Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Telecollaborative Projects

Are you and your students finished with the boring research projects? Do you want your students to start thinking globally? Telecollaborative projects are the way to go! By using sources such as iEARN and ePals, students are able to share their work with a global audience. They have the opportunity to discuss their work with other students around the country or even around the world! These web resources are a great way to add rigor to your classroom in an exciting way! Telecollaborative projects offer a project-based learning approach that connects classrooms in over 200 countries.

If you browse the ePals homepage, you will immediately see various opportunities for your students such as discovering different cultures and discussing natural disasters that take place around the world. You can even search for projects by topic, age, and language. For many of these projects, it will be beneficial to take the county wiki or blog course.

iEARN offers wonderful opportunities to collaborate with different classes around the world. The purpose of many of their projects is to enhance learning and make a difference in he world by participating in service-learning projects. To start, you need to search for a project that you can integrate into your daily instruction. They ask that you try to answer the question, "How will this project improve the quality of life on the planet?" Even though I have found some really interesting collaborative projects such as connecting Math to our lives, an electronic school magazine, and a local history project, this program comes at a cost. It costs $100 per classroom or there is a larger fee if the entire school would like to participate. Teachers are also required to take a short online course, before they can have their class participate in the projects.

I found an article in the Learning and Leading in Technology magazine. It describes a project using Museum Box, another online tool that can be used to "jazz" up those boring research projects.

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