Doors to Diplomacy Project ID: 7236

Close this Window

NOTE: Due to URL changes, some links may no longer be valid.

International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Vietnam-A popular destination
Category: 8. Arts and Culture

School: Bac Kan High School
    Bac Kan, Bac Kan, Vietnam

2 students, ages 17 worked together to complete this Doors to Diplomacy project on March 15, 2012. They have participated in Doors to Diplomacy in the following year(s): 2012

Classes and Teachers: Hung and Trang and Hanh

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site: http://

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Team

We are Trang and Hanh. We are both 17 years old. We joined together to do this project because we want to introduce our country to the world, especially to the United States, which our country have had special relations with since the past. It's interesting that we know your site and competition when we have been taking part in IREX's Global Connections & Exchange (GCE) Program's Online Projects in Vietnam. While building our website for this competition, we divided up all of the different jobs as follows: We first together outlined what the website would look like and what the content would be about. Hanh had to read the chosen books in Vietnamese and select necessary information about Viet nam history, and introduction of Vietnam; then, both of us translated the information into English - it's hard work for Vietnamese students! Trang worked as a story historian, but her main jobs are collecting more information on the internet, illustrative pictures and video clips, designing the web page layout, editing images and video, and extracting information and images from the CD-Rom. She has a computer at home and has basic computer skills to be able to do such things, and when she was tired she guided Hanh to do her work. We have known this competition so late, so we had only about two weeks to do everything. This is the first time we have participated in such an online competition, but with the enthusiastic support of Mr Hung, our great teacher, we have been able to do great things. He is a teacher of English and also extremely good at using computer software, which seems our advantages. We also got consultation from Mrs Hang for history and Mrs Hanh for Geography.

2. Summary of Our Project

We are young, so we may not know well about the word or term 'diplomacy', but we have bravely made this website to get more contact with the outside worlds, to exchange information and culture. Our website introduces you to Vietnam in general and the special relations with the United States, a powerful country that has great impact on the globe. Our country and the US were ever enemies, but, maybe through our website you can know, now the two countries have been friends. We, people of young generation, are extremely happy to see this, and during the process of our website design we have known better about the relations of the two nations. We may have collected and shared sensitive information, but we don't have any intention of making anyone angry and we truly do not expect such a thing to happen. Through the website, peole may learn more about Vietnam in the past and at present, so we might make more mutual understanding between Vietnam and other countries, which we consider diplomacy. The other thing we also suppose to be diplomacy is the good development in diplomatic relations of Vietnam and the United States, which has helped Vietnam a lot in recent years. Young generation of Vietnam may enjoy the aid and assistance without much looking back on the past. We do not live on it, but on the present time and look on the bright side and also look forward to a bright future. We made this website ( to compete with others', but also to introduce it to our US partners that we get acquainted when we joined the online projects of the GCE Program in Vietnam. We need mutual understanding and in our young minds, that's diplomacy.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:21-50%

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:1

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:not sure

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:4-6

E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):

Trang has her own computer at home, but Hanh doesn't. In the school, we almost only get access to the internet when we have practice lessons of information technology. We rarely go to public internet sites because we do not have money available and also because we have to spend most of our time studying at school. We now can surf the Web more after joining the GCE Program.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

The first difficulty we had was the time for creating the website. We first knew this competition only about three weeks before the deadline after the country coordinator of the GCE Program informed us. We really do not have much free time, but in the end we decided to join it in the first week of March. As a result, we had about two weeks to complete the website. We had to ask the school for free time in the afternoons to solve this problem. Therefore, we had first necessary conditions. The second barrier was that we had to translate the selected Vietnamese information into English. It is not our regular work, but with the support of Google Translate, online dictionaries and especially with Mr Hung's support, we think we got relatively good translation. The third difficulty was that it was extremely hard to find documentation (visual, textual, or auditory) of Vietnam culture in the past years. However, happiness suddenly came up to us when Mr Hung told that he had a CD-Rom one of his US friends gave him that might have illustrating images. He found it in his pile of CDs, which made all of us glad. However, another barrier was coming. The other obstacles we faced were how to use some pieces of software to extract images from the CD-rom, to spit and join video clips, to edit images. Trang had basic computer skills and with Mr Hung's assistance, everything went smoothly. We used some useful pieces of software that he recommended to solve the problem.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

We have learnt how to prepare carefully for a project, what it means to investigate a topic, how to use some kinds of software for our specific purposes, how important the collaboration was. Doors to Diplomacy has helped the students broaden their knowledge about the world around them, know that two heads are better than one.

6. How did your activities and research for this Doors to Diplomacy Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

Because our website deals with Arts and Culture, it strives to present some facts about history and geography from coursebooks and reference books with content standards. We try to convey the truth to readers all over the world and we are willing to answer any questions from them, and to edit any content that may consider to be not suitable from the moderator. The project fit into required country curriculum guidelines in that it demanded 21st century competencies in informaion technology—we had to master the use of information, media and technology so that we could properly communicate with others, integrate information technology into teaching, create online or offline electric lesson plans. We have learnt more skills in outlining a website, using helpful online tools, and getting to know the use of some types of software. We learned how to work well with each other and to split up work according to our strengths. Moreover, we also came to better understand the meanings of culture and history, and the power of the Internet as a channel through which to share culture and show diplomacy. We saw that there are facts and events that are not frequently updated in our educational system, so to some extent using the Internet for teaching and learning has been more effective than traditional methods. When creating a website for teaching something specific, we can introduce the readers to so many kinds of information which are textual, visual, auditory. There is an enormous amount of useful information on the Internet which can be selected and prepared for teaching. Thanks to Doors to Diplomacy, we got more opportunities to surf the web and knew more useful websites and so we naturally learnt a lot of things without a teacher.

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your Doors to Diplomacy project?

To complete our Doors to Diplomacy project, we had to use many information tools and technologies. We had to made full use of Trang's desktop computer and Mr Hung's laptop. We also used Mr Hung's camera to take some pictures of Ba Be National Park in our province. We went to a bookstore to buy some necessary books. We used some pieces of software to edit images, audio and video, such as Microsoft Paint, Photoshop, Windows Movie Maker, Corel VideoStudio Pro X3, Camtasia Studio, Total Video Converter. Furthermore, the team really took advantage of many Internet resources. Besides using the reference books, a CD-Rom, we also used many online sources of information to deepen our study. There were great video clips found while we were surfing the web for more information. These tools helped a lot in finding and creating the most essential materials for our project. There were no tools donated by businesses or schools. We made good use of what we have and what we have bought. All of the tools and technologies we used were valuable, but we might have felt so interested in using computer software to create our own products, including free web tools from

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your Doors to Diplomacy project both on-line and in person.

We made this website ( after we have joined The GCE Program (, so we would like to thank US partners by giving them the link to our website. We are sure they will better understand Vietnam in general, Vietnam people, tradition and culture, and the special diplomatic relations between the United States and Vietnam. It is hoped that we will have much better mutual understanding. If they should be interested in what we made, there might be more readers from all over the world. Hung Vuong People-Founded School - Bac Kan has been participating in a project of East Meets West Foundation called GPOBA Upper Secondary Enhancement Program, and we have a chance to introduce Catherine Ganley, the program manager, to our website. We hope she will introduce it to her friends to know more about Vietnam. We intend to introduce the website to our classmates and colleagues, but the latter may get difficulty in reading English. We also will introduce to our online friends at the website we often visit to learn English - Those are our intentions in the future and we hope that people will get something interesting from our own website. We wrote our email addresses there for feedback from worldwide readers.

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

We think our project will have certain effect on our community because it may make a difference in showing those who explore the site particular images and video clips together with the updated information of the relations between Vietnam and the US. Other people around the world will certainly learn new things about Vietnam and its relations with the globe, and the reasons why the major streets of every city and town bear the same two dozen or so names. These are the names of Vietnam's greatest national heroes who, over the last 2000 years, have led the country in its repeated expulsions of foreign invaders and whose exploits have inspired subsequent generations of patriots. We have introduced some of the teachers of history and other subjects in our province to the website and after they have had a look at it, they promised to make it more popular among their friends and hoped to have opportunities to integrate it with their electric lesson plans. The website has really made good impression on them. We have almost completed the website on March 15 2012 and we are going to show it to our friends around and in the Internet ( ;;...). We hope to receive active comments on it and we will look into them to develop our website in a suitable way.

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

We did not need so much assistance from our community. We only asked the two teachers of history and geography to check the information which we had collected from several books. We needed the advice and assistance from our coach, Mr Hung, for whom we have great respect. We have taken advantage of each other's strengths to complete this project and we feel proud of ourselves. Thanks to Doors to Diplomacy project, we are now closer friends after so great collaborative work. We tried to work hard for the web project and think independently after reading some exciting news from Global SchoolNet's Blog: 'Global SchoolNet supports 21st century learning and improves academic performance through content-driven collaboration. We engage educators and students in meaningful e-learning projects worldwide to develop science, math, literacy and communication skills, foster teamwork, civic responsibility and collaboration, encourage workforce preparedness and create multi-cultural understanding. Founded in 1984, GSN is a 501(c)3 non-profit education organization.'

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

Truly speaking, we have learnt a lot from what we collected and created. We knew better about the deplomatic relations of our country with others, had a chance to review our history, developed our computer skills and collaborative work, and noticed the enormous value of Internet in education today.


View our Doors to Diplomacy Project (Project ID: 7236)

Close this Window