Thursday, July 26, 2007

Literature-Based Collaborative Internet Projects in Elementary Classrooms

After reading this article, I think I would like to try a Collaborative Internet Project (CIP) in my class. It is a literature-based project where students read specific texts, discuss with classmates, and then shar written responss on project websites. CIP, like reader's theater, rhyming activites, and semantic mapping, involves practices to reinforce the content being taught. Teachers in this study found it to be an innovative method that could be modified to support pedagogical beliefs and curriculm standards. CIP can foster student learning by helping students make connections (which can be difficult to teach), recognize and appreciate others, and become active in their own learning. It also allows students to learn various writing styles and ways of responding to literature. Reading and writing are integral components of CIP.

Internet access is the primary technology necessary to participate in CIP. In the study discussed in this article, teachers from various places (states and countries) as well as a wide range of grades (K-4) particpated using many different forms (individual, partner, group, whole class).

This study reveals a connection between a teacher's constructivist beliefs and technology use. Teachers must learn to view CIP as a practice used to support content. Schools must provide appropriate support and have a commitment to technology. The study was not very clear on whether or not CIP increased literacy skills (more research needed in that area).

CIP is one approach to teaching and learning.

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