Question Answering, Electronic Discussion Groups, Newsgroups

By Morgan, Nancy; Sprague, Carolyn | Teacher Librarian, September 2000 | Go to article overview

Question Answering, Electronic Discussion Groups, Newsgroups


Morgan, Nancy, Sprague, Carolyn, Teacher Librarian


THE INTERNET is an international computer network composed of thousands of smaller networks. As K-12 schools connect to the Internet, a new method of communication opens up to educators and their students.

This digest describes some sample services and resources that are available to the K-12 community by electronic mail over the Internet. Readers should be aware that the resources and their Internet addresses below are subject to change.

Question Answering:

The number of services that use electronic mail to deliver information is increasing. Services that teachers will find on the Internet include:

* AskERIC: AskERIC is the Internet-based education information service of the Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC) system, headquartered at the ERIC Clearinghouse on Information & Technology at Syracuse University. Teachers, teacherlibrarians, administrators and others involved in education can send a message requesting education information to AskERIC. AskERIC information specialists will respond within two working days with ERIC database searches, ERIC Digests and Internet resources. The benefit of the personalized service is that it allows AskERIC staff to interact with the user and provide relevant education resources tailored to the user's needs. E-mail: askeric@ askeric.org

* AskERIC Virtual Library: Resources developed from questions received at AskERIC are archived at the AskERIC Virtual Library: http://www, askeric.org

* KidsConnect: KidsConnect is a question-answering, help and referral service for K-12 students on the Internet. The goal of KidsConnect is to help students access and use the information available on the Internet effectively and efficiently. KidsConnect is a component of ICONnect, a technology initiative of AASL (American Association of School Librarians, a division of the American Library Association). Students use email to contact KidsConnect and receive a response from a volunteer teacher-librarian within two school days.

E-mail: AskKC@ala.org http://www.ala.org/ICONN/ kidsconn.html

* Internet Public Library Ask-A-Question Service: Answers all types of general reference questions. You'll get a brief factual answer if you've asked a specific question, or, if you have a broader topic of interest, you'll get a short list of sources that you can use to explore your topic further. IPL's website also contains an extensive online collection of library resources.

http://www.ipl.org/ref/QUE/

* Ask Dr. Math: "Ask Dr. Math," a service for elementary, middle and high school students, is administered by students and professors at Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, PA. E-mail: dr. math@forum.swarth more.edu

http://forum.swarthmore.edu/dr.m ath/dr-math, html

* The MAD Scientist Network: The MAD Scientist Network is an "Ask-A-Scientist" service run entirely on the WWW. They answer questions in chemistry, physics, astronomy, earth sciences, biological sciences and more. More than 500 scientists at institutions around the world provide answers to science questions.

http://www.madsci.org

* Ask A+ Locator: The AskA+ Locator is a database of highquality "AskA" services designed to link students, teachers, parents, and other K-12 community members with experts on the Internet. Profiles of each AskA service include identification information (e.g., publisher, e-mail address, contact person, links to services' home pages), scope, target audience and a general description of the service. The Ask A+ Locator is searchable by subject, keyword, grade level or alphabetical list. Ask A+ Locator is part of the Virtual Reference Desk.

http://www, vrd. org/locator/index.html

Electronic Discussion Groups:

* ECENET-L: Early childhood education, to age 8. To subscribe, send e-mail to: listserv@postoffice.cso.uiuc.edu

-Leave the subject line blank. …

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