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The CITVC Impact Master Archive

Here is a look back at all of the News and Events that CITVC has experienced throughout its history.

  • 2012/2013 School Year
  • 2011/2012
  • 2010/2011
  • 2009/2010
  • 2008/2009
  • YouthLINKS TV
  • Germany Comes To America
  • Fundraising News
  • NJEDge.Net Conference 2012
  • Internet 2 Fall 2012 Member Meeting Presentations
  • 8th Grade Orientation
  • Global Educator Award
  • Visit from Passaic Valley High School's SRO
  • NJECC
YouthLINKS TV
In May of 2012, Contemporary Issues through Videoconferencing students were invited by Global Nomads Group to participate in two, two-hour videoconferences with students in Afghanistan.The theme of this exchange was "Empowering Afghan and American youth through cultural exchange to change the way we see the world and each other." We videoconferenced with students from the Marefat School located in Kabul. We partnered with Global Nomads Group, Global Citizens in Action and SOLA (School of Leadership Afghanistan). CITVC students were impacted greatly by these conferences, linked below:

These six segments were aired on Afghanistan television in the fall of 2012!

CIVIL RIGHTS
U.S./AFGHAN RELATIONS
POP CULTURE SOCIETY AND CULTURE
RELIGION TECHNOLOGY AND MEDIA
To learn more about this program, please visit: 
Website for Global Citizens in Action
Website of Marefat High School in Kabul, Afghanistan

Germany Comes to America!

Our German friends visited us in New Jersey and stayed with host families for one week in April 2012.

 


We raised $180 in collaboration with the Amnesty International Club at PV!

The students of the CITVC class held a fundraiser in November 2012 to raise money for the Passaic County Women's Center, located in neighboring Paterson NJ. This shelter is a safe place to go if you are a victim of domestic violence.

For more info, please visit: http://www.njaconline.org/14.html

NJEDge.Net Conference 2012

CITVC presented at the NJEDge.NEt Conference this November. The conference's theme was Humanizing Technology. It was held from November 28th-30th in Plainsboro, NJ. The NJEDge.Net community focuses on moving forward in the K-20 community through the use of educational technology.

Kathy Menake (CITVC Teacher), and her students presented during a breakout session titled Contemporary Issues through Videoconferencing (CITVC): "Preparing Students for Participation in Democracy and Global Citizenship"

Please visit this link to see the program description!

Internet 2 Fall 2012 Member Meeting Presentations
CITVC did two presentations during the Internet 2 meeting this fall in Philadelphia.
The theme for the conference was
Innovation, Community and Transformation!
October 2, 2012: Preparing Students for Participation in Democracy and Global Citizenship
October 4, 2012: Maximizing Internet Connectivity for Education
Both former and current CITVC students presented via videoconference at a session titled Contemporary Issues through Videoconferencing (CITVC): Preparing Students for Participation in Democracy and Global Citizenship on October 2, 2012 from 1:15 - 2:30 PM. We co-presented with Matthew Conforth of NJEDge.Net and Gregg Festa of Montclair State University.

Passaic Valley explored ways of maximizing the use of distance learning applications to provide unique, meaningful educational experiences for our students. Programs fell into two basic categories: programs offered by content providers, and programs created internally. The most successful of these has been our Around the World Videoconference programs that connect us with countries across the globe, and Science in the Cinema programs that connect students with science experts from around the world.
Two days later, on Thursday, October 4th from 8:45 -10:00 AM, both former and current CITVC students presented once again at another session tilted: Maximizing Internet Connectivity for Education. CITVC presented with several leaders form education networks about how a network is more than just a wire, it can improve student learning and CITVC is proof of that!
To read the abstract on our first presentation, click here! To read the abstract on our second presentation, click here!
8th Grade Orientation
On March 13th, CITVC students Olympia, Kate, Nick, Alex, Jessica, and Isaac, along with Ms. Menake, presented to the incoming 8th graders about the videoconferencing program here at Passaic Valley. The students were excited to be in the ITV Room of their future high school!


Mr. Matthew Conforth received the Global Educator Award on March 15th at the United Nations Teachers Conference on Human Rights hosted by Global Education Motivators.  "Each year, GEM honors an educator that has gone above and beyond the call of duty in order to ensure that their students receive a strong global education foundation."

The Contemporary Issues through Videoconferencing class sends him warm congratulations for this well-deserved award.

Matthew Conforth has over 40 years experience as a K-12 teacher, school technology coordinator and administrator. From 2002-2012, Matthew served as the Director of Educational Technology at Passaic Valley Regional High School in Little Falls, NJ. Matthew is Co Chair of the NJEDge.net K20 Initiative and has served on many local, state, and national technology committees. Matthew has received many awards for his teaching, innovative programs and contributions to the integration of technology. These include the Governor's Teacher Recognition Award, the 2002 Technologist of the Year Award, two NJSBA School Leader Awards, the NJ ELite Exemplary Partnership Award, the MAGNA Award, and now the Global Educator Award.

Visit from Passaic Valley High School's SRO

Officer John Vanak, Little Falls police officer and School Resource Officer (SRO) for Passaic Valley Regional High School, visited our CITVC classroom to talk about his profession. He showed the students a DVD re. police training and spoke about the level of preparedness that is required from Academy graduates. The students were interested in recent school security issues and they were able to discuss these with Officer Vanak.

NJECC

On September 21st, 2012, three PV students accompanied Michael O’Brien, Passaic Valley's Supervisor of Curriculum, to Montclair State University for the first monthly meeting of The New Jersey Educational Computing Cooperative. The three students - Megan Coughlin (Junior), Macrel Louis (Senior), and Haitham Zeiden (Senior) - were the guest speakers for a town hall style question and answer session at the event.

For one hour, the students were asked questions from an audience of 70 educators from New Jersey. Moderator, Gregg Festa, also proposed questions to the students based on the theme of Accidental Learner: How students use technology in their personal lives to learn more about what interests them. The students did a phenomenal job answering questions and the information they provided was incredibly interesting and enlightening to the audience. Both Marcel and Haitham are CITVC alums and Megan has filmed many of CITVC's projects, including the Germany hosting in April 2012.
To read about our students' involvement in this conference,
please see:  PV students, staff attend technology conference at MSU.
  • CoSN Presentation
  • 8th Grade Orientation
  • Operation Gratitude
  • MTV Act
  • Germany Hosting
  • Fundraising News
  • United Nations Field Trip
  • National Peace Corps Association Newsletter
  • MSG Varsity
  • Visit From Danish Students
  • Exchange 2.0
  • National Network for Education Renewal

"A network connection is more than just a wire --
it represents a way to improve student learning."

CoSN Presentation

"In the recent book, A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change, Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown argue that exploring play, innovation, and the cultivation of the imagination are the cornerstones of learning. They create a vision of learning for the future that is achievable, scalable and grows with the technology that fosters it and the people who engage with it."

The CoSN (Consortium for School Networking) 2012 K-12 Technology Leadership Conference was held in Washington, D.C. in early March. On March 6th, Ms. Kathleen Menake and 4 CITVC students co-presented during a session titled "Maximizing Internet Connectivity for Education." We presented with Elwood Downing, Vice President of Member Relations, Communications and Services, Merit Network, Inc.; David Olson, Wide Area Network Engineer, MOREnet; Sheri Prupis, Director, Educational Technology Initiatives, NJEDge.Net; and Michael Richardson, Director, Regional Educational Network Center 1.
Bradford, Natasha, Vlad, and Rebecca presented to an audience of professionals in the field of educational technology. They spoke about their experiences in this course, Contemporary Issues through Videoconferencing, and about upcoming projects that CITVC is looking forward to: Germany's visit to our school for one week in April and Around the World in May!
8th Grade Orientation at PVHS

On March 14, 2012 Haitham, Rebecca, Asia, Chris, Kayla, and Ms. Kathleen Menake presented to the incoming 8th graders about the powerful use of educational technology.
The incoming 8th graders were excited about coming to PVHS with all the school has to offer! We talked about the videoconferencing program and how innovative this type of learning is for our class.

CITVC students sent letters to our troops overseas before the holiday season 2011 through an organization called
Operation Gratitude.


Operation Gratitude the 501 (c)(3), non-profit, volunteer organization that sends care packages of items and letters addressed to Wounded Warriors & U.S. Service Members deployed in combat.
CITVC wanted to show our patriotic spirit and we wanted to show our troops that we are thinking of them.

For more information, go to http://www.operationgratitude.com/

We were featured on the MTV Act website!

From MTV Act:

"We're all looking for a way to make high school classes a bit more, ahem, FUN. Petitioning to have Jersey Shore become a required course is probably out of the question. However, talking to your peers halfway across the globe about what you watch on MTV Thursday nights, not to mention the uprising in Egypt, is actually quite possible. Just take a note from this New Jersey classroom...

Earlier this year, Ms. Menake and her students at Passaic Valley High School in New Jersey prepared for a not-so-typical school day. It would last just about 24 hours, and instead of shuffling from one class to the next, she and her 14 or so students would shuffle across the world via videoconference. They were participating in "Around The World," a discussion with more than 14 countries about issues in the news and pop culture. It was the climax of their yearlong elective class--Contemporary Issues Through Videoconferencing--and the experience was nothing short of eye-opening.

"Twenty-four hours of class would sound like torture for most kids my age," said 17-year-old Mariah Ross. "To hear from a teacher in Egypt who had experienced the revolution with his son...and talk to students who were participating in their governments to make a change...it changed my perspective on what I want to do in my life."

There are no books to drive the conversation, no teachers to hammer the facts home, just kids talking about issues and personal experiences. The PVHS students were part of the Global Nomads Group network, a global NGO that "creates interactive educational programs for students about global issues." In just under a decade, GNG has connected more than a million youth and helped facilitate cultural understanding across borders. It has also teamed up with the State Department to further its reach.

After the death of  Osama Bin Laden, "we knew how our country reacted," said Joe Bavazzano, another Passaic Valley kid. "But to hear how other kids across the world responded, to hear all their biases, gave us a true perspective on the situation." Later, they vibed with kids in Ireland about Jersey Shore and other pop-culture fixtures. Reportedly, no fist-pumping was involved...but, hey, maybe your class can make that happen?"

Germany Hosting

Our videoconferencing class has developed a special relationship with students from Germany over Skype this school year. Now, they visited us in New Jersey, stayed with host families for one week (from April 11th - April 17th), went on a group field trip to NYC with us, attended our school for a day, and were the special guests at a videoconference. We were so excited to be hosting our dear friends!

One of the host students, Casey, made a video slideshow for us all:

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To read the newspaper article on our hosting, please visit: PV spotlights foreign exchange

 


For more info on the Solar Cooker Project, visit
http://www.solarcookerproject.org/

We raised $515 in collaboration with the Amnesty International Club at PV!

The students of the CITVC class held a fundraiser in January 2012 to raise money for the Solar Cooker Project, which provides solar cookers for refugees of the Darfur genocide who are currently living in camps in Chad.

United Nations Field Trip
The Contemporary Issues through Videoconferencing class attended an exhibit and briefing at the United Nations on November 30, 2011. The United Nations exhibit that CITVC attended, which was titled, Design with the Other 90%: CITIES, showed design solutions which address the 90% of the world’s population that live in homes “not traditionally serviced by the professional design community.” We then attended a briefing with key UN personnel as well as Cynthia Smith, curator of this exhibit.
CITVC was invited to join this conference by Global Education Motivators, a  non-profit organization that helps schools connect on issues emphasizing human rights and human responsibility. CITVC has worked with GEM on several UN-related videoconferences over the last several years. GEM was founded in 1981 as a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization to help schools ... Emphasizing human rights and human responsibility.

The students also received a
tour of the United Nations.


To read The New York Times article on this exhibit, click here: Rescued by Design

National Peace Corp Association Newsletter
CITVC was recognized in the Winter 2011-2012 edition of the National Peace Corps Association newsletter. On pages 6 and 7 there is an article written by Kathleen Menake, CITVC teacher, and Matthew Conforth, Director of Educational Technology. The article highlights Passaic Valley High School and the program they run in May of every year called
Around the World.
 
Click here to see our MSG Varsity Profile!

*Need to be an Optimum Online customer to view

In the fall of 2011, MSG Varsity came to Passaic Valley Regional High School and filmed a School Profile. Our course, Contemporary Issues through Videoconferencing, was highlighted.
Visit From Danish Students

CITVC was so lucky to have Danish guests for six days of class in November 2011. The Danish students were anthropology students from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark who were in the USA to study American high school life. They came to Passaic Valley through a friend who was familiar with our Teen Center. The students joined CITVC students for class for six tremendous days, participated in two videoconferences with us and started friendships with the CITVC students. The cultural exchange and the different perspectives of the Danish students challenged the American students and created great dialogue in the classroom. We plan on keeping in touch via Skype!

We miss Helena, Stine, Anna, Sarah, Karen, and Pernille!
Exchange 2.0 programming is defined as technology-enabled international programs embedded in curricula with a cross-cultural educational purpose.

CITVC was invited to attend the July 27th meeting of Exchange 2.0 in NYC @ Meetup! It was a high-level meeting sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. We were there to talk about how virtual exchanges (Exchange 2.0) through GNG have impacted students and teachers. This meeting is also part of the UN celebration of the Year of Youth, starting August 2011;
Ronan Farrow, Senior Advisor for Global Youth Issues to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Director of the State Department’s office of Global Youth Issues, and Kalpen Modi of the White House Office of Public Engagement were the featured guest speakers.  

Check out the active Twitter hashtag #Exchange20
NNER Conference: The Classroom Beyond: Reaching Diverse Voices and Perspectives from Around the World
NNER Conference: The Classroom Beyond: Reaching Diverse Voices and Perspectives from Around the World Videoconference  CITVC students were part of a presentation by Gregg Festa from The ADP Center at Montclair State University given at the annual NNER conference held in Hartford, CT this year. The National Network for Educational Renewal 2011 conference theme was Education for Everyone: Many Perspectives, One Purpose.
This year's conference was planned collaboratively by representatives from CUNY, Montclair State, University of Southern Maine, and University of Connecticut. CITVC students used Skype to present and they talked about the unique nature of their course, Contemporary Issues through Videoconferencing.

National Network for Educational Renewal website
NNER Conference: The Classroom Beyond: Reaching Diverse Voices and Perspectives from Around the World Videoconference 
  • Fundraising News
  • Classroom Reset 2011
  • NJEDge.Net 12th Annual...Showcase
  • GNG Field Trip
  • NJSBA School Leader Awarded to CITVC!
  • StudentsRebuild.org
  • NBC's Education Nation
  • Garden State Distance Learning Consortium
  • Students Rebuild Educator Intro Session 
  • Presentation to MSU Student-Teachers
  • 8th Grade Orientation at PVHS
  • United Nations Field Trip

Gerda Weissmann Klein's message of no child should go hungry along with our goal of contributing within our own community spurred our class to fund raise for the local food bank. We held our fundraiser in the school's cafeteria for one week (the week of 2/7/11-2/11/11) and we collected monetary contributions. We asked students and faculty for change, even pennies! We succeeded in collecting $500 by week's end! We worked in collaboration with the Amnesty International Club at PV.

We chose this fundraiser because we participated in a service project that challenged students to go out and make a difference in their own communities. Our class has been in contact with a Volunteer Coordinator from CUMAC:  Feeding People & Changing Lives located in Paterson, New Jersey - a city located very near our school. They definitely need money to continue their work and we are determined to give our money to a local food bank, meaning we want it to go to somewhere that we all know and within our county of Passaic!


The CITVC class created a Facebook event page to attract attention on campus.

For more information on this organization, visit:  http://www.cumacecho.org.
Classroom Reset 2011:  Innovations for All at Montclair State University, May 20, 2011

The Center for Pedagogy and The Montclair State University Network for Educational Renewal held its annual conference titled Classroom Reset 2011:  Innovations for All on May 20, 2011 at University Hall on the campus of MSU.  This day was a showcase for teachers, college faculty and some k-12 students to model how they successfully "reset" their classrooms by utilizing emerging technologies. Matthew Conforth, Director of Educational Technology at Passaic Valley co-presented with Kathleen Menake, CITVC teacher at Passaic Valley at the following session:  Contemporary Issues through Videoconferencing.  Several current CITVC students presented as well via videoconference.  The students did an professional job of communicating their experiences to the higher education community.  

Here are some quotes from attendees (teachers):

"Actually listening to the students reveals how videoconferencing impacted their lives."
The highlight of the presentation was "the live videoconference with the presenter's students in class. Very beneficial and inspirational."

For more information, please visit:  http://cehs.montclair.edu/academic/cop/crc.shtml

NJEDge.Net 12th Annual Faculty Best Practices Showcase, March 11, 2011

NJEDge.Net 12th Annual Faculty Best Practices Showcase Videoconference 

A committee of faculty and academic professionals accepted applications for this event. Contemporary Issues through Videoconferencing (CITVC) was accepted; we were thrilled! The day was hosted by The College of New Jersey, and CITVC presented from PVHS via videoconference. Our focus for this presentation was our use of 21st century technology that includes videoconferencing, interactive virtual field trips and Web 2.0 tools such as an interactive website and social networking.

The Best Practices Showcase is a forum for New Jersey faculty and academics to share their innovative teaching method with their peers. The students will be co-presenters via a virtual connection and they discussed their experiences in the CITVC class using 21st-century technology.

For more info, please visit http://www.njedge.net/activities/facultyshowcase/2011/index.php
CITVC visited Global Nomads Group (GNG) headquarters in New York City in December, 2010. Global Nomads Group is a prestigious videoconference content provider that Passaic Valley has worked with for many years.

The trip provided an opportunity for PV students to dialogue with GNG executives about the potentials of educational technology and videoconferencing.

CITVC would like to thank GNG for hosting us! We had a blast!

For more info, please visit:  www.gng.org
We had a very successful year in the videoconferencing class this school year. Ms. Menake received the School Leader award plaque for her CITVC in Trenton at the War Memorial building near the State House on May 14th from Ray Wiss, president of the New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA). He described the contents of my course, Contemporary Issues through Videoconferencing, and praised CITVC extensively. There was only one other awardee from Piscataway H.S. We were the only two schools in the state to be selected for the School Leader Award for 2011. 


This photo is courtesy of Janet Bamford.

Ms. Menake proudly presented the plaque to Dr. Joganow, Passaic Valley's Superintendent, who congratulated her and was very happy about this honor his school has received.


CITVC is very proud!!!

Here is a link to the online newsletter:
http://www.njsba.org/sb_notes/20110524/leader.html

To view the article from the July/August 2011 issue of School Leader Magazine, click here

CITVC participated in several videoconferences re. Haiti since the January 12, 2010 earthquake. As part of our commitment to one of our providers, Global Nomads Group, we have become a team member of the StudentsRebuild challenge put forward by Architecture for Humanity, the Bezos Family Foundation and Global Nomads Group. The goal is to raise as much money as you can to help rebuild school in Haiti.

This is an ongoing event for our CITVC class, so last year and this year we will return to raising money for this cause. We have raised over $300.



For more information, please visit: 

http://studentsrebuild.org
http://www.gng.org
CITVC creator and teacher, Kathleen Menake, presented twice at Rockefeller Plaza, renamed Learning Plaza, for NBC's Education Nation on Sunday, September 26, 2010. She presented her course, Contemporary Issues through Videoconferencing, and she highlighted the content provider, Global Nomads Group, with which CITVC has a strong collaborative relationship for 8 years now. She presented a "live" lesson that demonstrates how your use of technology is improving the way students learn and are taught. In particular Ms. Menake focused on CITVC's work with StudentsRebuild, which is a year-long program , including 4 videoconferences, an educator videoconference, webcasts, and several online forums for students to dialogue directly with their Haitian peers about the rebuilding efforts in Haiti after the January 12th, 2010 earthquake. Ms. Menake was invited to attend this event by Global Nomads Group, who chose her due to our high school's excellent performance in videoconferencing.


For more information, visit:  http://www.educationnation.com

CITVC was featured in the Nov/Dec 2010 newsletter of the Garden State Distance Learning Consortium (GSDLC).
Click here to read the newsletter.
The GSDLC is located at The Southern Regional Institute (SRI) and the Educational Technology Training Center (ETTC) at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.

CITVC is proud of this news feature!

For more info:
http://www.ettc.net/GSDLC/ -  "The Garden State Distance Learning Consortium is a nonprofit organization formed by educators to promote the development of distance learning (DL), and foster the application of video conferencing within the classroom setting. The Garden State Distance Learning Consortium is embarking on innovative ways to incorporate instructional technologies that validate and punctuate what the teachers are doing inside the classroom."

http://www.ettc.net/aboutus/index.html - this link will bring you to the information page on The Southern Regional Institute (SRI) and the Educational Technology Training Center (ETTC) at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.

In September CITVC's teacher Kathleen Menake participated in an educator session for the StudentsRebuild project. Our partner school is École Baptiste Bon Berger, Pele' Haiti. We follow info about our school at the following website: http://studentsrebuild.org/blog/1056/ivc-prep-bon-berger-pele.html




For more info about rebuilding efforts at our partner school, visit:  http://openarchitecturenetwork.org/node/7636

Grace Lau, Manager of Programs at Global Nomads Group, facilitated the conference. She has made many trips to Haiti and moderated all our videoconferences with our partner school. Ms. Menake spoke with several other educators from around the country; they discussed their goals for their students and plans for projects involving Haiti.

Grace wrote in an e-mail to all the educators before the educator-only session: "I went to Haiti last week [early September, 2010] to meet with the local educators and partners, visit the schools on the ground, and work out the general logistics for our October Videoconference launch.  All this being said, I can assure you your Haitian peers are very excited about this opportunity to connect their students to yours!  I have attached several pictures of your educational counterparts at the schools we will be working with.  I look forward to meet with you in the coming week to share more."

Passaic Valley Regional High School has partnered with Montclair State University with the program Teaching For Learning I. Once a week, meeting at Passaic Valley, college students enrolled in the education program take this course the semester before their student-teaching assignment. In November, 2010 CITVC students presented to these college students about the use of educational technology in the classroom on a daily basis. The CITVC students did an excellent job presenting to their older peers!

On March 16, 2011 four CITVC students and Ms. Kathleen Menake presented to the incoming 8th graders about the powerful use of educational technology.

The students prepared a brief video and talked about their personal experiences with educational technology and its impact on their lives.

The incoming 8th graders were excited about coming to PVHS with all the school has to offer!


The Contemporary Issues through Videoconferencing class attended a conference at the United Nations on March 21, 2011. The United Nations conference that CITVC attended, which is titled International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, is observed annually on March 21. It was a conversation between students and experts on racial and other forms of discrimination that people face and a discussion on ways we can fight to counter them. It was organized by the Department of Public Information at the United Nations and it was held in the ECOSOC Chamber at the United Nations headquarters.

CITVC was invited to join this conference by Global Education Motivators, a  non-profit organization that helps schools connect on issues emphasizing human rights and human responsibility. CITVC has worked with GEM on several UN-related videoconferences over the last several years.

GEM was founded in 1981 as a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization to help schools ... Emphasizing human rights and human responsibility,

The students were treated to a mini-tour of the United Nations after the conference.

  • Fundraising News
  • StudentsRebuild.org
  • GHANA Hosting
  • Haiti - Teacher PD
  • National Network For Education Renewal
  • Classroom Reset 2010
  • Our Alaskan Sled Dog
  • NJEDge.Net Conference 6.0
  • Classroom Close-Up, NJ 2009
  • Nat'l Award For Excellence in Int'l Ed
  • ISTE Conference 2010
We raised $200 in collaboration with the Amnesty International Club at PV for Schools for Schools through the Invisible Children Program! Both the Amnesty International Club and CITVC watched the film Invisible Children: Rough Cut, and became active in the effort to raise awareness and funds for these suffering children of northern Uganda.

To watch the trailer of the film, click here!
CITVC participated in several videoconferences. Haiti since the January 12th earthquake. As part of our commitment to one of our providers, Global Nomads Group, we have become a team member of the StudentsRebuild challenge put forward by Architecture for Humanity, the Bezos Family Foundation and Global Nomads Group. The goal is to raise as much money as you can to help rebuild school in Haiti.


This is an ongoing event for our CITVC class, so next year we will return to raising money for this cause. So far we have raised $300!

For more information, please visit: 

http://studentsrebuild.org
http://www.gng.org
Ghana Hosting
"Our videoconferencing class has developed a special relationship with students from Ghana over videoconference. Now, they visited us in New Jersey, stayed with host families for one week (from May 28th - June 4th), went on a field trip to NYC with us, and attended our school for several days. We were so excited to be hosting these intelligent and engaging Ghanaians (students are ages 16-19)." -Leyla
Ghana Hosting

Read about our hosting experience Here!

One of the host students, Matthew LaCorte, made a video slideshow for us all.

Global Nomads Group offered a Teacher Professional Development videoconference for all the schools involved in their project to rebuild Haiti on March 18, 2010. This vc was in preparation for two upcoming vcs live from Haiti during which our students will speak to their peers. They want all schools to join Architecture for Humanity, the Bezos Family Foundation and GNG in fund raising to help build better and safer schools in the earthquake-ravaged country. Teachers from all over the country and Canada spoke about what videoconferencing with Haitian students means to them and their school communities.  Ms. Kathleen Menake spoke about CITVC and her students' hopes for their peers in Haiti.

The NNER 2009 Annual Conference was held on October 14th-17th.  This year was a celebration of the 10th anniversary of "In Praise of Education." NNER reflected on the past decade and looks to the future with the themes of reflection, responsibility and renewal.  Matthew Conforth, Director of Educational Technology at Passaic Valley presented in Washington state the following session:  Contemporary Issues through Videoconferencing:  Preparing Students for Democracy and Global Citizenship.   Co-presenters were Gregg Festa, Montclair State University and Kathleen Menake, CITVC teacher at Passaic Valley.  Several current CITVC students presented as well.  Ms. Menake and her students were brought in via videoconferencing to talk with top educators about their unique class.  The students did an excellent job of communicating their experiences to the higher education community.  We presented at 11 a.m. Seattle time.

The Center for Pedagogy and The Montclair State University Network for Educational Renewal held its annual conference titled Classroom Reset 2010:  Innovations in Teaching & Learning on January 6, 2010 at University Hall on the campus of MSU.  This day was a showcase for teachers, college faculty and some k-12 students to model how they successfully "reset" their classrooms by utilizing emerging technologies. Matthew Conforth, Director of Educational Technology at Passaic Valley co-presented with Kathleen Menake, CITVC teacher at Passaic Valley at the following session:  Contemporary Issues through Videoconferencing.  Several current CITVC students presented as well via Skype.  The students did an professional job of communicating their experiences to the higher education community. 

To read more about this conference, click here.

"I've always felt that if you're going to be part of the modern world, you need to be able to use technology to your advantage. . . CITVC provides me with the technology I need to become a world citizen and to better understand the world around me."  -Amanda
CITVC adopted an Alaskan sled dog for the 2009-2010 school year. 
Our dog's name is Brit.  She was born on April 22, 2008.  She weighs c. 40 lbs. 

NJEDge.Net is a non-profit technology consortium of academic and research institutions in New Jersey.  The NJEDge.Net Conference 6.0 was held on November 18-20, 2009.  The theme this year was Building Community through Collaboration, bit by bytes.  Matthew Conforth, Director of Educational Technology at Passaic Valley co-presented with the CITVC class and Kathleen Menake, the CITVC teacher, in a session titled:  Using Videoconferencing and Web 2.0 to promote Global Learning and Citizenship.  Ms. Menake and her students were brought in via videoconferencing to talk about their experiences in their videoconferencing class. 
Read more about it here.

We Were On TV!

The Classroom Close-Up show on our class aired on NJN on
February 2nd, 2009@ 7 p.m. 
February 7th, 2009 @ 9 a.m.
March 9th, 2009 @ 7 p.m.
March 14th, 2009 @ 9 a.m.


We were part of Show 11 - Global Conferencing

New Jersey won the National Award for Excellence in International Education.  PV was one of the seven schools in New Jersey named for having outstanding international education programs in a variety of areas, including use of technological tools.  CITVC is proud of this recognition.

"New Jersey Wins National Award for Excellence in International Education

New Jersey has been awarded the Asia Society’s 2009 Goldman Sachs Foundation Prize for Excellence in International Education by a state.

Commissioner of Education Lucille E. Davy accepted the prestigious national award on behalf of Governor Jon S. Corzine and the New Jersey Department of Education at a ceremony today the Asia Society’s headquarters in New York.

The annual awards program, launched in 2003, recognizes outstanding achievement by educators and others in promoting cultural awareness, world history and a global curriculum as crucial to the development of students as they prepare to enter the 21st century workforce.  Awards are presented in four categories:  State, Elementary/Middle School, High School and Media and Technology."

For the rest of the article, click here

At the annual ISTE Conference (International Society for Technology in Education) held in Denver, Colorado in June, 2010, CITVC teacher Kathleen Menake co-presented with her peers at Global Nomads Group as part of the program titled Making International Connections. This presentation was part of a larger program titled Building IVC Connections: Traveling the World with IVC. She highlighted her course, Contemporary Issues through Videoconferencing, as a course that is dedicated to improving global education.

"ISTE is the premier membership association for educators and education leaders engaged in improving learning and teaching by advancing the effective us of technology in PK-12 and higher education."

For more info on this conference, visit http://center.uoregon.edu/ISTE/2010
  • Afghanistan Videoconferences
  • Afghan Vc's Part 2
  • Afghan Vc's Part 3
  • Gaza Videoconferences
  • Fundraising News
CITVC participated in several videoconferences on Afghanistan
Suraya Pakrad
We had the opportunity to speak with Suraya Pakzad, Founder of the Voice of Women Organization.  She has dedicated her life to helping the women of Afghanistan by starting schools in private homes during the Taliban period, creating vocational training for women in prisons, and she continues to create health centers, business development programs, and shelters for women.  She was awarded the International Women of Courage Award in March 2008 by then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. This videoconference was made possible by MAGPI.

It is said that Kabul is the “widows’ capital of the world,” housing as many as 50,000 widows.  The situation of the widows is a significant issue to be discussed since this group is overlooked in Afghanistan .  GNG and CARE’s Humanitarian Assistance for the Widows of Afghanistan (HAWA) Project sponsored a videoconference in the Spring of 2008 during which we had the opportunity to dialogue with several widows from Afghanistan .  It was an emotional conference for the students, teachers and widows involved because the widows’ lives were so in doubt and difficult.  This year we spoke once again with the widows.  Their lives are improving, albeit slowly. 

For more on Afghanistan ’s widows, check out these links:
Afghan Web Article
NY Times Article

Afghan Widows
Afghan Drought

GNG and CARE hosted a videoconference among several American schools and Afghan officials about the drought and food security issues this country has been dealing with for years.  Afghanistan has undergone a severe drought for the last decade.  Combine this with the rising price of food and the situation is thousands of Afghans leaving their villages in search of food and aid as well as urban unrest.

For more on the drought, check out these links:
BBC Article
ENS Article

CITVC began our Around the World 2009 program with a videoconference on emergency relief projects in Afghanistan. Afghanistan continually confronts both man-made and natural disasters which make it difficult for the people to recover and build.  The students involved in this videoconference discussed the main challenges and violence facing the civilian populations and the plans to build a lasting peace in Afghanistan.

For more on emergency response in Afghanistan , check out these links:
HRW Article
Time Article

Afghan Man

Afghan Youth

In the culminating videoconference of the Afghanistan series, CITVC spoke with the youth of Afghanistan .  The students we spoke to were from both rural and urban areas.  We heard directly from our peers about their daily lives and their hopes for the future.  This cultural exchange included discussion about nutrition, schooling, after school activities, future professions, etc.  The students in CITVC enjoyed this conference very much – we were featured in the local newspapers for this videoconference.

For more on the youth of Afghanistan , check out these links:
NY Times Article
UNICEF Article

To prepare for these videoconferences, CITVC researched the articles linked above, as well as many others, and we viewed two films on Afghanistan: 
Motherland Afghanistan:  A Film by Sedika Mojadidi
and
16 Days in Afghanistan:  A Film by Amwar Hajher.

CITVC participated in 2 videoconferences as well as the on-line forum from
April 6th - June 5th, 2009.

"In partnership with Mercy Corps (MC), Global Nomads Group (GNG) is thrilled to connect students in North America with their peers in Gaza and/or Iraq.  Prior to the videoconference (VC), students will have the unique opportunity to dialogue with their overseas counterparts through an on-line web forum.  The goal of this forum is to get students acquainted with one another, share their perspectives, and learn about each other’s cultures – before and after the videoconference sessions.  This online collaborative work will help foster greater depth in dialogue during the videoconference.  The forum will be moderated by both MC/GNG staff members and will be centered on multiple themes regarding health and well-being." 

The purpose of on-line connectivity is to create a sustainable program while encouraging a true collaborative and interactive experience between youth from Gaza and the USA.

Here's the link: http://www.globalcitizencorps.org

For more on Gaza and health matters, check out:
Amnesty International Article

To prepare for these videoconferences, CITVC researched the articles linked above, as well as many others, and we viewed two films on Gaza :  Death in Gaza and Until When . . . A Film by Dahna Abourahme.

We raised $915 in collaboration with the Amnesty International Club at PV!
In September, we participated in a two-part videoconference on Darfur. As a result, the students of the CITVC class are holding a fundraiser this month to raise money for the Solar Cooker Project, which provides solar cookers for refugees of the Darfur genocide who are currently living in camps in Chad.

Erika
"Even though many of us feel as though we cannot help these people, Mr. Braun told us that we could help by donating to legitimate charities that will give aid to Darfur and spread awareness of the genocide that is occurring." - Erika
Afghan Man
Afghan Man

For more info on the Solar Cooker Project, visit
http://www.jewishworldwatch.org/refugeerelief/solarcookerproject.html

Read about CITVC and others in New Jersey who dedicated fundraising to Darfur:
http://www.njdarfur.org/feedback.php

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