Global Schoolhouse Home Home Base: Harnessing the Power of the WebIntro to NetPBL: Collaborative Project-Based LearningBuilding Collaborative Student Web ProjectsGuide to Conducting Research on the InternetLibrary of References, Readings and ResourcesTable of Contents
Building a
Collaborative
Web Project
Define
Building teams
Protect your
students
Communication
strategy
Effective
Web projects
Web project
examples
Brainstorming
Development
strategy
Summary
Further reading
Design
Deliver
1. Define audience and purpose
2. Teach something "new"
3. Cite sources
4. Encourage feedback
5. Include reflection pages
6. Balance content with presentation
7. Make it current
8. Keep it simple and accessible
Communications: The Real Power of the Web
A Visit to Hillside School

1. Define your Audience and Purpose

Somewhere near the beginning of your Web project you should clearly

bullet.gif (931 bytes)State your project goals and objectives

bullet.gif (931 bytes)Identify your target audience

This will help your visitors decide if they want to spend time looking through your project, and it will also help them to properly evaluate and appreciate what you are trying to accomplish.

State your Project Goals and Objectives

What do you want to accomplish?
Your first decision is to determine your specific project goals.

Your project design will look quite different depending on the goals. A common mistake is trying to cover too many things, whereas the best projects focus on one or two specific areas. There are many goals from which to choose:

Identify the Learning Objectives
In the rush to "do" the latest hot technology, it's easy to gloss over the required curriculum. Be sure that you and your students know the learning objectives that your project must support.

  • What required coursework will this project teach or supplement?
     
  • Where does the project fit into your curriculum guidelines?
      
  • Is the project aligned with your required curriculum framework and requirements?

Standards & Frameworks

Putnam Valley Central Schools Live Internet Connection Required in New York has assembled an impressive annotated list of Internet sites with K-12 educational standards and curriculum frameworks documents.


Identify your Target Audience

Every project should be presented in some fashion to an audience. In fact, an interested, attentive audience is the cornerstone of any good writing

The vast communication ability of the Internet and Web can tumble down your classroom walls and present an infinite number of different audiences to your students.

Furthermore, this audience is interactive: they can become project allies and collaborators and dramatically change the learning experience.

Therefore, if you intend to incorporate Networked projects or publish your project on the Web, you need to think about your audience.

Some eighty million people currently have access to the World Wide Web. However, do not seek to address these undefined millions: a hallmark of all good writing is to identify and address a specific audience. And this need not be a huge audience... it simply has to be the right audience.

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Your audience does not need to be huge... it simply has to be right!

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As an example, the third graders who manage Hollister School's Weather Watch Project have received only a few messages about their project, but those messages were from residents of their community who complimented them on their accurate weather reporting service. According to teacher D.J. Perry, these few honest comments from people in their hometown have made this project authentic, real, and meaningful to the participating students.

Identify Your Audience

  • other students in your school
     
  • parents of your students
     
  • adults in your local community
      
  • other students in your community or around the world
      
  • potential visitors (tourists) to your school or community
      
  • people who are interested in the subject of your project (i.e., a "scholarly" or "hobbyist" audience)
      
  • Internet community
      
  • general audience
      

 

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Knowing your audience will help you to select appropriate information, vocabulary, and reporting style.

Contact some members of your audience and ask for their advice in your planning. As your project takes shape, ask them to review and provide feedback on the results. This ongoing dialog will help your students to keep their task and purpose in mind during the project, and give them helpful feedback for improving their work.

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Page 1: Define audience and purpose
Page 2: Teach something "new"
Page 3: Cite information sources
Page 4: Encourage feedback
Page 5: Include reflection pages
Page 6: Balance content & presentation
Page 7: Make it current
Page 8: Keep it simple and accessible

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