Project Number 21 – 1994
Assistant Director of Libraries
for Undergraduate Services
University of Washington Libraries, DF-10
Seattle, WA 98195
Fax: (206) firstname.lastname@example.org
Other Individuals And Organizations Associated With The Project
Director, Planning and Facilities Infrastructure
Computing & Communications, AG-44
University of Washington
Seattle, Washington 98195
Fax: (206) email@example.com
Reference/User Education Librarian
Odegaard Undergraduate Library, DF-10
Seattle, WA 98195
Fax: (206) firstname.lastname@example.org
Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Education
University of Washington
34 Communications, DS-60
Seattle, WA 98195
Fax: (206) 685-8299
The primary goal of Project UWired is to build an electronic community at the University of Washington that integrates electronic communication and information navigation skills into instruction and learning. Targeting a selected group of students and faculty for intensive technology and instruction and use, UWired will serve as a prototype for integrating computer use into higher education and across the disciplines. Similar projects on other campuses have provided faculty or students with the equipment. But few have provided sustained, discipline-specific instruction about electronic resources and their applications in the classroom. UWired will go beyond technology. Bringing together librarians, computing experts, faculty, staff, and students, its purpose is to create an electronic community in which communication, collaboration, and information technology become an ongoing, integral part of teaching and learning at the University of Washington. UWired is the first in a series of steps toward this end.
UWired has targeted seventy-five students for intensive technology instruction and use during the 1994-95 academic year: each student will be given the use of a laptop computer with modem and will attend a year-long technology seminar. During Autumn Quarter 1994, the students will be divided into three groups; within each group the students will be enrolled in the same courses. All the faculty and teaching assistants instructing these courses will also be involved in the project, receiving the use of a laptop computer and attending an intensive pre-quarter technology seminar. The general tools on the laptop will include an office package of software (spreadsheet, database, word processing, desktop publishing), reference materials (databases and discipline specific tools), and additional software as chosen by the faculty and students within each of the three groups. We will also have a projection unit for faculty and student presentations. UW Libraries and Computing & Communications staff will take an active role in the training program, teaching the students and faculty how to become active users of communications and access tools such as E-mail, the Internet, Mosaic, Gopher, FTP, and UWIN (the University of Washington Information Navigator). The credit-bearing student seminar will teach students the skills needed to use their hardware and software, and help them explore the Internet as a resouce for self-education. Continuing into Winter and Spring Quarters, when the seventy-five students will no longer be grouped into the three course clusters, the seminar will emphasize computer-related projects and will help students learn how to use their technological skills in their different classes. Throughout the entire year, the seminar will encourage project-based collaborative learning and the incorporation of the resources on the Internet more fully into students academic lives.
The UWired seminar will initially be a part of the General Studies curriculum. Eventually, we plan to develop a new curricular area for information and communication technologies. During June and July 1994, about 75 students will enroll in the two-credit seminar which will take place throughout the 1994-95 school year (Autumn, Winter, and Spring Quarters for 6 creditas total). In the following year, after we have researched the benefits and best practices of this program, we hope to involve most new students in such a program.
Because different UW units are collaborating on Uwired (Undergraduate Education, Computing & Communications, and the UW Libraries), we have the unique opportunity to involve a wide range of UW personnel in the instructional process. Not only will faculty and graduate students be teaching the UWired students, but upperclassmen will serve as peer leaders and learners, Computing & Communications staff will help with the training, hardware, and maintenance, and UW librarians will teach UWired faculty and students about accessing, retrieving, and evaluating electronic information.
UWired has great potential for collaborative learning among students, allowing them to form electronic study groups, co-author assignments, discuss course material with students at other universities across the nation and around the world. The student technology seminar will emphasize this use of technology for communication and collaboration. Additionally, because we want students to be able to learn skills that will be applicable to future classes and programs at the UW and eventually, to their professions, the technological instruction will focus on software and compjter skills that can be used across the curriculum and at various levels of disciplinary sophistication. Students will learn about information access, retrieval, and equally if not more important, information evaluation. And UWired students will also become knowledgeable about computer hardware and proficient with computer software, more specifically worldware or software that has an enormous range of applications, like spreadsheets, word processing, and databases. The technology seminar will show students the benefits of using their electronic communication and information navigation skills throughout their academic careers and into their professional lives.
UWired also has great potential for collaboration among faculty whether in their teaching, their research, or departmental duties. The UWired instruction for faculty will emphasize integrating computer use into their classroom practices — from designing assignments that require the use of electronic tools, to establishing electronic discussion groups among students, to using computer projections for classroom demonstrations. As well, the faculty seminar will help instructors identify useful instructional software and provide suggestions for how they might integrate it into their courses. And the opportunity to address, discuss, debate, and advise students electronically will allow a daily connection between teacher and student and will continue the process of teaching and learning outside the scheduled time and physical space of the classroom.
In preparing UW students for their future lives as professionals and citizens, UWired presents an exciting opportunity. Indeed, how our community and our country deals with the Information Age will have enormous impact on our democratic way of life and on our nation’s ability to compete internationally. As explained in a recent report by the American Library Association’s Presidential Committee on Information Literacy, “to promote economic independence and quality of existence, there is a lifelong need for being informed and up-to-date.” In an information society, information literacy is a shared right and a shared responsibility.
We will need either an X-terminal or a 486 PC with DOS/X, capable of demonstrating Mosaic. We will also need an LCD Panel and overhead projector that is compatible. The LCD model we use is Boxlight Infocus 7600 WS, and the special overhead projector is a Dukane 670.