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Poskole Conference in the Czech Republic

Ruth and David Ulbrich, Interpreter

Lawrence, Ruth, and David during the presentation

Lawrence and David "Practicing"

Ruth and her Guide Ariana at the Entrance to
Charles University, sponsor of Poskole 2002

On April 12, 2002, with the help of our interpreter, David Ulbrich, Lawrence Williams (Director of Studies, Holy Cross School, UK) and I co-presented at the Poskole 2002 Conference in Lazne Sedmihorky, Czech Republic. Poskole, which began in 1997, is a seminar about computers in school and is sponsored by Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic.

Lawrence began the 90-minute presentation with an introduction to the many uses of technology tools by the Holy Cross School, primarily in drama, art, and music and, more recently, science. I introduced the Glenn Learning Technologies Project (LTP), which includes the Beginner's Guide to Aeronautics and NASA Virtual Visits. (Ruth's PowerPoint presentation) We then paused for questions on the participation of NASA scientists in NASA Virtual Visits and on how teachers in the Czech Republic can become involved.

Lawrence continued the presentation by challenging the audience to explain NASA's involvement with Holy Cross. Our first collaboration was one in which videoconferencing connected Holy Cross science students to NASA scientists/researchers. Through additional e-mail correspondence following this connection, Lawrence recognized the Glenn LTP commitment to real world science exploration, which is shared by Dr. Eric Albone, Director of the Clifton Scientific Trust. Dr. Albone was the organizer of the Japan 2001 Science, Creativity and the Young Mind Workshop held at Bristol University, UK, July 22-27, 2001. Lawrence saw collaboration between NASA and one of the teams at the Workshop as the perfect opportunity to beta test his new ICT Learning Model ( Joe Kolecki, physicist and Mars Pathfinder scientist, suggested a comparison of Mars' and Earth's volcanoes as a topic, which was endorsed and supported by the Earth Science Department at Bristol University.

I completed the presentation by sharing the NASA website developed by Steven Gutierrez to highlight the entire process (, which is the final step of Lawrence's Learning Model. In order to see the site in greater detail, I was asked to continue the presentation in the afternoon for 20 additional minutes. The audience was especially interested in IP videoconferencing and the commitment of NASA scientists to our project. My presentation was dedicated to Joe Kolecki and Eric Albone who were invited to the Conference but were unable to attend.

I believe that the presentation at Poskole 2002 will lead to additional collaborations with eastern Europe. Dr. Miroslava (Mirka) Cernochova (Dept. of Information Technology, Faculty of Education, Charles University) was the organizer of the conference and would like to work with us in two ways: pre-service teacher training and e-mail connections between NASA scientists and children hospitalized in the Czech Republic. Lawrence and I had a discussion with a Czech technology coordinator about possibly scheduling a videoconferencing connection including NASA, Czech students, UK students from Holy Cross School, and U.S. students. Dr. Bozena (Boba) Mannova (Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Czech Technical University in Prague), who was Co-European Woman of the Year in 2001, is also very interested in working with us. Dr. Mannova has strong ties to the U.S. She earned a PhD from M.I.T., and her son (MD) is currently living in Tennessee completing his residency. In addition, as a result of our participation in the Japan 2001 Science, Creativity and the Young Mind Workshop, I have been invited to attend and submit proposals to present at conferences in Spain and Cyprus. For additional information, I may be contacted at or 216-433-9714.

Ruth's PowerPoint presentation at Poskole Conference (Czech Republic)
click here to download power point file)

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