Web-Design Competition Sparks International Collaboration

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Web-Design Competition Sparks International Collaboration

Web-Design Competition Sparks International Collaboration


>>Narrator: ThinkQuest is a global
website building competition for kids nine to nineteen, sponsored
by the Oracle Education Foundation. The contest has a few simple rules. Students recruit a coach and form
teams of three to six members, either with fellow
classmates or with peers from other towns, regions
or countries. Each team has up to seven months
to create an educational website on any topic of their choice. One team focused on the inequities of
digital access, know as the e-divide.>>Gerben: The e-divide, I
think is an important issue, because there is still parts of the
world where people don’t have access to computers and internet, and they
don’t get an equal opportunity.>>Narrator: The team
separated the e-divide into four categories,
physical barriers.>>Ammu: Just the common, people
have computers or they don’t.>>Narrator: Digital barriers.>>Ammu: Whether they have
access to the internet and educational software.>>Narrator: Human barriers.>>Ammu: Whether they
have access to teachers who can effectively use
technology in their curricula.>>Narrator: And socioeconomic
barriers.>>Ammu: And also whether
there is enough funding and cultural recognition of
how important technology is.>>Teacher 1: [speaking Romanian].>>Narrator: Young people today
have an unprecedented opportunity to understand and interact
with the world around them, in large part because of twenty
four seven access to information.>>Deborah: It’s making the kids
think about more social issues, more global issues, and think
beyond what’s happening in their day to day lives, and think
about their future.>>Gerben: Things that would eliminate
or reduce the e-divide is awareness, make people aware that
it is an issue, and that the resources are
available to solve the problem.>>Narrator: The team was
able to use its diversity to deliver a global
perspective on the issues.>>Ammu: There were six
of us all together. I wrote a lot of the
content for the site. There was Ngoc from Australia. We did this survey of students
in the US and in Vietnam, and she did the statistical
analysis for that, ’cause she’s amazing with statistics. Viet Anh from Viet Nam did a
lot of the flash animations. Jasmine from India and Gerben from
the Netherlands did the web design. And Loeh from Egypt did
the French translation.>>Ngoc: It’s just the idea that we
can have friends all over the world, on the five different
continents, and we can meet online without meeting each other, but
we can talk to each other and get to know each other so well.>>Man: I think it’s the best one, but
I think it’s still a very strong one.>>Narrator: All ThinkQuest entries
are judged by an independent panel of educators who, in 2006,
awarded first prize in the nineteen and under category
to the e-divide team at the annual ThinkQuest live
celebration in San Francisco. Since ThinkQuest’s inception, over ten thousand students have
participated in the competition. All of their websites are
published on ThinkQuest dot com, a protected online community
for students and teachers from around the world, to
collaborate on learning projects, share experiences and
build knowledge together.>>Safra Katz: Using technology
and being able to communicate, these are skills that last forever. These kids really have
the drive to be great and once you give them
the tools in their hands, it’s really no, no borders for them.>>Gerben: It’s absolutely an
experience I will never forget.>>For more information on what works in public education
go to edutopia.org

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