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All About Online Projects

by Katie Noonan

What makes a science year memorable for students and teachers? Often it is a special project enthusiastically undertaken by teacher and students together, with surprises, challenges, tedium, successes, failures, and finally a hard-won bit of authentic scientific knowledge they can call their own. Special projects can take many forms. Probably, they draw their life from the genuine excitement and dedication teachers bring to the effort. So, the project must be something you as a teacher believe in and want to do. Online projects are a relatively new type of special project made possible by internet technology. From the beginning Access Excellence has provided a spot for teachers to locate, participate in, develop, and discuss online collaborations. Online projects can be found in many places on the Access Excellence web site: in the Let's Collaborate area, in Discussions, in the AP Biology area, and in email correspondence among members of the AE community. The far-flung locations of these projects reflects the variety of online projects available.

Online projects range from simple correspondence and data-sharing between classrooms to formal research protocols directed from universities. They may be playful, as in the Biome Video and Classroom Anatomy mysteries, or deadly serious as in the monitoring of pollutants in our environment and ultraviolet radiation or the migration patterns of Monarch butterflies. Some require internet access in the classroom, but many do not. They only use the internet to coordinate activities and share results. Some require significant preparation, sending away for materials, and large commitments of classroom time, while others require only one or two class periods. It is safe to say that there is an online project for almost any level of time and resources available to a teacher who wishes to get involved.

Links to Online Projects:

Technology in Education Index

Let's Collaborate Index

Custom Search on the AE Site