Hilites Information


Be sure and check out our Web pages at http://www.gsn.org. You'll find
lots of useful projects, activities, ideas, and resources there.

    It is simply the best collection of high-quality
    classroom-based collaborative learning projects you can find
    on the Internet. Not only do we moderate all projects
    submitted to HILITES, we also comb the Internet finding and
    posting the best collaborative learning projects we can find.
    It's low noise-to-signal ratio makes it the best place to find
    projects from every place on the Internet.

    We also have reciprocal posting arrangements with many other
    networks around the world, so that when you post your project
    announcement to the HILITES list your project will have the
    widest possible audience.

    Send a message with "subscribe hilites" on the first line of
    the message to majordomo@gsn.org

    Send "unsubscribe hilites" to majordomo@gsn.org

    YES, provided your project meets our general criteria (see
    below). When we post your project to hilites@gsn.org we also
    cross-post it to a variety of lists around the Internet and
    the world. Your project announcement will see the widest
    distribution possible.

    Send your project announcement or call for collaboration to:


    In general, your project must be well defined and include
    specific goals and outcomes, suggested activities, and a
    timeline, and your project must also benefit contributing

    (Our article, "How to Design a Successful Project", included
    below, will help you organize your own project; however, it
    is not necessary to use such a formal outline in order to
    have a good project.)

    We MODERATE hilites because we only post announcements
    for projects which meet our criteria.

    Therefore, WE DO NOT POST surveys, questions, requests for
    information, announcements, requests for pen pals or sister
    classes, requests for postcards or "hello" messages, or any
    other messages which do not include concrete learning
    activities that engage and benefit students in all
    participating classes.

    Because we carefully moderate these groups, ONLY THE BEST
    project activities are posted here. Busy teachers with limited
    time appreciate a concentrated newsgroup with a high ratio
    of "good stuff."

   (http://www.gsn.org/teach/articles/keys.2.success.html )
by Yvonne Marie Andres and Al Rogers
    This is condensed from an article published in The Computing
    Teacher in 1990, Volume 17, Number 8, pages 25-28. You can see
    this and other useful articles at http://www.gsn.org/teach/articles/

Over the years, Global SchoolNet (Formerly FrEdMail) Foundation has
evolved a number of guidelines and principles which have led to many
successful collaborative projects involving hundreds of classrooms and
thousands of students. Like many aspects of successful teaching, we
have found that planning is the key to success.

The guidelines  presented below have been  validated in numerous
highly successful classroom based projects on the FrEdMail Network.
These guidelines, along with the template for writing you own "Call
for Collaboration" will help guide you through a successful online
learning experience with your students.

1.   Design a project with specific goals, specific tasks, and
     specific outcomes.  The more specific, the better;  the more
     closely aligned with traditional instructional objectives, the
     better. Avoid "sister school" and "pen pal" projects.

2.   Set specific beginning and ending dates for your project, and set
     precise deadlines for participant responses.  Then, make a time
     line and provide lots of lead time to announce your project. Post
     your first call for collaboration at least six weeks before the
     starting date.  Repeat your call again two weeks before the
     starting date.

3.   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

4.   Use the template at the end of this article to design your call
     for collaboration.  Then post your call to


    and we'll forward it to our international mailing lists for you.
    If you provide us 6-8 weeks lead time, we'll re-post it for you
    again two weeks before the project begins.

     In your call for collaboration, be sure and include:
     - Goals and objectives of the project
     - grade levels desired
     - how many responses you would like
     - contact person
     - Time line and deadlines
     - Your location and complete contact information
     - what you will do with the responses (The best projects provide
       some form of interaction; in any case, be sure you provide some
       form of "payback" to your contributors so they will have
       incentive to collaborate with you.)

     Also, be sure your call includes examples of the kinds of writing
     or data collection which students will submit.  This is important
     to the success of the project.

5.   Find responsible students and train them to be part of your
     project.   You're probably already doing this if you are using
     technology in the classroom.   This will be a big time saver.

6.   At the conclusion of the project,  follow through on sharing the
     results of the project with all participants.
     - If you publish any student writing, send a hard copy to all who
     - Have your students collaborate on writing up a summary of the
       project, describing it, what they did, what they learned, and

       what changes they would make in the project.   Post that
       message on the network for all to see (not just the project
     - Send a copy of this summary, along with project proceeds, to
       your principal, PTA president, superintendent, and board of
       education president.
     - Have your students send a thank-you message to all

This is a Global SchoolNet project template.

It will help you better market your project by giving your readers
clear guidelines and expectations regarding your project.  Teachers
should be able to tell at a glance whether or not they wish to
participate in your project.

Remember, this is only a template. Please feel free to change in any
way which will best suit your particular project.

After describing your project in this format, send it to:


We will post it on FrEdMail, SCHLnet, and HILITES, where it will
be distributed to networks around the world.

--------------------------START TEMPLATE-----------------------------
Please print and distribute this call for collaboration to teachers
you know who may be interested in participating.

Project:       Name of your project

Date:          1 line: Give the starting and ending dates of the
               complete project.  Leave at least 4 weeks before the
               start of the project to permit enough people to respond
               to your call for collaboration.

Purpose:       2-3 sentences: give a brief summary of the purpose of
               your project: What will students who participate in
               this project learn?

Subjects:      1-2 lines: State the curriculum areas which will be
               addressed by this project. Most projects are
               multidisciplinary... list as many as apply.

Grade level:   1 line: Indicate the appropriate grade levels for this

Summary:       1-2 short paragraphs: BRIEFLY describe the project. This
               paragraph should catch the interest of your readers. You
               will have a more detailed description later.

Number of participants: 1 line: Indicate the number of classrooms that
               you wish to work with.

Project Coordinator:
               Give your name and email address. You may wish to
               include your school mailing address and phone number.

How to register: Provide complete instructions for registering with
               you to complete this project. Don't forget to include
               your email address. You may want to request all or
               some of the following information:

        Your full name:
    Your email address:
           Your school:
        SCHOOL address:

    School voice phone:
      Home voice phone:
       Grade(s) taught:

        Hint: When requesting registrations, require potential
              participants to be as specific as possible about their
              intentions to participate. Many teachers will casually
              agree to "participate" and then "forget" or "change
              their mind" or encounter some other problem which
              prevents them from fulfilling their commitment).
In addition to the above call for collaboration, you should consider
providing some additional details.  We recommend the following

Timeline:      Break down your project into very specific steps with
               dates, including starting and ending dates where
               relevant. This should in effect summarize all of the
               important steps of the project described below.

Complete project outline and procedures:
               Describe your project in greater detail. Make an
               effort to be specific regarding who does what: what
               the other teachers and students do, what you do. This
               description should give participants a clear idea of
               what you will expect of them, and they of you.

               This section may be one or more pages in length.