Magazine article Information Today

Education on the Internet: A Hands-On Book of Ideas, Resources, Projects, and Advice

Magazine article Information Today

Education on the Internet: A Hands-On Book of Ideas, Resources, Projects, and Advice

Article excerpt


by Jill H. Ellsworth,

SAMS Publishing, 1994,

ISBN 0-672-30595-X

Paper, 591 Pages., $25.00.

Dr. Jill Ellsworth, whose Internet Business Book was reviewed here last month, has another winner in Education on the Internet. This book is packed with hundreds of educational resource addresses and full of guidance from Ellsworth, a knowledgeable educator and Internet guru. The author credits colleague Dave Kinnaman for his help on some early chapters and Appendix B.

Education on the Internet comes with a syllabus on the inside front cover, a 25-page index, and an opening overview and table of contents to get you where you want to go easily and painlessly.

The book can be used for learning, teaching, or research at the K-12 level, the university-level, and beyond--into the "lifelong learning" dimension that many educators say we need to maintain throughout life. It is a compendium "online learning guide" to the Internet's education riches, carefully arranged for maximum use to many different groups in the educational community.

Education on the Internet is arranged into three major parts: Internet in Elementary, Middle, and High School; Off to College and Graduate School; and Lifelong Learning and Self-Study. Appendix A, "Internet 101," provides a starting point for less experienced teachers, students, and readers; it's a quick guide to the Internet and its basic tools (e-mail, telnet, gopher, etc.), with a brief section on gaining access to the Internet. Appendix B covers ERIC (see below).

The book's strength is in the answers to questions for educators and students alike, such as "What can I do tomorrow with my students?" or "Where can I find information on ?" It also dispells myths that the Internet is too difficult for students to use (it has a learning curve; what doesn't?), that the Internet is too expensive (commercial access can be found cheaply, and FreeNets are growing in many areas), and that it's really a big Bulletin Board or commercial service like CompuServe.

Part I covers K-12's riches on the Internet. I particularly liked the inclusion of "Internet Reference Success Stories:' in Chapter 1, with real-life examples of librarians and others helping learners use the Internet for information-gathering and retrieval. Ellsworth also added a "Buzzword Gibberish Decoder" in Chapter 1 to ground you in the facts behind Globewide Network Academy and other learning activities on the Net. Chapter 3 offers ways to find more K-12 information, using resources like specialized subject guides, gopher sites, discussion lists, and software archives. …

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