by James L. Morrison and Rodney L. Everhart // Vision
Virtual classrooms, videoconferencing, course catalogues tailored to individual student interests?Rodney L. Everhart, president of SCT Education Solutions, has a Vision of how these high-tech elements will contribute to the world of education in the year 2010. Editor James L. Morrison interviews Everhart about this vision and about how these new technologies will combine to encourage students to become asynchronous, independent learners.
by Dirk Rodenburg // Commentary
Dirk Rodenburg's Commentary reminds educators and corporate trainers that the potential for using Internet technology to teach depends on many factors besides the availability of advanced hardware. As Rodenburg puts it, the challenge is not only to use technology, but to use it appropriately. Context, sustainability, and sound educational principles are as important as ever, and an understanding of the target learner population is critical. Rodenburg suggests five objectives for online design that both educators and information technology experts won't want to miss.
Indiana State's Multiple Delivery Approach: Integrating Industrial Technology Education with Educational Technology
by Chris Zirkle and Hal Shoemaker // Case Studies
Students in Indiana State University's Department of Industrial Technology Education (ITE) have lots of different needs?and the ITE program offers them lots of different options. Chris Zirkle and Hal Shoemaker report that students choose not only which courses they will take, but also how those courses will be delivered to them. All classes are offered on campus for students who prefer an emphasis on face-to-face interaction. But almost half of ITE's courses each semester are also taught using three alternative simultaneous delivery methods: a satellite system, a videotaped program, and an Internet-based program. The advantages offered by each delivery option allow the ITE program to serve a student base with widely diverse needs and learning styles. Sound useful, creative, and intriguing enough for a Technology Source Case Study? We thought so.
by Mary Anne F. Nixon and Beth Leftwich // Case Studies
Many educators have theorized about how to transform a traditional degree program into a dynamic Internet-based one; Mary Anne Nixon and Beth Leftwich have actually done it. In this issue's second Case Study, they retrace the steps Western Carolina University took to define a mission and goals, unite a team, design a structure, implement a program, and provide for constant improvement. Nixon and Leftwich's firsthand account is sure to encourage any readers who have heard exciting projections about using technology but find themselves wondering, "How would we ever do that here?"
by Joel Foreman // Virtual University
In this issue's look at the Virtual University, Joel Foreman imagines a virtual world that students explore using computer-based selves called avatars. These avatars roam unbounded through time and space, interacting with other avatars and with their surroundings. Besides describing his own first venture into this world, Foreman tells about creating a set of virtual team-building exercises for his students. His experiences illuminate the potential for the use of this technology in education, leaving readers with the question, "Who, after all, will want to sit in a classroom or read a book, say, about Elizabethan London when it is possible to explore an avatar version of that long ago city?"
by Angie Parker // Faculty and Staff Development
Providing face-to-face Faculty and Staff Development workshops for scattered rural educators has traditionally been costly and time-consuming for everyone involved, but Angie Parker thinks new technology provides a better way. Parker and a team of professors and graduate students developed a series of online workshops for special education teachers in rural Washington State. Combining online journals, chat groups, and abundant assistance, these workshops allowed faculty to learn new behavioral assessment techniques within their own classrooms. Faculty practiced techniques and recorded responses throughout the school day, exercising new skills and receiving the ongoing support that a one-day workshop in a distant city could never offer. Best of all, Parker reports that her team's user-friendly approach made teachers comfortable with the Internet technology that could link them to even more professional support.
by Terry Calhoun // Spotlight Site
Sometimes the sheer abundance of Web resources on education can be, well, daunting. In this issue's Spotlight Site, Terry Calhoun tells about the Scout Report Web site, home of four publications that take on the challenge of monitoring for new postings and Web sites, sorting and evaluating their findings, and organizing and annotating the material specifically for educators. According to Calhoun, this well designed, timesaving site "amply justifies its motto of 'Scout Smarter.'"