I spent some time last week talking to some people from The Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education at Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey. They have an impressive portfolio of 20 K-12 curriculum projects that make the Internet a lot more than the simple though large library that is the extent of usage that many educators put it to. These projects use I"Internet-based real time data to engage students in doing authentic science investigations with a quantitative analysis component." They tell me that these projects are currently used by 100,000 students from 35 countries around the world. I can easily see why.
The collaborative projects involve students collecting data locally and sharing it globally. There are middle school and high school projects. If you can boil water and use the Internet to communicate at all (seriously) you can participate in these projects. Imagine having your students share their own data with data from around the world. Talk about broadening their experience outside their own community.
The real time data projects allow students to find out what is going on in the world outside their neighborhood and in their own backyard using scientific information that is provided in real time over the Internet. Where was the last earthquake in the world? Or the last one in your state or country? There is a project for that.
These are great projects that have been well tested and tried out. This organization has been helping teachers with Internet based projects since 1988. That's experience. Do you know a science or math teacher looking to bring some of the real world into their classroom? Perhaps something to make science more real to support the theory? These are projects well worth looking at. Good stuff.
[By the way I am actually on vacation so response to comments and email will be slow. This post was written earlier for display later.]
I really enjoyed looking at all of the different projects that are available. The project about measuring the circumference on the earth by using shadows was fascinating. If I taught anything from high school geometry and on down, I would be absolutely all over this project. I am also very interested the geography applications using Google Earth that could come about because of a great idea like this one.