Front page > Power Tools > How-To > News > Think Global - The World Is Only A Click Away
July 19-25, 1998 Nicole Stockdale, Teachnet Staff

Teachers (and the websites they use) are always stressing the importance of fresh ideas when teaching classic subjects. Since the creation of the Internet, this has become even easier. You already know the benefits of using websites and email to further your information base. But there are hundreds of other ways this new technology is opening doors for educators - and their students. This week we take a look at two projects in interactive education: GlobaLearn and AfricaQuest.

GLOBALEARN - GlobaLearn is an online educational program that mounts expeditions all over the world. At each stop, an adult team of five explorers is hosted by a local school child who writes a personal introduction to the local community. The explorers then go on to explore the history, traditions, industries and physical resources of the community. The information is posted daily on the web, and students have access to journals and travel logs, photos, sound clips of native music and languages and other resources. There are also web chats, a student gallery, and an opportunity to interact with other people using the program.

Teacher registration is free, and each teacher has access to pre-expedition activities, curriculum ideas and links to supplemental information. The journals are divided into three different reading levels to accomodate all levels of students. This expedition has a social studies and history focus to make it easier for teachers to integrate it into their classroom time. The explorers will tour the United States and visit many important historical sites. All information is also available in Spanish.

This three-month-long journey will start in Boston and end up four thousand miles later in San Francisco, encompassing early settlement sites, the nation's capital, the battlefields of the American Revolution and Civil War, and the Western trail of the pioneers.

Teachers can register to receive additional resources including a teacher's manual, expedition-specific curriculum, interactive areas and live web chats, for $95. While the website has a U.S. history and geography focus, the Teacher's Companion materials integrate a wider spectrum of subject areas. For more information, you can visit their website at http://www.globalearn.org

AFRICAQUEST - This is somewhat similar to the format of the GlobaLearn project, but on a larger scale. AfricaQuest is a part of the Classroom Connect website, located at http://www.classroom.com. This is not Classroom Connect's first project like this. They have sponsored the MayaQuest several years before and are now expanding with an expedition to Africa.

The same diverse crew that took on the Mayan landscape in years past will join again to set off for the Great Rift Valley on October 4. And, Classroom Connect, once again, will provide over 200 pages in curriculum guides to help educators make the most of the interactive journey. The cost for registration is $95.

However, you don't have to register to involve your students. AfricaQuest will be modeled after the MayaQuest pages. This project provided a wealth of interesting, introspective information for anyone to view, free of charge. You could follow the group's journey on a map, learn about indigenous cultures and vegetation, and check out the current problems these explorers were having.

That does not mean there is no benefit to registering, though. In addition to the curriculum guide, you could enter your classroom in contests to answer questions in "the Science Stumper" and "Mystery History." Experts look at all of the answers and pick the most comprehensive, complete responses. These are shared, by class name. With this activity and many others, there's no way your kids will not want to learn more about Africa everyday. See for yourself, at http://mayaquest.classroom.com


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