Magazine article Technology & Learning

Queen of Her Domain: Kathy Schrock

Magazine article Technology & Learning

Queen of Her Domain: Kathy Schrock

Article excerpt

Kathy Schrock is the district technology department head for the Dennis-Yarmoth Regional School District in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and creator the Web site, Kathy Schrock's Guide Educators. Since it launched in 1995, this categorized guide curriculum ad education-related Web sites has won numerous awards, most recently a 1999 Webby.

Q How did you get hooked on technology and the Internet?

A I've always been interested in technology and spent most of my young life in the garage making electrical circuits and rebuilding motorcycles. I first got on the Internet in 1993, after having a modem for a year and not knowing why I needed one. I quickly found Gopher sites that included information, that, in my job as a library media specialist, I knew would be helpful for teachers and students. I wrote down the sites on the back of old card catalog cards and filed them by subject in a little card box.

Q When did the inspiration for your site come in?

A Finally, in June of 1995, we had dial-up access to the Internet and the Web that wasn't a toll call. My local ISP knew of my little box of cards, which by then totaled 400, and told me that if I taught myself HTML and created some pages, he would give me space on his server so I could share my findings with others.

Q How has the site and your life changed since you first launched?

A The site has grown to over 1,600 links, and now includes some original content like evaluation tools and a monthly online newsletter. Partnering with Discovery Channel School has led to a site that includes all my original resources, plus a huge database of lesson plans. Two and a half years ago, I moved from library media specialist to district technology coordinator, which has given me the chance to design professional development workshops that help teachers better understand the new medium. I also get to speak at major conferences, and have published books and articles.

Q So, what makes a good site, anyway?

A In reality, a good site is one that meets teachers' needs at the time they really need it! I have a list of 26 criteria to use when evaluating a page (full article at: www.classroom.com/resource/articles/weval.pdf), but some main questions to consider are: Who wrote the pages and are they an expert in the field? What does the author say is the purpose of the page? …

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