Part 2

Chapter Contents

Part 4

[Introduction] [Projects] [Interpersonal] [Informational] [Pedagogical]
[Research] [Professional] [Navigational] [Conclusion]


Interpersonal exchanges via the Internet can also include a more 'fanciful characterization' in what Harris refers to as 'impersonations'. "Impersonation projects are those in which any (or all) of the participants communicate with each other in character" .

The Oregon Trail

Jim Meckel, a fourth grade teacher at Boone Elementary School coordinated an online simulation Writing Along the Oregon Trail, Internet Style.

The project depended on telecommunications (e-mail) to simulate a wagon train trip along the Oregon Trail in 1850. Elementary schools along or near the original trail were divided into "wagons" ...and shared information about reasons for joining the wagon train, supplies to bring etc. Students used published sources, local historians and even commercial software to help them. [...] We found this project to be manageable and extremely educational.
Jim Meckel, Oregon Trail Simulation

To assist K-12 students and teachers locate and share additional information about the Oregon Trail for future simulations, Jim Meckel and Global School Network have designed a WWW resource site "Oregon Trail Information Center" which includes links to journals of the period, museums, related student projects, commercial software, and additional information from the producers of a documentary on the Oregon Trail.

"Westward Ho"

In early 1997 Westward Ho: An Online Simulation will embark on its fifth cross country journey. The project lasts for five weeks and each participating class assumes a "Wagon Identity" based on a real pioneer woman and her family.

Together, all the wagons from all the classes form the Westward HO! Wagon Train which (virtually) leaves Independence, Missouri on May 1, 1852 and follows the authentic Oregon trail out West. Information on how to register is available at the Westward Ho web site. About Westward HO!

Online simulations like these are an excellent way for students and teachers to explore the interactive potential of the Internet.

The Medieval County of Wurtz

Another impressive example of an "impersonation project"(developed by Harold House and his students at North High School in Wisconsin) centers around the "Medieval County of Wurtz". Here King Harold Ragnar One Thumb and his subjects recreate life in Medieval Europe as they see it.

Additional information on Medieval European History

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Last Modified: Friday, 06-June-97 12:13:23 EST

Copyright © 1997 by S. Patterson and L. Swanson

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