A Short History
© INTERNATIONAL ICT SEAGULLS PROJECT
February 25th, 2014
The Turkish Center for Schools of Quality which was founded by Hayal Köksal and John Jay Bonstingl on 22nd January, 2000 in Istanbul, made a decision about participating as Turkish Delegation to the “2001 EXPO-Young Scientists’ Project Competition” organized by NYDT and EXPO-conveners in South Africa. It was an on-line competition and focal issue was “archaeology”. With two member schools (Gaziantep South Fırat High School and Istanbul Eyuboglu High School), we participated in the 2002 EXPO and Turkish projects; Assos and Zeugma, won 2 golden medals. As a result of this achievement, The Ministry of Tourism and Culture honoured both our Center and project schools with the “Honorary Medal of Tourism”.
The following year, 6 projects registered for the 2003 EXPO, however, due to some problems in technology and assessment process Turkish teams could only get 1 silver medal. Upon this situation, we, as the Turkish Center for Schools of Quality, decided to start our own project at the national basis and we turned into our own values. We applied our own assessment system procedures to those 6 project teams and distributed awards in three categories: Gold, Silver, and Copper Seagulls Awards. Seagull; is the symbol of Istanbul and Bosporus along with the commitment of Jonathan Livingston. That step was the starting point of the ICT Seagulls Project. I always remember the great support of my dearest Dost, Prof.Dr. Ümit Serdaroğlu (Father of Assos). He was our first advisor and permanent judge. He left us in 2005 due to a heart problem and passed away. After 2005, we have been giving a special award to one of the most successful ICT Seagull team.
In 2004, we restructured the ICT Seagulls Project. The İmece Circle system was improved, focused on we b page design and it was registered legally with that format. The project is collaboration based, not rivalry or competition-based. Continuous improvement, team spirit and positive feelings are the main ingredients. In that year, there were 5 project teams within the process. With the great support and collaboration of Microsoft Turkey, we provided a good platform to the participating teams. Mrs. Şeniz Ciritçi, the PİL Coordinator of Microsoft and Mr. Mehmet Nuri Çankaya were always with us. During the Award Ceremony in Istanbul Hyatt Regency, our international judges; Prof. John Jay Bonstingl from USA and Dr. (Mrs.) Vineeta Kamran from CMS, Lucknow, India, Mr. Mark East from MEA Microsoft, and Robert Green from Microsoft UK took part in and they contributed a lot to the “Professional Improvement” of the teachers concerning the technology use in school.
In 2005; 24 project teams registered but only 16 of them could complete the difficult journey. In 2006; nearly 50 projects registered but only 31 of them could design their web pages. Each year, project has been modified. This is a very important characteristic of this project. Nothing stays the same on earth! Then, why a project should stay the same forever and ever? We all know that quality means continuous improvement. The project is based on PDCA Mindset (Plan, Do, Check, Act) as everything is on. Our project also has evolved. For instance; in 2006 we added Kindergartens, NGO circles and also international circles to the project. We added peer-assessment (20%) to the evaluation process and teams were asked to include Turkish and English Power Points to their web pages to inform the international partners.
There were some other changes in 2007. We tried a huge collaboration with the Educational Technologies Department of the Ministry of National Education and Microsoft Turkey. Through a signed protocol, we trained 171 teachers from different regions of Turkey as the Coordinators of ICT Seagulls Project. Those coordinators were supposed to train their peers in their cities and schools through a specially-designed Training CD of ICT Seagulls Program. With this program, teachers would train new generations who are skilful at problem solving, teaming, sharing and caring. 171 teachers could only lead 93 projects. The Award Ceremony was held by the Ministry in Ankara. It was a very nice sharing event. Nearly 1000 students and teachers contributed a lot to the ceremony. However, due to some financial and administrative problems, state school teachers and students witnessed some difficulties.
When we reached at the year 2008, we preferred leading the schools alone. In addition to Microsoft with the support of 22 organizations we handed in the awards of ICT Seagulls during the 11. International Convention on Students’ İmece Circles which was held with the support of CMS and WCTQEE at Yeditepe University, Istanbul. Out of 32, 4 of the projects belonged to private schools. Our NGO partner (TEGV) had prepared 17 projects from different cities of Turkey. 8 projects were from South Africa and one from India. For more info, please visit: http://www.hayalkoksal.com/konvan. You can see the names and photos of the teams on Assessment and Archive sections.
In 2009, we finished the sixth year of the project. The most exciting change was the registration of the disabled teams. We feel honour for empowering the challenged ones. We set 60% of the assessment result to the peer-assessment. Furthermore, web page design was not the only sharing tool for the teams. We also included in; blog design, drama, case study presentation and art. Another important change was in the topic. We included in the “Improvement within your own school”. Thus, students were seen, accepted and empowered as the change-agents. They could manage and measure the rate of change in their own schools. 25 projects registered and only 19 of them could finalize their projects. One of the outstanding projects belonged to our Sivas team. They dealt with the problems of Vocational School graduates in Turkey. A team from the eastern part of Turkey had prepared a drama for their Atatürk Project which was very impressive and it was worth of Prof.Dr. Ümit Serdaroğlu Award. The project for the disabled students conducted by Little Angels High School from India was also very admirable.
In 2010, we wanted to point out the special importance of Istanbul which was elected as the “European Cultural Capital City” and the importance of ARTS for our students. There was also a reduction in the weekly hours of Music and arts in the curriculum of elementary and secondary schools in Turkey and we wanted to show the necessity of those courses for the fine spirit of new generations. The main theme was: “Training qualified persons through arts and the Obstacles before it”. Out of registered circles only 20 of them could finalize the journey with success. The “Empathy Circle” of the “Association for Spinal Cord Paralytics (TOFD)”, Muğla University, LAHS Circle and Sariyer VKV High School Scouts were the most attracting ones. The National Award ceremony was held in Enka Schools, Sariyer, and Istanbul with the support of Sariyer City Council and Sariyer Municipality. The supporters of the event were around 20 and it was a very impressive ceremony with the participation of Hindu students of LAHS.
The focal point of the year 2011 were; “Dignity and Fairplay”. Teams were asked to prepare projects removing the concept of “the other” from their environments concerning religion, language, gender, economical status, ethnics, etc. In order to add some colour to the projects we also added the “Fairplay in sports” to the main issues. Out of 23 SQCs, 13 project teams have completed the run. Boğaziçi, Bilgi and Kingston universities were the leading ones of higher educational institutions. Izmir, Kemalpaşa 8 Eylül Primary School, Burdur Bahçelievler Primary School, Tekirdağ, Çorlu, Velimeşe Primary School and Üsküdar Atatürk Primary school were the young students. Muğla Turgut Reis Anatolian high School and the disabled team of TOFD prepared wonderful activities to solve their problems. Budhanilkantha School from Nepal studied on bullying; Tshwane School from South Africa studied Poverty. The Award Ceremony was held on 3rd December 2011 during the Award ceremony of “14th ICSQCC” in Lucknow, India. We have been grateful to the manager-founder of City Montessori School (Dr. Jagdish Gandhi) and the convener (Dr. Vineeta Kamran) for providing us with such a wonderful opportunity.
In the year 2012, the ICT Seagulls projects started with a general meeting at Beyoğlu Educational District under the leadership of Educational Director _ Adem Koca _ and he guided all school principals to be in the Project to solve the educational problems of the Beyoğlu District. The Project topics were; 1) How can we improve the academic and social levels of education in our region? 2) How can social media affect the academic levels of students? 3) How can we establish enviro sensitivity among schools? How do we support our dying world? 4) How can we improve communication skills among our youngsters to remove the humiliation among people and to create awareness about ethics? Even though 20 schools registered to the Project, only half of them, 10 schools could complete their projects successfully. İstanbul Galatasaray High School became the Champion High School and the Champion SQC. Others shared the best awards. They are; Beyoğlu İhsan Şerif Elementary School, Üsküdar Atatürk Elementary School, Burdur Bahçelievler Elementary Schools with 2 İmece Circles, Beyoğlu Okçumusa Elementary School, Nevşehir H. A. İncekara Science High School, Nepal Little Angels High School, Nepal Kathmandu University High School and London Kingston University. The awards were presented to the winners at each school before their students and teachers.
In 2013, it was thought that the 10th year of the Project would be the “Proud Year” and then it would be ended. Project themes were;
- Leadership problems everywhere,
- Environmental problems,
- Ethics and Technological safety,
- Love, respect and tolerance,
- Empathy for the disabled.
Only 5 teams could finalize the project successfully. They were:
- Nevşehir Hüseyin Avni İncekara Science High School, www.nevsehirdeisraf.com
- Istanbul, Beyoğlu, Okçu Musa Middle school, http://patidostueller.blogspot.com
- Burdur Bahçelievler Primary School, http://kucukliderler.blogspot.com
- Boğaziçi University, www.mindhuntersbogazici.com
- Nepal Little Angels High School, http://sqcelevate.blogspot.com
The “Proud Year” Award distribution took place in Lucknow, India, City Montessori School on 30th November, 2013. During the Annual Meeting of the Council, I announced that the Project ended, but, most of the Directors General and Advisors of the WCTQEE rejected and they wanted me to continue the Project stating that it was one of the best collaboration and ICT platform for all member countries. Naturally, I could not say “No” to this request and I also promised designing another one concerning teachers, in addition to the students’ project. To sum up; nearly 260 Certified Projects were studied under the leadership of Dr. Köksal and project teachers within 10 years. More than 3,000 school partners (students, teachers, administrators and parents) learned about the quality philosophy and problem solving skills based upon PDCA Mindset which is a general goal for WCTQEE countries on the way of training total quality persons (TQPs). The power of İMECE (Collaboration) is the main source of this Project.
As a result, in 2014, we started our journey with two projects:
1. ICT Seagulls Project for students (SQCs):
ICT Seagulls Projects started its 11th year. The steps for the projects were same. Teachers registered on behalf of their students, because it was a students’ project. Maximum number for the team members was 10. The school principal approved the project and supported the team. Sharing of the steps and outcomes of the Project was shared through Web Pages/ Blogs and PPTs. Two projects took part in from Secondary schools: One was from Turkey and the other was from India, Lucknow, CMS.
2. ICT Leading Seagulls for teachers (TQCs):
ICT Leading Seagulls are university students, student-teachers and retired teachers. Business people, NGO leaders, Local governors, and families were also invited.Proving everything with video-taking was essential in that project. Sharing again would be done through Web Pages / Blogs and YouTube.
Boğaziçi University students from the Faculty of Education participated in the Leading Seagulls Project. 10 circles from the Classroom Management course and 12 projects from the Conflict Resolution Course participated in very creatively. All the projects might be seen from the Archives part.
In the year of 2015, 59 projects completed their journey successfully. They all were the winners. They were as follows:
One project from CMS, Lucknow, India attended the Elementary School Stage. The team were the 4th graders and they have become Young Champions.
Two projects took part in Middle School level: One from Turkey and one from Sri Lanka.
From High Schools 7 teams could finalize their projects. One was from Sri Lanka and the other six projects from Turkey.
Gaziantep University team from the Foreign languages Higher School completed a disabled project successfully in one year period. Other projects belonged to Boğaziçi University and they prepared their projects in one term instead of one year. Out of 99 registered projects, 59 projects were completed. The award ceremony will be held in CMS, Lucknow, India on 5 December, 2015.
Now, we are going to start the 13th year of ICT Seagulls and 3rd year of Leading Seagulls. I am thankful to the supporting bodies of the International ICT Seagulls projects;
- World Council for Total Quality & Excellence in Education (WCTQEE);the president Dr. Jagdish Gandhi, Prof. Geeta Gandhi, all Advisors and DGs,
- City Montessori School (CMS), Lucknow, India and the founding Principal Dr. Vineeta Kamran,
- Human Dignity & Humiliation Studies Network (HumanDHS) and the president, Prof.Dr. Evelin Lindner,
- QUEST-Nepal and Prof. Dr. Dinesh Chapagain and his wonderful team,
- Boğaziçi University, Peace Education Center (BUPERC),
- Bilim Şenliği,
- Tria Bilişim and
- Doğan Reklamcılık.
The Project has NO financial award. The ones who complete the Project learn how to;
- manage time and conflict,
- apply quality tools and PDCA Mindset,
- use technology in a collaborative way.
As is seen clearly, its contributions to the participants are great: The spirit of coming together, sharing and caring, reputation and learning problem solving skills. We share love, respect and tolerance together as sisters and brothers of the world.
We wish GOOD LUCK to every participant. Together we stand!