For students and teachers involved in the Three Pomegranate Network (www.3noor.org)–the 2001 school year will be special. The year will be one in which the eyes of the world will focus on a small country’s milestone in religious history. The year will also mark the continued growth of Three Pomegranates. As students and teachers gain experience and facility with current technologies and the Internet–so too has the organization gained experience and prestige within the education industry. So much so–that this year the Three Pomegranate Network has evolved into something much greater and has garnered global attention. Entering its fourth year–the Three Pomegranate Network is continuing projects under the direction of E4D – the Education for Development Institute (www.e4d.org)–with over 80 Armenian schools taking part–half of which are in Armenia–the remainder spread throughout 16 countries.
Coupled with this growth is the recent recognition by prominent international organizations–most recently–Bridges.org (www.bridges.org) and Knowledge Enterprises–Inc. (www.knowledgeenterprise.org). Bridges.org is an international–non-profit public policy organization based in Washington–DC–that helps people in developing countries and emerging economies benefit from the opportunities offered by information and communications technologies. In its most recent online newsletter–Bridges.org features the Three Pomegranate Network within its "Bridge Builders" column. The Bridge Builders column spotlights the efforts of "an organization working in a concrete way to improve people’s lives using technology." The newsletter highlights the innovative approaches of the Three Pomegranate Network activities–including delivering lessons and collaborative projects to students and teachers from schools where Internet connectivity is not readily available.
The second showcase of the Three Pomegranate Network appears in TechKnowlogia–the international on-line journal of Knowledge Enterprises–Inc. The journal focuses on "the role of information technologies in the development of human and knowledge capital." In an extensive analysis subtitled "Connecting a Society in Diaspora," the TechKnowlogia journal features an article based on research conducted by a World Bank team–describing the Three Pomegranate Network’s program and analyzing its success. The authors of the article base their findings on observations made at five participating schools in Armenia chosen for the case study. They note that students and teachers improved their teamwork–critical thinking–and problem solving skills–in collaboration with other network members around the world. The study published in the TechKnowlogia journal also notes that "the Three Pomegranate Network project serves as a model that other cultures in Diaspora could use to connect dispersed members of their society–while pursuing the development of pedagogically sound education and technical skills."
The skills and experience gained by the E4D Institute are now being recognized and its programs are being promoted as models for other educational organizations worldwide to follow. Propelling its students into new levels of awareness and experience via the Internet and collaborative activities–the Three Pomegranate Network’s programs not only impact the student and teachers that participate but also communities as a whole.