2. DIFFERENT KINDS OF COLLABORATIVE
Where students communicate through traditional mail,
email, chats, forums, video conferencing or other
Project : Holidays and Festivals Around the World
In this project, students will learn how holidays and
festivals are celebrated all over the globe.
This project is designed so that it can be done as a
single classroom project with students collaborating in
pairs or small groups and using various sources such as
books, the Internet and the ePals student forums for
research, or, if you have access to email in your
classroom as a collaborative email project.
3. INFORMATION COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS
Many projects involve the collection, analysis, and sharing of
information. If you live in a rural area, connect with an urban
school. If you live in the mountains, exchange ideas with
people who live on the coast.
At CIESE (Center for Improved Engineering and Science
Education), we can find lots of great data collection science
For example: The Square of Life Project
This Internet-based collaborative project will allow your
students to share information about the plants, animals and
non-living objects found in their schoolyard environment with
other students from around the country and the world.
Identify living and non-living things in their school yards.
Share their findings with other participating classes.
Look for similarities and differences in the reported data.
4. PROBLEM SOLVING
In many projects, students are faced with a problem
to be solved. In solving the problem, students may
need to organize information into charts or graphs,
make notations on maps, or analyze data.
National Math Trail involves problems with math
and Classroom Anatomy involves human body
5. TYPES OF PROBLEM SOLVING ACTIVITIES
Peer Feedback Activities - ask students to collaborate
through sharing ideas and providing peer review or
clues in solving a problem.
Parallel Problem Solving -allows students to work on
similar problems at the same time and share their
Sequential Problem Solving -involves students in a
series of problem solving activities over time. Each
problem may build on others.
Telepresent Problem Solving -involves students
working through problems live.
Simulations -let students explore real-world issues
without the consequences of impacting the world.
Social Action projects - let students have a real impact
on the world.
6. LOCATING PROJECTS
Explore Directories : Use online resources to help you find
Collaborative Projects from Education World
Internet Projects Directory from Lightspan's Global SchoolNet
Finding Collaborative Projects on the Web from Savvy Cyber
Teacher, Stevens Institute of Technology
Interpersonal exchange websites:
ePALs Classroom Exchange
Gaggle.Net - email for kids
Others directories and lists of projects:
Class2Class from Math Forum
Classroom Projects from CIESE Online
KIDPROJ from Kidlink - all curricular areas
7. EXPLORE SEARCH ENGINES
You can also use search engines to locate projects.
Open your favorite search engine, and use the
following words to help you find projects:
topic (or content area) + keyword
epals key pals
collaboration online projects
student project video conferencing
online activities chat
email project student forum
Flat Stanley online discussion
travel buddy data collection
8. SELECTING PROJECTS
There are many types of online collaborative projects
across all grade levels and content areas.
As you select a project, ask yourself.
Why is this project important?
What does this project do that can't be done in a
How does this project provide a unique experience
for my students?
9. PROJECT SIZE
You have to now size of your project and if the
project will be done between teachers, classes,
small groups, or individuals.
The Teeth Project is a small project that involves
student sharing information about their teeth and
teacher using email to communicate this
The Multicultural Project involves students
individually submitting their ideas through email
10. PROJECT LENGTH
Also you have to know if the project will be a one-
shot, short term, long term, ongoing, or flexible
One Shots: Groundhog Day, Space Day, ReadIn,
Short Term: Iditarod, Journey North
Ongoing: Math Project
11. PARTICIPANT BACKGROUND
There are many questions which you have to ask before
starting with the project:
Does the project include people from similar or different
What about the location of the people?
Are there other considerations such as socioeconomic,
age, gender, and personal interests?
Does the project fit your grade level?
Are the materials and activities age appropriate?
Will students find the project interesting and motivating?
Do the participant backgrounds fit your needs?
12. CONTENT AREA FOCUS
Social Studies projects can involve cultural understanding,
community, country, world, past, present, future, time,
movement, people, places, ideas, and multiple perspectives.
Cultural Projects: Holidays, Multicultural Recipes
People Projects: My Hero
Math and Science projects can involve topics such as life,
physical and earth science, scientific inquiry, math in everyday
Reading and Writing projects involve students in sharing book
reviews, discussing chapters of books, and writing alternative
Writing: Through My Eyes, KidWriters
Interdisciplinary projects combine subject of different fields.
Cross Subjects: Trees, Globe
GeoProjects: Postcard Geography, Electronic Post Cards
Community: Grocery Bags
13. PROJECT RELEVANCE
Is important what relevance will have your project, you can
choose from four types of projects depending on your needs.
Authentic Sharing- involves students in using real-world
resources, activities, and experiences. Students may collect
the data themselves or use existing data sets. For example
you can find good realtime data and primary resources on the
Information Processing- asks students to collect, organize,
analyze, write, and share information. Projects which involve
math and science skills: M&M project , Watt's Up,
o Question and Answer- projects may involve interviews, ask-
an-expert activities. Expert sites : Steven's Institute Index,
Mad Scientist, Expert Central, Ask+ Locator, Ask-An-Expert,
and Ask Thomas Jefferson.
o Interactive projects- involve students in exchanging
information or ideas . For example, the Monster Exchange
involves students drawing pictures and writing stories.
14. APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY
You can use different technology:
Traditional Mail projects involve old fashioned surface mail or snail
mail. Flat Stanley based on the story of a boy who is paper thin and
can be sent through the mail. The Farms Around the World project is
a Flat Stanley project were Stanley visits farms.
Email is one of the most popular technologies used in projects.
Students can send attachments including sound, graphics, and video
Kidlink contains many email projects.
Geoanimals involves sharing visuals.
Online Discussions can be live or delayed. For example, chats and
live video discussions.
In NiceNet you can build your own discussion.
Video Conferencing can bring both video and audio into your
classroom through meetings and other events. You can include
experts in your classroom activities from around the world.
video conferencing directory
classroom conferencing page
15. ADAPTING PROJECTS
Adapt for Resources
Sometimes a project concept is good, but the resources or information
need to be modified. For example, you might use new data, websites, or
books for an effective project. Also consider adding new channels of
communication such as audio, video, or graphics.
Adapt for Best
There are sometimes multiple projects on the same topic. You'll want to
examine each project and take the best elements in building your project.
Adapt for Level
Many times you'll find a good project that's at the wrong grade, ability, or
interest level. Think of ways that it could be adapted for your class. For
example, you might use a different example to guide the project.
Adapt for a Region
Some projects are created for a particular time or place. For example,
the project may be based on a field trip to a particular museum. The key
is to brainstorm ideas and modify the project to fit your needs.
Extend a Project
There are many projects that appear as ideas rather than established
projects. Think about finishing an incomplete project or adding something
new to a project. The key is to update the resources to fit your needs.
For example, there's a great project call TEAMS with many ideas to
16. CREATING PROJECTS
When you're ready to create your own project, use the following
steps to design your project.
Identify a Project Concept
Brainstorm possible topics with your students.
Pick a topic that is appealing to students, meets standards,
involves higher order thinking skills, and enhances learning for all
Choose a catchy theme and title.
Match the project concept to curriculum outcomes and standards.
Identify content, information, and technology standards.
Match outcomes to specific assessments.
Keep the project as simple as possible and practical.
Focus on a few specific questions or problems.
Develop a plan for sharing results.
Set aside lots of personal time for planning.
Be prepared ahead of the project start time.
17. CREATING PROJECTS
Identify the technology that the host and
participants will need.
Select technology for gathering, organizing, and
Design a "Call for Participation"
Create a plan and stick to it.
Plan and try out all procedures,
Create a list of requirement materials.
Develop a set of project guidelines.
Create a list of requirements for the program.
Create a timeline, master schedule, and list of key
18. CREATING PROJECTS
Create a Timeline
Identify registration open and close dates.
Identify beginning and ending dates for the project.
Develop a plan for participant contact and
Identify key dates and times within the project.
Create a Participant List
Create a participant mailing list such as email,
eboard, egroup, listserv.
Create a separate host email account.
Send weekly email updates for communication and
epostcards for fun.
Send reminders and thank yous.
19. CREATING A CALL FOR PARTICIPATION
Overview of Project for Potential Participants
Target Audience, Ages of Participants
Timeline or Schedule (begin/end)
Registration information & Dates
Participant Requirements (location)
Type/Level of Interaction
Format Used (email, chat, video conferencing, forum)
Procedure (project description and assessment)
How to Participate
20. QS TO EVALUATE CALL FOR PARTICIPATION
Is the project title and theme interesting and reflective of the activities?
Are the content and curriculum areas clearly stated?
Are the content area goals and objective, outcomes, and/or standards
Do the outcomes match the activities and assessments?
Is the project summary clear, descriptive, and concise?
Are the activities including information to be exchanged detailed?
Is the target audience, grade level and/or age of the participants stated?
Is the timeline and schedule of the program clearly stated including a
beginning and end? Are registration times included?
Is the type and level of participant interaction clearly described?
Is the technology required complete including hardware, computer/student
ratio, software, and time needed on line?
Is the format used for communication and information exchange stated
such as email, chat, video conferencing, forum, web, and traditional mail?
Are the procedures for the project clearly described and realistic?
Are directions provided for registration and/or participation?
Are the number of participants and size of the project described?
Is contact information included?
Is an email address and website addressed provided?
22. QS TO EVALUATE PROJECT MATERIALS
Are the project guidelines comprehensive?
Are the lesson plans complete?
Do the activities describe what students will do
Creation/Synthesis, Exchange, Evaluation)?
Are classroom management ideas included?
Are student materials (such as worksheets,
guidelines) age appropriate?
Is a list of participants available?
Are student assessments and project evaluations
23. IMPLEMENTING THE PROJECT
Seven Safety Rules for Participants
Use first names only
Provide no personal information
Never share a password
Never agree to meet someone
Tell a teacher about inappropriate messages
Don't attach names to pictures
Ask the receiver before sending attachments
24. Find and Recruit Partners
Start small (someone across the hall or across
town), then large.
Post the project on websites.
Find a teacher in town or online.
Remember, if you send email, plan on only 10% of
the people responding.
When you recruit, use a call for participation.
State specifics such as timeline, technology
needed, and project goals.
Keep the number of participants reasonable.
If you get too many participants, chunk the project
25. Field Test
Try the project out with one school first.
Practice sharing files and information.
Try out your procedures.
Know your hardware and software.
Test the system ahead of time.
Connect with participants through email.
Meet deadlines and send reminders.
Provide help and encouragement.
Stay flexible within your plan.
Design a project headquarters.
Find the project and thank everyone.
Keep in touch with participant
Keep a journal of what worked and what didn't work.
Ask participants and students for help in evaluation.
Start with a small project. For example, you might team
with a teacher in another school in your district or a
teacher you've met at a conference. Keep the project
simple and realistic.
29. Collaboration: Ask-An-Expert
Selecting a Project (why and when?)
Choosing an Expert (examine online resources, read
Preparing the Expert (introduce yourself and the project, ask
about time frame)
Preparing your Students (brainstorm about the topic or
profession, visualize ideas in a graphic organizer or chart,
consider questions to ask)
Designing the questions (generate a list of Qs together, ask
class to prioritize, focus on high-level Qs)
Submitting the Questions (create a short email with an
overview of your class and reason for submission, include a
Q or a short series of related Qs, number them and leave
space in between, create a class email account, put a
student in charge of checking the mail every day)
Waiting for Answering (to avoid a long wait, choose a timely
Beyond Web Experts (e.g. look for an expert among parents)
30. Book Review Projects
How can I find a good book?
Where can my students post a book review?
What websites have ideas for reading and writing
See Face-to-face and Virtual Book Clubs
31. Contests, Fairs, and Publishing: Sharing On The
Where can I find places where my students can publish
projects on the web?
What kinds of contests are available for children?
Hundreds of online publishing opportunities, contests, fairs,
promotions, and tournaments occur every year. Students
enjoy sharing their work with a real audience. Whether
sharing their writing or artistic skills, there are many places
where students can publish their work online. Students love
participating in special events and activities.
What's ThinkQuest and why is it so popular?
Many collaborative projects contain a content element. For
example both Cyberfair and ThinkQuest involve students in
developing meaningful web-based projects. These websites
are then shared this other participates and judged by a panel.
32. Online Annual Events
A great way to help students reach outside their
school and participate in an important activity.
These events provide an easy way for teachers to
get involved with using technology for a practical
How do I participate ?
What kinds of activities can my class do during
What hardware and software do I need to
participate in events?
33. Face-to-Face and Virtual Author & Illustrator
A great way to get your students excited about
reading, writing, and illustration
How do I set up an author visit or interview?
Where can I find authors that will chat online with
How do I plan a visit?
34. Face-to-Face and Virtual Book Clubs & Reading Groups
A great way to get your students involved with reading and sharing,
participating in book clubs and book review projects.
The activities range from formal reading groups to informally sharing
Students begin by reading high-quality trade books that inspire them
to think, ask questions, and make connections to their own lives.
As they read, students record their responses in reading logs. Over
time, each student builds a repertoire of response types that includes
a wide variety of personal, creative, and critical responses.
Student-led Book Clubs
Groups of four to five students share ideas from their reading logs.
As students become more comfortable with the format, their
conversations flow more naturally.
Ideally, a book club is a heterogeneously mixed group, representing
the diversity of gender, race, ethnicity, economic background, and
academic abilities in the classroom. A student's understanding of a
text is enhanced by interacting with other readers.
35. Online Collaborative Projects: Doing a Travel Buddy Project
Starting a Project
Select or create something to share through conventional mail (e.g. Flat Stanley, beanie baby).
Put the sender's name and return address and email address on the object or the box.
Create a list of participants. Or, select an address from the list of participants.
Send an email to be sure that the school still wants to participate.
Mail the object along with a laminated sheet of directions, worksheet originals, a blank journal, a
disposable camera, a book to read, or other interesting activity starters (possibly the weather, what we did
today, what we learned...)
You may want to include return postage depending on the project.
Receiving a Travel Buddy
If the object is a Flat Stanley or stuffed animal, treat it like a visitor to your classroom.
If possible, send an e-mail to the sender confirming that the mail has arrived and estimating a date of
Have student volunteers take it home and complete the journal or activity.
Be sure to send the object to the next person on the list or the sender as soon as the project is over.
Consider including a souvenirs with the project such as a T-shirt, maps, stickers, pin, or photographs of
the experience. Include photos or videos of the experience.
Tips for Success
Be sure to label your object before sending it out. Include your name, address, and email address.
Figure out the most durable, but cheapest way to send your project.
To save money, send your Flat Stanley as an email attachment and forget traditional mail.
Only use student's first names in corresponding with other schools.