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Volume 3 Number 3

Harry & Rosemary Wong ask, "Is it possible that a school district would have no openings at a time of worldwide teacher shortages? But more importantly, why were there no openings in the Medford School District?"...
Effective Teaching by Harry & Rosemary Wong
Promoting Learning by Marv Marshall
4 Blocks by Cheryl Sigmon
Ask the School Psychologist by Beth Bruno
Online Classrooms by Leslie Bowman
The Eclectic Teacher by Ginny Hoover
The Busy Educator's Monthly Five (5 Sites for Busy Educators) by Marjan Glavac
Around the Block by Cheryl Ristow
Ask the Literacy Teacher by Leigh Hall
Instant Ideas for Busy Teachers by Barbara Gruber and Sue Gruber
Every Day is Read Across America Day!
Music is...
Ten Pennies and Ten Dimes
Swinging on the Education Pendulum
Literature Circles
Internet Based Interaction in the Classroom
How to Create A Bad Acceptable Use Policy Document (And Have It Survive)!
Safety on College Campuses
The Montessori Mystery
Playing Baseball in the Classroom - A Flexible, Adaptable Game to Motivate Your Students
Whither Not Social Studies!
When Bright Kids Say, "I'm Bored!"
Book Review: Comprehension Instruction
Teacher Social Groups
Retaining Principals
Today I Learned
Things You NEVER Thought You'd Have to Say…or Hear
What Was Your Most Unforgettable Show and Tell?
How Do You Deal With Middle School Students' Apathy?
Why Reading Scores Across the Nation Have Declined
Apple Seeds
Special Days This Month
Poem - Searching for the Gold
The Lighter Side of Teaching
  • YENDOR'S Top Ten
  • A Challenging Foot Feat
  • Schoolies
  • Woodhead
  • Handy Teacher Recipes
    Classroom Crafts
    Help Wanted - Teaching Jobs
    Featured Lesson from the Lesson Bank
  • Here Comes the Train
  • Upcoming Ed Conferences
    Letters to the Editor
    Chatboard Poll, What changes has your district made in an effort to raise test scores?
    Action Against Hunger Project
    Explore Costa Rica's Monteverde Cloud Forest
    Third Annual Music Education Survey Gets Underway
    Gazette Home Delivery:

    About P R Guruprasad...

    After completing his first class BSc Degree with Physics as major subject followed by BEd degree from the Univ. of Madras, he entered teaching. He taught English, Maths, Science, Physics and Chemistry in schools in India, Bhutan, Ethiopia, Botswana and South Africa. He now works as Education Officer in Macmillan India Limited. His career responsibilities include conducting teacher development workshops in Science and Maths, offering editorial assistance and developing curricular support materials.

    Teacher Feature...

    Internet Based Interaction in the Classroom

    by P R Guruprasad

    Internet has increasingly been influencing the functional aspects of countries at large and the common man. Recent recession in the American economy resulting in numerous `dotcoms' becoming `dotgones’ and the increasingly large internet users on a global scale are just two examples.

    Well, what makes the Internet Based Education score over other modes of learning?

    1. Access to periodically updateable information [info at your 'fingertips'].
    2. Instant tutor-student or student-student interaction and feedback [via emails, List servers, Bulletin Boards etc].
    3. Flexibility [course available 24/7 and accessible at any time anywhere that is convenient to the end-user].
    4. Cost-effectiveness if used judiciously [it can cut human and material resource costs].

    In classrooms in developing countries, considering the cost of phone lines, Internet can be used along with CD ROMs and Floppies whereby information can be stored and used as and when needed.

    Current educational research seems to suggest that IBE can prove to be very effective at the tertiary level. What about the use of Information Super High Way in primary and secondary classroom interaction processes? Here, no machine-based system can be as effective as real activities and demos. For instance, let us consider a case where some teacher somewhere is demonstrating the 'lab. Preparation' of 'Ammonia' to his class. The students seem to enjoy the animations in the virtual reality environment. But alas, when it comes to the properties of Ammonia, there IS a big problem: students aren't able to sense the 'pungent' smell of the gas 'produced'! Yes, virtual reality cannot become reality. Hence, up to high school level at least classroom processes must involve activities, demos and hands-on experiments involving real things. ['Putting a computer in front of a child and expecting it to teach him is like putting a book under his pillow, only more expensive' – Anonymous].

    However, in situations where real things are not available, for instance when teaching 'Structure of the Atom' in middle school physics/chemistry, Internet offers exclusively excellent possibilities to make learning more effective [provided some measure of cost control is undertaken]. Internet can present information in a range of multimedia [text, graphics, sound and video] by using hyperlink to connect all relevant concepts in the lesson. In fact sometimes children can get addicted into the 'microworld'.

    But then, as teachers we know that this is just not enough. Pupils need some 'scaffolding' to make their learning meaningful. Turning virtual reality experiences into meaningful knowledge and understanding can only be brought about by the practicing teacher whose role will remain pivotal as ever before.

    According to The British Educational Communications and Technology Agency [BECTA], 'When teachers disengage from the use of the technology and leave pupils to use it and teach each other how to use it, the potential for enhancing learning drops away steeply. ICT can only achieve the promise it holds for enhanced learning when its use is integrated with the curriculum by effective teachers'. [BECTA: The UK ILS Evaluations – Final Report, Coventry, 1999].

    Like someone said, Technologies change but Principles remain.