In addition to all of the academic standards, meeting the National Educational Technology Standards NETS is a challenge all teacher face in this 21st century. It may seem a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. With the help of Web 2.0 applications and the access to global participators, we have all the tools we need to create projects rich in content and skills that meet all the standards.
Many teachers get overwhelmed and frustrated as they try to meet and check off each standard on a lesson by lesson basis. This is not the way to do it. By employing project-based learning, online and offline collaboration and web 2.0 tools students and teacher can meet dozens of standards at once and create a love of life-long learning in their students that reaches far beyond the classroom walls.
Last year, my students participated in an international collaborative project. As part of the project, students decided to go after a large corporation who had abandoned a site neighboring our school. The company was charged with dumping hazardous waste, and my students decided to go after the company to clean it up. (See the Project S.C.A.T. post on this blog for more details.) In this project, students made a comprehensive plan, created multimedia products, wrote letters, researched history, interviewed local citizens, researched chemical compounds and more. In one project, they met almost every NET standard in addition to reading standards, writing standards, Social Studies standards and Science standards.