Technology should not duplicate what can already be done without technology. It is a waste to use a computer as a textbook. Often PowerPoint projects are no more than a replacement for the report that the students used to do on paper. In some cases the watered-down version in the completed PowerPoint leaves you wondering if the student really learned anything.
Technology can open the windows of the classroom to the world in ways that no textbook could. Connections to people and places far from the classroom are possible and compelling. Through this type of a project students can learn reading, writing, and even math while expanding their ability to think and communicate.
So, how does a teacher go about finding an online project in which to participate? First, start with curriculum. What do the students need to learn? This summer I traveled in Greece to various archaeological sites and wrote a blog. There are classes that read my blog and learned about Greek history and archaeology. They wrote comments to the blog to guide me in what questions to ask the archaeologists that I met or to give me ideas of what pictures to post. Because it is a blog the pictures will stay up on the web available for other classes. This is not something that matches the curriculum for every class, but there are some classes that can directly connect to it.
After you have chosen what standards you would like to address with a project choose one that will work for you. If it is your first time doing a project you may want to choose something simple and short. There are several places online that list projects. Here are some of them:
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