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Children's geography/internet project needs help

Children's geography/internet project needs help

Old Feb 22nd, 2001, 07:38 AM
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This morning, NPR reported that the class had received over 300,000 emails.
Old Feb 22nd, 2001, 08:12 AM
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Who or what is NPR? Did anyone who send an e-mail get an auto response saying that no more e-mails were needed from certain particuar countries besides USA?
Old Feb 22nd, 2001, 10:27 AM
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According to the auto response on thurs. feb. 22 the project is still on. They have received 350,000 responses. They are no longer logging in the city and state of responses from USA, but are still recording the locations of new responses from other countries.
Old Feb 22nd, 2001, 03:15 PM
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Old Feb 23rd, 2001, 06:33 AM
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remember me!
Old Feb 23rd, 2001, 09:54 AM
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Can we do it? and keep this message topped for 5 more days?
Old Feb 25th, 2001, 11:17 AM
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top it
Old Feb 25th, 2001, 11:23 AM
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Copy of a recent automatic response on the status of the project follows:

Thank you for sending us a reply. Our project is going very well, thanks to nice people like you! As of today, Thursday, February 22, 2001, we have received 350,000+ replies (about 5,000 - 10,000 per day)! Our note has traveled to all of the continents: North America, South America, Europe Australia, Africa, Antarctica, & Asia and been in EVERY state in the United States. As the note jumps from continent to continent it has visited 134 countries (out of 191)!

Also, we are due to be featured in the March 9th issue of "Weekly Reader" magazine. We have been featured on National Public Radio, you can hear the piece by following this link:

Thanks again for your help!

Have a super day,
Ms. Thompson &
The Thrilling Third Tribe
Greenbriar Academy,
Durham, NC, USA


Old Feb 26th, 2001, 04:42 PM
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Dear Carol.

You may wish to consult a lawyer as to the legality of what you have just done. Had you used the U.S.Postal Service, this would have been considered a 'chain letter' and I have been told it is illegal.

You should also have consulted with your Internet Service Provider before attempting such a project. Are you aware that some ISPs would suspend your account for your starting this kind of activity? These useless exercises waste an incredible amount of Internet resources. And as someone pointed out, it is very easy to spread a virus this way. I ask everyone here, please do not respond to letters of this kind in the future.

Old Feb 26th, 2001, 05:07 PM
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To Gluck:

1. I did not start it.
2. I was merely passing it along for a teacher-friend of a teacher-friend of a teacher-friend.
3. The project clearly had a legitimate educational purpose.
4. I am a lawyer.
5. Internet communications are not at this time governed by the same law as interstate mail.
6. Lighten up.
Old Feb 26th, 2001, 05:18 PM
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Happy to oblige, but good luck finding me - I'm not on many maps! My "home town," at least part of each year, is St-Cirq-du-Bugue, France. Good luck with this one!
Old Feb 26th, 2001, 05:42 PM
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Thanks, StCirq. It will be on its way to you soon.

P.S. I enjoy your posts and I loved visiting the Dordogne last fall!
Old Feb 27th, 2001, 04:21 AM
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I was aware when I posted that you were very likely not the person who started it. But then, I do not know you 'you' are, anymore than you know who 'I' am, anymore than you know who the teacher friend of a teacher friend is. 'Carol' could be someone posting as whoever. This is one reason why such projects

Yes, internet service is not governed by the same laws as the U.S. mail. I used that reference because the phenomena of chain letters have been around for a long time.

If you do the math, and multiply 350,000 by the approximately 3 seconds it takes to send an email, little Ms. X's third graders have just used up approximately 269 hours of Internet line time to do a geography project for which they could learn a lot more by studying a simple globe and atlas.

You say you are a lawyer. I say I am a computer systems analyst. Case closed, as they say in your profession.

Old Feb 27th, 2001, 05:25 AM
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Misguided school boards cut book budgets and order more computers than anyone truly needs. The internet is still barely regulated. Shallow people who barely know a speck of history or literature or natural sciences or foreign languages make millions because they are computer whizzes.

Computers are a poor substitute for books and personal contact and paper art supplies and the outdoors. But since the computers are already there, let the elementary school classes use them. The children have at least as much right to "waste" hours of computer time for their project as all the computer junkies who use e-mail for every insignificant thought that they would not bother to write in a $.34 letter and a lot more than the commercial junk e-mailers. Let's hope that if their snowballing e-mails do cause problems to computer systems, that potential to cause problems will be part of what they learn from the "geography" project.

Twenty years ago the class might have floated notes in a bottle at the shore in hopes of receiving a response years later. That caused seashore litter.

If this project smells fishy to you, don't participate. Personally I would not have participated if my source whom I've known for over 30 years hadn't been sure of her source, etc. But really, some things truly are well-intentioned. There's enough meanness and evil around without imagining even more.
Old Feb 27th, 2001, 05:54 AM
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NPR, for XXX who asked, is National Public Radio.
The project is legit, just check the link provided in one of these posts and listen to the NPR report.
When I was in school, we did a similar project with notes attached to helium balloon, initiated by the same type of teacher. Her name is/was (?) Mrs. Madek and I can still remember the stories she told about her travels. She used this method to instill a sense of wonder about what was beyond our small town. A project like this goes beyond anything text books alone could teach. It certainly worked for me! If participating in a project like this one does the same for another child, then it is time and bandwidth well spent as far as I'm concerned!
Old Feb 27th, 2001, 05:57 AM
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FYI: This was the original message from the class in North Carolina
> > >
> > >Hello!
> > >
> > >We are in the third grade at Greenbriar
> Academy in Durham, North
> > >Carolina. We are located in Durham County,
> near Raleigh, which is
> > >the
> > >capital of North Carolina. Our social
> studies teacher, Ms.
> > >Thompson,
> > >is helping us by using her e-mail address as
> our e-mail receiver.
> > >
> > >We have decided to map an e-mail project. We
> are curious to see
> > >where
> > >in the world (which is our topic of study)
> our e-mail will travel via
> > >the Internet. We will be limiting our time
> to the period of December
> > >1, 2000 to March 1, 2001 (only 3 months).
> This is not a pen-pal
> > >project, so we will not write you back
> (unless you request it). We
> > >would like your help. If you receive this
> message, we ask that you:
> > >
> > >1) e-mail back at [email protected]
> and tell us
> > >your
> > >city/state/country/location so we can plot
> it on our map AND
> > >
> > >2) send this letter on to everyone you know
> so that they can send it
> > >on to everyone they know (and so on) to help
> us reach even more
> > >people. (We do not mind receiving repeats so
> send it on to
> > >everyone.
> > >We are tracking the number of responses we
> receive by making a
> > >graph
> > >using the numbers received by state and
> country.)
> > >
> > >Thank you for any help you can give. Our
> e-mail address is:
> > >[email protected]
> > >
> > >Your friends,
> > >Greenbriar Academy Third Grade Students
> > >(Ms. Thompson's Social Studies Class)
> > >Durham, North Carolina
> > >---------------------------------
> > >
> > >
> > >* * * * * * * * * *
> > >Susan E. Pierce
> > >Student Development & Outreach Coordinator
> > >Theological College of Zimbabwe
> > >PO Box 1702
> > >Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
> > >Tel: (h) 263-9-67075, 26311708885
> > > (w) -77039, or -60320
> > >E-mail: [email protected]

Old Feb 27th, 2001, 11:15 AM
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Did a quick search and came up with several online news "articles"/features on this project, naming Greenbriar Academy and Ms. Thompson. Here is one link to dispell doubt as to whether it was, in fact, a legit project:
Old Feb 27th, 2001, 11:16 AM
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Here it an education-related post ... dispel (not dispell).
Old Feb 27th, 2001, 12:14 PM
cmt a.k.a. Carol
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Just in case anyone cares, I'm letting you know that I was wrong when I said the project started Feb. 12. It actually started in Dec. (The chain of e-mails in the mail sent to me went back only to Feb. 12.) Obviously, it took months, not days, for the message to reach 350,000 recipients.
Old Feb 27th, 2001, 01:26 PM
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I was involved in something like this last year, involving a school in Georgia.

You can read more about it at - - and be sure to read about the teacher's misgivings about how something like this can balloon way out of control.

I actually keep in touch with them a little bit, and I think there are a few misconceptions about projects such as these.

It really could reach 350,000 in days - - in fact, with the right charming touch, it could happen in hours. If one person contacts 3 people who contact three people each, etc., and you have 3 9 27 81 243 729 2187 6561 19683 59049 in just ten "cycles".

...but some zealots send these to 10 or 20 or 50 people, and while a percentage are never perpetuated, even a "reproduction rate" of 10 leads you to a million in only 6 cycles. (Note that the techer in georgia started off with 25 initial e-mail addresses).

So, even though I don't actually agree with your being publicly scolded, projects like this ARE wrong; if she really did use Yahoo as her e-mail inbox, they shut her down in no time (probably long before 350,000) - - as they did the school in Georgia.

We should all defend to the death better geography education in America, but chain letter e-mail projects are a bad idea.

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