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Internet in The Classroom: How Educators Use the Internet

--by Dave Kinnaman

When the student is ready, the master will appear.

--ancient mystical epigram


This chapter presents you with new ideas about education and about the Internet. Much of education faces imminent reform, and the Net could be the best thing that has happened to public education this century. Provided that access is affordable, fairly provided, and universally accessible.

This chapter will help you sharpen your Internet skills, provide you with some new skills, show you how to use powerful search programs to find educationally relevant materials, demonstrate that education is moving onto the Net in many academic disciplines, and help you find ways to use the Net to enrich and perhaps redesign your curriculum.

So, here's what's ahead:

Why educators have high hopes for the Internet

The educator's netiquette

A pedagogue's tool kit

WAIS: Wide Area Information Servers

Online information: current newspapers and magazines

Online coursework

Communicating with teachers

Searching Listserv archives

Public education and the Internet

Why Educators Have High Hopes for the Internet

Everyone seems to be talking about the Net, the "information super-highway," the infobahn, the National Information Infrastructure (NII), and the Internet. Why is this so?

It seems that we see this new technology, the Internet, as a ray of sunlight, the first light of a new Information Age. It does hold great promise for our whole society, especially for educators and also for learners or students.

Teachers are asking "Why should I use the Internet in my home or classroom? Is this a good way to help children and adults prepare for a better future?" This next section is intended to begin to introduce to you the many ways that education is already changing because of the Internet.

How the Internet Changes Learning

Let's face facts—the Internet is exciting. Learning while using the Net is a powerful releaser of emotion, a motivator, and a new form of engagement for many students. Students gravitate to the Net like nothing before in their lives.

While the Net is not likely to replace after-school athletics or music lessons very soon, for some students it is the best learning opportunity ever made available to them. These children soon realize that their rewards on the Internet will be in proportion to the effort they invest in learning Net skills, and learn all the more for it.

Contacts in far away places around the world make any project more dynamic, and more interesting. Frequently, the Internet has the most up-to-date information available anywhere. Both teachers and students are energized by the freshness and immediacy of the Net.

Tip: This section cannot be a comprehensive review of all the reasons why every school should be using the Internet. Instead, it will briefly list in broad strokes how the Net is being used to accomplish important educational goals—in some cases, goals that cannot be achieved without Internet access.

The Net is the future. It costs less than a high school sports program, and Internet competence will stay with students for life, because these skills are intellectual, not physical. Keyboarding is only the beginning. Kids who are connected to the Net learn to ask better questions, to make better arguments, and to present themselves more positively, by using the Internet as a new form of communication.

Let's start with e-mail. Children concentrate harder to express themselves when sending an e-mail message to another country or state. They work on vocabulary and clarity as never before. When they know another student in Stockholm, or an engineer at NASA, will be writing back, children recognize the difference between slang and formal language. Some evidence has been found that kids express themselves more carefully and demonstrate better communication skills while using e-mail than they do in written tests for their regular classroom teacher!

On the topic of formal language—learning computer languages, that is—learning to program computers is a tremendous mathematical learning opportunity. Computer operation has its essence in math, and truly understanding computers requires some fairly sophisticated mathematical and scientific concepts. Kids who become ensnared in the Net tend to "automatically" excel in other areas of math, science, and often surprise their teachers and parents with new knowledge far afield from math and science.

The Internet is rapidly becoming the largest reservoir of knowledge ever extant on this planet. Wise students grow adept at finding and retrieving remote Net information. They then go on to develop more sophisticated search and retrieval strategies. Soon, they begin to really admire librarians for their access and retrieval skills, no longer as magical sources of books and information.

Once students have gathered together masses of new information, their teachers are expected to know how to help sort out the information and deal with it constructively. This is the beginning, for students, of learning the arts of analysis, evaluation, and application. These writing, thinking, and knowledge skills learned on the Internet are applicable to almost every curriculum area.

Also, don't forget that the Net's very best resources are human beings, not computers or databases! Old friends, new friends, and experts of all types—colleagues, specialists, and fellows of all stripes are on the Net, anticipating your arrival. Teacher, parent, and student isolation can become a thing of the past!

Both Time and Space Seem to Disappear

The normal limitations of time and space do not apply to the Net. New Zealand is just as close as your state capital, in Net time. E-mail arrives in minutes, and huge files are copied and transferred thousands of miles in mere seconds.

Teachers use e-mail to do consultations, confident they won't have to play telephone-tag. Students can exchange several volleys with keypals before a surface mail letter can make a single one-way trip.

Sending mail on a Listserv to hundreds or thousands of people is no more work than sending a single message—the Net does the extra toil for you!

Self-Reliant Learning

Because it is like a worldwide personal library, the Net inspires students, teachers, and parents to find and use new information.

Powerful Internet tools allow everyone to find and retrieve new information, data, graphic images, and software that is personally interesting, almost instantly. Often the information is simply not available except on the Internet.

Students also learn the importance of educational independence and intellectual autonomy from using the Net for school work.

The Net is more current (as in instantaneous) and more dynamic than any old-fashioned library could be, so students and teachers learn that using the Net can save them time. Because the Internet exhibits many of the signs of life and is so responsive to our information needs, some people even become attached to the Net, as they would to a dear friend.

The Net is Color-Blind and Does Not Discriminate

Socially induced prejudices like appearance, gender, race, age, and behaviors fade away in the world of the Internet, because students learn that they are judged solely on what they say and how they say it.

Hearing-impaired people may actually have an advantage on the Net, because they are not distracted by outside noises.

Class, race, ability, and disability are removed from consideration in Internet communication. They simply do not matter.

Janet Murray

—by Tod Foley

Margaret Honey surveyed educators who were using telecommunications for professional and intructional activities in the spring of 1992. Respondents were described as highly self-motivated, with little support from the school or district level. A high percentage of the teachers reported that they were self-taught, learning from their online colleagues, and a substantial majority are "conducting professional networking activities from their own homes, suggesting that much of their telecommunications work is now done on their own time, at their own expense, and with a high level of personal commitment." A reasonable conclusion is that this significant national movement, which only recently has gained the attention of the popular media, has sprung from grassroots activities fostered and sustained by dedicated professionals who see this movement as extraordinarily beneficial to themselves and their students.

—Janet Murray, "Schoolkids and the Net," from The Internet Unleashed (Indianapolis: Sams Publishing, 1994, pp. 874-75).

Janet Murray is the librarian at a comprehensive public high school serving 1,500 students in Portland, Oregon, and SysOp of the HI TECH TOOLS for Librarians BBS (FidoNet 1:105/23). She is also a cofounder of K12Net, a virtual network of 37 educationally-oriented conferences devoted to curriculum, language exchanges with native speakers, and classroom-to-classroom projects. Since obtaining her MALS from Rosary College Graduate School of Library and Information Science in 1981, she has been an active advocate of online programs, making appearances and speeches at national conferences, automating circulation systems in school libraries, and bringing innovative access systems to her school district. In the following e-mail interview, she answers questions about K12Net and the future of the electronic school.

TF: Over the last few years, the word "education" has become a sort of rallying cry for the technologically progressive; from Internet-savvy librarians <g> to Hollywood "Edutainment" producers and Silicon Valley software developers. Obviously, digital storage/retrieval and advanced telecommunications are ideal for educational applications, but the bottom-line question is: "Who pays for this stuff?" Has this general interest translated into more financial support from the private and commercial sectors?

JM: Not in my experience. But the government's recent initiatives in funding tend to encourage local collaboration and matching funds from the private and commercial sectors, so that may be an emerging trend.

TF: There are many who feel that the increasing privatization of the educational industry will lead to an eventual displacement of the public school system. Do you feel this is a real possibility? And is that good news or bad news?

JM: First, let me quibble over a semantic issue: Do you (and others) regard education as an industry? A recent issue of the Phi Delta Kappan featured the privatization movement with a cover caricaturizing children as "products" emerging from an assembly line... But to respond to your first question—No. Commerce is rarely altruistic. Corporations that provide education for a fee (and a profit) will attract those who can afford it to the ultimate detriment of those who cannot. I'm highly skeptical of the promises made by those with a vested interest in privatizing education; if there were a panacea to the perceived problems of education, it would have been discovered by now. As for your second question—the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the "separate but equal" doctrine forty years ago; any educational reform movement that fosters inequality is bad news. The U.S. Postal Service may provide a useful analogy; its privatization increased competition as well as costs. Now those who can afford Federal Express or United Parcel Service may prefer those services, but the national public system has not been displaced, and few would assert that it offers "equal" services.

TF: The Internet is regarded by many as a sort of "panacea," not only for purposes of education but for all of society as well. Of course this picture may be changing; the NSF's upcoming withdrawal from management of the Internet backbone and the increasing "privatization of cyberspace," when coupled with the traditional underfunding of the public school system, seems to imply that educators must find new ways to utilize and cross-link existing systems. Do you see this happening in the field?

JM: In 1994, there have been several initiatives to promote cooperation among federal and state agencies, network service providers, and educational practitioners. The March 1994 report, "Building Consensus/Building Models: A Networking Strategy for Change," summarizes the recommendations derived from one such collaboration.

TF: How can public education make best use of the Internet (or the NII), and yet remain unbiased and egalitarian? That is the question—.

JM: The Internet/NII's capacity to offer small, isolated schools access to the same resources available in urban school districts is fundamental to questions of equity. Although 67 percent of U.S. elementary schools and 50 percent of our high schools serve fewer than 500 students, all of the currently funded NIE testbed sites are located in metropolitan areas. These smaller schools are typically least able to afford the high-speed networking configurations currently being recommended by the experts, and, paradoxically, most likely to benefit from access. We must promote networking solutions that will serve all schools, not just the elite few.

TF: This leads to K12Net, of which you are a cofounder. K12Net, which coexists on FidoNet-compatible BBSs and as a series of Usenet newsgroups in the k12.* hierarchy, is demonstrating the capabilities afforded us right now—the cross-linking of networking systems for the common purpose. Since access requires only a working Fido BBS, students, teachers, and administrators from all over the world can make use of K12Net, even if they're located far from the nearest university or Internet access provider. What's going on these days on K12Net?

JM: K12Net has always described itself as a "network with training wheels" designed to acquaint K-12 educators and students with the benefits of telecommunications. As more schools obtain access to Internet, our participants will probably shift their focus to sharing information about efficient location of Internet resources. The statewide networks in California, North Dakota, and Virginia already provide their states' primary access point for K12Net through the Usenet newsgroups in the k12.* hierarchy. However, K12Net's status as an international educational network is heavily dependent on its FidoNet roots. Nearly 50 percent of the participating K12Net bulletin board systems are located outside the continental U.S., where K-12 educational access to Internet is highly problematic. Therefore, I do not expect K12Net to rely solely on Internet distribution in the foreseeable future.

TF: Are there other differences? Do the Usenet posts tend to have different purposes than those which come in from the Fido systems?

JM: Posts from both types of sites focus on the useful exchange of information. An important advantage of crosslinking K12Net bulletin board systems with Usenet newsgroups is that it enables university participation. Student inquiries frequently receive valuable responses from correspondents in research-oriented institutions.

TF: In terms of the future of public education and equal access to what might be called "public knowledge bases"—the educational levels of the NII—what are the most important hurdles before us?

JM: Affordable access and adequate training are the most significant hurdles to be surmounted by Internet enthusiasts. Rapid developments in the provision of user-friendly interfaces over the past two years have created an environment in which one can successfully locate materials and information appropriate in a K-12 setting. Now we must educate and persuade the service providers and telcos that it is in their best interest to provide affordable access, and we must develop training materials that can be used effectively and independently at remote sites.

TF: And how is K12Net addressing these issues?

JM: We are promoting awareness of the need for inexpensive, locally manageable networking software and training materials appropriate for use in individual schools. (Commercial solutions developed by BBSs and e-soft are prohibitively expensive and require longterm commitments for technical support.) Several of us are participating in local and statewide initiatives to network K-12 schools.

K12Net is an all-volunteer effort, with participating BBSs located throughout the world. For more information regarding K12Net and its activities, contact Jack Crawford or Janet Murray at these addresses:

Jack Crawford
Wayne-Finger Lakes Teacher Resource Center
703 E. Maple Avenue
10 Eisenhower Hall
Newark, NJ 14513-1863
Phone: (315) 331-1584

Janet Murray
Wilson High School
1151 S.W. Vermont Street
Portland, OR 97219
Phone: (503) 280-5280 x450

For current information on the state of Internet/K-12 activities and plans, the two following IETF documents are of significant value:

Gargano, Joan and David Wasley. "K-12 Internetworking Guidelines." Working Draft, IETF School Networking Group: June, 1994.

Sellers, Jennifer. "Answers to Commonly Asked 'Primary and Secondary School Internet User' Questions." IETF School Networking Group, Internet FYI, RFC 1578: February, 1994.

"Nancy, Tell Mommy What You Found on the Internet Today!"

After a youngster has a significant vocabulary and adult grammar, there is little to keep him or her from conversing like an adult over the Net. Likewise, adults can masquerade as kids. This brings up "security" concerns in educators and parents alike.

Safe telecomputing for kids must be taught before the keyboard and modem are freely available in an unsupervised environment. However, local policies differ greatly. General guidance is available in RFC 1578 (aka FYI 22). It is available by anonymous FTP.


Anonymous FTP:

North America

site or

directory /fyi



directory /rfc

Unfortunately, there simply is no substitute for infusing issues of information safety, privacy, and ethics into the technology curriculum at early age. All teachers easily recognize safety issues in science classes and around machines and shop equipment. These and related privacy and ethical concerns also must be addressed around Net access and proper Net behavior.

The Gopher menu in Figure 19.1 demonstrates one of the danger zones educator gurus should be prepared for before a crisis happens. This kind of material is absolutely not common or usual, but the Net has great diversity, and such things are available.

Figure 19.1. Menus like this are not typical on the Internet, but they are there if one looks for them.

Establishing clear rules, and consequences for breaking them, is a school-wide or district-wide responsibility. Parental involvement and support is a must, especially in the earliest years.

Note: One of the best ways to get parents involved is to treat using the Internet like it was a field trip. (In a very real sense, it is a field trip away from the classroom, into another physical and temporal dimension.) Teachers can send home an announcement and a parental release form, to make parents aware of why it's a good idea to use the Net, and what the "unforeseeable but possible" risks might be. Parents often take signature forms more seriously.

In RFC 1578, the Internet Q&A for K-12 schools Jennifer Sellers says "...schools need to exercise reasonable oversight while realizing that it is almost impossible to absolutely guarantee that students will not be able to access objectionable material."

Note: One of the reasons that censorship and "authoritarian" control of communication on the Internet is difficult to accomplish is that the Net was designed to be de-centralized and survival oriented, rather than centrally controlled and obedience oriented.

Because the Pentagon required a communication system that would still work after a nuclear attack on the USA, the Net doesn't have top-down controls of the kind we have grown to expect in our media-information-consuming society.

Time magazine, in a cover story about the Net, said, "It's hard to block anything on the Internet, which interprets censorship as damage and routes around it." Time, July 25, 1994, p. 54.

Since it is almost impossible to prevent some lapses, it is vital to have clear standards up front, before your are faced with emotional administrators, students, and parents!

The Educator's Netiquette

Even Net gurus have pet peeves. The difference lies in how a true guru responds to these everyday nuisances.

Here is a list of the commonest newbie e-mail and Listserv mistakes made on the Net, given in the order of how much they irk Net Gurus. In each case, the proper, appropriate behavior is indicated, so the mistaken newbie can learn and evolve into a higher Net Being, perhaps even a guru.

Common E-Mail Boo-Boos

Note: For practice, first mail a message to yourself, to see what your message looks like. Then, send a close friend a message and yourself a cc: copy of that same message. Slowly work your way up to more and more sophisticated mail processing, one small step at a time. Remember, even the most advanced net gurus always check the To: and cc: lines before they dispatch a message!

Tip: If you are one of the unlucky people whose mail-reading program does not show incoming message "headers," where all that important addressing and reply information is, here is a way you can trick the computer into telling you the address, anyway:

Save the incoming message in question as a text file. Find the option on your mail program for saving mail as a file. Then, exit the mail program and open the file in a text editor. Viola! All the complex address information was really there all along—your mail program just prefers to hide it from you. Why do you use such an unevolved program?

Ask around to see if there are any better mail programs available to you. PINE is one of the very best, and it is MIME-compliant, which means you can use it to send almost any data file attached to your e-mail messages.

Tip: You can often get the correct address for the human moderator by sending the following message to the Listserv robot.

To: Listserv@host.domain

review listname(-l)

You should get back a message containing most of the addresses of all the other people who subscribe to the list, including the moderator or list owner.

A Pedagogue's Internet Tool Kit

Pedagogical gurus achieve their prominence by deep self-understanding, and by having tools to get the job done. Here are some methods to deal with emergencies, to exit ungainly programs, to manage the wait during net-lag delays, and to reduce the likelihood of delays in the first place.

Emergency Procedures

You can't hurt the Net. It was designed to withstand full-scale nuclear attack, and to resist even malicious crackers. Don't worry—your explorations, no matter how primitive, are simply not going to hurt the Internet.

As you become more and more skilled on the Net, your ability to surmount crises also increases. But most of the problems you run into are still human error. It's just a question of which human you end up blaming! The more you know, the more you know (what) you don't know, so to speak.

Most of the errors made by Internet gurus are the same things anybody could do, only on a grander scale. Anybody can mistype the word "your" as "you," but it takes a real guru to send it out to 5 mailing lists so that 2750 people get you silly message!

Here are some procedural tips to help you deal with the more common emergencies and inconveniences that gurus encounter on the Net.

Whistle While You Wait: Remote Access at a Snail's Pace

Patience, as they say, is a virtue. If a remote computer doesn't respond quickly, sometimes a novice too quickly assumes that the software has gone awry, and locked up the computer.

For gurus, usually, it's just that a bigger job than yours has come along, and has shoved you out of the spotlight for a while. Or, if this happens during daylight hours, the business (such as NASA, for instance) that owns the remote computer gives its own local workers much higher priority than remote users.

If you're lucky, the big job that displaced you will run itself out in a minute or two, and you will be back in business. If that two-minute wait is too much for you, or you've already waited five minutes to no avail, try some of the following tricks to get the attention of the remote machine, or bail out of a nonproductive trial.

Tip: If you're a Windows user and you just know that the site you're about to visit always makes you wait a long time for a response, why not be ready to play a game of Cruel solitaire, that comes in the Windows Entertainment Pack (WEP)? Just open the game's window and minimize the dealt solitaire game, and it will be waiting when you get stuck in wait mode.

Here are some things to try if you run into the Internet doldrums. Depending on your hardware and software, some of these tricks can force you to reboot your computer and/or reestablish your remote connection if they do not work—so be sure to note the ones that do and don't work for your configuration, so you can choose wisely in the future. Software and hardware respond unpredictably to tricks designed for systems other than their own!

control ]      (press two keys at once)



control c      (press two keys at once)

control ^      (press two keys at once)

control Break  (press two keys at once)

control End    (press two keys at once)

Giving a Courteous Farewell

Because there are so many ways to exit a computer system or a software program, it's very difficult for even a guru to remember the exact method in every situation. It is best if the software or remote computer politely tells you the exit procedure—but sometimes they just don't say.

Then, what do you do to get out? Well, typing h or help sometimes gets you a few cryptic tips, but there are often enough situations where there is just no guidance given.

So, every guru unfolds their own personal mantra of exit sequences, but here are a few collected by highly advanced gurus, just to get you started:


then press Enter or Return, or


then press Enter or Return, or


then press Enter or Return, or


then press Enter or Return, or


then press Enter or Return, or


then press Enter or Return, or


then press Enter or Return, or


then press Enter or Return, or


then press Enter or Return, or


then press Enter or Return, or


then press Enter or Return, or


then press Enter or Return

Connect to the Planetary Clock

Many Internauts and Net gurus have chosen to deal with the remote computer waiting problem by adjusting their on-Net work clocks. (Remember, I said the Net makes time and space disappear?) If you use a remote machine when the time at the remote site is, say, between midnight and 6 a.m., you usually have very little competition for access, and get much faster response times. So, Internet gurus try to choose their remote computer sites according to the following type of time shifted schedule:

Guru Position

Preferred Remote Site

Time in Chicago/Dallas


Remote Time

8 a.m.


4 a.m.

New Zealand

2 a.m.

10 a.m.

New Zealand

4 a.m.


1 a.m.

Hong Kong

1 a.m.


1 a.m.

12 Noon


3 a.m.

Hong Kong

3 a.m.


3 a.m.

6 p.m.


12 Midnight


1 a.m.


1 a.m.


1 a.m.

Tip: Waking go West, evening go East. The rule of thumb for North American gurus is: In the morning you want to connect to remote sites that are West of you, in Hawaii, New Zealand, and Australia and Asia.

But when evening comes around, you want to connect to remote sites toward the East—in England, Germany, France, and Italy, for instance.

In the late hours of night in North America—use North American sites!

Here's something to meditate on: Time on the Internet is a most relative concept. Think about this—right now it is every hour of day, somewhere on this spinning, spherical planet!

WAIS: Wide Area Information Servers

So as fast as I could,

I went after my net.

And I said, "With my net

I can get them I bet.

I bet, with my net,

I can get those Things yet!"

Then I let down my net.

It came down with a plop!

And I had them! At last!

Those two Things had to stop.

Dr. Seuss, The Cat in the Hat (New York: Random House, 1957).

WAIS is a distributed natural-language indexing, search, and retrieval tool. Right! Now what does that mumbo-jumbo mean?

It means you can use your regular vocabulary to search for things instead of fancy computer jargon. WAIS lets you ask simple questions in your own words and get lots of useful results from many computers and databases. That's better than the alternative of using special query languages to search one computer at a time, getting smaller results with less assurance of relevance and quality. The final result of a WAIS query is a set of document references (and full text in some cases) that contain the words you asked for.

WAIS enables you to search many databases all over the Internet. It searches the full-text of databases you select (called sources or source files) by asking computers all over the Net to check their index files for words you're asking about. WAIS index files end with the extension .src, such as:







With some WAIS programs, you can also use Boolean logic (AND, OR, NOT, or ADJ, for instance) to ask for combinations of words, so you can get closer and closer to exactly the items you want.

Public-domain clients for accessing WAIS are available for the following platforms: Macintosh, MS/DOS, Windows 3.x, VMS, NeXT, UNIX, and X Window. These clients are available via anonymous FTP from the University of North Carolina.



directory /pub/wais

Single Source WAIS Searches from Your Local Gopher

Gophers are now delivering the most common, and simplest WAIS searches. Many Gophers have a WAIS search option, under the options

Other Gopher and Information Servers/

WAIS Based Information/

The only disadvantage of this kind of WAIS search is that you can't search more than one database source at a time.

Searching Many Databases at One Time

You can search many databases at one time using the telnet site demonstrated later in this chapter. Unless you install a WAIS search program on your own personal computer, for serious searching gurus use a telnet WAIS search, because it's most efficient in using the Net's resources.

The user interface on the free telnet version of WAIS is real chunky, but you may learn to love this gnarled Internet tool.

The WAIS (pronounced like waist without the "t" at the end) output from this site is rough, and a little hard to understand. And you must always do a search at least twice, to get anything really useful. So why on earth would anyone want to use WAIS?

Because it's based on the actual contents of the files—not file names, not directory names. Consequently, it won't be so likely to lead you to an empty directory. And as you get more sophisticated in constructing searches, you can eliminate wrong items and find only high quality "hits."

Well, maybe that's overstating the case for WAIS a little. WAIS doesn't actually look inside files, really. It looks at sophisticated indexes of database files.

Astonishingly, the real contents of the target file, the one you're looking for, is not limited to words, so a WAIS index can lead you to graphic files, fonts, video and sound files, just about anything that can be put on a computer disk.

The key idea here is that indexes can refer to anything that can be described (which is a pretty big universe, to start with). Indexes can even refer to descriptions of odors and smells, can't they? Ever wonder if there was a database of fresh fruit or oven-baked pastry smells? Now that's an idea for a guru's meditation.

WAIS Indexes

Archie searches FTP sites worldwide; Jughead searches some Gopher menus; Veronica searches Gopher menus worldwide. They all do valuable searches, but none of them looks inside the index files to find content words, groups of words, and phrases the way WAIS does. The others look at menus and directory names, but only WAIS looks into the contents of the files, using indexes.

WAIS is associated with a standard method (ANSI Z39.50) for how to construct indexes for searching. So, WAIS is dependent on the quality and thoroughness of the indexes it is searching through. (The same limitation applies to Archie, and to the Whois system.)

There are over five hundred WAIS indexes (of databases) already built and available on the Net. The number is growing constantly. They cover educational topics of every variety, including:


beer making

computer science

human genetics


molecular biology


science fiction

social science

special education

Note: A complete listing of the databases is available from the University of North Carolina.


Anonymous FTP

directory /pub/wais
file wais-sources.tar.Z

The separate databases are organized in different ways, using various database systems, but you don't have to learn the query languages of the various databases. WAIS uses your natural language queries to find relevant documents for you.

The technical experts say that no semantic information is extracted from WAIS queries. Part of what they mean is that WAIS indexes don't tell you if the search words are in any particular order or proximity. A WAIS index just tells you the words are in the document. Words that are of key importance to the indexed database, like those in document titles, words in all capitals, and words with initial capitals are given a little more weight in the index.

And there are also lots of stop words that just don't get indexed or searched for—like the words and, the, but, with, and so on, because they are too common to mean anything important in an index or a search. But they are a vital part of natural-language searching, since they allow you to ask a questions like "Please show me things about the space program?" WAIS hears that question as "space program" or "program space" and just ignores all other natural language words.

Performing a WAIS Search

There are many WAIS servers throughout the Net. The main directory-of-servers database is available at several sites. Here is how you can address a query to it.

The host computer named is a demonstration site; anyone can telnet to it. At the login: prompt enter wais; no password is needed.

Although the client interface differs between platforms and versions of WAIS, each variant of the WAIS interface requires queries to be performed in the same way, whatever the interface:

Figure 19.2. Each database to be searched must have an asterisk, before it will be searched for the keywords you specify next.

Next, formulate a query by giving narrow, specific keywords to be searched for, like "tell me about U.S. Supreme Court Opinions."

When the secondquery is run, WAIS asks for the keyword information from each selected database.

Headlines of documents satisfying the query are displayed. The selected documents contain the requested words and phrases. Selected documents are ranked according to the number of matches within them. Figure 14.3 shows you a sample of WAIS output, showing how well the "hits" it found matched the search keywords by ranking and scoring each hit.

Figure 19.3. WAIS scores start from 1000 and go down as the matched item corresponds less and less to your keywords.

  1. To retrieve a document, the user simply selects it from the resulting list. Some documents are very short, and amount to only an index card entry. But others are research executive summaries, and lead you to highly relevant sources of further information.

  2. If the response is incomplete, the user can state the question differently or feed back to the system any one or more of the selected documents he finds relevant. Try your search again, with different keywords. You will lose all the work of your database selections when you type q to quit, so you should try the search at least twice while you are at it.

  3. When the search is run again, the results are updated to include documents that are similar to the ones selected, meaning documents that share a large number of common words.

Learning more about WAIS:

Bug reports, comments, and suggestions about this version of WAIS, may be addressed to:

Email George Brett

You can also join a Listserv discussion of WAIS:


body subscribe

There is also a Usenet newsgroup:

Usenet newsgroup: comp.infosystems.wais

Online Information: Current Newspapers and Magazines

The advantages of electronic text in education are stupendous. Once a student has used a word processor to search for important themes, or follow the development of a particular character in a Shakespeare play, that student will never again doubt the utility of learning how to use a word processing program.

Here are three sources of up-to-date electronic texts for classroom use.

Electronic Newsstand

Each document on the Electronic Newsstand part of this Gopher contains a copyright notice. Be sure to read and understand the notice before you use these current events and policy papers in any inappropriate way. Figure 14.4 shows a sample menu, and a keyword search in process.

Figure 19.4. Search for articles using keywords that interest you.

There is a nice keyword search available here, so you can search for articles you are interested in, rather than being forced to peruse all of the articles.

Gopher 2100

Online Magazines: Uncover by CARL

CARL is the Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries. CARL is rapidly becoming the most advanced electronic library in the world.

The following extended quote is almost an entire "beta-issue" of the occasional Internet magazine Net Surfing. This issue focuses on CARL and gives good explanations and examples of how to use CARL to search and obtain Electronic texts.

Surfing #02 UnCover: the biggest magazine rack you ever saw

When I was a boy, every town had a place like Mulligan's, a

neighborhood market filled with as much clutter as the proprietor

could cram in. The haven in the clutter was often a back wall

devoted to a vibrant collage of magazines screaming with info

about the latest craze. Always there was one to capture a new

interest and after a few passes through the table of contents, you

could tell if it was worth the hard earned coin.

Ever wish there was a place like Mulligan's on the Internet super

highway? A place where you could check the latest issue of your

favorite magazine or journal and decide whether it was worth

purchasing? Better yet, why not have this fictitious Mulligan's

mail you the Table of contents as soon as it hits the newsstand.

And what about all those pet projects, when you need to search

through a mountain of past issues. Wouldn't it be great if there

were a place on the Internet where you could search for articles

on any topic or by any author and then have those articles

forwarded to you.

Guess what! It's there, on the Internet super highway -- the

biggest magazine rack you have ever seen. It's called UnCover, and

includes more than 5,000 magazines and journals. The service is

vast, with an archive of well over 5,000,000 articles that can be

searched on and then FAXed to you within 24 hours. And yes, you

can even have the service e-mail you the table of contents of your

favorite monthly, soon off the press. And what about cost? Well

the searching is free and so is the Table of contents through e-

mail. It does cost, though, to have articles FAXed.

This issue of Surfing will be devoted to helping you explore the

services of UnCover.

Part I: Logging on to UnCover

At your Internet prompt type: Telnet

You will then be asked to select a terminal type from a list. For

most, the selection will be item (5) VT100. If you are unsure,

check with your computer folks. Once the terminal type is

selected, you will be at the opening screen for CARL.

CARL is an acronym for Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries, a

not-for-profit organization formed in 1978 to create ways for

libraries to share information. One division of CARL services is

UnCover, an article delivery service. Until October of last year,

this service was available to only member libraries, but can now

be accessed free of charge by anyone with an Internet account.

Most of the services listed on the opening menu for CARL are

restricted to member libraries. You can explore items 1 (UnCover),

7 (Other Databases, which includes the Journal Graphic Database)

and 8 (CARL Systems Library Catalogs). These have public access.

For our purposes, we will be using UnCover. To enter the UnCover


 Type: 1 at the >> prompt and press <RETURN>.

You will then encounter a series of four different prompts. For

now, keep pressing the <RETURN> key until you come to the screen

pictured below. These early prompts are for member libraries to

insert their password or for you as a single user to insert your

Profile Account number. A Profile Account is not necessary to use

the search functions of the service. Establishing a Profile

Account provides UnCover with some basic information about you --

name, e-mail address, etc. You will need a Profile Account if you

choose to have the Table of contents of various magazines

forwarded to you. (You might later want to re-enter UnCover and

establish a Profile Account for yourself.)

============ Main Menu for Uncover =============

 Welcome to UnCover

 The Article Access and Delivery Solution

UnCover contains records describing journals and their contents.

Over 4000 current citations are added daily. UnCover offers you

the opportunity to order fax copies of articles from this

database. Type ? for details.

For information about a new service, UnCover Complete, type ?C

 Enter N for NAME search

 W for WORD search

 B to BROWSE by journal title

 QS for QUICKSEARCH information

 S to STOP or SWITCH to another database

 Type the letter for the kind of search you want,

 and end each line you type by pressing <RETURN>




Congratulations! You are now logged on to the UnCover system. The

service is all menu driven -- typing the letter or number of a

menu item takes you to the next level of service. You should feel

comfortable exploring, there is little trouble that you can cause.

As is true with most Internet services, things slow down during

the middle of the day, so you might want to play around with

UnCover at a time when traffic on the net isn't as heavy.

Part II: Using NAME and WORD search

Both the Name and Word search features work similarly. If you are

looking for authors, you would use NAME search and if you are

looking for words in titles you would use the WORD search. WORD

search will only search for words in titles and in the brief

summaries that are contained on the Table of Content pages of

magazines; it will not search for words in the actual articles

themselves (too bad).

Here is an example to show how the features work.

 Type: W at the >> prompt

 Press <RETURN> (to enter WORD search)

At the next prompt, you can enter the words you are searching for.

You can enter one or several words depending on your criteria. For

our example:

 Type three words at the prompt: Liberal Arts Job

 Press <RETURN>

A list of four articles that meet our criteria will be displayed

(pictured below).

============= List of Articles ================


Set of 4 will display on one page -- proceeding with display...

 1 LaMarco, Terri (The black collegian. 03/01/94)

 Preparing for Today's Job Market: Concrete advice fo...

 2 Chesler, Herbert (Journal of career planning & empl..3/1/94)

 Tell Them That a "Pure" Liberal Arts Degree Is Markd...

 3 (National review. 05/11/92)

 Books, Arts & Manners.

 4 Sharp, Laure M. (The Journal of higher education. 9/1/89)

 Early Careers of Undergraduate Humanities Majors.

 <RETURN> to CONTINUE, Number + M (ex. 3M)to MARK article

Enter <Line numbers> to see FULL records

<P>revious for PREVIOUS page,<Q>uit for NEW search


If your list is too long, you will be prompted to provide

additional words to help narrow your search. Looking over the

list, you will notice that item 2 includes our familiar "Journal

of career planning and employment". This is pretty neat! UnCover

provides an index to our own professional journal.

You can now preview a summary of each article in the list. In this

example we will preview Laure Sharp's article (item 4 on the list)

 Type: 4 at the prompt and press <RETURN>

The information pictured below will appear on your screen listing

author, title, summary and location or source of the article. At

the bottom of the information you are given the cost to have the

article FAXed to you. This is as far as the service will take you;

you are not able to preview the actual article.

============= Article Summary ================

AUTHOR(s): Sharp, Laure M.

 Weidman, John C.

TITLE(s): Early Careers of Undergraduate Humanities Majors.

Summary: Data from the 1979 follow-up of the NLS-72 sample

 suggest that the early career experiences (two to

 three years post-baccalaureate) of undergraduate

 humanities majors differed little from their

 contemporaries who had majored in several other

 liberal arts fields, but contrasted with those in

 which job-major fit was better or pay higher.

 In: The journal of higher education.

 SEP 01 1989 v 60 n 5

 Page: 544

This article may be available in your library, at no cost to you.

To have it faxed from UnCover, the following charges apply:

Service Charge: $ 8.50

Fax Surcharge: $ .00

Copyright Fee: $ 1.25


Total Delivery Cost: 9.75

<R>epeat this display,

<M>ark article <Q>uit,

<H> for Search History, ? for HELP >


For me, at this point, it's a trip to the local library. For one

thing my library may subscribe to the journal and I can get it for

free or they usually get a better rate to have the article FAXed -

- many libraries pay an annual subscription fee to the service.

Also, if you don't mind waiting for 6-10 days, you can probably

get the article free through inter library loan.

If you choose to have the article FAXed to you, you would enter M

at the prompt. A new item will be added to your command choices:

<O>rder. Once you have marked all the articles that you would like

FAXed, type O at the prompt. If you haven't established a Profile

Account you will be prompted for your name, FAX number and credit

card number. Then presto, the article will be at your FAX machine

within 24 hours.

Part III: Browsing by Journal Title

Another way you can use the service is to browse through the table

of contents of various magazines. This feature is accessed at the

Main Menu for UnCover. If you are in a different section of

UnCover, type Q and <RETURN> to trace your steps back to the Main

Menu. Once there:

 Type: B at the >> prompt

 Press <RETURN> (to enter Browse by Journal Title)

You will then be asked to type the name of the journal that you

wish to browse. For our example, type: Internet World

UnCover will then display a list of several journal titles.

Internet World should appear on top of the list.

 Type: 1 and <RETURN> to access the Internet World entry.

The information pictured below will appear on your screen listing

the name of the magazine, publisher and brief description.

============= Journal Summary ================

TITLE(s): Internet world.

 Westport, CT : Meckler Corp.

OTHER ENTRIES: Internet (Computer network) Periodicals.

 Computer networks Periodicals.

Continues: Research & education networking 1051-4791

The UnCover Complete service allows you to order articles from any

issue of this journal, provided you have a complete citation.

Type ?C for details.


<R>epeat display, <REVEAL>E-mail Alerting <C> UnCover Complete


<E> to Examine Current Issue Information >

<H> for Search History, ? for HELP >


You now have several options available to you. Let me explain the

REVEAL option. The REVEAL options allows you to create a list of

magazine titles which are of interest to you. When the next issue

is received, UnCover will automatically send the table of contents

to your e-mail address. For this to work, you will need to

establish a Profile Account. You can do that now:

 Type: //Profile at the prompt and <RETURN>

UnCover will bring you through the steps. You could also establish

a Profile Account when you first enter the program.

To continue with our example, use the E command to see a list of

issues that are on file with UnCover:

 Type: E at the prompt and <RETURN>

What you will see is the list pictured below.

============= Journal List ================

TITLE: Internet world


1 08/01/94 v 5 n 6 Expected Not present

2 07/01/94 v 5 n 5 Published Present

3 06/01/94 v 5 n 4 Published Present

4 05/01/94 v 5 n 3 Published Present

5 03/01/94 v 5 n 2 Published Present


<RETURN>to continue, or <R> to repeat display

<C> UnCover Complete<Q> to Quit


As we did in the WORD search, you can now type the number of the

issue to bring up the table of contents for that issue. Once you

are in the table of contents, you can type the number for the

article to show a summary.

My apologies for being a bit long winded. There are other features

which I did not cover but you can learn about by using the help

screens that are built into the program.

 Type: ? and <RETURN> at any prompt for help or

 Type: ?h2 and <RETURN> for a list of all help screens.

Good Luck! -- Leo written 7/13/94


Electronic Text, Newspapers, and Magazines: American Cybercasting

Here are some newspapers and magazines that are available in the form of electronic text, deliverable to your educational institution directly by e-mail! The person to contact for further information and prices is:


E-mail Michelle Montpetite

Voice 216/247-0770 Fax 216/247-0778



                        August 1994


     Los Angeles Times             Daily

     Washington Post               Daily

     Washington Times              Daily

     USA TODAY Decisionline        Mon.-Fri.

     World Press Review            Monthly


     Investor's Business Daily &

         AP Financial Data         Mon.-Fri.

     California Management Review  Quarterly

     Forbes                        27 Issues

     Financial Times (London)      Mon.-Fri.


     Discover Magazine             Monthly

     International Wildlife        Monthly

     Mechanical Engineering        Monthly

     Animals                       Bi-Monthly

     National Wildlife             Monthly

     Sea Frontiers                 Bi-Monthly

     Ranger Rick                   Bi-Monthly


    The Brookings Review           Quarterly

    Foreign Policy                 Quarterly

    Insight on the News            Weekly

    The New Republic               Weekly

    The National Review            Bi-Weekly


    Journal Francais D'Amerique    Weekly

    Moscow News                    Weekly


    Beijing Review                 Weekly

    China Today                    Monthly

    Islamic Affairs                Monthly

    Jerusalem Post                 Daily

    London Daily Telegraph         Daily

    France Today                   Monthly

Online Coursework

Many college and university courses and degree programs are already being offered on the Internet or have Net use as a vital course component. Some have brief, on-campus components as well, that require the student to be physically present at some particular location. Many offer videotaped classroom periods as one of the primary adjuncts to e-mail and telnet connections.

The samples of college and postgraduate programs below were chosen because they do not require any on-campus attendance, are open to the public, are not exclusively limited to students in a single state, company, or local broadcast area—and e-mail is mentioned as a primary course component in their entry in The Electronic University: A guide to Distance Learning, Peterson's Guides, c. 1993, Princeton, New Jersey.

Each entry in the Online Educational Resources section below has an e-mail address, telephone, fax, and surface mail address. Every student should carefully explore these opportunities before investing heavily in them. Make sure this method of learning meets your needs and fits your lifestyle and your learning style before you commit to a multi-year degree program!

The courses available now heavily emphasize continuing education and professional development for highly technical occupations—Computer Science, all kinds of Engineering, and Telecommunications. But you will also find listed below programs in Management, Business, Education, Food Science, Human Services, Nursing, Social Work, and Library Science. Soon other professional schools will begin to make offerings on the Net, to position themselves in this new arena of the educational marketplace.

Online Instructional Methods

The diversity of instructional methods in these distance education offerings reflects the newness of this way of doing the business of education. Education has been done face to face, students and teacher all in one physical place all at one time, for thousands of years. That's the whole concept of a school, isn't it? Well, today there are many new pedagogical technologies available, including

Fiber Optic Data, Communications, and Video

Internet BBS, Computer Conferencing, and E-mail

ITFS—Instructional TV Fixed Service


Microwave Transmission

Paper-based Correspondence

Satellite TV

Telephone, Fax

Video Conferencing and Compressed Video

Video and Audio Cassette

Video Broadcast, Public TV, Cable TV, Closed Circuit TV

Of course, most of the old limitations of time and space still apply to most of the preceding. And the options above also largely leave the "teacher" in control of events, rather than the learner/student being a self-reliant, adult, independent agent. Truly independent learning, guided by educators, may remain largely in the Internet's realm for some time to come.

Of the above technologies, those that are most under the learner's (time and space) control are:

Online Learning Resources

The way we see education is changing. Once, a person expected to go to school, get an education, and after graduating go to work in a single long career, and then retire. Now, we are realizing that many other combinations and permutations of education, career, and retirement are possible, and probably desirable.

Why must education be a one-time event, with a single rite of passage at the end of it? This "tonsillectomy" model of education (once it's done, it's done) is losing favor. A new model is gaining attention both in schools of education and in corporate circles: A nutritional or gourmet model of education—learning is pleasant and necessary, and is best done regularly in prearranged and well designed cycles.

The online learning resources listed below presage the diminished importance of all central school campuses. Learning need not be at a single location—the Net is everywhere. The Net can be a tremendous boon to isolated rural schools. This is because if rural areas actually receive their promised equal access to the Net, they will be able to supply a much higher quality of education without the immediate physical presence of all the amenities, resources, and dangers of urban schools.

Note: Many states, provinces, and localities have excellent programs for their state or region. But programs are listed here only if they offer open admission to qualified members of the public nationwide.

But many excellent programs are geographically limited, primarily by the hardware they use. For instance, broadcast TV and cable TV are limited to locations within their signal and cabled service areas, and ITFS (Instructional TV Fixed Service) is limited to a broadcasting radius of around 20 miles.

Therefore, in addition to the nationwide resources listed below, to find Internet-related distance learning opportunities in your local area, check with your local library or bookstore. Or you may want to consult the book The Electronic University: A Guide to Distance Learning, by Peterson's Guides, Princeton, New Jersey, which contains dozens of state, local, and regional educational programs with Internet components.

Here are 18 education programs across North America that include an Internet component.

The Georgia Institute of Technology

The Georgia Institute of Technology offers master's degrees and various postsecondary certificates, in Electrical Engineering, Computer Integrated Manufacturing, Engineering Testing and Evaluation, Environmental Engineering, and Health Physics.

For Information:

e-mail: (Joseph S. Boland)

Voice: 404/894-8572

Fax: 404/894-8924

Surface mailContinuing Education Videos

Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA 30332-0240

Kansas State University

Kansas State University offers a postsecondary certificate in Food Science for food technologists, managers, and supervisors.

For Information:

e-mail: (Linda Henderson)

Voice: 913/532-5686

Fax: 913/532-5637


Distance Learning Program

College Court Building #231

Kansas State University

Manhattan, KS 66506-6007

The National Technological University

The National Technological University offers master's degrees in several computer-related subjects through corporate, government, and university sponsors in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

For Information:

e-mail: (Douglas Yeager)

Voice: 303/495-6414

Fax: 303/484-0668


National Technological University

700 Centre Avenue

Fort Collins, CO 80526-1842

New York University

New York University offers a post-secondary certificate in Management/Computer Science in a program called The Virtual College.

For Information:

e-mail: (Dick Vigilante)

Voice: 212/998-7190

Fax: 212/995-4131


Information Technologies Institute

New York University

48 Cooper Square

New York, NY 10003-7154

Purdue University

Purdue University offers master's degrees and continuing engineering education in several engineering areas including: Industrial Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Civil Engineering.

For Information:

e-mail: (Philip Swain)

Voice: 317/494-0212

Fax: 317/496-1196


Continuing Engineering Education

Civil Engineering Building #1575

Purdue University

West Lafayette, IN 47907-1968

The Rochester Institute of Technology

The Rochester Institute of Technology offers several programs. This first one is a master's degree in Software Development and Management.

For Information:

e-mail: (Evelyn Rozanski)

Voice: 800/CALL-RIT ( same as 800/225-5748)

Fax: 716/475-2114


Information Technology

Rochester Institute of Technology

P.O. Box 9887

Rochester, NY 14623

The Rochester Institute of Technology also offers a master's degree in Telecommunications Software Technology.

For Information:

e-mail: lutz@Chase.DE (Peter Lutz)

Voice: 800/CALL-RIT (same as 800/225-5748) or 716/475-6162

Fax: 716/475-7100


Information Technologies

Rochester Institute of Technology

91 Lomb Memorial Drive

Rochester, NY 14623-5603

The Rochester Institute of Technology also offers postsecondary certificates in Data Communications. Several other programs are available in Applied Computing and Communications, Health Systems Administration, Solid Waste Management Technology, Emergency Management, and Applied Arts and Science.

For Information:

e-mail: (Suzy Warner)

Voice: 800/CALL-RIT (same as 800/225-5748)

Fax: 716/475-5077


Distance Learning

Rochester Institute of Technology

Rochester, NY 14623-6310

Empire State College

Empire State College offers bachelors degrees in Business, Human Services, and Interdisciplinary Studies.

For Information:

e-mail: (Daniel Granger)

Voice: 518/587-2100

Fax: 518/587-5404


Center for Distance Learning

Empire State College (SUNY)

2 Union Avenue

Saratoga Springs, NY 12866-4303

Syracuse University

Syracuse University offers a master's degree in Nursing.

For Information:

e-mail: (Robert Colley)

Voice: 315/443-3284

Fax: 315/443-1928


Independent Study Degree Programs

Syracuse University

610 East Fayette St.

Syracuse, NY 13244-2140

The University of Alaska at Fairbanks

The University of Alaska at Fairbanks offers several programs, including a bachelors degree in Education.

For Information:

E-mail: (Ray Barnhardt)

Voice: 907/474-6431

Fax: 907/474-5451


Off-Campus Programs

School of Education

Gruening Building #706 C

University of Alaska, Fairbanks

Fairbanks, AK 99775-6480

The University of Alaska at Fairbanks also offers a bachelors degree in Rural Development.

For Information:

e-mail: (Bernice Joseph)

Voice: 907/474-6432

Fax: 907/474-5451


Gruening Building #707 B

University of Alaska, Fairbanks

Fairbanks, AK 99775-6500

The University of Alaska at Fairbanks also offers a bachelor's degree in Social Work.

For Information:

e-mail: (Gerald Berman)

Voice: 907/474-6516

Fax: 907/474-5451


Behavioral Sciences and Human Services

Gruening Building #702 B

University of Alaska, Fairbanks

Fairbanks, AK 99775-6480

The University of Arizona

The University of Arizona offers a program in Library Science in association with Mind Extension University and the Western Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications.

For Information:

e-mail: (Merrilyn S. Ridgeway)

Voice: 800/955-UofA (same as 800/955-8632)

Fax: 602/621-3279



Extended University

University of Arizona

1955 E 6th Street

Tucson, AZ 85719-5524

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs offers a postsecondary certificate in Early Reading Instruction in Association with Mind Extension University.

For Information:

e-mail: (Linda Aaker)

Voice: 719/593-3597

Fax: 719/593-3362



University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

P.O. Box 7150

Colorado Springs, CO 80933-7150

The University of Idaho

The University of Idaho, through their Video Outreach Program, offers a master's degree in Engineering.

For Information:

e-mail: (Bruce Willis)

Voice: 208/885-6373

Fax: 208/885-6165


Engineering Outreach

Janssen Engineering Building #40

University of Idaho

375 S. Line St.

Moscow, ID 83844-1014

The University of South Carolina

The University of South Carolina offers a master's degree in Library and Information Science. This program is being conducted only in South Carolina, West Virginia, Georgia, and Maine at this time.

For Information:

e-mail: (Gayle D. Sykes)

Voice: 803/777-3858 or 803/777-5066

Fax: 803/777-7938


Nancy C. Beitz

Admissions/Placement Coordinator

College of Library and Information Science

University of South Carolina

Columbia, SC 29225-0001

The University of Washington School of Medicine

The University of Washington School of Medicine offers American Medical Association continuing medical education units on the Internet. See Figure 19.5 for the home page, as it was announced to the Listserv Health Matrix. The text of the announcement is also given here.

Figure 19.5. The home page for the Department of Radiology at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

Date: Tue, 16 Aug 1994 18:16:14 -0500

From: (name and address removed)

Reply to:

Subject: Continuing Medical Education


     Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits are now available online!

     The University of Washington School of Medicine has designated the digital

     teaching file on the UW Radiology Webserver for credit hours in Category I

     of the Physicians Recognition Award of the American Medical Association.

     The URL for this server is:

     Other learning modules are currently available on this server

     and will also be available for CME credit soon. This server

     includes the following items:

        1. Radiology Teaching File

        2. Anatomy Teaching Modules

        3. Radiology Exhibits from UW

        4. Information on UW radiology residency and fellowship programs

        5. Image processing software written by UW faculty

     For further information, contact:

     Michael Richardson, M. D.

Electronic University Network (EUN): America Online

The Electronic University Network is affiliated with several degree-granting higher education institutions, and is the exclusive provider of higher education on America Online, one of the largest commercial computer networks in North America.

EUN on America Online has a "virtual" campus, including admissions, finance, continuing education, and registrars offices, a library, and a student center.

For more information:


Schools Using the Net

Here are just a couple of samples to show you that elementary, middle schools, and high schools are already using the Internet. Although Gopher is probably a more practical and inexpensive program for a school to operate, these examples focus on World Wide Web (WWW) home pages, simply because they are more graphic and visually interesting. Transferring graphics, and sound files, can be extremely slow and taxes the Net's bandwidth, so that some feel WWW may weaken the Internet rather than show off its best possibilities.

Grand River Elementary School: Lansing, Michigan

Notice that the fifth-grade class at Grand River Elementary prepared this WWW home page (see Figure 19.7).

Figure 19.6. The WWW home page prepared by the fifth-grade class at Grand River Elementary school in Lansing, Michigan.



For more information:

e-mail: Brad Marshall

Claremont High School: Claremont, California

This site includes links to academic resources for Claremont High School students, current research data and publications in knot theory, and access to their anonymous FTP site, along with descriptions of the school and its computing resources. Students have created their own homepages (see Figure 19.8).

Figure 19.7. Home page created by Claremont High School students.

There is also a link to the Claremont Colleges' Library system. This WWW server also includes links to Pasedena's Jet Propulsion Lab, Harvey Mudd College's Web site, and Pitzer College's new WWW server for K-12 access.



For more information:

e-mail: (Robs John Muir)

voice: 909/624-9053

Online Database Access

Here are four companies that sell access to information databases. They usually charge either a flat fee per year or month, or a per hour connect charge, with additional varying fees for access to certain databases. Each of these services sells access to dozens of different databases.

All of the services in this section provide access to databases over the Internet, but they do not perform any searching for you. You have to learn to search the databases, and perform your own queries. The next section provides two search services that will do the search for you.

CD Plus Technologies (formerly BRS Information Technologies)

This group has very strong coverage of Life Sciences and Medicine, and strong coverage of Business, Education, Patents, Sciences, Reference Sources, and Social Sciences.



Voice: 800/955-0906, x1400



Fax: 212/563-3784

Surface 333 Seventh Avenue

New York, NY 10001

Tip: Both DIALOG (following) and CD-Plus Technologies (preceding) offer patent databases. These are for historical purposes. Starting this year, new patent information is available on the Internet by e-mail subscription for free.



body ascii all news

Patent information is very valuable for finding out what others are doing, for locating new technologies to license, and to measure rates of advancement.

For more information:

e-mail: (Gregory Aharonian)

Voice: 617-489-3727


Source Translation & Optimization

P.O. Box 404

Belmont, MA 02178

DIALOG Information Services and Data-Star

Because these two former competitors are now one company, they have a broader coverage than either would provide on its own. Data-Star brings strong European and Foreign Trade coverage, while Dialog has strong coverage of Business, Patents, Marketing Research, and Biotechnology.



voice: 800/334-2564


fax: 415/858-7089


3460 Hillview Avenue

Palo Alto, CA 94304

GTE Network Services

This group has very strong coverage of all Educational topics, and strong coverage of Health and Human Services topics.



Voice: 800/927-3000


Fax: 214/751-0964


5545 MacArthur Boulevard #320

Irving, TX 75038

Online Computer Library Center (OCLC)

This group is a reseller of database access, and can provide access to DIALOG (mentioned previously), training in search strategy and database use, and other database services.


e-mail: (Tonya Derrick)

Voice: 800/848-5878



Fax: 614/764-6096


6565 Frantz Road

Dublin, OH 43017-0702

Online Research Services

Here are two commercial research firms. They will do research and deliver the results quickly and over the Internet!


In order to arrange for billing, you will need to fax DialSearch to open an account, but they will accept search requests from existing accounts and deliver the results by e-mail. DialSearch uses Dialog and Data-Star, two online databases mentioned here, so they have good coverage of business news and marketing trends, current events worldwide, biotechnology, patents, industrial analysis, and much more. Searches average $400.00 to $500.00 each, and you should receive a price quote before you are obligated.


e-mail: (Cindy)

Voice: 800/634-2564

Knowledge One

Knowledge One is another fee-based information service for when you need information on any topic. Like reading glasses at the shopping mall, your research is ready in about an hour! Time and space become distorted and irrelevant when your mind travels through the Net to this Sonoma, California company (please see Figure 14.8).




For information:


Figure 19.8. Knowledge One is a commercial research service now available on the Internet.

Communicating with Teachers

A teacher new to the Internet will want to start making inquiries among colleagues about which discussion lists are the most valuable. Listserv discussion lists and Usenet newsgroups are not all the same. Some are laconic, with little activity all year, while others are verbose and pedantic, or manic and terse, and have heavy activity every single day, even on weekends. Each of us has to follow our own bliss, so we accept that not all newsgroups or Listservs will be to our liking.

Here are two excellent resources for Educators and aspiring Net gurus to choose discussions of their own interest.

Educator's Guide to E-Mail Lists

Prescott Smith of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst prepares and distributes two excellent lists of lists for educators. He founded and is list owner emeritus for one of the all-time best educational Listserv discussion groups, Ednet—a forum exploring the educational potential of the Internet.



body: subscribe Ednet your_name

Here are the major headings for An Educator's Guide to E-Mail Lists, under each of which you can find dozens of Listserv discussion lists. After obtaining the list (access instructions are below) you simply find the lists that are the most interesting to you and check them out!

Education - Adult

- Higher, Administrative

- Higher, Research

- Higher, Student

- Higher, Teacher & Faculty Development - General

- Higher, Teacher & Faculty Development - Subject Areas

- Higher, Teacher & Faculty Development - Media

- International Related

- K12

- Multicultural Related

- Special



Computer - PC Bibliography, Text

Future Studies


History & Classics

Language - Communications Studies

- International

- Linguistics

- Literature

- Writing

Library & Information Retrieval



Social Science


Women's Studies

This guide is over 100 kilobytes, so please be sure you have available file space in your account.



directory /pub/ednet

file educatrs.lst

Ednet Guide to Usenet Newsgroups

Prescott Smith of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst also prepares and distributes this list of newsgroups for educators. Each topic entry below has from a dozen to several dozen newsgroups under it. You may find newsgroups you want to participate in. At the end of the document, Prescott includes several dozen newsgroups that are commercially available for a fee.

Usenet Newsgroups

Education - Adult

Education - Higher, Academic

Education - Higher, Administrative

Education - Higher, Student

Education - Instructional Media

Education - International Related

Education - K12

Education - Multicultural Related

Education - Special



Future Studies


History & Humanities

Language - Communication Studies

Language - International

Language - Linguistics

Language - Literature

Language - Writing

Library & Information Retrieval



Science, Social


Women's Studies

Commercial Newsgroups ($)

You may obtain the Ednet Guide to Usenet Newsgroups by anonymous FTP.


Anonymous FTP


directory /pub/ednet

file edusenet.gde

Searching Listserv Archives

Chapters 5, "E-Mail," and 12, "Listservs and Mailing Lists," have already prepared you for some of the advanced topics to be covered here. The harried life of an educating guru requires time-saving devices. One of the fastest ways to do practical research on the Net is to search the vast archives of the Listserv discussion lists.

There are well over 5,000 Listserv discussions and newsgroups ongoing now, with more popping up all the time. In Chapters 5 and 12 you learn to manage the Listserv discussions that are valuable for keeping up with various parts of your intellectual-spiritual-physical life.

Tip: Here's a way to use Listservs to do your research! For the official documentation on Listserv archive searching, send e-mail to any valid listserv@ address with the message

info database

You will receive back a copy of Listdb Memo, about Listserv database functions. This is the authoritative source for Listserv archive searching, and you'll need it to do things like case-sensitive searches.

Submitting a Search

All batch Listserv database searches are built inside of the job command language structure shown in this box.

//Scan JOB Echo=Yes


//Data DD *

            {your search goes here}




The remainder of this detailed discussion of Listserv archive searching relies on you remembering that the preceding job structure must be around your search lines. The discussion below does not show you the job structure of every search, but all searches must be sent inside of that structure to work.

The search Command

Probably the simplest search command is

search * in listname

which would result in the selection of all the messages in the archives of the list listname.

This search can be modified to include only messages sent after a given date, before a given date, or between two dates.

search * in listname since 92/01/01

search * in listname before 92/01/01

search * in listname from 92/01/01 to 92/06/30

The above messages will select all messages sent to the list, since January 1, 1992; before that date; and for the first 6 months of 1992.

Specific words can be searched, also. For example, the following search seeks two words, facilitated and communication.

search facilitated communication in listname

This search will identify a list of all messages containing the words facilitated and communication.

The search rules can be modified to send messages that contained words that appeared, for example, since the beginning of 1993.

search facilitated communication in listname since 93/01/01

It is also possible to select messages on the basis of the sender of the message. The following command returns a list of all the messages sent by Dave Kinnaman.

search * in listname where sender is

In combination with a date command, only messages from Dave Kinnaman for the last half of 1992 will be returned by the following request.

search * in listname where sender is from

-92/07/01 to 92/12/31

(Please note that the - character is used to indicate a continuation of the command on the next line.)

It is also possible to do phonetic searches:

search * in listname where sender sounds like cinnamon

The full complement of Boolean keywords (AND, OR, NOT, CONTAINS, and so on) are available in the Listserv database functions. The Listdb Memo provides complete documentation, with examples.

The index Command

The index command provides you with a list of the messages selected by your search. The Index includes the number of the item, and its date, time, number of lines, and subject.

search * in listname


Index of Database Search

        Item #          Date      Time  Recs   Subject

        ------          ----      ----  ----   -------

       000001          92/04/25   07:12   25   A few words

       000002          92/04/27   08:56   40   A few words from me           000003          92/04/27   10:33   83   Introductions

       000004          92/04/27   11:30   21   Re: A few words from          000005          92/04/28   13:14   36   17 strong and still

This is an index of messages that meet the search criteria. It serves as a guide to which message should be retrieved.

The list command can be used to include the sender of the message in the index. The following commands will result in an index:

select * in listname

list sender.9 index

The list sender.9 part of the command, prior to the word index, will result in the first nine characters in the userid of the person who sent the message being added to the output fields usually contained in the index command.

List/Index Output

Sender     Item #   Date   Time  Recs   Subject

------     ------   ----   ----  ----   -------

DRZ@SJUVM+ 000001 92/04/25 07:12   25   A few words

RJKOPP@SU+ 000002 92/04/27 08:56   40   A few words from me too!

DOC@VTVM1+ 000003 92/04/27 10:33   83   Introductions

jmwobus@M+ 000004 92/04/27 11:30   21   Re: A few words from me too!

RJKOPP@SU+ 000005 92/04/28 13:14   36   17 strong and still growing.
The print Command

The search and index commands result in your receiving e-mail containing the index of "hits." If the command print N is included, such as

select * in listname

list sender.9 index

print 3

the text of message 3 will be sent to you.

Several messages can be requested at one time with the following command:

select * in listname

list sender.9 index

print 27 30-35

Tip: The following advanced search design is really worth saving.

-----------Clip and Save----------
//ListSrch JOB Echo=no
Database Search DD=Rules OUTLIM=2000 f=mail
//Rules DD *
S word in listname
index #.5 date.8 sender.17 subject.46
// EOJ
-----------Clip and Save-------

If you replace word above with the keyword or words you are looking for and listname with the name of Listserv list, you receive back a numbered list of hits, including message dates, sender names, and subject lines.

Note: Listserv commands are always included in the body of your e-mail message, not the subject line, and are always sent to the Listserv robot clerical program—never to the people on the list.

Using InfoMagnet to Search Listserv Archives

A new Windows-compatible program called InfoMagnet is so powerful it not only maintains your Listserv subscriptions for you, it also searches Listserv archives for you. It uses the same procedures just described, but automates them so they are almost invisible to the user! See Figure 19.9.

Figure 19.9. This screen appears after you click on InfoMagnet's icon and as it is loading into the Windows graphical environment.

The version demonstrated here is clearly a beta version, but it is quite impressive already. Figure 14.10 shows the New Discussion Group List selection screen, which enables you to choose from about two dozen major topic areas for further investigation. For all the remaining figures in this chapter, you should imagine we selected "Education" at this choice point.

Figure 19.10. Based on your interests, you select an area for detailed exploration.

As you can see, the Listserv discussion topic areas that InfoMagnet can show you include Apple Computers, Art, Biology and Chemistry, Business, Computers, Databases, Ecology, Education, Food, Graphics, History, IBM, and many more major areas.

Figure 19.11 shows you just the top of an alphabetical list of about 180 education-related listings already in this beta version of InfoMagnet.

Figure 19.11. After choosing the main subject of Education, the next screen shows one education discussion list name per line.

After choosing the main subject of Education, the next screen shows one education discussion list name per line.

Over 700 people currently subscribe to EDPOLYAN - the Education Policy Analysis Forum. Would you like to listen in? Or perhaps you'd prefer to participate actively? Figure 19.12 shows the details about this discussion list.

Figure 19.12. InfoMagnet's "peek" feature enables you to see the details about each discussion lists.

When you double-click a line in the Education list selection screen, the first detail screen, which InfoMagnet calls a "Peek," is shown for whichever list you clicked on.

As you can see from the InfoMagnet Peek at the list EDPOLYAN screen, a lot of information is provided on each of the Listserv discussion lists covered in InfoMagnet. Besides Peeking at each list, in the upper left of the screen, you'll see that you can initiate a search of the list's archives, or have InfoMagnet send the messages for you to join the list. Also available on this screen are several details about the list: Whether the list has archives or not, whether it is a public or a private "moderated" list, an estimate of the number of subscribers, the list's physical location, and a complete set of the Internet addresses needed to manage all business with this list is provided on the InfoMagnet Peek screen!

InfoMagnet really does handle everything for you. Figure 19.13 shows the settings you choose as defaults for how you want to subscribe to Listservs. Every choice that is normally available to you is handled by the program—automatically! These choices include: Whether to subscribe as a full member, digest member, index member, or to subscribe but not receive any mail; whether to conceal your name from the "review" command; and how you want acknowledgment of your own posts to the list handled.

Figure 19.13. Set your default subscription preferences here.

Here are four more Peek screens, detailing some popular Education discussion lists. Figure 14.14 is for EdTech.

Figure 19.14. The details on the EdTech discussion list.

Figure 19.15 gives details on an Italian list called Hyperedu, which discusses uses of hypertext in educational settings.

Figure 19.15. Details on the list Hyperedu.

The Middle-l list is very popular among middle school teachers and administrators (see Figure 14.15).

Figure 19.16. The Middle-l list is very popular among middle school teachers and administrators.

And Figure 19.17 is for VOCNET, out of Berkeley, California.

Figure 19.17. "Peek" details on the discussion list VOCNET.

Personal (Filtered) News

There are several news filtering services now operating on the Net.

This section looks at one that is fee-based but has a 30-day free trial period to get you started, and another that is free, with your subscription period a number of days that you may choose.


HeadsUp is available free for 30 days. This is a filtered news delivery service based on around 12,000 articles per day from 300 sources. You select 5-10 topics (from 700) and get 2-sentence briefs by e-mail. Full articles can then be ordered from an 800 number or via e-mail, for delivery within 30 minutes. After the trial, it costs $695 per year, or $29.95 per month plus $4.95 per full-text via e-mail.



Voice: 800/417-1000



Fax: 617/354-6210

Netnews Filtering Service

Here is an excellent free news filtering service. It was designed with funding from the Pentagon, so you know it has some serious horsepower behind it. It is being upgraded regularly, so you can expect this already fine service to continue to improve.

The brief instruction manual is included next, because you may need these details to manage your news filtering subscriptions. This is such a valuable service, you should have the complete instructions right from the beginning!

Tip: This filtering service does not use Boolean searching. It doesn't know what the words AND, OR, and NOT mean.

It also does not know that employer, employee, employment, and employ are related words. So your search should use all the variations on the same root word. Use them all and you will get more "hits."

Here's a quick example of how it works. For each filter topic you define, you send a list of words to the service—each list of words is a new subscription. This example would ask the service to search hundreds of newsgroups for messages that contain the words education rural funding schools teacher.



body: subscribe education rural funding schools teacher

The service will acknowledge your subscription and begin sending you by e-mail each evening the first 20 lines of any "hits" it finds. Hits are messages the service finds that have most of your search words in them. If the first twenty lines of a hit look good to you, you should ask the service to send you the whole message.

Tip: This service does not save messages for very long, so ask for any "hits" you really want within 48 hours of being notified of the message by the Netnews Filtering Service.

There are several more detailed options described in the following instruction manual. Again, this service is free, so what have you got to lose? Make up a search and let Stanford do the fishing for you!

                       Netnews Filtering Server

                    Department of Computer Science

                         Stanford University

                   Comments to:

                            February 1994

 ( A )   I N T R O D U C T I O N

 The Database Group at Stanford is providing a filtering service for NetNews

 articles. A user sends his profiles to the service, and will receive news

 articles relevant to his interests periodically. Communication to and from

 the service is via e-mail messages.

 A user's profile is, in the style of WAIS [1] queries, just a plain piece of

 English text; e.g., "object oriented programming," or "nba golden state

 warriors basketball." Based on the statistical distributions of the words in

 the articles, scores are given to evaluate how relevant they are to a

 profile. The highest possible score given to an article document is 100. The

 user can specify the minimum score for an article to be delivered.

 Below we first look at a sample message from the user and a sample notifica-

 tion from the service. Then we describe details of the user message format.

 ( B )  E X A M P L E

 A user who has sent this message to the service


 From Fri Feb 19 21:48:24 1993


 subscribe object oriented programming

 period 3


 will receive periodically (every 3 days, as specified) notifications such as

 this one:


 From Mon Feb 22 10:40:35 1993


 Subscription 1: object oriented programming

 Article: comp.object.10836

 From: (Eric Jul.)

 Subject: I-WOOOS'93 Call for Papers/Participation

 Score: 83

 First 15 lines:

                        CALL FOR PARTICIPATION

                    1993 INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP ON


                             I-WOOOS '93

                  The Grove Park Inn and Country Club

                   Ashville, North Carolina, U.S.A.

                        December 9-10th, 1993

                             Sponsored by

          The IEEE Technical Committee on Operating Systems

            and Application Environments (TCOS) (pending)



 The user can then request the whole article sent to him if he thinks it is


 ( C )  U S E R  M E S S A G E  F O R M A T

 User messages should be sent to The subject field of

 the message is ignored. Each message is a request to the service. Each

 request consists of a number of commands. Each command must start with a new

 line with no leading spaces. Continuation lines begin with a space or a tab.

 All commands are case-insensitive.

 Requests are associated with the return address of the user message. Service

 replies and deliveries will be sent to that address.

 The usages of the commands are as follows.

 ( C . 1 )  S u b s c r i b i n g

 To subscribe for articles, use these commands:

 SUBSCRIBE word word ...       Subscribe for articles relevant to the profile

                                specified by <word>'s. Maybe followed by

                                PERIOD, EXPIRE, and THRESHOLD commands.

 PERIOD period                  (Optional - default 1 days) Specify <period>

                                as the period between notifications (in days).

 EXPIRE days                    (Optional - default 9999 days) Specify

                                <days> as the length (in days) for which

                                the subscription is valid.

 THRESHOLD score                (Optional - default 60) Specify <score> as the

                                minimum score for an article to be relevant.

                                The most relevant article is given a score of

                                100. <score> must an integer between 1 to 100.

 For example, to subscribe for articles related to "information filtering,"

 valid for 200 days, send this:


 % mail


 subscribe information filtering

 expire 200


 The service will acknowledge your subscription, returning a subscription

 identifier (sid).

 ( C . 2 )  G e t t i n g  A r t i c l e s

 After receiving notifications of articles that may be relevant to your

 interests, you may decide to see an article in its entirety. You can get the

 whole article with the GET command:

 GET article article ...       Get the articles specified (by their article


 For example,


 % mail


 get news.announce.conferences.3670


 ( C . 3 )  R e l e v a n c e  F e e d b a c k

 After reading the articles, you may find some that you like. You can provide

 feedback using these commands:

 FEEDBACK sid                   Provide feedback to subscription <sid>.

 LIKE article article ...      Specify relevant article(s) by their ids.

 For example, this message says that article news.announce.conferences.3670 is

 relevant to subscription 1:


 % mail


 feedback 1

 like news.announce.conferences.3670


 With feedback information, the service may be able to better match future

 articles against your subscriptions.

 ( C . 4 )  M a n a g i n g  S u b s c r i p t i o n s

 You can manage your subscriptions with these commands:

 UPDATE sid                     Update subscription with id <sid>. Must be

                                followed by one or more of PERIOD, EXPIRE,

                                THRESHOLD (see C.1.), or PROFILE commands to

                                specify the parameter(s) to be updated.

 PROFILE word word ...         Specify the new profile for the UPDATE command.

 CANCEL sid                     Cancel subscription <sid>.

 LIST                          List all your subscriptions.

 For example, to update the period and the threshold of a subscription:


 % mail


 update 3

 period 1

 threshold 60


 ( C . 5 )  S e a r c h  F o r  P a s t  A r t i c l e s

 Besides providing the subscription service, the service also allows you to

 search for recent articles that are already in the database:

 SEARCH word word ...          Do a search of the database with the given

                                query. Maybe optionally followed by a THRESHOLD

                                command to specify the minimum score for an

                                article to be retrieved.

 For example, to search for articles related to "information filtering":


 % mail


 search information filtering


 ( C . 6 )  O t h e r  C o m m a n d s

 END                            End the request message. Useful for

                                preventing the processing of signatures.

 HELP                           Get help information on server.

 ( D )  R E F E R E N C E S

 [1] B. Kahle, et al., "An Information System for Corporate Users: Wide Area

     Information Servers," ONLINE, Vol. 15, No. 5, p. 56-60, September 1991.

Your subscription to this free service will be for over 27 years (9,999 days) by default. You can cancel a subscription at any time, or set the expiration to a shorter period if you like. But, hey, its free!

Public Education and the Internet

As we near the close of this chapter, we will first provide a starting point for the youngest Net users, and then review several ways of organizing the many uses schools are now making of the Net. Finally, a few glimpses of the Net's educational potential will be suggested.

When Should the Internet Enter the Classroom?

As usual, this depends on your own comfort level, and on the equipment and support available. Watching adults learn is very helpful for kids, so you shouldn't necessarily wait until you're a guru to start using the Net in school. It is very comforting for some children to see an adult being thwarted by this new keyboard-thing in the same way that they are.

The least expensive alternative starting place is e-mail. Color is not required on the computer monitor screen, and practically all Internet service providers have some kind of e-mail. And even the youngest children, preschoolers and kindergartners, can learn lots of things from e-mail:

As the target audiences grow older, and more sophisticated, the whole Net opens to their keyboards. Teachers around the world are using this new communication medium to nurture learning in every conceivable curriculum area.

Forms of Education on the Internet

Now let's explore the ways that students, parents, and teachers can use the Net to improve and enhance learning. Here are some of the dozens of ways people are now using the Internet for learning in schools, homes, and workplaces.

Only a few options are inherent in the machine-human combination:


Net Tool or Activity

Person to person

e-mail, Internet Relay Chat (IRC)

Person to many people

e-mail, Listserv, newsgroups

Many people to many people

e-mail, Listserv, newsgroups, IRC, MOO and MUSE

Person to computer

telnet, FTP, Gopher, WWW

Person to many computers

Veronica, Gopher, WWW

Computer to person

Personal news services, beeper on command services

Computer to many people

Custom news services

Computer to computer

Indexing, updating, and Net monitoring

How these combinations and permutations manifest with various Internet tools is fascinating to behold. Next are three ways to organize the educational uses of the Internet.

This first classification method groups Net tools with different combinations of students, teachers, and behavioral curriculum goals:

Professional collaborations among educators

Students' collaborative investigations

Students' and teachers' access to scientific expertise

Students' and teachers' access to information (libraries, and so on)

Students' and teachers' access to computers and software

Collaborative development and delivery of instruction and materials

Teacher education and enhancement

Electronic publishing of students' products

Next is a second practical method of organizing the options, from a different perspective.


Collaboration, sharing, exchange of information

Overcoming space and time to bring together groups with common goals

Around the school district or county

Around the region, country, or world

Catalogs, databases, archives

News services


Muds and MUSES with carefully defined content, such as:

And here is a final method of organizing the types of uses being made of the Net, particularly in K-12 classrooms.

Electronic visitors

Electronic mentoring

Global classrooms


Growing databases

Pooled data projects

Remote field trips

Electronic publishing

Action projects

Asynchronous writing

Information searches

Parallel problem solving

Sequential creations


Tip: If you need some quick ideas on what to do in class, or some sources of lesson plans on the Net, get the new book Education and the Internet, by Dr. Jill Ellsworth, and look in Chapter 2, "Internet Resources by Curricular Area." Choose a topic area you or your kids would be interested in, and several resources will be at your fingertips!

The Internet's Educational Potential

For decades there have been outcries and reform movements about the quality of "free" public education in the U.S. But the problems of classroom educators have not been solved, even though dozens of popular attempts have been made to reform public education.

Universal access to the Internet could provide the final panacea for education, if it is truly universal, affordable, and if Internet training and technical support are easily available to all.

In August 1992, then United States Senator Al Gore said "In the past few years, we have witnessed the democratization of the Internet. Today, the network connects not only to the top research laboratories and universities but also small colleges, small businesses, libraries, and high schools throughout the country."—quoted by Tracy LaQuey in The Internet Companion (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1992, p. vi).

As we have already seen, elementary and middle schools have also now joined the writhing throng on the Net. Why are educators at all grade levels so hopeful about the Internet?

It may be that a paradigm shift is occurring in the way our society deals with information and learning. With limitations of time and space swept away by open, affordable access to the Internet, anybody can learn whatever they want, wherever they want to learn it, at any time of day. Telephone companies installed over 2,300,000 miles of fiber optic cable in 1993 in order to prepare for their role in delivery of Internet quality services throughout the U.S. These cables can change our schools and our lives.

U.S. hospitals have seen many of their services rapidly shift in the past few years to out-patient clinics. So also we may soon see colleges, high schools, and middle schools being less important as the sites of education. Is there a fundamental reason why all learning must occur with several students and a single teacher in a particular room all at the same time? Gurus say no, there is not.

There is also no reason why all students must experience the exact same presentations of new ideas, or the exact same drills and practice. Why not have advanced software to keep track of each student's learning style and adjust the pace, sequence, and level of detail for that one precious student?

This use of computers would usurp some of the teacher's role in the current educational system. What's left for the teacher to do?

Teachers will find that their role does change dramatically with increased use of the Internet for learning. The best teachers will be those who are themselves good at learning and at guiding others to the right next bit of learning. Teachers, too, will need to be more concerned with individual learning styles, and much less concerned about classroom control. They will need to concentrate much more heavily on asking the right questions, rather than being the source of the right answers!

Students quickly discern which teachers are aware of and involved with the new technology. Teachers who do not adopt the new may become increasingly obsolete and unpopular. Librarians, on the other hand, are likely to rise in power and respect simply because of their advanced skills at information processing, search, and retrieval. Because many perceptive librarians have embraced the Internet and are already revered among its greatest gurus, their profession will likely return to, and perhaps exceed, its former esteemed grandeur.

This may be the last, best opportunity this century to really accomplish a major step forward for broad public education. If the National Information Infrastructure (NII) fulfills its promise during our lifetimes, every literate person can have lifelong learning and ongoing personal development as a matter of policy, not as a one-time dose of education or training.

Because the Internet frees us from the bonds of time and space, we can all use educational materials at the Ivy League schools, or at the top research laboratories, without even "graduating" from a high school, much less passing the entrance requirements and paying the fees of an Ivy League college.

Knowledge, experience, and personal skills may become more important in the workplace than credentials like graduations and advanced degrees. Access to advanced technical information can be at the fingertip control of every individual human seeking knowledge, rather than being controlled by a "sage on the stage," which characterizes the old educational regime.

Now we close this chapter with three short quotes from a great leader and philosopher, the third President of the United States. The framers of the National Information Infrastructure (NII) would do well to listen carefully and heed his wise counsel.

"By far the most important bill in our whole code, is that for the diffusion of knowledge among the people. No other sure foundation can be devised for the preservation of freedom and happiness. If anybody thinks that kings, nobles, priests are good conservators of the public happiness, send [that person to Europe.]"

Thomas Jefferson (Writings, v. 5, p. 394)

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."

Thomas Jefferson (Letter to Col. Yancey, 1816)

"I know of no safe depository of the ultimate power of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education."

Thomas Jefferson (Letter to William C. Jarvis, Sept. 28, 1820)

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