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Collaborative projects

Collaborative projects involve several groups of learners, usually classes from different schools, working on a common topic. Many are available covering all science topics. To feature your project here, please contact alexa.joyce@eun.org.

What are collaborative projects?
In a collaborative project, several groups of learners - usually school classes - from different locations focus on a common topic for a specified time range. Have a look at the list of collaborative projects open to schools.

The four seasons project: a collaborative project run by Xplora
The project brings together science and culture.For the scientific part, students are invited to note the exact time and compass direction of the sunset, on special astronomic dates - the equinoxes and/or the solstices. Sharing measurements with other schools will help your group to make interesting scientific conclusions.

Read the full description of the four seasons project.

Post all questions you have by writing to the project's mailing list address: fourseasons@xplora.org.

How are collaborative projects working?
The project starts and ends synchronized at all participating locations after a short preparation time. During the preparation time, the groups normally get in contact by email. There should be documentation available online, so the groups are informed about the topic of the project.

What is needed?
In most cases collaborative projects contain a regular physical project meeting at some location, requiring funding for travel and hosting. Furthermore a web site is needed, where the project documentation is going to. The results of the actual period goes to either local web sites (school home pages) and are linked to the project server or are uploaded directly to the project server. Some projects even publish a printed annual report.
Most important for the project is a steering group, which assists in working out the project idea as well as maintaining the web sites, triggering communication and assist in any potential problem solving.

What are the benefits of a collaborative project?
Collaborative projects are useful wherever in the school curriculum a project work style is recommended and where the participants need to exchange information from different location.

In this sense a database project might be the kernel of a collaborative project, but with the special additions described above. In this case the benefits from database projects are valid in collaborative projects as well.

So what are the specific benefits of that what goes beyond a database project or is to find in pure non database driven collaborative projects?

These are mainly found under the following bullet points:
• Teach children to communicate with partners abroad
-Learn some social rules, adapted to the internet.

• Use a foreign language to communicate a science topic.
-Ideally nobody in the project is native speaker.

• Underline the importance of the topic by the geographical distribution of participants.
-When many locations have the same problem to work on, it cannot be trivial.

• The need for internet transportable documentation causes children to use ICT.
-The project partners want to see what is happening at the other location.

• A physical meeting strengthens the corporate identity of people from different locations, ideally from different countries and cultures.
-A common project topic focuses personal views and therefore easies mutual understanding.

• Collaborative projects are normally structured subject integrating.
-Subject integration can be a wonderful method to raise children's motivation for the targeted subjects.

• A collaborative project is normally accompanied by some PR activity.
-The PR activities normally not only influence the children's motivation but give a participating school a good chance to improve the teacher-parent relationship.
-The school image towards the local society improves.

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