Fischler College of Education: Faculty Articles

Title

A Challenge for the Information Age: Educators and the Internet

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1996

Publication Title

International Journal of Educational Telecommunications

ISSN

1077-9124

Volume

2

Issue/No.

2

Abstract

The purpose of this research was to document a unique effort to teach practicing educators to use telecommunications and become change agents in their schools. This was accomplished using one graduate seminar in an experimental format that included funding for on-going support, follow-up activities, access, and participants' sharing their new-found information with their colleagues. The researchers offered an intense summer graduate seminar, which met every day for four weeks, two and a half hours per day. Data collection continued for several months after the course's conclusion. Overwhelmingly these learners were excited and enthusiastic about introducing telecommunications to their colleagues and their students. After returning to their workplaces, however, they identified many obstacles, including lack of time, equipment, administrative support for experimentation, and little encouragement from their colleagues. This research paper concludes with recommendations for assisting educators. Educators need substantial time to learn, practice, experiment, and explore resources; reasonable access from school and home to various information technology tools; and a variety of staff development opportunities on school time and through activities. Schools must develop Acceptable Use Policies that protect all educators using information technologies. Additionally, collegial interaction, as well as ongoing administrative and community support, are essential.

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