A global collaborative learning program for primary and secondary school students

Dallas, Texas, Sept. 14, 2009 — AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) today announced a $49,500 contribution to support the Global Virtual Classroom (GVC). GVC is a free online collaborative learning project that fosters teamwork, creativity, cross cultural understanding and teaches IT and website design skills among students working together from around the world. The support of AT&T helps facilitate the GVC’s website design competition and brings groups of schools from around the world together to work on online projects.

GVC, which is sponsored by the Give Something Back International Foundation (GSBI) and is in its seventh year, is a free online Internet educational program for primary and secondary school students from around the world. It provides an opportunity for students to work with and learn from their contemporaries in other countries, as they collaboratively design a website on a topic of their choosing.  The program is supported by an exciting, new website that includes blogs and numerous powerful online resources to assist students with research on a variety of topics. The website,, also provides technology tools which, among other things, enable students to prepare podcasts, incorporate animation into their sites and creatively develop original art.

Commenting on the 2009/10 program, JoAnn Patrick-Ezzell, Chairman and one of the co-founders of the GSBI Foundation, said: "We thank AT&T and the AT&T Foundation for their support of GVC and their enduring commitment to youth education. Over the years 31,500 students and 1,350 teachers from over 550 schools in 52 countries have participated in the GVC program. As a global company helping to connect millions of people every day, AT&T is an ideal partner to sponsor this program which through the use of blogs, an interactive website and a variety of online research tools, helps teachers and students to harness the power and benefits of technology to strengthen cross-cultural collaboration."

Each GVC team consists of three primary or three secondary schools from different countries.  Once the teams have completed their planning work and designed their websites, a panel of international judges evaluates the final work products and determines the winners.  Plaques and cash awards are presented to the schools of the winning teams and each student receives a certificate of participation.  The Grand Prize award is $3,000 for the winning primary school team and $3,000 for the winning secondary school team. The second place award is $1,500 for each winning team and the third place award is $750 to each team.

More details of the GVC program, the schedule, and the due dates as well as a copy of the online application can be found at

Online applications will be accepted through September 25th, at which time teams of three schools from different countries will be formed and start to work together on their websites.  Beyond the accomplishment of the website projects, these teams will learn how to collaborate across cultures and form new, first-hand understandings and friendships with those from different lands.