Today I’m going to share the easiest global collaborative project to implement – the data collection project. Here students collect data on a specific topic such as weather patterns, cultural traditions, or sciences experiments and share that information online with partner classrooms.

Depending on how many schools you have involved, the work is straight forward. It generally consists of the following:

·         Create a project wiki - include a project overview expectations, and deadlines.

·         Find project partners -post the project on social networks or project listservs

·         Create a contact spreadsheet - only needed if multiple classrooms are involved

·         Create a data collection tool - surveys or forms are the easiest, but tables in wikis also work

My favorite aspect of data collection projects is that ANY student can participate. For example, a kindergarten project I helped organize was the Here Birdy, Birdy project. Kindergarten students from 5 North American classrooms collected bird feeder data. During daily calendar time the students recorded the number of birds feeding, what colors of birds they saw, and how much bird seed was eaten. At the end of the week, each teacher posted the data on the project wiki for everyone to share. It was a wonderful opportunity for students to study trends over time.

I’ve also seen data projects on:

Temperatures at noon on the First Day of fall, winter, and spring
Number of teeth first graders lose
Favorite Dr. Suess Books on Read across America Day
Prices of grocery items in different areas of the world
Favorite teenage snack foods
Hours of sunlight
Economic value of a Big Mac

Of course, there are many data collection projects you can join today. If you are considering launching your own data collection project, however, I highly recommend reading The Guided Tour of Data Sharing to get you started.