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Harnessing the Power of the Web - Making Networked Projects

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 learning project.

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 Idea

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 on.

Design your Project

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 standards.

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 remaining partners.

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 design.

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 side.

Harnessing The Power Of The Web
Finding Networked Projects
Making Networked Projects
Conducting your Project
Advertise your Project
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