Andrew Ezzell








AT&T Grant Helps GSBI Revive Virtual Classroom





Sarasota, Fla. – Give Something BackInternational (GSBI) today announced the 2003/04 Global Virtual Classroomprogram, an online-collaboration and website-building contest for primary andsecondary students from seven to 18 years of age, worldwide.

Originally known as the AT&T VirtualClassroom, program ownership was transferred this year from AT&T to GSBI, a501(C)(3) nonprofit educational organization headquartered in Sarasota,Florida. The AT&T Foundation awarded GSBI a start-up grant to support there-launch of both the annual website-design Contest and the program’s popularyear-round Virtual Classroom Clubhouse.

Theoriginal AT&T Virtual Classroom program, developed in 1996, was verywell-received by students and teachers around the world during its four yearsof operation.

“During its last year of operation, more than 19,000 students inmore than 50 countries took part in the AT&T Virtual Classroom,” said JoAnnPatrick-Ezzell, a co-founder of GSBI who, as a former AT&T executive, drovethe development of the original program. “The Virtual Classroom is a powerfulway for students to learn about the Internet, and about collaboration, and howpeople in other cultures live, and think, and learn.”

This year, as many as 100 Global Virtual Classroom teams will useInternet technologies to communicate as they build websites together focused ontopics of their choice. Each team will consist of three schools from threedifferent countries. The winning website in 1999/2000 was created by a team ofstudents from Canada, India and the United States.

Registration for the 2003/04 Global Virtual Classroom contestbegan September 8 and ends September 29, 2003. Team websites will be judged inMarch 2003 by a panel of VIP judges and awards presented in April 2004. Eachgrand-prize winning team will be awarded US $3,000. For more information,program guidelines, or to register for the Global Virtual Classroom, pleasevisit

The Global Virtual Classroom is a program of GiveSomething Back International (GSBI). GSBI is an international non-profiteducational organization incorporated in Florida in 2002. GSBI’s goal is toprovide life-changing, quality educational opportunities to children, youngadults, and teachers around the world.

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What is GVC?

The Global Virtual Classroom (GVC) project is acollection of free, on-line educational activities and resources. It aims tocomplement the efforts of governments and education departments around theworld to integrate technology into their classrooms and curricula and to linktheir schools to the information superhighway.

What is GVC’s goal?

The GVC vision is to empower,enable and connect students around theworld using Internet technology. It aims to teach students three essentialskills they will need in the 21st century:


Cross-culturalcommunication: Overcoming language andcultural differences is a skill that must be learned in today's internationalenvironment. GVC offers a learning experience that we hope will put students onthe road to being good global communicators.


Collaboration: GVC projects offer the chance to learn how to work andsucceed as a team. These are valuable skills that are often hard to learn inschool, yet are absolutely required in the working world. Students are rewardedby seeing their work as part of a greater effort, and by having the resultsposted on the World Wide Web for their communities to appreciate.

Computers: A fundamental understanding of technology is necessaryfor today's students -- tomorrow's leaders. GVC students learn not only how tonavigate the Web, they learn how to use it to interact and communicate, toresearch and create. More importantly they learn to be confident andcomfortable with technology.

To achieve these goals,Global Virtual Classroom provides a variety of free on-line activities suitablefor a wide range of schools' technical capabilities and student abilities. Oneof these activities is right for your students. Sign up today and make theworld your classroom!

Who is eligible to participate?

Any group that meets a few basiccriteria:

Whendoes the 2003/04 GVC Contest start and end? 


September 8, 2003

Contest online registration begins

September 29, 2003

School registration deadline

September 30, 2003

Teams formed and announced

October 1, 2003

GVC Contest 2003/04 begins

March 1, 2004

Contest 2003/04 ends; website submission deadline;

March 31, 2004

Judging results announced

April 19, 2004



Howdo I contact GVC?


You can contact theprogram at can apply to participate in the Global Virtual Classroom program at