Over at TechnoSpud, Jennifer Wagner has been coordinating collaborative projects for nearly a decade. She started by collecting data for a science project, and reasoned that she could use the Internet to collect data from students all over the world. Eight years later, she’s coordinating five projects a year, involving hundreds of classrooms and thousands of students.
Registration is now available for the St. Patrick’s Day Project, where students in grades K-3 participate by counting and graphing the distribution of “charms” in Lucky Charms(tm) cereal. A number of related activites are suggested on the project site, and correlations with content standards are provided. After reading the instructions, any teacher can sign up for free between now and March 9. To be included in the totals, data must be submitted by March16.
This spring also marks the return of the Great Egg Roll project, a team project for multiple classes at the same school. While the project information isn’t online yet, last year’s results are.
We often forget that the Internet can connect people, not just resources. Too often, we treat it like a library, instead of a communication medium. Even simple projects like these can help kids learn that the Internet can be used to interact with the wider world.
Jennifer Wagner, by the way, is one of the Women of Web 2.0, a group of women who help others use the tools of the Internet in an educational and exciting way. They have a weekly show on the Worldbridges network.