Margaret Clausen and Carolyn Theard
Department of Curriculum & Instruction
University of Illinois
1310 S. 6th St.
Champaign, IL 61820 USA
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 year we have been involved in a teaching teleapprenticeship utilizing Macintosh PowerBook 145’s and Eudora, an email application. The purpose of the project is to study the use of telecommunications for teachers and specifically student teachers. We have used the PowerBook in many capacities including: personal use, university course work, collaboration with fellow student teachers, professors, and teachers, and within the context of the classroom.
We have used the PowerBooks to communicate with friends and families at other universities around the world. We have utilized Microsoft Word to write resumes, letters of inquiry, and schoolwork
University Course Work
As students in the Year-Long program we found it useful to communicate with professors and teaching assistants. These dialogues covered assignments, deadlines, and guidance in our classroom experience. Furthermore the PowerBooks were convenient for developing lesson plans, worksheets, tests, and written assignments.
Eudora was excellent for connecting us with other student teachers to share and exchange ideas. It was possible to attach Microsoft Word documents for other student teachers to evaluate, utilize, or revise. Through email students were able to brainstorm, post messages concerning job searches and workshops. Students were able to take PowerBooks home with them over vacations and continue communication with each other and university staff. Margaret’s cooperating teacher has an e-mail account and she was able to keep in touch with him over breaks and remind him of important dates. Carolyn and Margaret were able to connect with veteran teachers in Wilmette (over 130 miles away) to exchange ideas. Our supervisors finally have accounts and student teachers are able to communicate with them concerning observation times, assignments, and problems. Eudora was an excellent tool to communicate with various people and to coordinate a variety of people’s schedules.
Carolyn has developed a unit on the United States. She will be utilizing our PowerBook and Hypercard to assist students in learning about each state. Each student will be researching two states and developing cards that will display information about each state. All states will b ed onto one stack as an interactive hands-on student tutorial. Students will also be utilizing the PowerBook to learn valuable word processing skills in conjunction with science fair reports.
Margaret utilized the PowerBook in her first grade classroom as a book publishing tool. Students were able to type in final drafts of their stories and easily edit them. Stories were then laser printed and bound for our classroom library.
Furthermore, we have explored Cleveland FreeNet, NASA’s education bulletin board SpaceLink, FrEdMail, Novanet, and various other educational remote computers. These uses of telnet have provided us with unique ideas for our classrooms as well as exposed us to ongoing projects that link schools around the world.
Eudora is simple to use and extremely user-friendly. The ability to save email addresses in an address book in Eudora was particularly helpful. The ability to save messages, to queue messages for later delivery, and to send and check mail at the same time were added benefits.
As one can see there are many uses for laptop computers with modems in education. They are valuable tools for collaboration with colleagues and supervisors and for university coursework. Furthermore there are many uses for computers in the classroom, many of which we have not yet finished exploring. The possibilities are endless for telecommunication and learning.
For additional information contact:
Dept. of Educational Psychology
University of Illinois
1310 S. 6th St.
Champaign, IL 61820
v: (217) 244-0537
f: (217) 244-7620