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Presentation Title: Talking Kites

Your Name and Title: Ms. Ruty Hotzen, co-coordinator, iEARN-Israel
Organization Name: The International Education and Resource Network (iEARN) Co-Presenter Name(s): Ms. Cathy Healy, middle-school educator and iEARN-USA advisory board Area of the World from Which You Will Present: Herzeliya, Israel (GMT +2) and Washington, DC, USA (GMT -5) Language in Which You Will Present: English Target Audience(s): K-12 teachers, ICT integrators, school librarians Short Session Description (one line):

Talking Kites Around the World is a six-year tradition of flying kites tied with messages of wishes for a better world on the March equinox, when a day is equal all over the world.
Full Session Description (as long as you would like):

Every child has the right to have a swing
And every girl has the right to have a doll
But if the times are very difficult,
Let the wind give them a kite
Janusz Korczak (1878 ? – 1942)

The joy of kite-flying is available to anyone with string, a sheet of newspaper, two sticks, and rags for a tail. Talking Kites Around the World takes this simple, universal joy and connects it with the longing of children and adults for safe, peaceful lives.

The Talking Kites program works with classrooms to arrange an annual kite-flying event on the March equinox, when a day is equal all over the world. Children and adults write notes of hope for a better world, attach them to self- or pre-made kites, and head out to the nearest hill or playground to send them aloft. Classrooms in the iEARN network from more than 30 countries typically join the event.

Talking kites was initiated by artis Ad Yekutieli as a tribute dedicated to dialogue through the language of art world wide.

Ruty Hotzen, project founder, will share stories and videos of the project and how educators and community leaders build on the simple kite-flying activity to also strengthen academic and community spirit goals. In Cuidad del Carmen, Mexico, for example, townspeople and community leaders sought an endeavor to strengthen bonds and provide a warm communal memory. The town’s kite-flying event attracted more than 300 primary school children with their parents and teachers and bequeathed an abiding image of closeness and unity.

Ruty will tell how Dr. Janusz Korczak, a Polish pediatrician, best-selling children’s author, and children’s rights pioneer inspired her to create Talking Kites. Korczak, who is being honored by Poland this year on the 70th anniversary of his death, refused to be separated from the orphan children in his care and accompanied them to a Nazi extermination camp.

Cathy Healy will tell stories about arranging for the 6th grade geography students at her Washington, DC, school (César Chavez Preparatory Charter School) to partner via Skype last year with a Dominican Republic school (Pedro Corto). The 6th graders in two countries looked across the miles and saw friends. No more violence. Lots of shelters for people who are homeless. Take good care of animals. Some day the war will end.
“You don’t need to speak each other’s language to understand the message,” said Ruty Hotzen. “Kites are a universal language.”
Many participants in the annual iEARN project say they feel that they are part of a massive community reminder that all humans dream of living in a better world, even when their governments are enemies. The presentation will inspire you to join next year’s event on Wednesday, March 21, 2013, and make a difference.
Websites / URLs Associated with Your Session:
iEARN project description: Talking Kites Around the World:

Poland’s Year of Janusz Korczak from the Polish Cultural Institute, NY:

Pedro Corto, Dominican Republic - Washington, DC, USA flying kites together, video by Celestino Gonzales for Plan International:

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iEARN International Conference and Youth Summit 2012 Session Acceptance

Thank you so much for your session proposal for the 2012 iEARN International Conference and Youth Summit!  We're please to let you know that your submission has been accepted! Your proposal is now in the "iEARN accepted proposals" list on the website. Here are some important tasks for you.

1.  Because we have sessions being presented from all different time zones, as a speaker you actually schedule your own session time at http:// This allows you to see the available slots and to pick something that works within your time zone, work schedule, or other constraints. We're quite proud of how this works, as it is one of the benefits of a virtual conference, but if you should fun into any difficulties finding a time that works for you, email me directly (

We encourage you to do this quickly, as proposals are being reviewed in the order in which they were submitted, so your priority for selecting a session time depends on you scheduling right away. When you do select you time, be sure that the scheduling system has the correct time zone for you!
To schedule your session, you should open http://www.globaleducationconference.comto your presentation proposal (you can do a search on your name to find it, or click on "My Page" in the top menu and then click on the "discussion" link on the left side to find it). Open the session booking link from above in another tab. You will find it easiest to copy the information from one to the other rather than re-type it.  Once completed, you will receive an email confirmation of your booking.

2. As a presenter, you need to make sure you are a member of the iEARN conference "presenters group" on the network website. Most of our announcements to speakers will be sent to the members of this group, so as not to email all site members. Join the group (or check to make sure you're already a member) at

3. Presenters are responsible for knowing how to use Blackboard Collaborate (formerly Elluminate).  We will have a cadre of volunteers on hand during the conference to help with any issues, but you need to go through the moderator training for Collaborate if you are not a seasoned user. There will be a variety of training resources at the GEC Collaborate website, and we email the speakers group in some weeks alerting you to actual live training sessions.

Again, we are so delighted to have you participating in the 2012 iEARN International Conference and Youth Summit.  Thank you!

iEARN Conference Planning Committee


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