Collaboration Requested

Jennifer Sellers <> Thu, 18 March 1993 15:16 UTC

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From: Jennifer Sellers <>
Subject: Collaboration Requested
To: Multiple recipients of list ISN-WG <>
Message-ID: <9303181015.aa10336@CNRI.Reston.VA.US>

Hello All,

You may remember that the ISN has stepped up to writing a document
of Frequently Asked Questions aobut the Internet for the K-12 community.
Following is a beginning of the document with questions that have
been gathered and refined over several iterations, as well as a few
attempts at answering them.

Please contribute in whatever way you are able to the document.
You might choose one or two or three of you favorite questions
and provide answers.  You might shoot holes in either the questions
or the few answers that are already written.  (This is a valuable
contribution, especially if you provide an alternative!)

I will incorporate everything I get before the Columbus IETF (one
week away!) so that we have a document to review at the meeting.

I'll see you at the IETF or on the net!

--Jennifer Sellers


Internet School Networking Group                           J. Sellers
Request for Comments:  XXXX                                      NASA
FYI:  XX                                                    A. Marine
                                                          Month, 1993

                         FYI on Questions and Answers
Answers to Commonly Asked "Elementary and Secondary School Internet User"

Status of this Memo

This memo provides information for the Internet community.  It does not
specify an Internet standard.  Distribution of this memo is unlimited.


The goal of this FYI RFC, produced by the Internet School Networking
(ISN) group in the User Services Area of the Internet Engineering Task
Force (IETF), is to documnet the questions most commonly asked by those
in the elementary and secondary school community about the Internet,
and to provide pointers to sources which answer those questions.  It is
directed at educators, school media specialists, and school
administrators who are recently connected to the Internet or who are
accessing the Internet via dial-up or another means which is not a
direct connection.

Table of Contents

1.   Introduction
2.   Acknowledgements
3.   Questions About the Internet in an Educational Setting
4.   Questions About School Support for an Internet Connection
5.   Questions About Implementation and Technical Issues
6.   Questions About Security and Ethics
7.   Questions About Educational Collaboration, Projects, and Resources
8.   Suggested Reading
9.   References
10.  Security Considerations
11.  Authors' Addresses

1.   Introduction

The elementary and secondary school community of teachers, media
specialists, administrators, and students is a growing population on
the Internet.  In general, this group of users approaches the Internet
with less experience in data network technology and fewer technical and
user support resources.  Many of their questions are related to the
special needs of the community, while others are shared by any new
user.  This FYI (For Your Information) document attempts to first
define the most frequently asked questions related to the use of the
Internet in undergraduate education and then to provide not only
answers but also pointers to further information.  For new user
questions of a more general nature, the reader should get FYI 4, "FYI
on Questions and Answers:  Answers to Commonly Asked 'New Internet
User' Questions."

Future updates of this memo will be produced as Internet School
Networking group members are made aware of new questions and of
insufficient or inaccuracte information in the memo.  The RFC number of
this document will change with each update, but the FYI number (XX)
will remain the same.

2.   Acknowledgments

The authors wish to thank the following people for their help and
contributions to this FYI:  the members of the Consortium for School
Networking electronic mailing list, the Kidsnet electronic mailing
list,     ETC.

3.   Questions About the Internet in an Educational Setting

     What is the Internet?

        In general terms, the Internet is a computer network comprised
        of thousands of other networks, all of which use the TCP/IP
        suite of protocols.  There are some large networks like BITNET
        and DECnet networks which are not a part of the Internet but
        may be connected to it via electronic mail gateways.  The tools
        available on the Internet--which more or less define it--are
        the ability to login to another computer from your own
        computer, the ability to transfer files between computers, and
        the ability to send electronic mail.  If all of these tools are
        not available to you, then your computer is not "on" the
        Internet, but it may be on a network that is useful to you.

        There is a difference between THE Internet and AN internet
        (with a small "i").  An internet might be any network based on
        the TCP/IP suite of protocols, or it might be a network that is
        a composite of two or more smaller networks.

     What are the benefits of using the Internet in the classroom?
     (How have other schools or districts used the Internet?  How has
     its use improved or changed education and/or professional

        The Internet makes many resources from all over the world
        available to students and teachers, including original source
        materials.  It brings information, data, images, and even
        computer software into the classroom from places otherwise
        impossible to reach, and it does this almost instantly.  Access
        to these resources can yield individual and group projects,
        collaboration, curriculum materials, and idea sharing not found
        in schools without Internet access.

        It also makes possible access to people all over the world,
        bringing into the classroom experts in every content area, new
        and old friends, and colleagues in education.  The isolation
        inherent in the teaching profession is well-known among
        educators.  By having access to colleagues in other parts of
        the world, as well as to those who work outside of classrooms,
        educators are not as isolated with an Internet connection.

        A hands-on classroom tool, the use of networks can be a
        motivator for students in and of itself, but also encourages
        the kind of independence and autonomy that many educators agree
        is important for students to achieve in their learning

   How can this technology be used to address the needs of all students
   equitably, including special education, talented and gifted, and
   mainstream students.?

        The Internet is blind to class, race, ability, and disability.
        It is a natural for addressing the needs of all students;
        exactly how this is done will vary from school to school.

   How can educators incorporate this resource into their busy schedules?

        Most educators "steal" time at lunch, on week-ends, and before
        and after school to explore resources and pursue relationships
        via the Internet.  Those who do feel that it is worth the rich

   I'm already using the National Geographic network (or Learning Link,
   or _____, or ______).  Does this have anything to do with the
   Internet?  Is the Internet different from what I'm already using?

        Since the Internet is a network of networks, you may be using
        one of the networks which is a part of the Internet.  Some
        programs use networks and provide value-added service, such as
        curriculum software, project organization and coordination,
        etc.  Some provide value-added service, but don't allow for
        basic Internet services.  If you can use telnet, ftp, and
        electronic mail, you are probably on the Internet.

4.   Questions About School Support for an Internet Connection

     Where does my school get the money for conecting to the Internet
     and how much is needed?

     How do I convince the people in our system with the purse strings
     to spend money on this?

     What kind of equipment (hardware, software, etc.) does my school
     need in order to support an Internet connection?

     What is required in terms of personnel to support an Internet
     connection?  (Will it require extra staff, training, more time of
     teachers, etc.?)

     What other costs are involved in developing a networking program?

     Where do I go for technical support and training?

5.   Questions About Implementation and Technical Issues

     How do I learn about options for getting my school connected?

     How many of our computers should we put on the Internet?

     Should we set up a telecommunications lab or put networked
     computers in each classroom?

     Can people get on the Internet from home?

     Where do I go to get answers to the specific technical questions
     that are not covered in this document?

        One resource is FYI 16, "Connecting to the Internet:  What
        Connecting Institutions Should Anticipate."  Another is FYI
        5, "Choosing a Name for Your Computer."


6.   Questions About Security and Ethics

     Who should have access in the school, the teachers or the students?

        Clearly the answer is that teachers AND students should have
        access to the Internet.  There's no reason why administration
        and support staff should not also have access.  In elementary
        schools, access for students may be more supervised than in the
        upper grades.

     I've heard that there are files on the Internet that parents would
     not like their children to get.  How can students be kept from
     accessing this objectionable material?

        Technically, they can't.  In the same way that they are able to
        buy pornography from a news stand, students (and others) are
        able to download files from public electronic repositories,
        some of which contain materials that many consider
        objectionable.  For this reason, it is important that schools
        develop clear policies to guide students' use of the Internet
        and establish rules, and consequences for breaking them, that
        govern behavior on the Internet.  Additionally, schools should
        consider integrating issues around technology and ethics into
        the curriculum.  [1]

     How do we keep our own and other people's computers safe from
     student "hackers"?

        In the language of computer folks, a "hacker" is someone who is
        excellent at understanding and manipulating computer systems.
        A "cracker" is someone who maliciously and/or illegally enters
        or attempts to enter someone else's computer system.

        Computer security is unquestionably important, both in
        maintaining the security of the school's computers and in
        ensuring the proper behavior of the school's students (and
        other who use the network).  In this area, not only school
        policy, but also state and federal laws may apply.  There are
        several sources of information which you can read to help you
        sort through securty issues:

                FYI 8:  Site Security Handbook
                "Ethical Uses of Information Technologies in Education"

     How do we keep viruses from attacking all our computers if we get
     connected to the Internet?

     What are the rules for using the Internet?

7.   Questions About Educational Collaboration, Projects, and Resources

     What kinds of educational projects using the Internet are effective?

     How can I find specific projects using the Internet that are
     already developed?

     Where do I go to find colleagues who support networking and
     schools willing to participate in projects?

     What are the resources I can tap into?

     Which ones are specifically relevant for educators and students?

        [answer includes local user groups?]

     Is there a manual that lists sites on the Internet particularly
     useful for class exploration?

     How can I add my own contributions to the Internet?

8.   Suggested Reading

FYI 16
"Ethical Uses of Information Technologies in Education" (National
    Insitute of Justice)

9.   References

[1]  Sivin, Jay P. and Ellen R. Bialo (1992) "Ethical Uses of Infor-
        mation Technologies in Education."  Washtington, DC:  U.S.
        Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National
        Institute of Justice.

10.  Security Considerations

11.  Authors' Addresses
--------------------------END of FILE--------------------------------