End of ADS-L Digest - 11 Mar 1994 to 12 Mar 1994 ************************************************ There are 9 messages totalling 436 lines in this issue. Topics of the day: 1. Assisting Schools via E-mail 2. Adam's off ox 3. HEL-L (2) 4. Actors & Accent (4) 5. you all singular--north Texas ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sat, 12 Mar 1994 22:52:23 -0700 From: Rudy Troike Subject: Assisting Schools via E-mail To all interested linguists: My colleague Carl Berkhout just copied the following to me, which looks like an interesting opportunity to put some of our expertise to use working with the schools in kind of an e-NDEA way. It essentially asks if you would be willing to do some electronic volunteer work in behalf of unhigher U.S. public education. The idea is that you would be an on-line subject specialist who would work with teachers and their students. The scheme might be of interest to those of us who would like to see our rarefied areas of interest represented a little better in high schools and grade schools. Anyway, you might pass this on to anyone you think might be interested. ***----------------------> Original Mail From <----------------------*** Judi Harris ***------------------------------------------------------------------*** WOULD YOU BE WILLING TO SHARE WHAT YOU KNOW WITH PRE-COLLEGE STUDENTS AND TEACHERS BY ELECTRONIC MAIL? Recent estimates indicate that there are now more than 300,000 classroom teachers from primary, middle, and secondary schools who hold accounts on the Internet. This makes a very special kind of learning available to them: one which directly involves subject matter experts communicating with students and teachers about their specialties, via electronic mail. With support from the Texas Center for Educational Technology, we (at the University of Texas at Austin) have piloted and are now expanding an Internet-based service (the "Electronic Emissary") that brings together pre-college students, their teachers, and subject matter experts (SMEs) electronically, helping them to create telecomputing exchanges centered around the students' learning in the SMEs' disciplines. For example, * A class studying South America could learn about recent global environmental research results from a scientist who studies rainforest deforestation in Brazil. * A class studying geometry might "talk" electronically with Euclid, who is actually a mathematics professor. * A class studying the future of education might converse with an emerging technologies specialist from California's Silicon Valley. * A class studying American History might electronically interview Harry Truman, who is really a curator with the National Archives. * A class exploring the rapidly-changing governmental structures that are emerging in what was once the Soviet Union might correspond with a group of graduate political science students at a university in the CIS. * Or, a class reading _Huckleberry Finn_ might correspond with an African-American studies scholar about the repercussions resulting from the enacting of the Emancipation Proclamation. In successive phases of the project, increasing numbers of SMEs or SME groups are needed to correspond regularly (approximately 4 times per week) with primary, middle school, or secondary students and their teachers (1 SME or expert group per class, study group, or "special student"). Each electronic exchange will begin with approximately 2 weeks of project planning via electronic mail between the SMEs and the teachers. Communications with students will begin on mutually convenient dates, and will continue for previously-arranged periods of time, usually between 2 and 10 weeks. Subject matter expert volunteers are sought in all academic disciplines and areas of practical expertise. Communications with classes will occur during the rest of the spring 1994 semester, then again in the fall 1994 and spring 1995 semesters, and beyond. ==> If you would like to find out more about ==> participating in this project, please read on. * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * Hello! Thank you for the interest that you expressed in the "Electronic Emissary" project. I am Judi Harris, a faculty member in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Texas at Austin. What follows is more detailed information about the Electronic Emissary project. Purpose We are now expanding the Emissary project, which was successfully piloted during the spring 1993 semester. Through our work, we hope to: 1. refine and implement a workable, useful service for educators and their students, 2. study the ways in which adults and children converse via electronic mail, 3. and plan for further expansion of the Emissary. Participation If you want to be a subject matter expert (SME) for the project, we will ask you to agree to: 1. Send and receive/read electronic mail to and from the class (teacher and students) with whom we ask you to correspond AT LEAST THREE TIMES EACH WEEK, for as long as you and the classroom teacher agree to conduct the exchange. There will be two electronic conversations taking place: one between you and the students about the topic(s) of your expertise, and another between you and the teacher with whom you will collaboratively coordinate the activity. Please note that we would like you to engage in *inquiry-based* exchange with the students, during which they will have many opportunities to ask you questions, rather than you delivering an "electronic lecture." 2. Allow automatically-generated copies of your messages to the teachers and students to be read and retained by those of us coordinating the Emissary project, for use in our research in adult-child conversation via telecomputing networks. Your names or identities will not be revealed in any way in any report (oral or written) that we present on the results of the research. We will also supply you with electronic copies of all manuscripts that we create that summarize our research results. 3. Complete a short electronic project evaluation questionnaire at the end of the exchange period. 4. Respond to weekly+ questions and suggestions from an "exchange facilitator," concerning your perceptions of the communication and ways that it could be improved upon, both during and immediately following communication with the students and their teachers. 5. Help the teacher to compose a one-page summary of your project (to post on the Internet for other educators to use) in the two weeks immediately following the exchange period, using the category template that we supply electronically. Scheduling Each SME-classroom team in this phase of the Emissary project will arrange its own communication schedule according to your availability and curricular considerations, such as when the unit(s) that concern your area(s) of expertise will be explored in the classroom. Each exchange will begin with approximately two weeks of SME - teacher (only) communication, so that the details of the exchange can be collaboratively planned before the students begin communicating with you. Average exchange periods will probably range in duration from 2 - 10 weeks. The Application Process To volunteer to serve as a subject matter expert for the Electronic Emissary project, we request that you Telnet to the Texas Center for Educational Technology's server, and fill out an application online. To do that, please follow these steps: 1. Get to the "system prompt" in your Internet account. (If you don't know how to do this, please ask the folks in your Computer Center to help you.) 2. Type this at the system prompt: telnet tcet.unt.edu ...and then press the key. 3. You will then be connected to the TCET server. When you see the login: prompt, type: sme ...and then press the key. 4. You will then see a menu of options. Select the one that is labeled "Subject Matter Expert." 5. Follow the instructions on the screen, providing all of the information that is requested. 6. Since we are still beta-testing this interactive software, if you encounter problems, please contact the Emissary's programmer, Greg Jones, at: gjones[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]tenet.edu ==> PLEASE RESPOND ASAP; the next set of teacher-SME ==> pairs will be formed beginning on 3/28/94. After you have completed the application online, it will be stored in the Emissary database. As support for more matches becomes available to the project, teachers wanting their students to correspond with a subject matter expert will be permitted to Telnet to the database and search it for a subject matter expert who can address their students' content information needs. They will be able to read all of the information that you supply about yourself *except* for your email address, street address, or telephone number(s), so that you will not be inundated with requests from classrooms. When a teacher requests that a match be made with you, an Emissary staff person (an "electronic facilitator") will contact you by email. S/he will ask you whether you are available and interested in communicating about the topic at the time that the teacher has specified. If so, a special account on the TCET server will be set up as the Internet address to which everyone on your team (you, the teacher, the students, and the facilitator) will mail your messages. Emailing to this address will cause a program that we have created to execute that will automatically generate copies of all of the messages exchanged among the members of your team. The log of these messages will be kept for us to study as part of our research about adults and children using electronic mail to teach and learn asynchronously. The program will then automatically forward the students' and teacher's messages to you, and your messages to the teacher and students. The Future We hope to continue to expand the numbers of classrooms and subject matter experts that are "matched" with the Emissary's services as the semesters pass. Each semester, we will seek support for this purpose, making groups of 10 - 40 "matches" available as each proposal is funded. We will also continue to add to our database of subject matter expert volunteers. The availability of these opportunities will be made known to both SMEs and classroom teachers via periodic newsgroup and LISTSERV postings. Participating classrooms will be selected on a "first come, first served" basis. SME volunteer applications will be welcome at any time. Since we are presently staffed rather meagerly, we will only be able to "match" a relatively small number of SME/classroom teams at this time. We hope, therefore, that we can retain your application for use as the project grows during the next few years (keeping fingers crossed, of course, that we are able to obtain funding). If you are *not* willing for your application to be made available in later years, please make sure that you include a statement of that preference in the text of your application. Future Communications **Due to the unusually (wonderfully!) large volume of potential SMEs for this project, please do not be disappointed if we cannot "match" you with a classroom right away.** Also, please forgive us in advance for not writing to acknowledge receipt of your completed application. We would love to be able to respond to each of your applications individually, but time does not permit what hospitality and gratitude would recommend. Please know how *very* much we appreciate your willingness to help with this volunteer effort! You are making a direct and meaningful contribution to the education of young people by offering to share your time and expertise. Please accept our heartfelt thanks for this gesture. - - - - - - Judi Harris Electronic Emissary Project Director University of Texas at Austin & Texas Center for Educational Technology jbharris[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]tenet.edu ***---------------------> End of Original Mail <---------------------***