|Itinerary & Dates | Who We Are | Technology | Bricks & Mortar | Panel of Experts | Thanks | Links | Why O2B Explorers?|
"Travel is fatal to prejudice,
bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on
these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of humans and things can
not be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's
Beginning in the summer of the year 2000, we will begin exploring the world.Through web-based technology, children will be able to actively participate in our world travels. We will bring with us the technology needed to keep in touch with the children, and will update the O2B Explorers website each week. The website includes journal entries, pictures, and weekly projects. Participating children can send questions and ideas to the Explorers in the field, and help guide their trip. Through this weekly interaction, the children will learn about the world, gain respect for cultural differences, and broaden their horizons.
We want to help children become excited about the world.When they are excited, they will learn. When they learn, they will respect others. When they respect others, they will be better citizens. When our children are better citizens, our world will be a better place.
The O2B Explorers.com website is made up of six main sections.
The Classroom contains fun educational activities for children.
The Journal is updated by the Explorers as they travel and contains pictures and stories from the field.
Photos allows users to view photos sorted by people, places and things.
Track Us is a quick reference map that shows where the Explorers are currently located.
Country Pages contain background information on each country that the Explorers expect to visit. After the Explorers have visited a particular country, the Country Page can be used as a quick reference containing all of that country's pictures, journal entries and projects.
Fun Stuff contains top ten lists from the Explorers and other cool stuff.
After logging on to O2B Explorers.com, users can track our travels, read our journal entries, and view our pictures. In addition, for children or classes that want to become more involved in our travels, O2B Explorers.com includes projects that encourage children to learn about people, places and things in our world while developing valuable skills. The Classroom Projects are intended for children in 3rd through 8th grade. However, anyone is welcome to participate!
Our goal is to update the website with new journal entries and photos at least once a week as we travel. However, we will be somewhat dependant on the technology that we encounter along the way. If we anticipate being in a location that will make the upload/download process difficult or impossible, we will notify the registered users ahead of time.
To participate in theO2B Explorers.com Classroom, children or classes must first be registered users. To register, simply complete the online registration information.
The O2B Explorers.com Classroom is the site's learning hub, and contains a number of activities for children. This section contains Projects, the Explorer Challenge, the Travel Agency, What in the World is This, the Explorer Chat and the Explorer Decoder.
What happens in each individual classroom is up to you!If individual children have ten minutes a day to use the computer, they can log on, learn the Fact of the Day, and try to improve their score in the Explorer Challenge. If groups of students want to work together, they can pick out a project. If a class wants to spend one hour on the project, that is fine. If the class wants to spend the entire week, thats even better! This flexibility allows O2B Explorers to be incorporated into the classroom in a variety of ways.
TheClassroom Projects ask questions for the children to answer, but those questions are meant to be guidelines, suggestions, springing off points for them to explore. We do not intend for the projects to be strictly followed if the students become captivated by an idea, a place, a person or a certain thing, we want them to run with it! Tangents and expansions of the topic are both welcomed and encouraged. We want children to be captivated by the world!
If you have suggestions about how O2B Explorers can be used by classes and after-school programs, please let us know!
Sample Project Ideas
Through O2B Explorers, we hope to engage each child by exploring the wonders of the world. Our goal will be to teach children that learning can actually be fun! Through this learning process, children will learn to understand and respect the world we live in.
These are some of the educational
topics that we'd like to cover during our time in a country. This list
is certainly not all inclusive, but it does reflect a minimum level of
educational value that we intend to take from a country. By preparing
these outlines, we hope to give viewers a general understanding of the topics we'll cover.
We hope that combining our sense of adventure with the
flexibility that we've built into our trip itinerary will enhance the potential
educational value of this site. We will explore the topics below,
and we will introduce new and surprising topics at every opportunity.
also be noted that the timelines for visiting a country should only be used
as guidelines. O2B Explorers may spend more or less time in a country
than is listed.
Select a Country from the drop down menu below to see the outline.
Trip Destinations & Itinerary
The Explorers do not have a specific itinerary. Instead, we want to keep our itinerary flexible so that we can pick destinations as we go based on interesting sites and events, and based on input from participating children. Therefore, we will make minimal arrangements ahead of time. In general, we expect to travel through Central America, South America, Western Europe, Africa, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands. We have researched 79 countries, and hope to travel to each one of them!
Part of our travel will be dictated by fun and curiosity.However, we also will plan some work as well. We will contact various agencies and non-governmental organizations to line up specific work. We may be able to help monitor a democratic election, teach various skills to children and adults, or any number of other odd jobs that will make a contribution to the regions that we visit. All along the way we will include children in our experiences. As a result, children will learn about fun events as well as professional experiences.
Prior to his career as an Explorer, Todd McCray was a consultant for The Coca-Cola Company in the Information Technology Department. He graduated from the University of Florida with a B.S. in Computer Information Sciences and a M.B.A. in finance and entrepreneurship. After graduate school, Todd worked as a consultant for Ernst & Young, LLP and then as a project manager for Imnet Systems. While at the University of Florida, Todd played baseball, and went on to play professional baseball in the California Angels organization.
Kristi Sherrard McCray is an attorney who practiced law in Atlanta, Georgia, primarily representing plaintiffs in employment discrimination and civil rights litigation. She graduated from Emory University School of Law. While a law student, Kristi worked as an intern at The Carter Center in their Human Rights Program and as a law clerk for the ACLU of Georgia. Prior to law school, Kristi earned her B.A. and M.A. from the University of Florida in cultural anthropology.
Technology needed to access this site:
No extraordinary requirements are needed to access the site. The web page and all of its features are just like any other web page and can be viewed by either Netscape or Internet Explorer (Microsoft) browsers. For best results, it is recommended that you use at least Internet Explorer 5.x to browse this website. To get IE 5.x, click here.
We have used the following technology to build and maintain this site:
This section is the most important of all because without the names below none of this would have been possible:
This section is dedicate to links for sources of information on the web that have been extremely useful to O2B Explorers.
www.wired2theworld.com - An executive chef and a primary school teacher travel the world and tell us about it. This site has lots of specific information about what it takes to put together an around the world trip. O2B Explorers found this site very useful. Drawing from their backgrounds, David and Kristina give good insight and interesting perspectives on the places they visited. O2B Explorers especially found the budget, tips and tricks, and technical sections of their site extremely helpful.
By: Doug Ratay
As an astronomer I am struck with awe every time I think about what I know. You could draw a picture or show a photo of anything in the universe from the smallest known subatomic particle to the largest galactic clusters, and I or one of my colleagues could provide a fairly detailed explanation of that object. Is that right? Should it be possible that I, 100kg of organic matter, can describe the inner workings of a galactic cluster, some 100000000000000kg of matter? Either way, it is the case. Why do we know so much? Carl Sagan is attributed to the brilliant quote, "Understanding is beautiful." This is possibly one of the most understated truths of humanity. You do not need to discover a new planet to appreciate it. In everyday life we solve little mysteries like the crossword puzzle, the intricacies of the voice mail system, the right amount of cinnamon to add to the cookies. When we solve these mysteries we feel that little bit of joy in our hearts, because suddenly we understand something new. It's as if nature has hard wired us to want to know more. Throughout history there have been those who have asked big questions. What's over that next hill? What are those little dots in the sky? What happens when I drink this fermented liquid? Eventually answers have been found for those questions. For better or worse, our world today is shaped by the big and little questions that have and have not been asked throughout history. Science, as I tell my elementary school students, is about asking stupid questions and looking relentlessly for the answers. Since everyone has the ability to ask stupid questions and look for the answer, the obvious conclusion to the previous statement is that humans are scientists. Humans are Explorers.
We live in an age where technology makes the world seem about as big as a backyard. Instantly I can download a live feed from a beach in Brazil to my house in Gainesville. However, as people we don't really know all that much about the world. How many people can we claim to meet during the course of our lives. If we met one new person every day for 72 years of life, we would know about 26000 people. That's an astonishingly small 0.0004% of the world's 6 billion people. When you consider that your relationship with 80 to 90% of those people consists of nothing more than a handshake, the number of people you truly know something about lies in the low 1000's or even less. More than likely these people are your family, friends, and people who share many of the same interests as you. They are very similar to you. But what of the other 6,000,000,000? Are their stories important? Can we take something from their lives to make our own a little better? Even if we can't meet them personally, is there a way that the breadth and depth of their lives can impact us?
O2BExplorers can be that way. O2BExplorers takes PEOPLE from all over the world and all through history and brings them to us. O2BExplorers will be able to show the amazing cultural and geographic diversity of the world. What makes O2BExplorers better than the few other online expeditions or traditional travel magazines is that O2BExplorers is interactive and O2BExplorers is designed to educate. O2BExplorers in interactive in the sense that all people who visit the site are as important as the Explorers themselves. The visitors to the site choose where the Explorers go next. The visitors to the site can tell the explorers to look for a person of a certain profession, group, or activity in another country. They can even tell the explorers what kind of food to eat. This is the type of simple inquiry that science and humanity is based on. Why do people live on floating islands? Why do children in Mexico get to vote? What's for dinner in Bolivia? Visitors to the site are transformed into active global learners.
O2BExplorers is necessarily broad. In fact, that is its beauty. O2BExplorers is a natural extension of a liberal arts education. In order to understand ourselves or any other group of people in the world, we must understand history, culture, art, environment, technology, and the relationship between them all. O2BExplorers' goal is to encompass all of this. O2BExplorers is not "mission specific", because neither people nor life are "mission specific". Often it is the tiny experiences in life and not the large scale expeditions that give us the most meaningful experiences. It would be unwise of us to put value judgments on what is worthwhile to learn about other cultures. The Explorers will not be experts in every one of the fields listed above. However, one of their jobs while they are on the road is to be a clearing house of information for visitors to the site. The Explorers will be able to find experts in many fields and put their knowledge onto the site. The Explorers are intelligent, normal people who have a desire to know who and what is over the next hill. That makes them special.