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?
- Web 66 International Registry (http://web66.coled.unm.edu/schools.html)
- over 3500 schools with home pages
- majority are US, followed by Japan
- EDWEB (http://k12.cnidr.org:90/)
- reasons to get on the net
- online educational resources
- success stories
- The Global School Net (http://www.gsn.org/)
- international project registry
- free school home pages
Getting a School on the Net
- appropriate resources
- filtering options
Web 66: The Mother Road
- mission to help K-12 educators set up their own servers
- Net Construction Kit
- links to other schools
- help find appropriate resources
- Email to: email@example.com (Type "send aup-faq" in the body of the message.)
Filtering Software - "Stoplists" of sites
The CyberNOT List
- Extreme Cruelty
- Obscene Words
- Devil Worship
- Militant Groups
Home Schooling Resources
- Jon's Homeschool Resource Page (http://www.midnightbeach.com/hs/)
- Unschooling Homeschoolers Page (http://www2.islandnet.com/~bedford/home_lrn.html)
- The Teel Family Homepage (http://www.alaska.net:80/~mteel)
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:
- Internet training - collaboration and resources
- Lecture series
- Alternative methods of teaching through other media
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
- Time consuming
- Limited access
- Fitting online time into instructional requirements
- Lack of administration support
Different Approaches to Being Online - What Works for Us
- Let Them Guide Themselves
- open-ended time online with minimal supervision
- students choose projects and respond to messages on their own
- students have their own accounts
- incorporate it into Writing Workshop time
- students guide their own learning
- does not take a lot of the teachers time
- use listservs and other educational resources
- Extend What Already Works
- Look for projects that extend what we're already doing in class
- Extend current integrated projects and curriculum
- The Internet provides additional audience for student work
- New Directions
- Using good ideas from the Internet for new classroom projects
- Getting time to plan the new curriculum
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.