Doors to Diplomacy Project ID: 5694

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: The Changes We Believe In
Category: 1. Leadership Traits

School: San Diego Riverside Charter School
    Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico, United States of America

2 students, ages 14, 13 worked together to complete this Doors to Diplomacy project on March 24, 2009. They have participated in Doors to Diplomacy in the following year(s): 2008, 2009

Classes and Teachers: Teacher: Valerie Shaw; Students: Francesca C., Miranda K.

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

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.

Project Elements

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

We used the following information tools and technologies to complete this Doors to Diplomacy project: 2 computers 1 telephone 1 digital video camera Kodak Easyshare camera software Internet-based Website builder Internet search engines and libraries Oral interviews The project would not have been possible without the use of technology generally. The telephone was used to communicate with other people involved in the project, including other teachers, people with cultural information, and people who were asked to be interviewed. We used the digital video camera for the interviews and the Easyshare software to process the videos. It was so simple, and hard to believe that you could take a video with a little digital camera! We used the Internet to build our Website using Freewebs and their Website builder. We could have changed some things with html, but did not. We used the Internet and Encarta to find information, and if we didn't have the Internet, we would have taken ten times as long to find what we did, and we may not ever have found some of the things we did. We located the hardware right here at school, and the software was part of the hardware. The most valuable tool was the computer because it was the tool that made communication possible. We could have used the computer instead of the telephone, and we could have used the computer without taking the videos, for example, but either way, we needed the computer to get the videos from the camera to the Web site. The computer communicated between people and machines, people and people, and machines and machines. The most valuable technology was the Website builder because it made it possible to take all the information we found and put it all together to communicate to the world.

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

My students will act as ambassadors by promoting the message of their hope for peace in the world through a new administration in the United States. They are very clear about their conviction that the new president and vice-president have what it takes to make a difference in a world torn apart by wars, crime, drugs, poverty, and religious intolerance. They believe that our new president and vice-president can communicate their ideas and their values to the rest of the world to help bring about positive change everywhere, and they want to help with that positive message by building this Doors to Diplomacy Website.

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

Our community is very proud of us for participating in this project. They are very proud that we have learned how to use technology to do something like this and that we are involved in a project so big that is sponsored by the U. S. Department of State. Many people in our community support Obama and Biden, so they are already in favor of the Website's main message, but they may not know the full backgrounds of the president and vice-president, and they may not have had the opportunity to hear the entire inaugural speech. Other people around the world will learn the same things, that Obama and Biden have a positive vision in the world with a plan for change that involves going back to traditional honest values. Members of our school board have looked at our Web pages and are very impressed with our work and with what we are trying to accomplish. We know this because they told our teacher and also mentioned our work to the whole school during an assembly recently in the cafeteria.

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

Our thanks to Lucy Armijo for her time and advice; Mr. 'T' for letting Francesca out of class to work on the project and supporting her with ideas when she was in class; Mr. Johnson, Ms. Perea, Mr. Casiquito, and Mrs. Toledo for their awesome appearances in our videos.


View our Doors to Diplomacy Project (Project ID: 5694)

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