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Concorso Internazionale ThinkQuest®

Anno 1999-2000

Un concorso in Internet per studenti dai 12 ai 19 anni




ThinkQuest Newsletter
January, 2000



1. A N N O U N C E M E N T S:

* TQ Jr. Application Deadline: 1/31/2000!

* Copyright Statement


3.T H I N K Q U E S T I N T H E N E W S

* ThinkQuest Story in The New York Times

* Artful Minds: A Diary

* School Library Media Specialists Recognize TQ Jr. Site

Do We Really Know Dewey?

* Languages Used in TQ Entries

4. E L E C T R O N I C S C H O L A R" S N O T E B O O K

A Focus on A National Partner's Opinion: My TQ and Net Safety


1. A N N O U N C E M E N T S

* TQ Jr. Application Deadline: 1/31/2000!

Students in grades 4-6 still have time to form a team for

ThinkQuest Junior ---but the deadline for the application is

rapidly approaching. Participants need to enter the My TQ

section, visible on the main screen (,

join My ThinkQuest, and fill out the form. Don't let this

valuable opportunity pass you by!

* Copyright Statement

Jay Rosen, Advanced Counsel

Care should be given to reading and understanding the section

of the Rules regarding "Use of Copyrighted Materials". The

most common form of copyright notice is Copyright (c) (date

and name of author). Should you have any questions regarding

the use of reference materials, you should discuss them with

your coach.


2. F E A T U R E :

Second ThinkQuest Conference Hailed by Attendees

Robert Sibley, Educational Project Manager, ThinkQuest

The Second Annual ThinkQuest Educational Technology

conference, held in Los Angeles in November, was an

overwhelming success. Nearly 90% of participants gave the

Conference a "thumbs up" rating. Most responses to a

feedback form were either 4 or 5 on a scale of 1 to 5.

The attendees, who were K-12 and university educators,

administrators, students, and educational leaders, had the

chance to listen to and talk with educational leaders Elliot

Soloway, Linda Roberts, Bob Tinker, Hank Becker, Margaret

Riel and others.Technology leaders and visionaries present

at the Conference included John Gage, Jaron Lanier, Larry

Tesler, Terry Rogersand Doug Van Houweling.


In addition, to conference sessions, attendees said

networking with presenters and colleagues was extremely

valuable, given the stimuli for thinking and talking.

However, the interaction with the ThinkQuest 1999 finalist

teams topped the list as the most valuable element of the


The ThinkQuest Conference 2000 will be held in conjunction

with the ThinkQuest Awards Event, in Cairo, Egypt in November,

2000. This year's conference will truly be international, an

essential event for educators from across the U.S. and

around the world. Topics will include the role of technology

in education and addressing the digital divide.

We will update the Conference web site with details,

in March. See you in Cairo!


3.T H I N K Q U E S T I N T H E N E W S

* ThinkQuest Story in The New York Times!


The article, called "Contest Winners See Net Positives"

appeared in the CyberTimes with hot links back to TQ and some

of the winning sites. The URL, which takes you to the

article is

Andrea V. Papa Director of Marketing and Communications

ThinkQuest Programs


* Artful Minds: Excerpts From A Diary of Expanded Opportunity

After ThinkQuest's Tomorrow's Teachers Competition

Artful Minds is a Silver award winner in this year's

ThinkQuest for Tomorrow's Teachers contest. It is a dynamic,

interactive web site that provides educators with the

resources needed to build a bridge to the learning

environments of the 21st century. Prospective and practicing

teachers will find theoretical information and practical

applications about arts education, brain research, and

technology use and integration. ArtFul Minds gives teachers

the tools to increase cultural literacy, develop global

citizenry, and create classroom environments that promote

life-long learning. Check out the site at

Participants: College/University Members: Mo Sanders,

Dr. Katherine A. Schwartz ;K-12 Members: Bernadette Wensley,

John Wensley, B.A. Elementary and Early Childhood Education,

M.Ed. Technology in Education.

Student Member: Chris Cowans, Technology Mentor: Diane Bundy.

Artful Minds has received recognition and awards including

invitations to present the site in January at the Governor's

conference on the Arts in Education, and in April at the

Alaska Society for Technology in Education statewide conference.

Listed below are some other recent mentions of the


December 8, 1999

An article about ArtFul Minds was published in Education Week

October 3, 1999: PBS TeacherSource featured ArtFul Minds

during the month of October in the Arts and Literature

section of their site.


October 2, 1999: ArtFul Minds won the Wishing Well Web Page

Excellence award.

September 24, 1999: ArtFul Minds has been awarded a

"Blue Web'n!"


ArtFul Minds has been awarded "The Busy Educator's Award",

will be included in an upcoming issue of The Busy Educator's


This winning site has a pathway to other opportunities for

recognition which is an example of the "life of its own" for

many ThinkQuest sites.


*School Library Media Specialists Recognize TQ Jr. Site

Do We Really Know Dewey?

The School Library Journal's December 1999 issue includes an

article about the origin of the TQ Jr. site on the Dewey

Decimal System ( The

article by Walter Minkle [Web Site of the Month] quotes the

mentor, school library media specialist Suby Wallace as

looking at the ThinkQuest site and saying:"WOW!".

She encouraged the six girls who worked on the site with

resulting in a useful, interesting product widely recognized

in elementary and secondary schools, as well as in public

libraries. Wallace and the students are now gearing up for a

site on Bette Greene, author of _Summer of My German Soldier_

(Dial, 1973)


* Languages Used in Entries: 34!

Dr. Grant Beglarian, Director of the Partners Program,

categorized the entries by languages. He provided the

following listing of the 34 languages used in addition to


Afrikaan, Alaska Native dialects, Arabic, Bosnian, Bulgarian,

Chinese, Czeck, Dutch, French, German, Huilliche, Hungarian,

Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Marathi,

Mongolian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian,

Setswana, Slavonik, Spanish, Swedish, Tagalog, Thai, Tswana,

Ukrainian, Xhosa and Zulu.


4. E L E C T R O N I C S C H O L A R" S N O T E B O O K

(C) Copyright 2000 Patricia Libutti, ThonkQuest Cybrarian

This Month:

A Focus on A National Partner's Opinion: My TQ and Net Safety

Partners have been entering into a vigorous discussion of

My TQ and its contribution to safety on the Internet for

students. Below is an excerpt from one opinion, published with

permission from Lars Erik

Nilsson of Kristianstad University, National Partner for

ThinkQuest in Sweden.

"Though I share your concern for children's safety I look

very differently at the problem. To me there is no such

thing as safety on the net or anywhere else for that

matter. If I had to chose between letting my students out

in the physical world and on the net I would not hesitate

to chose the net since I consider it a much safer place.

Before My TQ was initiated, ThinkQuest did not have a

project environment. All students that entered ThinkQuest

had to work directly on the open Internet. If they made

interviews, contacted people or entered chats it was

either through their school net or on the open Internet.

Restrictions have been put there by the schools or parents.

To me the creating of the My TQ project environment

means that we are actually getting a safer environment and

also a better working environment for teams.

Helen [Wong, TQ Partner from Hong Kong] notes that the

safety only is reactive not proactive. It does not prevent.

I am happy that we don't send out illusions that we can

offer an environment that can prevent adults with ill

intentions to enter. There is no such possibility for

simple reasons. You can never be sure of what adults will

have ill intentions...

There is a large market out there for those who want to

live on our fears and try to convince us that they can

filter away the dangers. We made a study of filters in

Swedish schools only to notice that students easily could

get around them. This years finalist team "Computer

Ethics" illustrate how difficult it is to filter out what

you don't want,

They show great awareness of the problems. In a normal

Swedish school with children from 30 or 40 languages it

is almost impossible to filter out things you do not want

since you might then accidentally erase a lot of words in

other languages that are appropriate. I am pretty sure that

we all have that kind of problem.

The problem of prevention and filtering also gets

complicated by the fact that we may not agree on what

should be filtered. During my years on the net involved in

educational projects there is in fact not much that

teachers and parents have not asked me to remove. Safety

just isn't an absolute and especially not in a project

that ranges from kids to almost adults where some will

want to discuss what the parents of others will not want

their children to hear. The filter, if any, must be at

home and at the places where students engage in different

activities. For my part I want to teach my own children how

to behave in society and on the net to avoid situations

that are bad for them. At the same time as they have grown

through the years I have had to let go an inch at a time.

That has not been easy since I am a worrying father and

have been a worrying teacher. The only hope then has been

that I have taught them well enough and discussed with them

deeply enough to make them responsible.

...The fact that we can trace activities and reach

persons through IP-numbers at least might scare away some

people with ill intentions. Besides that we can only hope

that the students that enter ThinkQuest have been trained

well enough to avoid situations they don't feel

comfortable with and if necessary to report them. Thus

stating my opinion I am glad that the ThinkQuest staff has

started to work on and given on the first project

environment for ThinkQuest. That is something I have

wished for a long time. May we study it closely and

devote time to evaluating this environment. That way I am

sure it can be continuously improved...Yes, even then we

can't prevent but the likelihood that an intruder will be

spotted and unveiled and reacted on is large enough to be

the best prevention I imagine anyone can offer.

That satisfies me."

Thank you, Lars Erik Nilsson, Swedish Partner, for your

considered opinion. Next month, The Electronic Scholar's

Notebook will feature the opinions of Teams on their process

of idea origination and research style. These opinions

are the result of responses to an e-mail interview, and are

rich in directions for other students to ponder and use for


This issue of The ThinkQuest E-Newsletter was written and edited by Patricia Libutti, assisted by Andrea Papa.
Technical assistance was provided by Paris Treantafeles.
ThinkQuest is a program of Advanced Network & Services, a non-profit corporation whose mission is to advance education by
accelerating the use of computer network applications and technology.

(C) Copyright 2000 Advanced Network & Services, Inc.

All rights reserved.



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