Collaborating with Informal Institutions of Learning
Studies tell us that when students make connections with informal institutions of learning, they often find their passions. At Loudoun, we have hundreds of classes engaged in hundreds of videoconferences with museums, learning centers, zoos, and other organizations.
Look below for lists learning opportunities that are available as videoconferenced activities from a variety of museums, learning centers, and other organizations. Some are free; most are fee-based. Most resource providers will also customize their activity to meet teachers' specific requests. If you see an activity that looks interesting that you think could connect with your curriculum focus, consider contacting the provider to ask for that customization.
In2Books - a continuous support network which develops intellectual relationships that challenge and motivate students though thought-provoking books and online mentoring
CAPspace - social networking tool for educational videoconferencing allows you to find others who want to connect
ePals - The Internet's largest global community of connected classrooms provides a great repository of global projects for all ages and subjects. Just click on "Join Project" button to view all of the global projects available or start your own project with another button click.
NASA Distance Learning Network - NASA's Digital Learning Network™ provides science, technology, engineering, and mathematics or STEM content featuring NASA missions and research. Register for free, interactive events listed in their catalog or watch webcasts listed on their site. Learn more about this resource at : About DLN
Challenger Learning Center - an innovative distance learning program called e-Missions™ that links the center to classrooms anywhere in the world. Each e-Mission provides teachers with an all-inclusive curriculum package comprised of teacher training and support, online lesson plans and materials aligned with standards, and technical support. Each e-Mission culminates with a live event conducted via videoconference between classrooms and mission control. During the live event classes will assemble as an emergency response team working to handle a problem situation as the scenario unfolds and conditions change. Every few minutes new data is beamed to the classroom via satellite. Student expert teams analyze the data and make recommendations to the flight director at mission control. The class responds to the situation in an ongoing fashion throughout the mission until they solve the problem at hand.
TEDxAshburn - Independently Organized TED event put together each year on the last Saturday of September.
Microsoft Pathfinder School (Prague, Czech Republic)