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The World Is Your Classroom!


Share "The Internet overcomes limitations of time and space," said the authors of Collaboration: How to Find, Design, and Implement Collaborative Internet Projects. Find out how your students can work with students from around the world, access up-to-the-minute research data, talk to real subject matter experts, and participate in online discussions, chats, and forums. Experience the magic of the global classroom -- from the comfort of your own!

Book Cover Image Finally your classroom is online and the world is at your fingertips. So what are you going to do about it?

Why not start by participating in one of the online projects in Collaboration: How to Find, Design, and Implement Collaborative Internet Projects, by Betsy Burgess and Patricia Robertson?

Chances are your students already participate in collaborative projects -- within their classroom, grade level, or school -- and you're well aware of the advantages and benefits such activities provide. As the authors of Collaboration point out, however, in those projects "the information, resources and intellectual effort have been limited to just those individuals who could be in one place at one time."

"The Internet overcomes limitations of time and space," the authors of this practical new book from BonusPoint added. "You and your students can reach out across distances to meet other classes, to interact with subject matter experts, to have real-time exchanges of information and data, and to access up-to-the-minute information about almost any topic you wish to explore."

In fact, thanks to the Internet, the world is your classroom! And navigating it is easier than you think!

PREPARATION AND PLANNING

This book takes you step-by-step through the entire process of managing an online collaborative project -- from preplanning to assessing. Then it offers a number of simple projects to get you started.

The first section of the book deals with preparation, discussing a number of basic issues concerning Internet usage. Does your school or district have an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) or other guidelines for online behavior? Are your students familiar with the rules of Netiquette? Is software available to ensure the safety of students and to protect the hardware from viruses? Have you discussed the project with parents and obtained permission for this virtual field trip? Do you have a system for organizing, storing, and backing up data? If the answer to any of those questions is no, this section is full of tips and site suggestions to make the job easier.

After you've gotten the nitty-gritty out of the way, the book provides detailed information on how to plan, select, and participate in a number of different kinds of Internet-based collaborative projects -- using e-mail, listservs, chats, key pals, telementoring, and videoconferencing.

The information, though prolific, is far from general. Detailed technical information and instructions are provided for each type of project. You'll learn

  • which sites to go to and/or which hardware and software you'll need;
  • what benefits each type of project offers students;
  • how to find and join e-mail projects;
  • where to find key pals;
  • how to sign up for listservs;
  • how to post messages to an electronic forum;
  • where to "chat";
  • how to store, analyze, and transfer information;
  • how to share and use information; and
  • how to assess projects. (A suggested assessment rubric is included.)

ON YOUR OWN

If you prefer to design your own project rather than join an ongoing project, Collaboration provides an outline and work sheets to guide you through the process.

In addition, a number of suggested projects for students in grades 4 through 12 model the process for you. Representing various degrees of difficulty and levels of involvement, the projects include objectives, required technology and other materials, procedures, assessment techniques, and Internet resources.

In My School, Your School, for example, students can simply share, analyze, and report on information about their respective schools. Although there are many ways to share the information, all that's really required is an e-mail connection.

In Plants, students can simply use research tools and e-mail to learn and share information about a variety of plants. Or they can go on to create digital images of each plant, conduct surveys, use graphing software to standardize data collection, and participate in chats.

The choice is yours. Whatever you choose to do, however, the online resources, glossary, tips, and step-by-step directions provided in Collaboration: How to Find, Design, and Implement Collaborative Internet Projects, will make it practically painless -- and nearly foolproof.

PUBLISHER INFO Collaboration: How to Find, Design, and Implement Collaborative Internet Projects, written by Betsy Burgess and Patricia Robertson and illustrated by Dale Cavanaugh and Karen Garappolo, is available from BonusPoint.

Article by Linda Starr
Education World®
Copyright © 2000 Education World

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02/28/2000