Haiti Houses
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Haidong Elementary School (Taiwan)

Abraham Lincoln Elementary School (USA)

Island Village Montessori School (USA)

GVC09-05 Joyce Guo Teacher Reflection
Language differences always lead to a wonderful world. When we are willing to open the door to explore, a great inspiring adventure is awaiting us. Global Virtual Classroom program offers us such a great chance to collaborate with friends thousands of miles away. Language was never an obstacle here. Being filled with curiosity and kindness, we started our voyage. We have no worries because we all smile in the same language and sail in the same direction.  

My former teammate had to withdraw from the contest due to health reasons. I wish to thank Charles for being thoughtful enough to come up with some solutions for us, and to thank Becky and Matt for giving my students and me the great opportunity of global collaboration. That really was good news for HDES kids and they were all excited. They were thrilled when they saw responses in Nicenet from kids at Island Village and Lincoln Elementary. They loved the global interaction and were amazed at the creative ideas and interesting discussions from their teammates in Nicenet forum. 

When I look back at these days, my heart is full of thankfulness. We were blessed with the friendships of our teammates, Becky Morris of Island Village Montessori School in Sarasota, Florida, USA and Matt Kuntz of Abraham Lincoln Elementary School in Oak Park, Illinois, USA.   We communicated frequently via emails. Whenever I had any questions they always gave me quick and clear replies. They are outstanding, enthusiastic and experienced educators. I was not alone here. I had the most excellent partners and their passion motivated me.  
The Skype communication with Lincoln kids was a highlight for HDES kids. It was their first time to chat with foreign friends face to face. They were a little bit nervous at the beginning but then they were all eager to meet their new cute friends. They love their global friends. Friendship has no color, yet we know it’s undoubtedly the most colorful part of our lives.  

I am honored to have friends like Becky and Matt in my life. Thank you for all of your efforts and hard work. I am proud of the kids who successfully did global collaboration. When I saw our combined webpages, I was moved. We all learned a lot from the GVC program. These unforgettable memories we created together will be cherished by me for a life time. They’re a blessing to me, and they make my life blossom even more beautifully. I am glad I am here and thank all of you for being there with me! Finally, I wish to thank GVC for making all these possible! 
Joyce Guo

HDES Teacher Introductions

Flash Video Reflection by Matthew Kuntz

I thought I would try a new way to give my reflection this year.

My Favorite Images from the Imaginary Island Project

Haiti Houses- students helping our Haitian friends in a time of need.

The imaginary characters for the island.

The creative ways to have fun on the island.

The island video arcade where vistors can play games and have alot of fun!

Collaborative ideas come together to form the GVC09-05 Imaginary Island.

GVC partners learning from one another through Skype.

Students having the opportunity to learn using new technology.

Students creating their own island themes.

GVC Partners and Friends Forever!

Imagining a Better World
Reflection by Becky Morris, IVMS

I am always impressed with the creativity of our children.  Their curiosity and desire to have fun allow their imaginations to burst with innovative ideas.   Our GVC team this year again proved the talent of our younger generation.   With only IVMS and ALMS from the United States in the beginning, the team was able to work through the disappointment of losing its global partner and enjoy sharing stories and personal interests with new friends.  Their determination was later rewarded as our friends from HDES in Taiwan joined us with their enthusiasm and support.

Reflection 2With so many ideas for a website, the idea of an imaginary island seemed to be a collective favorite.   The kids immediately began offering glimpses into their world of “what if” as they shared their ideas for imaginary animals, plants, landforms, culture, food, and transportation.  As their ideas began to take shape, I couldn’t help but marvel at how their discussions provided an inner look into their hearts and minds for what they wanted to be a most colorful and happy, new island.  It didn’t take long to see that besides wanting it to be exciting and different, they also wanted it to be a place that was most of all, safe and peaceful.

Reflection 3Just as we approached the half-way point of our imaginary island project, tragedy struck an island in the real world.  Our hearts went out to the people of Haiti after the catastrophic earthquake on January 12th.  It was difficult for our teams to feel joyful about the project while watching the daily news of Reflection 4this tragedy unfold.  When the ALMS members came up with an idea to raise money to help the people of Haiti, our GVC team immediately had a lift in spirits as they began creating Haiti House pins and magnets in support the earthquake victims.  It was a natural tie in with our island theme and an instant hit at both schools as we poured our efforts into inspired designs and profitable sales.

Reflection 5
In addition to the successful Haiti house fundraiser, another impressive outcome of this year’s project was the growth my students made in their ability to adapt and change to meet the needs of the project and collaborate with their teammates.  Their discussions began to merge the realities of our world with the hope of how to make it a better place on their imaginary island.  Original ideas to create an island defense system were replaced with peace forests and traditions of joy jumping.  Their ideas blossomed into interesting ways of creating sustainment by using imaginative island elephant movers gained their energy from bananas, and adapted plants solved our water issues.

Reflection 6

This year’s GVC experience was especially rewarding in how our collaborative efforts were able to support more than just a website project.  Opening our doors to new friends from Taiwan really helped to complete our team.  Their excitement for the project and spirit of friendship made it feel as if they were with us from the beginning!  I also think that finding a way to help others, especially those in dire need, fulfilled something in us that went beyond a project requirement.  It gave us hope; and it helped us to see how important our combined efforts can be in making the world a better place.  I believe that the final results of our island project demonstrate that with imagination and willingness to share ideas and care about others, the possibilities of creating a new world might be more realistic than we think.