What
We
Did


The session was conducted on Power Macs connected to the Internet via 28.8 modems. I started by showing a brief part of a tape which showed the operation of my classroom. The tape showed the kids entering the class and logging on and doing the work of the class. After a brief introduction of each other, we continued with a look at my students' work. After randomly selecting student's work to view the participants then moved on to the class syllaweb. Here the discussion turned to the mechanics of writing. In my class the students had started out using a word processor to create their work and then they would have to save it in ASCII, FTP it to their web page directory and then add it as a link on their home page. Too many steps I explained and then told of how it evolved to a simpler method. My students went straight to their web page directory in UNIX and used Pico, the UNIX editor, to write their essays and code them at the same time. This I explained gave me constant access to their work from any computer connected to the Internet. In addition, I explained that we used listservs, which I created for our classes, to have class discussions. Moving into a seminar type class was being scheduled for the next year to get away from the computers which dominated my classroom and provided no space for face 2 face discussion.
The discussion moved on to permission slips, AUP's (Acceptable Use Policies), Technical Plans, and Copyright. All of my students have to have a signed permission slip from a parent or guardian to use the Internet. I treat the Internet like any other field trip. I explained in my class we would have a discussion about acceptable use and the students would read some of the policies for guidance. The technical plans section was important for those ready to set up computers and the like in their school or district. Copyright was discussed in detail. Beyond the obvious copyright laws I explained that my kids would incorporate the graphics on their pages by pointing directly to the place of the graphic. For example, many of my kids are fond of using Disney graphics on their page. Since we cannot have the graphic on our site they would have to write it: <img src="http://www.disney.com/graphic/mickeymouse.gif">. I further explained my policy about downloading other sites to my local computer for use in my classroom. I would write to the webmaster or owner of the site in question. I would write that I was going to download certain files into a specified directory on my server. I explained how the site was to be used in my class. My students would point to the real site's URL when writing their hypertext essay and then I would erase the site from our server. I have never been refused nor told I couldn't do this. In fact I have received only encouragement.

So, the writing process began on a list where the students would have an open discussion about some topic that was found on the Internet. Next it moved to Pico where it was written. Finally it appeared on the students' web pages published on the Internet.

We next discussed the methods of finding information by reviewing: Find It which provides search engines for finding information on the Internet; Teacher Resources which contained information about listservs, provided other teacher's syllabi, and other important resources for the teacher using the Internet; Student references which provided starting points for the students' own research on the Internet; Electronic Zines which provided electronic versions of commercial magazines, educational journals, and newspapers needed to do research; and other schools on the net to serve as fine examples of online projects. During the presentation we used a search tool called Tile.net to find a list for Tom Denton concerned with Community Service, a course he was teaching this fall. Our success put a smile on his face.

The participants explained their plans for the fall, which we hope will be successful and that this workshop assisted in their future successes. Tom, as mentioned, plans to use the Internet in his classes on Community Service. Andrea plans to add the Internet to her classroom and was looking for ways to implement it in her English instruction. Bruce was looking to implement the Internet in his journalism classes and to publish the school paper on the Internet. Judy and Barbara were excited about the methods of using the Internet in the writing process of their classes. Donna was looking forward to having Internet connectivity in her classroom for the fall. Essentially, I found these individuals receptive and eager to see how to utilize the Internet in their class. In all cases, I believe, all were in the beginning stages of using the net and in having access at school. The work we have done at MBHS served as an example of the possibilities for them at their own schools.

It was a pleasure to work with all of these folks and I enjoyed myself as these teachers became excited and enthralled with new possibilities. I hope this site will serve as an anchor for them until they create their own sites which will then be linked to from here so we may follow the progress of all of the participants. Good Luck to all!!


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