Cortland Junior/Senior High School
730 Bowling Green Road
Courtland, NY 13045-9334 USA
v: (607) 756-8229
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This article focuses the usage of the Internet and electronic mail by some students at the Cortland Junior/Senior high School in Cortland, NY. This article is not going to be the usual sort of thing where I praise the Internet and the fine job that the management of the Internet does. My intent is that you will be persuaded to set aside funds for the areas I suggest below and that you will also be persuaded to invest in educational Internet access. I will explain more later.
Last November I began conversing with a teacher from Texas. This teacher was interested in getting some of her 8th grade students involved with electronic mail and electronic pen-pals. My English teacher had the same hopes for my English class. So I was looking for a class that the other kids in my class could correspond with and I was hoping that this would be the class. Well, I discussed it with my teacher and we decided to go ahead and start conversing. However, there was one small problem. The class we were to be penpals with had access to email and the Internet through a local network. My class didn’t even have access to BITNET! We finally decided to have all the kids type their letters on the computers in the English room. I would then upload the letters directly to my personal Internet account and send them off to the class in Texas. Well it worked the first time, but after that things got rough. The class in Texas would reply to our letters within a day but then I would have to download the letters, separate them and then bring them out which should have been done on and account designed specifically for that purpose. Using my account wasted the time I could spend on it doing other things. So after a while, the letters stopped. I wanted to keep doing them but I just couldn’t keep up the tedious task of managing over 50 letters every week! Both classes were very upset. The kids had become friends but couldn’t converse anymore because they couldn’t access the Internet!
I’ll summarize this article in one sentence. STOP SPENDING MONEY ON BUILDING UP THE AREAS OF THE INTERNET THAT ARE ALREADY THERE AND START SPENDING MONEY ON GIVING MORE PLACES INTERNET ACCESS!!! It’s a shame that kids can’t begin using the Internet unless they can shell out connect time charges and long distance modem charges. Just think what it would be like to be able to have the kids read Usenet news and subscribe to Listserv lists’, etc. But they can’t do most of that stuff without Internet access. So invest in the small towns around the country and build a network then concentrate on the larger, already started, areas. I think you’ll see a lot more users of the Internet and that will benefit many areas of education. Thank you for taking the time to read this.