Classrooms Collaborate with Projects by Jen
Position: Online Project Coordinator
Online Site: ProjectsByJen.com
Number of Students in School: 825
Products: Voice Thread, Animoto, Smilebox, Google Docs & Forms, Dreamweaver, Microsoft Office, and the ProjectsByJen site - http://www.projectsbyjen.com/.
The primary ProjectsByJen goal is to seamlessly and effortlessly weave various opportunities of tech into the PreK – 6th grade classroom, while at the same time setting up collaboration activities for interaction.
My first project in 1999 had 125 responding classrooms, most current project over 1300.
Because standards are shared with each project, and the projects can be molded to fit within each teacher’s schedule and curriculum, the response has been positive. I receive emails from teachers, admins, and parents thanking me for offering these projects online so their students can participate. Each classroom is also earns a participation certificate to showcase their involvement.
The learning curve is different within each classroom; however, detailed instructions are provided with each project as well as activities and extension ideas. Tutorials are provided as well as several online community forum areas. If a teacher has any difficulty, there are many ways to get support. If any teacher is creating their own worksheets, etc, they usually share out their ideas there.
How We Use It:
Reviewer's Note: All of my projects can be found here: http://projectsbyjen.com/archives.htm
Most teachers in the Prek – 6th grade level will have some sort of harvest lesson during the last week of October, which will probably involve a pumpkin. The Pumpkin Seed project takes what will already be done and weaves in a math lesson, pumpkin costume show, and many other activities, which can easily be used during this harvest theme time. If a teacher wishes, there are also opportunities for the classroom to collaborate with other classrooms via Skype, e-mail, snail mail, or various other ways. At the end of this project, all results collected are displayed in graph form, available in a downloadable spreadsheet, and participants are placed on a map. This project easily incorporates math, literature, science, art, history, technology, spelling, and more.
ProjectsByJen has 6 more planned projects for the school year, including The Holiday Card project in December, which truly brings the holiday spirit into your classroom in a very geographical way. The St. Patrick’s Day project blends graphing, sorting, and estimation into the K3 classroom. A new project, “Picture This”, where 24 different classrooms will share in creating a masterpiece of collaboration will be hosted for Spring.
ProjectsbyJen is offerered at no charge to classrooms around the world. However, to subsidize website expenses, I do offer a monthly newsletter, Wordle Packets can also be found at http://www.projectsbyjen.com/, along with a book entitled “35 Tech Tips for Teachers”.