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B Intro to Finding
1. Project Types
2. Project Characteristics
3. Locate Projects
and Partners
4. Find Collaborative Tools
5. Register & Follow Through
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B. Finding Projects, Partners & Collaborative Tools

2. Project Characteristics

This page highlights six characteristics of networked projects: curriculum area, experience, grade level, grouping, materials and tools, and time required.

We provide questions to consider under each heading below. Use them either to define or evaluate a project that will most  benefit your class.

  1. Curriculum:   What do I want my students to learn from participating in the project? Is this project the best way for students to learn this objective? Will the project supplement my curriculum, or can it stand alone? What activities should we do as a class before, during, and after participating in the project? Does the project cover more than one subject area? Will the project satisfy my school district or grade level requirements for the subject area? Will students learn more than just technology?

  2. Experience:  What does the project require? Do my students or I need to know how to use email?  Must we know how to attach files, forward email, or set up an address book? Are there any applications that my class must know how to use? Does the project have any prerequisites regarding computer experience, previous  project participation, or curriculum requirements? Does the project require me to use mailing lists or videoconferencing? Do we need to know how to download files or search the Internet?

  3. Grade Level: What grade level is the project for? If the project is for all grades, K-12, how will I make sure that my students are learning the required curriculum for their own grade? How can I vary the project to make it appropriate for my grade level? Does the site offer suggestions for expanding and enriching the curriculum? Will this project meet the needs of all students in my class, or is it for a certain skill level?

  4. Grouping:  Will individual students, contribute their own data, or will they work in pairs, small groups, or as a whole class? Will all students work on different parts of a research project, or will they all conduct the same research and produce a similar contribution? Does everyone in the class participate, or is the project designed for only a few students? Who will consolidate and report the information?

  5. Materials and Tools: Is Internet access a necessity? do students need email accounts?  What computer applications and hardware is needed? Will students have to use a scanner, videoconferencing software, or a camera? What data must students collect? Are resources available for students to conduct the required research? Does the website tell where to get the items needed for project participation? Who will be responsible for getting the materials needed?

  6. Time:  How many times must our classroom communicate with the experts and/or other students involved in the project? How much time will I be spending on facilitating communication between my students and other participants? How much time will it take to print out the needed information, make copies for all students, and explain project requirements? Can students access all needed information on the web, or must they have hard copies? How long is the project scheduled for? Will any session breaks or holidays interfere with the project schedule? How long will it take students to gather the needed data?  How much time will be spent preparing for, participating in, and analyzing project results? How much time will be spent at home and in class collecting and organizing data?

Finding Projects and Partners will direct you to some of the best resources on the Internet to find a project-based learning activity perfectly suited for your students.

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