Workshop at the 2001 iEARN conference
in South Africa.
Student participants at the
2000 iEARN conference in China.
Youth Summit participants at
the 2000 iEARN conference in China.
When schools join iEARN, the network is open to all teachers and
students at the school, with resources available for finding iEARN
projects across age levels and disciplines. Participants may join
existing structured online projects or work with others internationally
to create and facilitate their own projects to fit their curriculum needs.
Meet Your Partners in iEARN
We invite new members to introduce themselves
and greet other new members on our forums for connecting people.
Teachers and students must be registered to enter the iEARN
forums. If you have questions on how to use forums, write to
Two good places to start:
(newsgroup: apc.iearn.teachers): This forum is a place for teachers to meet and talk, make
announcements and updates. It is also a place to share initial
project ideas in order to find other people who might want
to help develop a project. As part of their introduction
to iEARN, new teachers are encouraged to post a message
to introduce themselves and describe any special interests they or their class have.
A good starting activity for teachers in iEARN is to write
a short letter of introduction for the Teachers Forum.
This allows teachers to:
- Become familiar and comfortable with the technology
and methodology before taking it to a class.
- Introduce themselves to their counterparts.
- Develop partnerships with other teachers/students
and to make plans for the first student transmissions.
It is a good idea to write your letter of introduction in response to
an existing posting on the forum. By visiting the forum
and spending some time reading entries from other teachers,
you may also find a possible partner with whom you would like
your classroom to work. By introducing yourself in reply to
someone else's introduction, you increase the possibility
of contacts. Don't limit yourself to replying to one person
either. Post replies to a number of people. Be careful to
check the dates of the letters you are replying to as the
person may have moved on if it is an old posting.
Once you have posted your replies, be sure to check the
forum regularly for any correspondence to you. Be sure also
to reply to new people who have posted on the forum. You
can develop many contacts this way and also make these
teachers' transition into the network that much more successful
and interesting. By regularly visiting the Teachers Forum,
you will soon develop contacts with whom you might later collaborate
with on a project.
If you do develop a partnership with a particular teacher
and wish to get your students exchanging introductions,
we encourage you to consider doing so by joining a common
project together. By joining an existing, active
project community, you increase the opportunity for
interaction for both of your classrooms. There are also
some general details you and your partners may wish
to sort out before the students start exchanging messages.
These may include: 1) number of students in respective
classes 2) how the respective teachers plan to incorporate
online exchanges into their classroom activities 3) school
holiday schedules 4) how much time will be spent on
planning and preparing the first transmissions 5) who
will initiate transmission and when 6) date by when
responses will follow. This kind of planning
can be done via e-mail or even on the Teachers Forum
itself as this may draw additional partners into your
planning and activities.
(newsgroup: apc.iearn.>youth: In this forum, young people can meet each other, share ideas
and topics of interest, and consider ways they can work
Though some teachers may prefer to have students enter directly
into an existing iEARN project, the iEARN Youth Forum is also
a great place for students to introduce themselves into the
network, and to become familiar with the technology of iEARN.
An important part of this activity is the students' preparation
of their intitial introductions/reponses. For example, before
logging into the forum, each student might be asked to write
a one-page introduction of themselves, including age, hobbies,
likes and dislikes, description of their city/neighborhood,
and questions they have about iEARN.
It is also very important
that students respond to at least two other students outside their communities as they too will
want responses to their own postings.
Learn About Projects
There are several resources that will help you find out which
projects are currently taking place in iEARN and how to get started
in project work:
- Newsflashes - Every two weeks an online
newsletter is sent to all iEARN educators
via e-mail. It describes new projects and people looking
for collaborators, gives updates on continuing projects,
and is a place to make general announcements. To receive
the iEARN Newsflash, write to firstname.lastname@example.org. (See
sample Newsflashes )
- Project Description Book - This annual
is available to all members of iEARN. Up-to-date descriptions
of projects can also be found in the Collaboration Center: http://collaborate.iearn.org/space-2
Become Involved in a Project
We encourage all iEARN teachers and students to participate in
existing projects before initiating a project of their own. Identify a project of interest and find out if the project is
still active using the steps listed below:
Go to the forum where the project is held or write to the facilitator
of the project.
Introduce yourself, your class/school and reasons for your interest
in the particular project. Respond to recent postings/topics on
All students want and need responses to their messages.
We recommend that your students post 2 responses
for every new message they post.
All iEARN forums are multilingual, though there are also
a number of dedicated language forums for connecting people. iEARN
is also open to hosting additional language forums as interest is
expressed among participants. See the Language
Resource Page for links to various language resources, including online forums,
available across the network.