Introduction to NetPBL: Collaborative Project-Based Learning
Project-Based Learning
  Tutorial Home
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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2. Visit Example Networked Project Sites

The number of educational web sites and the number of networked based projects increase daily. With so many projects and sites to choose from, it's hard to know where to begin.

To help you, we have summarized some popular websites containing educational projects and organized them into three categories.

Take time to read the summaries and link to all of them. Some of the resources are contained on this CD. Those links followed by a globe Live Internet Connection Required require a live Internet connection.

A look at these examples will expand your knowledge about the kinds of learning opportunities that basic networked projects offer students.

1. Sources of General Projects
2. Field Trip Project
3. Information Exchange Projects
4. Other Project Sources

1. Sources of General Projects

The Global Schoolhouse Live Internet Connection Required
The Global Schoolhouse™ is the "educational pioneer" of networked based projects. This site maintains a searchable database of projects submitted by many sources, including  Global Schoolhouse™, I*EARN, NASA, GLOBE, and individual teachers from around the world. You can participate in any of the ongoing projects, or design your own. Check out the pioneering articles on telecollaboration. The four projects summarized below are just a few of the many projects available at this great site.
  • Geogame index.html Live Internet Connection Required
    Students research geography facts about their city. When they submit their data, they leave off the name of their city, state, & country. All students use one another's facts to figure out where the others live.
  • Project Noon Live Internet Connection Required
    At noon on a given day, schools around the world follow a procedure available on the Web site to measure the angle of the sun's shadow. By exchanging their measurements with students from another school at a latitude far enough away, the schools calculate the circumference of the earth. All participants' findings are posted for viewing, comparing, and learning.
I*EARN (The International Education and Resource Network) Live Internet Connection Required
Students from around the world collaborate to solve real world problems and positively effect the resources and peoples around the globe. They share their understandings about each others' cultures and envision the future. All projects available on the I*EARN site are described in both Spanish and English. These four projects are just a sample of the many projects you'll find at I*EARN.
  • Child Labor Project labour.htm Live Internet Connection Required
    Students research the history of child exploitation and the child labor used to produce goods sold in their own communities. They share their thoughts, feelings and research findings through essays, reports, survey results, and art work. Students prepare materials for those marching in the 1998 Global March Against Child Labor. Project participants are asked to write letters to the ILO and the UNO to speak out against child labor.
  • Faces of War projects/ facesofwar.html Live Internet Connection Required
    Classes interview veterans, refugees and holocaust survivors. They gather data and perform research about lifestyles, conditions and places effected by the wars of our world. Students submit contributions to the WWW. Project tasks change regularly and challenge students to design and share medals, present works on particular themes, and email government officials about war and war tactics.
  • "A Vision" Literary Anthology projects /av.html Live Internet Connection Required
    Teenagers illustrate their hopes, fears, and concerns through art and creative writing (in their own language). Students learn that people of different cultures share many of the same thoughts, feelings, and dreams.
  • First/Indigenous Peoples projects /fp.html Live Internet Connection Required
    Indigenous students collaborate with each other and their non-indigenous peers on research projects. They share writing and art work and communicate to learn about one another. Each month a different student's artwork and writing is showcased on the Internet.
ThinkQuest® Live Internet Connection Required
An annual web project contest for students ages 12-18 that has them build an an interactive teaching tool on the Web. Winners receive $25,000 scholarships; coaches can get up to $5,000, with another $5,000 going to their school or institution. Winning projects are available on-line.
Project co-NECT Ops/ Projects/ Live Internet Connection Required
Co-NECT sponsors projects that you and your students may participate in with other classes. These projects are interdisciplinary, focused on real world authentic issues, force kids to think and solve problems cooperatively and use technology to extend and enrich the learning process.

2. Field Trip Projects

A person or group travel to a place or participate in an exciting event while communicating their experiences through written reports posted to a Web site, email, videoconferencing, and/or multimedia. Students become traveling companions, asking questions and providing suggestions for travel routes. Travelers perform research to report answers and enlighten students about what they learn and the resources they encounter. Virtual field trips allow students to vicariously visit and learn about places, people, and events they cannot experience first hand.

Classroom Connect Live Internet Connection Required
Classroom Connect, a reliable source of much good information about the educational uses of the Internet, sponsors regular "adventure treks" each year. Two recent examples:
Global Online Adventures Live Internet Connection Required
Travel with Amalia, the first woman to sail around the world, or go on a two-year cruise with the three Laffitte Brothers. Your class can follow these and other expeditions while communicating with the travelers, reading their reports, and accessing the sounds and sights they come across.
Globalearn Live Internet Connection Required
Explorers in South America shoot videos, stream audio, and take lots of pictures of the people, animals, and places they visit. The multimedia informational reports these explorers post to the web site allow students to learn about the customs, talents, geography, and resources of the locations they visit. Students have the option of following one of the explorers or the whole team. So much information is provided for each location that this project can be used for almost every curricular area.
Adventure On-line $ Live Internet Connection Required
Provides on-line expeditions to distant places, such as Arctic, Central America, and Egypt.
Passport to Knowledge aboutptk.html Live Internet Connection Required
An ongoing series of electronic field trips to scientific frontiers via interactive television and the Internet for middle schools. Supported by NASA, the National Science Foundation, and PBS K-12 Learning Services.

3. Information Exchange Projects

Some projects ask students to contribute poetry, stories, experiences, thoughts, or other writing or they ask students to investigate research questions. Teachers work with their students to gather information, perform research when needed, and report results.

Students learn to appreciate each other's cultures, contributions, and customs. Sometimes students help experts with important research by reporting scientific phenomena in their area. Information exchanges prompt students to contribute to world-wide research. They learn that their contributions are valued, necessary, and utilized.

Judi Harris has developed a more detailed classification in her Network-Based Educational Activity Structures.

The Roadkill Project Live Internet Connection Required
Join Dr. Splatt to collect and share data about the diversity and numbers of animals killed on highways. This environmental monitoring project raises awareness of fragmented wildlife corridors as it documents an often-overlooked environmental situation. The Roadkill Project is one of several at EnviroNet, including BatNet, CoyoteHowl, SaltTrack, Vernal Pools, and others.
Global Grocery List ggl.html Live Internet Connection Required
A pound of hamburger, a gallon of unleaded gas and the average cost of housing are just three of the seventeen items on the Global Grocery List.  Class averages computed from individual student research are submitted and available on the Web site. The Global Grocery project has been in existence for ten years. Students compare their price list to those of earlier years and to other states and countries. Since not all countries use the same monetary units, or the same scales for weights and measures, often students use conversion resources.
Earth Day Grocery Project Live Internet Connection Required
Students take action to encourage their local community to "Save the Earth". They approach managers from local grocery stores and ask for paper bags. They then decorate the bags with artwork and environmental messages and return them to the local grocery store. Stores use the bags to pack groceries on Earth Day. Teachers send a short email, listing their school, location, and how many bags they decorated. Student artwork from around the world, the widespread effects of this project, curriculum ideas, and a whole lot more are available at this Web site.
Save the Beaches Live Internet Connection Required
Students visit a local beach and conduct a cleanup. They paint a picture of their local beach and analyze the waste they collect by submitting a data form. Project questions help teachers to process and interpret classroom data as students compare their litter collections with others around the world. Based on their findings and interpretations, classes suggest actions for cleaning up beaches. Bonus project ideas help teachers who want to further enrich the curriculum content of this project.
The Journey North Internet Connection Required
A free seasonal project that has North American students tracking seasonal changes and migrations... south in the Fall, north in the Spring. Students observe and report data on animal migrations and changes in temperature, flora (leaves budding or dropping), fauna (fur, hibernation), etc. When pooled with data from other students across America, students discover first hand the significance of familiar phenomenon. Many related activities and data sharing stimulate discussion and exchanges with other classrooms.

4. Other Project Sources

Maryland Virtual High School Internet Connection Required
A source of several good collaborative project ideas: Boiling Point, Tap Water, Carbon Dioxide Monitoring, Earthquakes, Sound, and Shadow Tracks projects.

Step 1: Learn about networked projects.
Step 2: Visit example project sites.
Step 3: Consider these project characteristics.
Step 4: Find your project.
Step 5: Register and follow through.

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