HOME Global SchoolhouseTeacher AwardsPartner ProgramsFree MembershipAbout GSNSite Map
Global SchoolNet Foundation
GSN Award HomeAward InfoContact Us

Since 1984 the Global SchoolNet Foundation (GSN) has been in the forefront of demonstrating and promoting online collaborative learning. Today, GSN continues this tradition by offering the annual "GSN Online Shared Learning Award."

  In 2008 this Award will recognize current classroom teachers, media specialists, or other school-based educators who have distinguished themselves in the area of Online Shared Learning (note that this definition does not include most online and distance education courses).

TWO educators will be selected for the 2008 Awards which consists of a cash award and an expense-paid trip (travel, hotel & registration) to the National Education Computing Conference in San Diego, California, U.S.A. July 4-7, 2006, where they will be recognized as part of the NECC program. (Attendance at NECC is not required to receive the cash award.)
  • U.S.A. Educator: One Award of $2,500 will be given to an educator who teaches within the 50 United States. 
  • non-U.S.A. Educator: One Award of $2,500 will be given to an educator who teaches outside the 50 United States, including its commonwealth and unincorporated territories (such as Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, etc)..
  • In addition, several finalists will receive cash awards of $250.

Nominees must be

  • teachers and other school-based educators,
  • whose primary job assignment is to directly teach and work with students between 4-19 years of age
  • and who have distinguished themselves in the area of Online Shared Learning by:
    • Planning , organizing, originating and conducting student-centered online shared learning projects with multiple classrooms
    • inspiring and assisting others to become involved in online collaborative learning by offering guidance in the form of workshops, presentations, articles, a Web site, or mentoring
    • serving a pivotal role within a school or district in promoting online collaborative learning
    • conducting other activities (both "real" and "virtual") that promote responsible applications of online communication systems
    • making important contributions to this unique style of student learning
  • Generally speaking, teachers whose job description includes conducting telecollaboration projects are not eligible for nomination. If you are not sure if this applies to you, please click here and  describe your primary job duties.

For more complete definitions of these terms, please read the official evaluation rubric and Award FAQ.

This Award seeks to recognize "classroom teachers." Thus,  a "school-based educator" works primarily with groups and classes of students, between the ages of 4-19 (in elementary/primary, middle/junior high, or high schools: primary or secondary education) in conducting collaborative online projects. This will include extensive "hands-on" interaction that includes both face-to-face as well as online involvement with students, and also includes online interaction with other teachers.

This term may also apply to librarians, media specialists, school-based technology coordinators or computer lab specialists. It may also apply to educators who work with students at more than one school, especially if they are in a small school district and/or if the educator is housed or located at one of the schools.

This definition does not apply to

  • Educators in district or regional offices who support multiple schools and/or who have limited direct interaction with students.
  • Site administrators such as principals, vice principals, counselors, etc.
  • Teachers in post-secondary, junior or community college, college and university
  • Generally speaking, educators whose job description includes conducting telecollaboration projects are not eligible for nomination. If you are not sure if this applies to you, please click here to submit an inquiry to our Help Desk and describe your primary job duties.

Online Shared Learning is known by several different terms:

  • telecollaboration
  • online collaborative learning
  • networked Project-Based Learning
  • multi-cultural interpersonal exchanges
  • telecomputing...  and other definitions

Online Shared Learning is a variation of project-based learning, with the added dimension of involving two or more groups or classes of students in geographically diverse locations working together. Because of distance, students use a variety of online and traditional communications media (email, CU-SeeMe, national postal services, fax, couriers (AKA "sneaker net"), etc.) in order to accomplish the shared project mission. Students exchange data, original writing, surveys, analysis and evaluation, conclusions, final reports, documents, products, and other information... including a great deal of email and other correspondence among the project participants. 

A project can be as simple as a Travel Buddy Exchange between two classes or a more complex data collection and analysis project such as the Signs of Spring Project that could involve numerous classes. Other examples can be found at the Global Schoolhouse (e.g., Projects Registry, Newsday, CyberFair and others), iEARN, and Co-nect. (Also see Virtual Architecture: Designing and Directing Curriculum-Based Projects.) It also includes projects that generate collaboration between student authors and their audience, such as CyberFair and ThinkQuest programs.

Sometimes project partners may include other members of the community, such as senior citizens, professional or scientific experts, college students, and others who may mentor or advise or otherwise make significant contributions to the project.

This definition does not include

  • Distance learning
  • Online courses
  • Webquests
  • simple pen-pal projects

Please review the Award FAQ for additional information.

  1. Timeline: Please read the published timeline below for deadlines for each of these benchmarks.
  2. Nominations
    Candidates may not nominate themselves. Any other person who has first-hand knowledge of an educator who meets the above criteria may nominate that educator for this prestigious award by completing the nomination form. 
  3. Candidate Response:
    Candidates will receive notification via email that they have been nominated. The email will contain instructions on how to accept or decline the nomination.
    Candidates who accept the nomination will be asked to provide specific information about their achievements:
    1. Narrative
      The candidate will compose and submit a comprehensive narrative which describes and documents his or her work and contributions in the field of online shared learning. The narrative is composed in response to a series of writing prompts which define the criteria used in evaluating the candidate's achievements.
    2. Testimonials
      Candidates must provide at least three references of other educators who have first-hand knowledge of his or her achievements. GSN will contact these references to submit testimonials on the candidate's behalf.

      In addition, the candidate may solicit additional testimonials. There is no limit to the number of additional testimonials that a candidate may solicit and receive. The candidate may rank the testimonials received in order of significance, completeness, and eloquence.
  4. Judging
    Judges will use the official evaluation rubric to review and score three different types of evidence regarding the candidate's achievements. This evidence includes:
    1. The Candidate Narrative submitted when a candidate accepts his or her nomination.
    2. The evidence of the projects themselves, as revealed in links to projects, web sites, documents, and other primary information provided by the candidate in the Candidate Narrative.
    3. Testimonials submitted by students, parents, teachers, and others who speak from personal experience about the candidate's work and effectiveness. Judges will read at least the first nine ranked testimonials, but may read additional testimonials at their discretion. Generally, more submitted testimonials are read in order to identify and select the finalists and award winner.

    The GSN Board of Directors will serve as final judges. However, the Board may delegate additional judges to help determine a number of "finalist" candidates. The decision of the GSN Board of Directors is final. Final scores and/or relative rankings will not be published. 

  5. Winners will be notified by email and announced on this site.
  6. First place award will be given at NECC. attendance is not mandatory to receive the cash award.

Please review the Award FAQ for additional information.

Only educators in states/provinces and countries that do not restrict this kind of event, or that do not impose any additional financial obligations or penalties on the Global SchoolNet Foundation beyond the cash award are eligible to receive the offered award.  It is the candidate's responsibility to ensure that participation in this event does not violate any applicable laws.

It is the sole responsibility of the recipient to pay any associated taxes, tariffs, or duty charges imposed on this award, and to pay the cost of any currency exchange fees.

Global SchoolNet Foundation reserves a license to publish any candidate narrative or testimonial on a Web site, periodical, or book.

All candidates except for the grand prize recipients may be re-nominated in the following year. Re-nominated candidates may re-write and re-submit any portion of the candidate narrative.  Grand prize recipients are not eligible for nomination, and they may not submit any nominations or testimonials, nor may members or employees of the Global SchoolNet Foundation nor members of their families.

These rules are subject to change in order to meet any unforeseen legal or ethical requirements.

Please review the Award FAQ for additional information.

August 2006: Award program goes on hiatus.

About Us | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Contact Us
Copyright © 2001-2014 Global SchoolNet. All rights reserved.