The Global Schoolhouse conducted its first
networked project in 1984, on the old FrEdMail
Network. Over the years since this first project
we have evolved time-proven principles and
guidelines for successful projects. Like many
aspects of successful teaching, we have found that
planning is the key to success.
Your first networked project can be fairly
simple, and the steps are not complex. This
section shows you, step by step, how to plan,
organize, and conduct your own simple networked
Check out examples
of other Networked-based Projects.
It doesn't really matter how you approach
creating your project. You might have:
- a subject in mind
- a product you would like students to create
- an outcome you desire
A successful collaborative project can begin
from wherever you are. From your starting point,
proceed to planning.
Identify a Project
Based on a subject you must teach, a product
you want your students to create, an outcome you
desire. We suggest that you define specific
project tasks and outcomes rather than rely
Review the Literature
Become familiar with the wisdom that already
exist on the subject. These articles, books and
Web sites will give you insights, tips, guidelines
and templates to help you design your projects.
For more information, check out our GSH
Articles on telecollaboration.
Set Goals, Tasks, Outcomes
Design a project with specific goals, specific
tasks, and specific outcomes. What do you want
your students to learn? What do you want them to
do? What will the final product look like?
Align your goals and objectives with required
instructional objectives and curriculum
Be sure your project has "payback" for the
participants so they will be co-learners with your
students. Don't just ask for information and
contributions to your project... look for ways to
involve your partners... even if it's only sharing
the final product you create.
Plan to involve 3 or more other classrooms. If
one or two teachers fail to meet their obligation
the project can still be successful with the
If possible try your project out with a close
colleague first, on a small scale. This can help
you troubleshoot and solve both technical problems
as well as problems with the basic project
Maximize your Audience
The most satisfying exchanges occur when
everything you write on your side is read by
everybody on the other side. This is one reason
pen pal projects aren't nearly as successful...
there is only one reader on the other side.
Therefore, look for strategies for writing to the
entire group on the other