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 your goal
2. Identify tasks
3. Create a timeline
4. Identify resources
5. Enlist help

4. Identify Resources

What we want and what is possible don't always match. Our first reality check might be to create a content inventory list.

List all the items you will need to accomplish your goals. These items can be software, digitized photos, animation, specific tasks, content. Then determine whether you already "have" or "need" that item. Once your resource requirements are written down, it is much easier to see whether your original goals are doable.

A sample inventory list might look like the following:

Content Item Task Have Need
Video footage Obtain
Edit
Digitize
X
Animation Obtain software
Learn animation
Create animation
Prepare for Web
X
Photographs Prepare for the Web
Digitize
X

When you're reviewing your list you should be aware of the following items:

  • Does this item rely on technology you're not familiar with? This will happen in almost every project. The problem arises when you have to learn too much in too little time. A good rule of thumb: If you need several hundred hours just to learn how to animate a 3-D logo...simplify.
  • Do you have a lot of content that is going to require permission to use? This is also to be expected. But, be aware. It takes quite a bit of time to formalize permission, and you must have all permissions complete prior to going public with your project.
  • Do you have to produce original content; audio, video, animation, graphics, writing? Each new item takes time to not only create but to work in with the remainder of the content. If your timeline looks a little tight, you might want to look at the content items on your list and determine what is a really a "need" and what is a "want".

The following includes some specific items you'll want to make sure you address as a resource.

Electronic Mail
Since most informal feedback about the project that your students receive will come via email, it is important to have adequate Internet email accounts. Ideally, each student, or team of students, will have access to their own email account to read and respond to correspondence generated by their Web site. Many schools are turning to some of the free email-hosting services for student email accounts, some of which are designed for students. If your students have access to email at school, be sure you adopt a school- or district-wide policy regarding email accounts before you prepare them to go online.

At the minimum, you should be prepared to pass extensive email communications back and forth through your own email account on a timely basis to promote this informal kind of interaction.

Equipment
Compose an equipment checklist. Do you need to reserve the computer lab? Can you borrow computers from other classrooms for the duration of your project? Will the local computer stores loan you some workstations for your project? Will they allow you to use their scanner to digitize images? Many computer stores want to be your friend. For some projects, computer stores have provided equipment, software and experts to help the local schools.

Software
Compose a software checklist to make sure you have the basic applications you need for your project. If you are using commercial software, are they registered legal copies? Have you downloaded the latest version of freeware or shareware from the Internet? Are all the workstations using the same version? At minimum, you will want:

  • a text editor, word processing program, or graphical HTML editor
  • a web browser
  • a graphic converter

People
Think of other people as a resource. In addition to the students and staff at your school, identify the "people" resources in your community. Many businesses have public information officers or public outreach departments. Contact the Chamber of Commerce and your local politicians. They can be very helpful in directing you to the right resources. Does your town have a computer club or a speakers' bureau?

Permissions & Releases
You must obtain the proper permissions for any documents or images that you include as part of your web site.

Since anything your students write or create is considered to belong to them (i.e., copyrighted), you should also require parents to sign a release form or permission slip to publish their child's work on the web.

If you include information or images from other Web sites, be sure to request and obtain permission as you work and then cite them properly in your final Web pages.

Page 1: Define your goal
Page 2: Identify tasks
Page 3: Create a timeline
Page 4: Identify resources
Page 5: Enlist help

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