Have your students use traditional and online resources to identify where the Expedition takes place and obtain a clear picture of what it is like to be there. Identify their preconceptions, for during the Expedition your students will discover the accuracy of their assumptions. Assign teams to provide this information in presentations.
Once everyone knows where this Expedition takes place, "brainstorm" this question: “What might we want to learn by following this Expedition?” Have students list everything they want to learn or ask. Refine this list in further sessions, perhaps creating categories such as “Money,” “Food,” “Daily Living,” “Jobs,” “Family Structure.”
Show your students what information is available on the Web site, or practice using an archived Expedition. Decide how the class will obtain information from the Web site (individual reading, group presentations, etc.), how they will choose the questions to e-mail the Explorers, who will write questions and track responses, how the e-mailed answers will be used for learning, and any other necessary team-member tasks. Assign teams to each task. Schedule class time for following the Expedition reports, handling the interactivity, and discussing the gathered information.
This will involve your students in the unique experience of sharing in an Online Expedition. Students who participate in basic decision-making take charge of their education. Geography, economics, biology, and other subjects acquire a fascinating, real-world aura. An Expedition via the Web is an adventure of the intellect.
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Many Expedition sites contain teacher aids. Many sites align concepts to state standards and allow two-way searching (matching concept to standard or vice versa). Some sites contain teacher-specific message boards for communication and collaboration. Some sites have lesson plans keyed to the materials covered.
Many sites contain a wealth of links that provide in-depth learning experiences, customized learning, Webquest creation, and more.
Supplement available site information with local resources. Recruit parents or other community members as Guest Speakers. Faculty or students from a local college may be willing to speak. Field trips to museums or libraries are always an option.
Even after an Expedition ends, its benefits continue. Further reflection can result in interesting class debates, discussions, and personal expressions such as essays, artwork, and multimedia presentations.
Take advantage of the technology. Students can create newscasts or documentaries using nothing more than a camcorder and television set, or they can collaborate on their own Web site using information gathered from their Expedition.

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