In summary, teachers, site coordinators, school administrators, and faculty are highly enthusiastic about the NetCourse concept. The netseminar has been, so far, successful in encouraging teacher reflection, providing hands-on technology experiences, and first-hand experiences in computer- mediated communication. However, both teachers and faculty in the TLC netseminar anticipate challenges in redefining their new roles as virtual faculty and virtual teachers, as well as changes to their instructional style to deliver successful NetCourses.
Networked technologies permit peer review, critique, and new forms of collaboration. However, in order to capitalize on this requires a cultural shift on the part of teachers to value collaboration and capitalize the collaborative potential of networked activities as well as improve partnering in face-to-face school contexts between site coordinators and teachers. For example, although teachers can now share NetCourse ideas with other teachers, broadcasting information one-to-many, and team-teach a virtual course, the culture of creating a lesson plan alone is normative practice.
Experimental research with NetCourses as a model of scalable instruction is in its early stages. Future experiences will help to contribute to the knowledge of computer-supported collaborative learning, not only as test-bed for new collaborative technologies, but towards a design science for informing us about educational practice, reform, and new possibilities for networked learning.
The authors give special thanks to the staff at the Concord Consortium especially Alice Smith, Bruce Droste, Sarah Haavind, Carla Melucci, David Pitkin, Raymond Rose, Carolyn Staudt, VHS teachers and site coordinators, Marsha West of Forks High School, Sheldon Berman and Liz Pape of the Hudson Public Schools, and fellow netfaculty Boris Berenfeld, Robert McLean, Edgar Taylor, and Barbara Tinker.
This material is based on research supported by the U.S. Department of Education Challenge Grants for Technology in Education to Hudson Public Schools. (Grant #CFDA 84.303A-R303A60571)
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Sherry Hsi, University of California at Berkeley,
Cognition & Development Area, School of
Education, Berkeley, CA 94720-1670 (510) 642-
Robert Tinker, The Concord Consortium, 37 Thoreau
Street, Concord, MA 01742, (978) 371-3476