1. Description of Our Team
Francesca and Miranda are two Native American middle school students who joined this project because we think Barack Obama and Joseph Biden are one of the best leadership teams our country has seen in a long time. We are excited to be teenagers and to be Native Americans during this time so we can experience the new ideas and the positive changes they will bring to our country. We are very glad that Doors to Diplomacy has given us a perfect opportunity to present the team of Obama and Biden to other kids our age in the world so they can see the hope these new leaders are bringing to our country and the world.
2. Summary of Our Project
Our project is about the leadership team of Barack Obama and Joseph Biden. We want to communicate to people our age and to people of different cultures how important we believe their new vision of leadership will be to the world in the near future. We believe that by demonstrating the traits of good leadership, Barack and Biden will bring about a change of diplomacy and peace that other administrations have failed to bring about in the recent past. We are very excited about the change our new presidential team promises and we want to communicate that excitement.
3. Our Computer and Internet Access
A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%
B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:more than 6
C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection
D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:more than 6
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
We got off to a late start on the project owing to the fact that when we first attempted to register, we kept getting a message that the registration information would be available at a later date. We finally just got busy during the holidays and didn't get around to registering until after winter break. Next, after getting the project started, we had problems with our Internet provider, which was experiencing DNS issues, and this is not to mention the problem of Global SchoolNet's site going down for a week or two. It almost seemed hopeless. How did we overcome these obstacles? Determination, the cooperation of other teachers (and missed/made up classes), and faith.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
The Doors to Diplomacy project is a great opportunity to experience multidisciplinary learning, global collaboration, and intercultural relations; and it makes our school and community proud of us!
6. How did your activities and research for this Doors to Diplomacy Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
This project addressed the following themes from the National Content Standards:Time, Continuity, and Change, by examining the activities and values of the current presidential administration with regard to those of the recent past; Power, Authority, and Governance, by examining the purposes, ethics, and plans of the Barack-Biden administration; and Global Connections, by acknowledging the impact of the United States government on the rest of the world and the importance of the president of the United States in that regard. This project touches benchmarks in our social studies, technology, and language arts curricula. Additionally, the topic is timely, with 2009 being the year that a new president has assumed office. We learned a number of new skills, including how to organize Web sites, use html techniques, and document sources, among other things. We practiced research using keywords, brainstorming, cooperation, critique and revision. Our research has taught us a great deal more about our topic than we knew when we started the project. It was especially helpful to read Obama's inaugural speech after hearing it because even though you may pay attention during a speech, you will always miss something and the written word protects that memory for you so you won't miss it. My teacher requires a global online technology-based collaboration for each group and this is the one we chose. In the process, we discovered that our educational system and our community needs to be more informed and more involved. No one knows what Doors to Diplomacy is, and it ought to be better publicized. We felt important doing this project, and Doors to Diplomacy is an important program that deserves some recognition in the world. I am required to use the Internet to teach to the content standards for technology; however, I would do so whether or not I had standards handed down to me by the state. I believe that technology has a place at the foundation of the new curriculum, and can be incorporated at every level for far more than just word processing.