will be held asynchronously but in what organizers are calling a "simulated synchronous" environment with the final winning teams debating live in a virtual classroom or a virtual world. This project was first carried out in 2009 and has been run every semester since March 2012. The new project, Eracism 13-1, will start in February 2013.

We welcome applications NOW from teachers and their classrooms around the world. We also need judges and volunteers to help with debate coaching. To APPLY for this project as a class, judge, volunteer or request to be involved in the teacher information meeting, please complete THIS FORM.

Classrooms in Upper Primary, Middle and High School are encouraged to apply (students of age 11 and above). Organisers will create two strands in this project for the younger and older students, based on the number of applications.

Eracism in ObaWorld
Eracism Project organisers are excited to announce a cooperative effort between Flat Classroom® and ObaWorld to support the development of an online community for all Eracism teachers, students and volunteers.

ObaWorld Eracism will create an online space to:
  • Connect classrooms and teachers together to form a learning community,
  • Facilitate Eracism Project planning - especially teacher-to-teacher for making connections between debating classrooms,
  • Get to know teachers and students in other countries,
  • Discuss issues around the current debate topic, and
  • Discuss issues and share resources beyond the current debate topic.

ObaWorld is a global online learning platform that encourages students to create and showcase projects and collaborate with their peers worldwide. ObaWorld provides a student-centered learning environment and a comprehensive toolkit for students and educators to make global connections, engage in project-based learning, create and showcase student products, as well as take and create hybrid and online courses. Powerful and easy to use, ObaWorld offers features such as global social networking, e-portfolio management, virtual classroom meeting spaces, learning management system, groups and discussion forums, and more! ObaWorld was founded by Dr. Yong Zhao, an internationally known scholar, speaker, and author of Catching Up Or Leading The Way: American Education In The Age Of Globalization and World Class Learners. ObaWorld is an initiative of the University of Oregon’s College of Education, where Dr. Yong Zhao serves as the University’s first Presidential Chair and Associate Dean for Global Education. Please visit the Eracism portal on ObaWorld for more information.

Application deadline is February 7, with announcement of project classrooms by Monday February 11, 2013. The first teacher online meeting will take place near February 11, 2013. Actual date and time to be advised.

This project has a planned start date of February 15, 2013 with debates beginning March 1 and concluding with the final debates for each strand held in a virtual classroom or virtual world live (real time) in late April/early May 2013. Schools applying must specify their school holiday dates so that they can be best placed in the project on the debate grid. Above all, the Eracism Project schedule is very flexible and teachers/classrooms/teams decide when they are able and ready to debate, within certain larger timeframes.
Phase 1 - Research & Coaching
This will happen at the school level as classrooms research the topic and practice debate at their local level.
Phase 2 - Asynchronous Debate Round
Students will use VoiceThread to debate with each round taking approximately 10 days.
Phase 3 - Synchronous Debate
The top two teams from each bracket will debate live with the debate streamed live on the web for students and educators around the world to watch.
Phase 4 - Reflection & Retrospection
Students and teachers will reflect on ways to improve the methods for global debates and celebrate their participation and new-found knowledge and friends through joining this project.


Due to the asynchronous components used, Eracism will use a hybrid debating style that is based on Conflict or Initiative Debating. The teams prepare their cases; they present their arguments and evidence; and, they rebut the other team's arguments and evidence. The debate cycle will generally align with the Middle School Public Debate Program found at

Each debate will be adjudicated by 3 judges and the winning team advances to the next round. Most of the debates will be carried out on VoiceThread with the final debate being synchronous in a real time environment.

Thank you to the sponsors of this project: Voicethread, Wikispaces, Blackboard Collaborate, and THINK Global School.

We are delighted to have the leadership of Flat Classroom® Certified Teacher, Eva Brown, from Red River College, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada who will be Project Manager for this inspirational global collaborative project.

More information about Eracism:
Application Form for Eracism 2013-1:
Flat Classroom Projects:
Contact us:
Directors, Vick Davis and Julie Lindsay
For more about the pedagogy and benefits of adding global collaboration to your curriculum, buy Julie and Vicki's book Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds: Move to Global Collaboration One Step at a Time, from Pearson Publishing, 2013.

More information about ObaWorld:
Contact us:
Office: (541) 346-3438