Sally Laughon and Stan Kulikowski
Computer Dept Chair/ Research Scholar
4254 Colonial Ave, SE
Roanoke, VA 24018 USA
v: (703) 989-6641
f: (703) 989-7299
Education, K12; Education, higher; Research, academic
Innovative or improved ways of doing things; More equitable access to technology or electronic information; Creation of new ideas, products, or services; Technology transfer
Supporting Documentation (contact author for more information):
Other: e-mail archives
for submission to proceedings of 9th International Conference on Technology and Education; Paris, France; 16-20 Mar 1992; sponsored by UNESCO
USING GLOBAL EDUCATIONAL NETWORKS: TOPICS FROM THE INTERNET
NorthCross School, 4254 Colonial Avenue, Roanoke, Virginia 24014 (email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Stan Kulikowski II
The University of West Florida, ERDC, Pensacola, Florida 32514 (email: stankuli@UWF.bitnet)
The Internet is the largest global computer network, serving as a pathway for over 5,000 subnetworks encompassing the entire planet. It links more than 300,000 computers and allows millions of users to send and receive data. Its daily traffic exceeds the daily output of all printing publishers combined. The Internet was founded in 1987 when it predecessor, Arpanet, gridlocked from information overflow. Even though Internet data capacity is 3 times that of Arpanet, it will soon suffer the same fate if new network facilities are not constructed. Last year, the United States Congress considered funding for a National Research and Education Network (NREN). NREN will be a new network backbone capable of handling 2000 times the data load currently on Internet. NREN is expected to handle information needs into the year 2000. The formation of these networks from Arpanet to NREN will be the greatest channels of information ever constructed.
Electronic networks are as revolutionary as Johannes Gutenberg’s invention of movable type 500 years ago. As the printing press improved transfer of information over handwriting, the implications included common access to daily news, education available for everyone, and even the world- wide rise of population-based governments. The growth of the global networks exceeds the improvements of printing press, radio, and television, since all of these media developed a central professional agency to process data before distribution. On the other hand, an ordinary home computer with a modem and access to a telephone line can tie into the global networks and become a distribution point for vast quantities of information.
For several years now, small groups of educators, teachers, and students have been using these channels to explore the exciting possibilities of global data exchange on a daily intimate basis. Telecommunications afford the opportunity to skip across international boundaries and remind us of our cultural inheritance unencumbered by personal, judgmental quirks. Computer networks provide an extraordinary opportunity for students. Information and messages sent electronically are immediate, unpredictable, personal and engaging. Students are fascinated by how quickly people respond to electronic mail: write today … a reply from Australia or Central Europe arrives tomorrow.
In this laboratory presentation, we shall review and demonstrate how the cyberspace is being used for educational purposes. Sample material from international networking in educational topics has been collected and we will provide examples of student and teacher communications and educational technology.
Activities engendered by the networks span the curriculum from A to Z, art to zoology. Many begin online projects with simple pen-pal exchanges. As students from across the world explore their similarities and differences, common interests spark electronic connections. As notes are exchanged, tangential learning benefits both parties. Pen pal exchanges encourage frequent, relaxed and informal writing. Content and meaning are more important than correct syntax and structure. Indeed, important lessons in native language idioms and common expressions are clearly demonstrated as people write in a second language.
After personal, electronic mail exchanges, coordinated group curriculum activities evolve: sharing school newspaper articles, collaborating on book reviews, exchanging poetry and short stories, writing about each schools’ uniqueness. Exchanges between schools move into history and social studies as students discuss the facts and geography of their locales; share information about the difference between weather and seasons in the Northern and Southern hemispheres; chat about cherished holiday traditions in each country. AT&T provides guided curriculum projects in Learning Circles of schools subscribing to the service. The National Geographic Society provides a well known collaborative project where school children gather ground and rain water for acidity analysis, and pool their data in a collective data base. Another effective project involved a computer simulation of an imaginary global conflict. An international discussion group, KIDS-92, encourages students to answer questions such as ” Who am I and what can I do to improve the future of the world?” This electronic group (physically based in North Dakota, USA, and coordinated from Norway) is for students ages 10 to 15 and has over 30 countries represented. Math and science classes benefit from international connections, too. In math classes, students print a math challenge and write it on a corner of a blackboard. Solutions may require a formula, systematic combinations, trial and error, sketching the problem or “Just thinking about it,” as one teenager explained. This problem solving activity encourages divergent thinking and reinforces the concept that there may be many valid solutions to a dilemma. Science enthusiasts track earthquake data from daily reports from SEISM-L@bingvbm.cc.binghamton.edu. As world maps are marked with earthquake locations, students realize that what lies beneath an ocean on a map is indeed “terra-firma.” As the school year progresses, students recognize patterns; faults in the crust slowly emerge across the map as more pins are positioned.
Foreign language classes find new energy when writing to fellow students across the world. When students have an audience for their writing, more care is taken to write with precision and nuance of meaning. Moreover, tangential learning occurs when writing in a second language. The recipients learn quickly the abundance of eccentricies of the native tongue, often misunderstood by beginning language students. A genuine concern for helping each other ensues as students become more familiar with each other after each electronic exchange.
Beyond these direct applications for students, there are many discussions and reader lists formed for the use of network users. KIDSNET @vms.cis.pitt.edu (from Pennsylvania, USA) was formed to discuss issues related to elementary and secondary education on the Internet. Besides an adult-level discussion, there are pen pal introduction services for students. On the other hand, EDTECH@ohstvma.bitnet (based at Ohio State and moderated from Michigan State) provides discussion of educational technology. ACSOFT@wuvmd.bitnet (at Washington University) focuses on use of academic software. JADIST@alaska.bitnet publishes an electronic Journal of Distance Education, about curriculum delivery into remote areas by telecommunications. JTIT-L@psuvm.bitnet (Pennsylvania again) recently formed Japanese Teachers of Instructional Technology to promote network protocols for global transmission of text in kanji characters among other issues. EDPOLYAN@asuacad.bitnet (Arizona State University) is concerned with educational policy analysis.
These are just a brief sampling of groups that communicate daily about educational concerns on the networks. By the time this document is printed, the cyberspace will have changed… many groups will conclude their topics and reside only in data archives, while others begin discussing new issues. The Internet is an electronic frontier. Many of the basic services are just now coagulating, often discovered by message probing into new places and listening to the traffic flow. There are thousands of discussion groups on the networks. Attempts have been made to establish a central directory. That task is difficult since information is obsolete almost immediately. Archive sites try to catch important portions of the data flow. Public domain repositories offer more software than can be systematically sampled and cataloged by personal effort. These are some of the challenges which face networkers while the global data channels are growing larger than any previous information system.
A Finger in the Dike:
To find valuable resources available online, use the following procedure of sending mail to the address indicated, leave the subject line blank, include one or more commands in the body of the message.
***k-13 Newsletter ftp ariel.unm.edu cd library get netviews.ascii get netviews.ps (*postscript *) **Directory of Electronic Journals & Newsletters email@example.com get ejournl1 directry **Internet Library and Databases Catalog firstname.lastname@example.org get internet library get library package (*4 files will be sent*) **Discussion Groups (List-of-Lists) email@example.com send netinfo/interest-groups send help (*information on the server itself*) ----- firstname.lastname@example.org get netinfo filelist ----- listserv@bitnic get listserv groups ----- listserv at bitnic get list global **Hitchikers Guide to the Internet mail NIS-INFO@NSF.NET leave subject line blank and put in body only SEND RFC1118.TXT-1 telnet nic.ddn.mil cd rfc get rfc1118.txt ***Frequently Asked Questions telnet nic.ddn.mil cd rfc get frc1206.txt govt and military anonymous ftp and telnet sites Try FTP.LIST. It lists nearly, if not all, of the sites that offer anon FTP. Look for it at pilot.njin.net or cs.uwp.edu. You can get a list of over 800 anon. ftp sites by logging into the archie service at quiche.cs.mcgill.ca telnet to quiche.cs.mcgill.ca login as archie (be sure to type archie in lower case letters) at the archie prompt, type servers after this is completed you will probably want to mail the list to yourself. To do this, type : mail your-mail-address ***beginner's Network Manual There is a Beginner's Guide to VM/CMS available directly from Help-Net by Or - put this same message in the body of an e-mail letter to email@example.com ***"NEW USER'S GUIDE TO USEFUL AND UNIQUE RESOURCES ON THE INTERNET" Version 2.0 is available via anonymous ftp: ftp to nysernet.org (22.214.171.124) get Guide.V.2.0.text in the /pub/guides directory. It's big over 200K. **Inter-Network Mail Guide listserv@unmvm get network guide To automatically receive updates, send mail to listserv@unmvm info afd **Internet Resource Guide firstname.lastname@example.org Request: resource-guide Topic: resource-guide-help Request: end **Mining the Internet ftp 126.96.36.199 login: anonymous password: youruserid change dir: cd ucd.netdocs/mining list: ls get: get filename It was suggested that I get README. Evidently, the files are in postscript and ASCII format. The Mac version has to be unstuffed. **To see a list of subscribers to a discussion list listserv@NODENAME review LISTNAMEHERE **To see a list of available files for a list listserv@NODENAME INDEX ListNameHe re ------------------------------------------------------------ **Applelink address to internet format Applelink : kulikowski Internet : email@example.com **Compuserve address to internet format Compuserve: 12345,678 Internet : firstname.lastname@example.org **Fidonet address to internet format Fidonet: Tim Pozar with FidoNet address 1:234/567 Internet: Tim.Pozar@f567.n234.z1.fidonet.org **UUCP address to internet format UUCP : monica%nodename Internet: email@example.com To retrieve an index: tell listserv at domain INDEX ListServeName To retrieve a log: tell listserv at domain GET ListServeName LogYrMo Stan uses SENDME instead of GET. Intermittant errors= flakes, hard bugs = reproducible errors. Following the advice in Robert Bocher's message, I requested from LISTSERV@BITNIC a copy of its MAIL MANNERS (mind you, not that I would need them!). As I sent the message, I got distracted from my e- mail, but I was able to see my message sent out and the copy of the file was sent back to me all in a span of about 90 seconds! Now, THAT is what I call Mail Manners!