"There is no better way to help our students become global citizens than by giving them the chance to learn and work alongside other children from around the world," said Mr Ruarí Quinn TD, Irish Minister for Education and Skills. He made this remark at the welcome dinner of the 10th Asia-Europe Classroom Network (AEC-NET) Conference in Dundalk, Ireland (7-11 November 2011).

Over 100 teachers and students from Asia and Europe participated in this conference. They shared many creative ideas on how they have been using innovative information and communication technologies (ICT) in their classrooms.

The Flora and Fauna Conservation project is one such idea. It was one of the recipients of this year’s AEC Gold Awards. It was coordinated by Ms Felicia Tay from the Pioneer Secondary School, Singapore. The project used the power of internet as students exchanged online information on endangered or extinct flora and fauna species in different countries. Such information exchange raised awareness on various conservation actions from Asia and Europe to save the species.

Other winners for this year’s AEC Gold Awards include Home Seek, by Ms Er Kia Hui from the Millennia Institute in Singapore; and Red listed and Endangered species Database (R.E.D), by Mr Niclas Törnbladh from the John Bauer Upper Secondary School in Sweden.

At the closing ceremony of the conference, Mr Pat Cox, former President of the European Parliament said: “We live in an age of hyper-connectivity”. And in this highly-connected world, encouraging creative ICT projects for education has been a priority for the AEC-NET since 1998. At present, AEC-NET engages more than 1,100 members in 846 schools across 43 countries in Asia and Europe.

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