Washington, DC (May 5, 1995) – L-Soft international, Inc., announces that KIDLINK is the latest recipient of their Awards for Student Internet Innovations. The award consists of a high-end Pentium system and an unlimited capacity version of L-Soft's LISTSERVTM electronic mailing list management software.
KIDLINK is a grassroots project which gets children aged 10-15 involved in a global dialog, mainly through the use of the Internet and of LISTSERV electronic mailing lists. Since its start in 1990, over 35,000 children from 67 countries have participated in the project.
KIDLINK uses LISTSERV lists to help students find Internet penpals, called "keypals". In public forums, called KIDCAFEs, they discuss themselves, their ambitions, how the world could be a better place, and what they can do now to make all this happen.
Other lists are used by educators operating short and long-term joint projects, such as the recent "Virtual China" project. Classrooms around the world communicated with groups of 7th grade Hong Kong students travelling by bicycle through rural southern China, and to the ancient city of Xi'an – home of the famous Terra Cotta Soldiers.
Teams of students play key roles in the operation of KIDLINK. Some work as WIZARDS, a term for volunteers providing help to all new users. Others help develop Web pages, or participate in the administration of mailing lists.
Susan Lowell, L-Soft's Communications and Marketing Coordinator, says "KIDLINK was chosen to receive the award because it empowers students to build their own world-wide community, giving them a unique opportunity to explore a multicultural environment while providing them with a place to experiment with their own Internet projects".
"Thanks to the donation, we will be able to take full advantage of the World Wide Web technology for our projects," says Odd de Presno, founder of KIDLINK. "For example, by exhibiting the hundreds of items in our Gallery of Computer Art, we hope to make the Internet a more inviting place for the world's children. We expect this to increase student communication through KIDLINK as well."
Knowing firsthand how important it is to support students who are eager to make contributions to the world, L-Soft's Eric Thomas encouraged the company to set up the Awards program earlier this year. When he was 15, Thomas wrote a sophisticated file server from which some of LISTSERV's key functions were later derived. One year later, he wrote an interactive learning program and a set of tutorials for the Palais de la Decouverte, then the largest science museum in Paris. Thomas' contribution helped millions of museum visitors discover the basic concepts of computer programming.
L-Soft has earmarked $50,000 for donations to student groups with innovative ideas for making the Internet more useful to non-technical users. These Awards for Student Internet Innovations consist mostly of high-end personal computers and related equipment, together with licenses for LISTSERVTM. To be considered for an award, student groups should send electronic mail to AWARDS@LSOFT.COM with a description of their association and projects.
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