Finding Title

 A Framework for Electronic Communication and Collaboration


 Finding Collaborative Online Projects

 Online Project Sampler

Finding Collaborative Online Projects

The following points will provide you with techniques and tips to help you find your own online projects. As you sift through the Web for collaborative online projects, follow these guidelines:

  First and foremost, look for a project that supports your existing curriculum and meets your core curriculum needs. Remember: we're not changing our instructional practices, we're enhancing them. Sometimes, the best thing to do is think of a lesson, topic, or unit that has proven successful for you in the past and that your students have enjoyed. Then log on to the Internet to find sites and ideas that will augment your instruction. (The Searching Smart and The Web as a Research Tool sections of this primer give background information and techniques for using the Web for research.)

  Whatever project you choose, it should be evergreen. Many projects that you find will focus on specific events, such as a solar eclipse or El Niño. These topics are completely valid, but you should start with a project in which you can determine when and how it starts and finishes.

  Look for a project with scope. You might want to start out with an electronic communications project where your students are emailing data to a database that they will be able to access via the Internet. The data might include daily temperatures, air pollution ratings, or the pH of local tap water or rain water. They will plot the information they get from the database on a world or national map. It's important in a project like this that the database provides enough information for students to analyze.

  In any project, you or your students should be able to respond to comments; share information such as data, URLs, lessons plans, and resources; ask questions; and receive answers in a timely fashion. If you find a specific school or classroom with which to partner, electronic collaboration should be quite easy. However, if you join a larger collaborative project or are asking questions of a specific mentor or professional, fulfilling these tasks might become a little more difficult.

Internet Primer
Thirteen Ed Online