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  • December 6JKB gift card collection for Ronald McDonald House. Drop off during lunches on Tues. & Thurs. in café or rm 203.

  • December 6Link Leader yearbook photos on Wed, Dec. 7th during your lunch. Meet by the attendance office.

  • December 6Netflix Club will meet Thurs. after school in rm. 42 to watch Disney movies.

  • December 6JSA a political debate club meets on Thursdays after school in room 236.

  • December 6There will be a girls softball informational meeting Tuesday at 7:20am in room 301.

  • December 6There will be a yearbook informational meeting in room 216 Tuesday before OR after school in rm 216.

  • December 6Senior Panoramic Photo Wed, Dec. 14th 2nd hour in main gym. Order forms available next week at senior exits & Activities.

  • December 6Spring Musical, the Addams Family, auditions & informational workshop on Mon, Dec.12th in the choir room from 3:30-4pm.

  • December 6Truth Seekers meets Friday after school in room 207. This is wild card Friday, so bring your own topic.

  • December 6Theatre Central will meet this Wednesday after school in the auditorium.

  • December 6GEMS will meet Thursday after school in rm. 34. Ms. Eier will talk about engineering at Molex.

  • December 6Freshman, join your Link Leaders' “Cocoa & Cram” sessions on Thurs. & next Tues. Meet outside of rm 100.

  • December 6Join Mickey Mouse Club before school thru Wednesday in rm. 221 to watch Lilo and Stitch.

  • December 6Spanish Club will watch Elf on Tuesday after school in room 102. Bring a snack to share.

  • December 6NCHS Show Choir Audition Workshops will be Friday, Dec. 16th 3:30-6pm and Monday, Dec. 19th 3:30-5pm in the Choir Room.

  • December 5Holiday Spirit Week – 12th-16th, Mon: Pj Day, Tues: White Out, Wed: Tacky Sweater Day, Thurs: Scarf & Socks, Fri: Candy Cane Day

  • December 5TC presents Junie B. Jones in “Jingle Bells Batman Smells” Thurs. 7:30pm and Fri. and Sat. at 8pm. Tickets $5.00 each.

  • December 5Holiday Toy Drive ends Dec. 13th. Drop off new toys valued at $10 - $20 in Activities, Main Office, or the Leaning Commons.

Jefferson Jr. High students discuss life in North Korea

Jefferson+Jr.+High+seventh+graders+in+Social+Studies+teacher+Chris+Heffernan%E2%80%99s+class+engage+in+a+Skype+discussion+with+Will+Ripley%2C+an+international+correspondent+for+CNN.+Ripley+is+one+of+the+first+few+CNN+reporters+to+make+repeated+trips+to+North+Korea.
Jefferson Jr. High seventh graders in Social Studies teacher Chris Heffernan’s class engage in a Skype discussion with Will Ripley, an international correspondent for CNN. Ripley is one of the first few CNN reporters to make repeated trips to North Korea.

Jefferson Jr. High seventh graders in Social Studies teacher Chris Heffernan’s class engage in a Skype discussion with Will Ripley, an international correspondent for CNN. Ripley is one of the first few CNN reporters to make repeated trips to North Korea.

Photo Source: The Chicago Tribune

Photo Source: The Chicago Tribune

Jefferson Jr. High seventh graders in Social Studies teacher Chris Heffernan’s class engage in a Skype discussion with Will Ripley, an international correspondent for CNN. Ripley is one of the first few CNN reporters to make repeated trips to North Korea.

Ana Turner, Staff Writer

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In District 203, kids are introduced to new opportunities through the use of technology within the classroom.  With the introduction of this new technology, such as the Chromebooks, Naperville students are presented with more opportunities than ever to learn.

The district and its teachers have found ways to integrate this technology into their everyday lesson plans, which has opened up new doors for communication between Naperville and once closed-off places like North Korea.

An example of this wider communication was during a lesson about North Korea at Jefferson Junior High School.

After the seventh graders studied the secretive country, their teacher, Chris Heffernan, wanted to expand their learning. Hefferman discovered that CNN had a reporter in North Korea, so he contacted that reporter, Will Ripley, to see if Ripley would be able to talk to his students about the country.

“CNN was broadcasting that they had a reporter that was currently in North Korea and on a whim I messaged him and said if you ever have the chance we would love to Skype with you,” Heffernan said.

After Ripley agreed, the obstacle of setting up a time began. Ripley is currently based out of Tokyo which is a 14 hour time difference from Naperville. After continuous emails, Heffernan and Ripley set up a time.

On Thursday, March 16, the Q&A took place. At 7 a.m. students arrived to ask Ripley questions about what life is actually like in North Korea, how he got access into North Korea and what places he was not allowed to visit while in North Korea.

Even though it was Heffernan who set up the Q&A, it was open to all students and teachers.

Amanda Bert, another seventh grade social science teacher, talked about her feelings towards the experience.

“It was really exciting for me and especially for my students,” Bert said. “We had just finished our unit of study on North Korea, and to say they were left with more questions than answers is an understatement.”

Although this is the first time a Skype Q&A has taken place within his classroom, Heffernan has had experience with worldwide communication in previous years.

“Years ago, I did a video conference project where we hooked up with schools all over the world,” Heffernan said.

Heffernan set up this project so his students could connect with other kids their age from all over the world. The students would stay overnight in order to ask questions of kids in different countries such as China, Japan and Uzbekistan.

With Heffernan’s experience, the Q&A was appreciated by staff at Jefferson. Megan Ptak, the principal at Jefferson, was pleased with the way the Q&A connected the students studies to the real world.

“I think it was a great learning experience for the students and tied in nicely with the curriculum they had just finished learning,” Ptak said.

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Jefferson Jr. High students discuss life in North Korea