Six learners from Eastern Cape, ranging from grade 3 to grade 6 have won a trip to the US by jointly designing and producing a winning Web site in the ThinkQuest Narrative Competition.
Their winning website is for an imaginary company organising tourists' visits to the Eastern Cape.
Learners from Cotswold Preparatory in Port Elizabeth and Stirling Primary in East London teamed up to create a Web site that won them First Place worldwide in the "12 and under" division of the international ThinkQuest Narrative Competition.
The annual competition, which attracted 1 200 teams from 26 countries this year, requires teams of up to six learners to create websites of educational value. The best entries are included in the ThinkQuest Library- one of the most visited educational information resources on the Internet.
The team consists of Lithemba and Luzuko, both in grade 3 at Cotswold Preparatory; and four learners from Stirling Primary: Tristan, Ashley and Kai in grade 5 and Holly in grade 6.
Their backgrounds are different: two speak isiXhosa at home, two speak English, one speaks Mandarin to his parents and one speaks Afrikaans; three are South Africans, but one is American, one British and one Taiwanese; some come from wealthy two-car families, others come from townships and use public transport to come to school. ThinkQuest encourages and rewards such collaboration across social and cultural lines.
The learners made use of the ThinkQuest Project Tools which allow collaboration between learners in different locations. In the case of the "Roaring to Exploring Touring Company" they used the ThinkQuest Project space and tools not only to create their own Web site, but also to communicate with each other and gather information.
The ThinkQuest Project environment was created by Oracle Education Foundation with the needs of the 21st century learner in mind – and is provided free of charge to participating schools. One of its most important features is that it is safe. Access is limited to approved educators and to learners who have been approved by those educators.
It provides simple, easy to learn tools to create an attractive Web site but, equally important, allows learners from different schools or different countries or continents to communicate and collaborate with each other.