Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Future Educators in Missouri Practice Mobile Computing

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Future Educators in Missouri Practice Mobile Computing

Article excerpt

The University of Missouri - Columbia College of Education is committed to producing a new generation of educators who can help children achieve higher levels of reaming utilizing modern information technologies.

The college recently opened a Mobile Laptop Computer Laboratory, designed to prepare future teachers to work no matter where they might be located. Richard Andrews, dean, says the lab will allow graduates "to know how to set up shop any place in the world and engage their students in technology-enhanced learning."

* Freshmen Get PowerBooks

The innovative program -- supported by Computer Spectrum, Apple Computer and Dayna Communications -- provides each freshman education major with a Macintosh PowerBook 1400cs and collection of software. The package includes the Interactive Shared Journaling System (ISJS), developed by University of Missouri faculty.

With ISJS, students can create journal entries on their PowerBook, then electronically send them to a centralized Silicon Graphics server, where others can review the entries and make comments. The system incorporates tools for browsing the Web, sending e-mail and accessing newsgroups.

"This system allows students to create multimedia-based journal entries of their experiences, thoughts, ideas and reflections, and share them with other students and faculty using the Internet," says Dale R. Musser, co-director of the university's Center for Technology Innovations in Education (CTIE).

For the past year, CTIE has spearheaded Project MOST (Missouri Supporting Teachers), an effort to improve math and science instruction in K-12 schools. Funded by a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation, the project calls for kids to maintain journals much like the students in the College of Education are doing.

Some 350 freshmen are borrowing PowerBooks, which the college leases from Computer Spectrum, the campus computer store. The store purchased the machines directly from Apple after concluding that such a process would be most cost-effective in the long run.

Each PowerBook comes with 16MB RAM, a 750MB hard disk, internal 6x CD-ROM drive and a carrying case. In addition, all the computers were upgraded with Ethernet adapters and modems from Dayna Communications (Salt Lake City, UT). …

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