Sandra R. Levin
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
University of Illinois
1310 S. 6th St.
Champaign, IL 61820 USA
v: (217) 244-0537
f: (217) 244-7620
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; Leverage of public funding; Partnerships between public and private sector
Supporting Documentation (contact author for more information):
Other: electronic mail messages
This story was collected as part of the “Teaching Teleapprenticeships” research project at the University of Illinois, sponsored by the National Science Foundation.
This is the first year of a three year longitudinal study sponsored by the National Science Foundation. We are looking at computer-based networks for teacher education in Science and Mathematics. This story focuses on the first of several steps education majors have taken to integrate the use of computer-based networks in their undergraduate education. These students are becoming Teaching Teleapprentices.
Teaching Teleapprenticeship is a model similar to conventional apprenticeships that involve the interaction of people with many different levels of expertise via electronic mail. These teaching teleapprentices have begun their training by learning to use electronic mail to communicate with their professor, experts in a particular domain, other students, and friends by electing to complete an extra credit project for their Biology 100/101 course. We have included quotations from several students involved in this study.
“I believe that using e-mail as a tool for answering science questions is excellent! It’s great to be able to communicate to another person quickly and easily. A big advantage is that the science questions asked can be sent all over the world so that one can receive many responses. As a result, a variety of “answers” will be accumulated, aiding one’s understanding or knowledge of a specific subject.”
“E-mail in the classroom as a means for students to go about finding answers to some of their questions would be a great addition in the school. This would give students an additional resource to aid them in understanding the material they may be studying at the time. Perhaps, students have questions of their own that they would like to have more information about. A big advantage is that students won’t necessarily have to go to the teacher for help. Once a student poses a question through e-mail, he/she will receive a pool of information! This would definitely be a plus in the classroom.”
“I think it is great to use e-mail for answering science questions. I think that using e-mail in the classroom would be very effective for both teachers and students. The more experience children get with computers, the better they will adapt in society. This would allow children to be inquisitive and find answers because teachers do not know everything. The use of e-mail is hands-on learning, and you can’t beat that. Each school should have a few computers so the students and teachers have access to e-mail.”
“I find e-mail to be very useful and effective. It is also very time efficient. Computers are our future and will become an everyday item that all people should know how to manipulate if they want to be successful. All this should be a part of education and therefore should be taught in the classroom. Without computer education, there would be many people who will be computer illiterate and will not be able to function properly in the future.”
“I feel that this method of answering science questions is very effective and useful. The use of e-mail was very handy and efficient, where one was able to communicate with the questioner very quickly.”
“I feel that the use of e-mail for this project was excellent because it gave college students the opportunity to learn more about some area of science, while providing the teacher and students at a remote site with information. I do see it useful and interesting to use e-mail for students to share information and learn by working with one another.”