The Give Something Back International Foundation (GSBI) has announced the winners of the 2010/2011 Global Virtual Classroom Contest (GVC) -- a free online collaborative learning project that fosters creativity, cross cultural understanding, helping others and teaches IT and website design skills amongst students working together from around the world.
Sponsored by GSBI, the GVC program provides an opportunity for primary and secondary school students from different countries to work with and learn from students in other countries, as they collaboratively design a website on a topic of their choosing. Teams are comprised of either three primary or three secondary schools from different countries. A panel of international judges evaluates the final work and determines the winners.
In September 2010, AT&T* announced a $25,000 contribution to support the Global Virtual Classroom project.
With subjects that range from combating world hunger to bridging the digital divide, and from helping victims of natural disasters to exploring the creative world of music, sites from participating teams show the kind of creativity that can come from putting approximately 2100 students from 23 different countries together in a collaborative endeavor.
Their efforts were judged for content, presentation, collaboration, and a helping focus. The helping focus encourages students to also demonstrate achievement of a helpful objective such as personal, social and/or environmental responsibility or support for a worthy cause.
This year’s Grand Prize winner for the primary school category is the “Lacing up the Digital Divide” website created and built by students from Horace Mann School in Oak Park, Illinois, USA and the International Community School of Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. The website highlights the importance of bridging the digital divide with innovative approaches as to how to make a positive impact. The team also shares their efforts to support the Bingerville Orphanage in Côte d’Ivoire providing computers, Internet access, books and French website resources to enhance student learning in a very challenging environment.
The Second Place winner in the primary school category is the “The Art of Living” website designed by Abraham Lincoln School in Oak Park, Illinois, USA; Riverside School in Prague, Czech Republic; and St. Mark’s Senior Secondary School, Meera Bagh in New Delhi, India.
In Third Place of the primary school category is “Education: Hope for the Future” website presented by John Muir School in San Diego, California, USA; Tainan Municipal Haidong Elementary School in Tainan City, Taiwan; and Aga Khan Academy in Mombasa, Kenya.
The secondary school category’s Grand Prize winner is the “Food for All and All for Food” website presented by students at Philippine Science High School in Quezon City, Philippines; Ranji School in Bangkok, Thailand; and Denmark Empowerment Charter School in Denmark, Wisconsin USA. The website highlights ways to combat world hunger as well as highlights foods from their respective cultures and the influences on cuisine from around the world.
The Second Place winner for the secondary school category is the “Stay Connected!” website developed by St Mark’s Senior Secondary School, Meera Bagh in New Delhi, India; St. Paul Lutheran School in Farmington, Missouri, USA; and Gimnazjum No 4 in Gdynia, Poland.
In Third Place of the secondary school category is the “Enter the Creative World of Music” website created by Gladesmore Community School in London, United Kingdom; Percy Julian Middle School in Oak Park, Illinois, USA; and Belvedere Middle School in Los Angeles, California, USA.
Certificates of participation are awarded to all students. Plaques and cash awards are presented to the schools of the winning teams. The Grand Prize award is $3,000 for the winning primary school team and $3,000 for the secondary school team. The second place award is $1,500 for each winning team and the third place award is $750 to each team. Special Merit awards are also presented for exceptional academic merit, for significant helping focus accomplishments, for creativity, and for the innovative use of multimedia. Merit award winners receive software from Tech4Learning.com.
JoAnn Patrick-Ezzell, the Chairman and one of the co-founders of the Give Something Back International Foundation said, “Beyond the impressive accomplishments of the website projects, we are so pleased that the teams found a myriad of ways to give back to their schools, their communities, and to others around the world in very meaningful ways. This years winners represent wonderful diversity from around the world. They are from: India, United Kingdom, Philippines, Kenya, Czech Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Poland, Taiwan, and Thailand and, in the U.S. from California, Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin, New Jersey, and New York. I would also like to express our sincere appreciation to AT&T for their great support of the GVC over the years - their commitment to supporting education projects around the world is truly inspiring.”
To view the winning websites visit http://www.virtualclassroom.org/. Online applications for the 2011/12 program are also available on the site.