Teacher and Kids: Excited About Learning and Exploring the Internet

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Jean Armor Polly, Lisa Falk, Laura Parks-Sierra

May 17, 1996
Reported by Alison Atkins

Jean Armor Polly, author of the Internet Kids Yellow Pages, discussed issues of schools and kids on the Internet. Her talk centered on what schools are doing, what is acceptable use, and the many online resources available for educators.

What Schools Are Connected?

What Are These Schools Doing?

Getting a School on the Net

Web 66: The Mother Road

Acceptable Use?

Filtering Software - "Stoplists" of sites

The CyberNOT List

Home Schooling Resources

Lisa Falk, coordinates grant funding for the Latin American Data Base project. Falk discussed her role in providing an Internet training workshop for teachers and helping establish RETAnet, (Resources for Teaching about the Americas) a resource database with articles and lesson plans for educators teaching about Latin America.

Three-part workshop for teachers:

As part of this training, teachers create lesson plans, complete with online and print resources that are then published on the Web. Although LADB is a fee-based subscription service which provides access to full-text articles on Latin American issues, the secondary resources for use by educators are free.

Eventually, RETAnet will mount 70 lesson plans on the Web. Educators are encouraged to submit their own. The index of lesson plans is organized by subject and searchable.

Laura Parks-Sierra is a teacher of fifth grade at Taos Day School. In conjunction with La Plaza Telecommunity, Parks-Sierra is integrating online technology into the classroom. She advocates self-guidance in letting kids explore the Internet and cautions educators not to get too caught up in the technology, but think about where we are spending our time and resources.

Constraints to Being Online

Different Approaches to Being Online - What Works for Us

Parks-Sierra cautions educators to really think about what their students are getting out of the Internet. At Taos, Web connections are very slow, so they are not often used. Yet, Parks-Sierra notes that her students more actively participate, think, and write when using text-based email systems. She notices that when using the Web, they tend to focus on graphics and stop reading and interacting. A point to keep in mind.