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Examples: Telecommunications

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Email use at Northbrook.

An example of how activities can be developed around use of the Internet was observed at one of the secondary schools participating in ShareNet. Students in an Electronic Research class at Truman High School in Independence, MO, were first exposed to a variety of electronic search tools, such as Dialog and Veronica (with Gopher) on the Internet. Students then used the tools to collect, analyze, and synthesize information pertaining to four thematic projects: student rights, habitats, pollution, and AIDS research. For the habitat theme, students were challenged to think about how they might colonize a planet of their choice. Working in groups of two or three, they used the Internet to search for information about various planets and to download gifs (graphic interface formats), such as images of Jupiter's moon. The data were used in developing their designs and writing their reports.

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Downloading graphics from the Internet

I think the availability of all the different resources, Dialog in particular, to access all the different databases. . . it's really a help to teachers because they get to bring things in and share them with their classes. . . . Instead of information that's 2, 3, 4, or 5 years old, the computer can get the most current and up-to-date information. I have had endless numbers of teachers come to me and say, "I am such a better teacher now. I have access to current information. I got it at home last night." - Secondary school principal

Many of the ShareNet schools, however, like schools all over the country, are finding their ability to incorporate telecommunications-based activities into instruction is crimped by severe limitations in their network access (see example).

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