Community Connections Activity

Projects Teachers Can Join

Inside Classrooms

On-line Project Based Learning
This online exhibition is provided by the George Lucas Educational Foundation. The site contains examples of eight online projects. Each project includes photographs or videos or teachers and students participating in a project.

Selected Projects
Journey North
In this project, students in grades 3–8 track the migratory patterns of different animal species and share their field observations with other classrooms. The project database allows students to search for the sightings of a certain animal and then map its migration route.

GENETICS ProjectThe GENETICS Project is a University of Washington (UW)-sponsored science program with the aim of fostering excellence in the teaching of genetics. The initiative provides K–12 teachers with professional development that promotes inquiry-driven, standards-based, and learner-centered instructional strategies, supported by exemplary materials. The site contains examples of middle and high school classroom activities and related instructional materials.

High School Human Genome Program
The UW-sponsored High School Human Genome Program allows students in grades 9–12 to sequence DNA in their classrooms and contribute their data to the Human Genome Project (a worldwide research effort to understand the basis of human heredity). The goals of the program are to promote a better understanding of DNA research among students, stimulate students' interest in the ethical, legal, and social implications of genome research, and interest students in careers in science. Teachers planning to have students use these resources need to participate in one of the program's teacher preparation workshops conducted each summer. More information is available on the Web site.

DLN: NASA's Digital Learning Network
NASA's Digital Learning Network™ (DLN) shares the expertise of NASA scientists, engineers, and researchers with students in today's classrooms to gain a new appreciation for the importance of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. The goal of the DLN is to enhance NASA's capability to deliver unique content by linking students and educators with NASA experts. The DLN offers videoconferencing or Webcasting at no charge, providing interactive educational experiences to students and educators from kindergarten to university levels across the nation and around the world.

Degree Confluence ProjectThe goal of this volunteer-run project is to post a photograph on this Web site of each of the 13,584 latitude and longitude degree intersections in the world (whole-number values only!). Confluences in the oceans and some near the poles have been excluded. There is a confluence point within 49 miles of wherever you're standing. You can join the fun with a camera and GPS receiver. Participants must create an account or log a plan.

Project DenshoThe Densho Educational Web site gives students access to a wealth of primary source material relating to the incarceration of Japanese-Americans during World War II. Project Densho's partnership with historians at Stanford University produced curriculum to help students and teachers use these valuable resources in classroom activities. This is a powerful tool to bring inquiry-based learning into middle and high school social studies classrooms.

Sites with Multiple Projects
CIESE Online Classroom ProjectsThe mission of the Center for Improved Engineering and Science Education (CIESE) is to help teachers use the Internet, math software, CD-ROMs, computer-based laboratory systems (CBLS), and other tools to create dynamic, inquiry-oriented classrooms that promote achievement of content standards in science and math. To this end, they offer a number of interdisciplinary projects grouped into four categories: collaborative projects, partner projects, real-time data projects, and projects using primary sources and archived collections.

ePals Classroom ExchangeThe mission of ePALS Classroom Exchange is to offer safe, innovative ways for learners to make contact with other cultures. They currently connect over 4.5 million users from 191 countries, speaking 136 languages, by providing built-in Webmail language translation and safety features such as monitored e-mail and profanity filters. All of the tools and resources on the site are free to anyone with a computer, anywhere in the world. The site also offers collaborative projects that students can join, as well as tools for creating projects and contacting students in remote locations.

Global SchoolNetGlobal SchoolNet partners with schools, communities, and businesses to provide collaborative learning activities that prepare students for the workforce and help them become literate and responsible global citizens. The Project Registry has more than 800 online projects providing teachers a chance to collaborate and share learning experiences. The most recent partner programs include "Mosaics of Life" (a global art project culminating in the creation of eight collaborative glass tile murals made up of original art and expressing understanding, concerns, and insights in themes that affect and shape lives both locally and globally) and the U.S. State Department-sponsored "Doors to Diplomacy Competition" (an educational challenge for middle and high school students about the importance of international affairs and diplomacy, with prizes including scholarships, cash, and a trip to Washington, D.C.).

iEARNThe International Education and Resource Network (iEARN) is a non-profit global network that enables young people to use the Internet and other new technologies to engage in collaborative educational projects that both enhance learning and make a difference in the world. iEARN has hundreds of projects to join (some with a nominal joining fee). Some have been ongoing for years, and many have received national/international recognition. An example of a new project is "Proverbs and Idioms." Facilitated by students and teachers in Iran, Pakistan, Nigeria, and India, it is a worldwide exchange exploring the commonalities and differences in proverbs throughout history and culture worldwide.

Interpersonal Exchanges
This site by author Judi Harris is designed to help teachers design and implement curriculum-based telecomputing projects. The Web site is organized into rooms that include resources and links to projects that use various types of communication and information technology. There are rooms for projects involving Interpersonal Exchanges (e.g., keypals, global classrooms, electronic appearances, telementoring, question-and-answer activities, and impersonations) and for learning activities involving Information Collection and Analysis (e.g., information exchanges, database creation, electronic publishing, telefieldtrips, and pooled data analysis). In another room, teachers can search an index of over 500 projects by grade level, date, curriculum area, technology used, and complexity of project. Global SchoolNet calls this "the one central place on the Internet where you can find projects from across the globe to bring into your classroom." This "one-stop shop" contains descriptions on projects from reputable organizations such as iEARN, IECC, NASA, GLOBE, Academy One, TIES, and Tenet. You can also add your own project to the registry.

These resources are duplicated from the Microsoft in Education Innovative Teachers Network website: Peer Coaching --> Coaching Tools -->Community Connections --> Projects Teachers Can Join.

Another Website
A place for K-12 teachers to find other teachers for cross-classroom collaboration.

Other Websites:
Partner with another Country
This is a great opportunity to do a year-long project corresponding with and learning about life in another country. There are ready-made lesson plans, multimedia presentations and project ideas. An expert can come and talk to your class in the spring.

Internet Sites Supporting Project-Based Teaching and Learning