So as I am thinking what I can do next year to create an authentic project for my academic students.
I loved the one that I did with them as a way to discuss ecological concepts, ecosystems and biomes. Students were assigned to teams on TIGed where they were in charge with researching different countries, their age structure diagrams, information about the country and culture, and environmental problems the country faces. The problem with the project was that we had grand plans, but we were looking at the other countries with the eyes of the US and not through the eyes of the people there. In the end I was hoping to create a mini UN with a global environmental bill of rights that was developed collectively. We learned so much in the activities but it was difficult to complete the end project with such a homogeneous group. Regardless, the students learned a lot and loved the work we did.
So, if I were to do this again, it would be great to include schools from around the world. This project would be massive but would be great to have students report about the countries they are in, the biomes/ecosystem/environment around them, problems they face, etc. A global discussion of students coming together to decide what is really important and understand the positions of others would be huge! I am not sure how this will work as there would be so many presentations, etc. It would be powerful to have a huge event on Earth Day 2009 where discussions about particular topics were held.
I have not been a part of a global project before. Is this kind of project feasible and how do you go about finding classrooms who can and will participate in such a thing?
If anyone has some advice or guidance it would be greatly appreciated.
Tags: PBL, authentic instruction, collaboration, project based learning