iEarn stands for the International Education and Resource Network. Begun in 1988, iEarn is an internet-based, not-for-profit organization that enables teachers and students from around the world to collaborate on interesting, creative, and meaningful educational projects. Participants come from over 125 countries and include students from over 30,000 schools. The projects supported by iEarn encourage online collaboration through the Internet and other communication technologies such as e-mail, Skype, blogs, and websites.
At any given time, there are several hundred ongoing iEarn projects. Here are some examples:
Beauty of the Beasts (https://media.iearn.org/projects/beautyofthebeasts)
This is a global project in which children are asked to “capture the grandeur and magnificence of animals indigenous to their areas through original artwork and poetry”. Original student work submitted is compiled into a worldwide exhibit, and then displayed both at galleries throughout the country and online.
Eradication of Malaria (https://media.iearn.org/projects/malaria)
In this collaborative project, students are asked to examine the causes, effects, prevention and treatment of malaria throughout the world. At the end of the project, comparisons will be made between how different countries are affected and how they deal with malaria. Students will write summaries describing their project including what they learned and what changes they would make in the future.
Debunk Stereotypes (https://media.iearn.org/projects/iearn-stereotypes)
The purpose of this project is to have students look at cultural stereotypes of their countries, and determine the accuracy of those stereotypes. Using research, students are asked to “debunk” these stereotypes. In the final project, students set up blogs where they “introduce their countries, expose the stereotypes, and determine the validity of them.”
Listen to the Walls Talking (https://media.iearn.org/projects/wallstalking)
Students will collect and share with others “meaningful graffiti and other messages from our walls, desks, chairs, T-shirts, etc.” Students will record and share their finds, in the interest of opening up dialogue and learning about their own culture as well as others.
There are so many other wonderful projects sponsored by this group. My school has done several projects with good success. (One in particular was the My Hero project.) Unfortunately, this site does require a membership which I believe is about $300 per year (this covers an entire school, and as many projects as you want to participate in.) New projects are continually being started, and as a member you are welcome to submit any ideas for projects. This is a great place to start for anyone looking for creative projects that encourage collaboration, communication, and connectivity with others.