Students Cross Cultures Through Videoconferencing

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Students in 30 K-12 schools around the United States will engage in a cross-cultural exchange beginning in December through a new International PULSE videoconferencing program dubbed "Arab World and the U.S." Sponsored by Global Nomads Group, the videoconferencing program will connect U.S. students to schools in Cairo, Egypt to engage in collaborative activities and exchange cultural perspectives.

"Reversing some of the misconceptions that have accumulated among America's youth since 9/11 requires face-to-face interaction with students of the same age in the Arab world," said Chris Plutte, co-founder of Global Nomads Group, in a statement released this week. "A common misconception is that all Arabs are Muslim, and that all Americans are rich and only care about what is happening within their borders. However, there are Christian Arabs and a broad range of religious minorities throughout the Middle East of Arab descent. And we certainly know that not all Americans are isolationists. Using Polycom's video conferencing technology, students are able to discuss and correct these global issues face-to-face using high-quality, real-time collaboration."

Global Nomads Group is an organization whose aim is to foster "cross-cultural dialog and understanding among youth."

The program will connect the students using Polycom VSX 8000 videoconferencing systems and the Polycom PVX conferencing application using computers and USB Web cams. The sessions will be recorded and archived using the Polycom Readi Streaming Server 2000, which will also provide streaming for the archived content.

The program will be a five-part series of videoconferencing events running Dec. 4 through Dec. 11, focusing on the participating students' cultures, religions, traditions, and histories. Signups for the program are still available, running $110 to $150. Further information can be found at the links below.

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About the author: David Nagel is the executive editor for 1105 Media's online education technology publications, including THE Journal and Campus Technology. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com.

Proposals for articles and tips for news stories, as well as questions and comments about this publication, should be submitted to David Nagel, executive editor, at dnagel@1105media.com.

About the Author

David Nagel is the executive producer for 1105 Media's online K-12 and higher education publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. He can now be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/THEJournalDave (K-12) or http://twitter.com/CampusTechDave (higher education). You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192.

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