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Collaborative Projects

Kinds of Collaborative Projects
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In the book Virtual Architecture by Dr. Judi Harris, she describes how to create curriculum based activities using the Internet. In this book, she has divided collaborative projects into three focus groups (Harris, p. 18):

  1. interpersonal exchange
      "Interpersonal Exchanges are those activities in which individuals communicate electronically with other individuals, individuals communicate with groups or groups communicate with other groups. Interpersonal Exchanges include: keypals, global classrooms, electronic appearances, telementoring, question-and-answer activities, and impersonations." (Harris, 05 December 2003)
  2. information collection and analysis
      "Information Collection and Analysis actitivities are those which involve students collecting, compiling, and comparing different types of interesting information. Information Collection and Analysis activity structures include: information exhanges, database creation, electronic publishing, telefieldtrips, and pooled data analysis." (Harris, 05 December 2003)
  3. problem solving
      "Problem Solving activities promote critical thinking, collaboration, and problem-based learning. Problem Solving structures include: information searches, peer feedback activities, parallel problem solving, sequential problem solving, telepresent problem solving, simulations, and social action projects." (Harris, 05 December 2003)

Often there will be overlaps of these three groups within every project. The kind of project that will best fit your classroom curriculum will depend on the learning goals and objectives you have for your students.

Interpersonal Exchange

Ask an Expert
Find an expert and ask a question about school curriculum.
More Than Just Key Pals
This article appeared in the magazine Library Talk, Linworth Publishing, January/February 1999. page 25-27. Find helpful activity ideas as well as where you can find key pals for your students.
NASA Quest
This site brings NASA people, space and science to classrooms through the Internet. Features include chat and video conferencing with NASA scientists.
This is "history through the eyes of those who lived it." History has a personal view point as students read articles written through personal narratives and other first-hand sources.
Mad Scientist Network
Ask numerous scientists from several fields questions or search their archive of science questions.
Ask President Lincoln a Question
Dean Dorrell is Abraham Lincoln's look-alike, and will answer any questions that you may have about this famous president.

Additional Resource Sites

Interpersonal Exchange
Visit Judi Harris's web page to find more examples of Interpersonal Exchanges.

Information Collection and Analysis

Jason Project
Purchase their offline material and follow the journeys of scientists as they explore our world and space.
Journey North
This is a global study of wildlife migration.
This is an example of elementary classrooms working together to build resources for language arts.
Online Expeditions
Observe daily progress and read field dispatches. Best of all, interact with adventurers through intriguing dialogue as they re-enact history—or even make history.
Travel Buddies
This informative article explains how you can create a project where you send stuffed animals to visit schools and/or famous places around the world. Suggestions for information collection and analysis are included. This article appeared in Classroom Connect's magazine.
TENAN, TESAN, and Animal Diaries
These projects collect and share information on endangered animals as well as offering students the opportunity to publish animal stories.

Additional Resource Sites

Information Collection and Analysis
Visit Judi Harris's web page to find more examples of Information Collection and Analysis.

Problem Solving

This international challenge encourages K-12 students around the world to produce an educational web site that tells a story about how their local "community cares."
This project will encourage students to learn geography terms, how to read and interpret maps, and increase awareness of geographical and cultural diversity.
Landmark Game
Choose a Landmark any where in the world. Have your students research facts concerning the landmark and compose nine interesting clues. At the end of the three weeks the school which guessed the most landmarks will be declared the winner!
Monster Exchange
Classrooms from around the world are paired together. The students in each school draw a picture of a monster and write a description. They exchange the written description with the other group of students who then try to draw the same monster relying on only the written description.
National Math Trail
Students create math stories about their community then publish them on this site.
The ThinkQuest Competitions provide a highly motivating opportunity for students and educators to work collaboratively in teams to learn as they create materials and teach others. This is a yearly international competition for students ages 9-19 around the world.
Who Am I?
When students have an audience and a purpose, they want to write and learn. The program supports classroom instruction and gives meaning to tasks that can be boring if done outside a specific context. Its function is to assist teachers in enhancing their existing curriculums.

Additional Resource Sites

Problem Solving
Visit Judi Harris's web page to find more examples of Problem Solving.


Harris, Judi. Virtual Architecture: Designing and Directing Curriculum-Based
Telecomputing. International Society for Technology in Education. 1998.
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