Gillispie students participate in global learning experience


By Jeanie Scott


This fall, The Gillispie School has been participating along with 44 other schools on six continents in Rock Our World, a global learning project started in 2004.

That year, Joe Morris, Gillispie’s director of educational technology was named an Apple Distinquished Educator for organizing the school’s one-to-one laptop program that enables each second- through sixth-grader at Gillispie to work on Apple laptops. As an honoree, he had the opportunity to meet Apple award winner, Carol Anne McGuire, who founded the international project that connects students through music composition and film making and live videoconferences.

In a press release, Morris noted the “project continues to open the lines of communication between citizens of various countries and states that normally would never occur.”

On Nov. 19, the Gillispie second graders, their families and teachers enjoyed the final phase of the three-month-long project in which they worked with other children around the world to create a unique song that includes lyrics taken from poems written about peace.

The initial project focused on creating music together using the Garage Band program, since music surpasses all language barriers. The schools add a music track to a simple drum track sent to them. They continue to rotate the song throughout the various schools, adding different tracks until a complete song is composed. Along the way the schools participate in live video chats.

During one of those video chats, the Gillispie students spoke Spanish to students in Mexico while the students in Mexico answered in English. The final “gathering” featured a live multinational webcast that included music, pictures, animation and discussion about peace with more than 20 schools from all over the world.

The faculty involved included music teacher Linda Jacobs, technology and media Literacy Teacher Laura Jean Moore and Spanish teacher Carol Radchik.