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Over 80 participants and observers from 23 ASEM countries attended the 5th International Teachers' Conference in Beijing, China from 25 to 29 September 2005. During the conference, nine AEC Project Groups were formed to develop their ideas for online collaborative learning projects. In addition, three of the five existing AEC Project Groups would be further developed to include more interesting themes and topics to involve more students. Please find below a list of all twelve AEC Projects:

Body Language in Asia and Europe
This project seeks to foster deeper understanding between pupils in Europe and Asia through the analysis of gestures in pictures. This will lead to greater understanding when Europeans meet Asians and vice versa. The project will also foster amongst participants, a sense of the importance of using foreign languages and an awareness of the importance of participating in international projects. Each student will choose a gesture and write a short descriptive text about the picture explaining the gesture in English and in their mother tongue. The students will then analyse the pictures posted by other countries. The sessions will lead to thought-provoking and inspiring discussions regarding different cultures.
 
 
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Cultural Fiction (Postpone to 2007)
This project is intended to be a virtual book club, where the participating countries take part in each other's most celebrated modern literary genres or authors. Students are encouraged to look for strong literary connections to the local area where their school is situated. Each school thus makes a selection from its country's or local area's most appreciated genres or authors and chooses novels, short stories or extracts from books that have been translated into English. The participating students in each school then continue by reading a selection of the literature proposed by another country and as a follow-up discuss their impressions of cultural issues acquired by this literature. The emphasis is on understanding different cultures through books and not necessarily a literary analysis.
 
 
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Eco-Cultural Tourism
This project endeavours to shed light on lesser-known areas in local communities, which could be of potential tourist interest, particularly from an ecological or cultural perspective. The Eco-Cultural Tourism project will take groups of students from the different countries who will create a tourist experience for 1-2 new or not so well exploited sites in the community so as to promote ecological or cultural understanding. Groups of 6-10 students from one Asian school and two from European schools will participate in the research, formulation of strategies, exchange of information, discussion of improvements, and finalization of the tourist resources for the proposed ecological or cultural sites. The resources created will enable young tourists to better appreciate the ecological and cultural value of these sites.
 
 
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Foodfest@VirtualHomestay
Possible aspects of this project include: food cultures in each country; the best food and eating-places in each country; the school's food culture and family speciality dishes. Students shall also include background/history of the dish, religious relationship and also study the impact of the dish on health. This project will involve groups of 6-8 students from at least 2 participating schools taking part in a virtual homestay. The hosts will plan a 3-day program for students from the other participating schools. Other aspects of the project include online discussions instructions and illustrations. A mini Food Festival will then take place in the schools allowing the students to cook various different dishes.
 
 
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Global Music Composition (Withdrew)
The goals of this project include composing a three-minute piece of music involving schools from around the world with the input of hundreds of students. To study the impact of one cultural addition against another and the utilisation of the technology schools have in order to break down boundaries. A three-minute backing track will be posted on the website to give students an idea about the tempo. The participating schools will then put together their own one-minute composition and post it on the website. The schools will then create a unique and original composition combining each other's work.
 
 
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Local Traditions and Ceremonies
This project aims to provide Asian and European students with an opportunity to discover the traditions and ceremonies that are significant in their countries. Possibilities for discussion include simple popular traditions, practices or ceremonies used for the purpose of fun, along with those used for more formal and solemn occasions. Despite the perceived differences there are also many similarities in the way European and Asian traditions and cultures worship or honour their ancestors and loved ones. This project seeks to enable students to discover, reveal and recognise the similarities that exist through the exploration of these very traditions.
 
 
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Mastering Media
Aimed at senior high school students, this project endeavours to make students aware of and think about their own habits as media consumers and those of young people in other countries. The project aims to move beyond the perception of media as solely entertainment based and encourages the reading of more in-depth news coverage in ‘quality papers'. The project will explore and discuss the often hidden values and other biases of news coverage through the use of surveys, reading newspapers with guided questions, and a discussion forum, the final product of which shall be an essay to be uploaded on the project website.
 
 
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Mosaic
The primary aim of this project is for students to learn about other countries, cultures and how young people live in other countries. The students shall share such information about themselves as their everyday lives, hobbies, family life along with the area and town in which they live. Participating students shall also give details on their country, its history, geography, politics etc. Students shall then in return receive the information posted by all other participants and in doing so can piece these pieces of information together to form an entire picture – similar to a mosaic.
 
 
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Ten In One (Withdrew)
This project is an attempt to discover what each country is proud of, from concrete to abstract, cultural treasures etc. Students would then compile their gatherings into digital-friendly media which would be shared on the website. The project then envisages the creation of a picture yearbook and a commemoration CD containing the invaluable individualistic information about the fellow countries as well as the students' personal experiences of the project.
 
 
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Existing AEC Projects to be further developed:
Cultural Kaleidoscope 2006
One of the AEC Award winning projects at the 5 th AEC International Teachers' Conference, the Cultural Kaleidoscope 2006 project will bring together students from schools in both Asia and Europe for a one-week conference in Kuala Lumpur from 27 February to 3 March. Each school will identify five participating students to be accompanied by one teacher. During the one-week period students will learn more about Malaysian culture as well as the other cultures through various special activities held in the school during this week. There will also be opportunities to learn some local craftwork and to play some traditional games. Students shall collaborate their work in mixed groups allowing them to maximise the integration of their various cultures. The final product will eventually be displayed in all participating schools.
 
 
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Peace Project – Phase 3
One of the shortlisted projects for the AEC Award in 2005, members of the Peace Project will continue to promote the notion of peace through their collaboration. This project is designed to overcome diversity among students with regard to English literacy, age or beliefs. Students will write peace messages, which will then be translated into forms, illustrations, movies or other possible artistic expressions. A students' forum was provided for the purpose of exchanging peace ideas. It is envisaged that this program will lead to a mutual understanding that goes beyond diversity. Intercultural learning will also remain as one of the focus areas of this project.
 
 
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The World in a Book
One of the AEC Award winning projects at the 5th International Teachers' Conference, this project consists of reading activities to be carried out in tandem: the students of two classes of different nationalities share the experience of reading and analysing a literary work written in English and developing its main issues. The books can be of any literary genre. The students should be interested in the book to be chosen, the issues it contains and in collaborating with foreign students through online discussions in order to exchange opinions and ideas about all the relevant elements of the book. They would then find the most effective procedures to negotiate and mediate with the foreign students with the aim of producing common assignments and webpages concerning both the analysis of the book and the personal development of the topics the students are mainly interested in. Their findings would be collated and published on their project website.
 
 
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