WOULD YOU BE WILLING TO SHARE WHAT YOU KNOW WITH
PRE-COLLEGE STUDENTS AND TEACHERS BY ELECTRONIC MAIL?
Recent estimates indicate that there are now more than
300,000 classroom teachers from primary, middle, and
secondary schools who hold accounts on the Internet.
This makes a very special kind of learning available to
them: one which directly involves subject matter experts
communicating with students and teachers about their
specialties, via electronic mail.
With support from the Texas Center for Educational
Technology, we (at the University of Texas at Austin)
have piloted and are now expanding an Internet-based
service (the "Electronic Emissary") that brings together
pre-college students, their teachers, and subject matter
experts (SMEs) electronically, helping them to create
telecomputing exchanges centered around the students'
learning in the SMEs' disciplines. For example,
* A class studying South America could learn about
recent global environmental research results from a
scientist who studies rainforest deforestation in
* A class studying geometry might "talk" electronically
with Euclid, who is actually a mathematics professor.
* A class studying the future of education might
converse with an emerging technologies specialist from
California's Silicon Valley.
* A class studying American History might
electronically interview Harry Truman, who is really a
curator with the National Archives.
* A class exploring the rapidly-changing governmental
structures that are emerging in what was once the Soviet
Union might correspond with a group of graduate
political science students at a university in the CIS.
* Or, a class reading _Huckleberry Finn_ might
correspond with an African-American studies scholar
about the repercussions resulting from the enacting of
the Emancipation Proclamation.
In successive phases of the project, increasing numbers
of SMEs or SME groups are needed to correspond regularly
(approximately 4 times per week) with primary, middle
school, or secondary students and their teachers (1 SME
or expert group per class, study group, or "special
student"). Each electronic exchange will begin with
approximately 2 weeks of project planning via electronic
mail between the SMEs and the teachers. Communications
with students will begin on mutually convenient dates,
and will continue for previously-arranged periods of
time, usually between 2 and 10 weeks.
Subject matter expert volunteers are sought in all
disciplines, but there is immediate need for SMEs with
~ gravity and satellite motion
~ heat transfer
~ Hitler's rise to power during World War II
~ the Indian Wars (1870's & 1880's)
~ 20th century fragmentation due to weapons of war,
especially the atom bomb
~ Maya Angelou (and other women in literature)
~ Native American literature, specifically Cherokee
~ George Orwell's _Animal Farm_ & Russian revolutions
~ personal finance
==> If you would like to find out more about
==> participating in this project, please send
==> electronic mail to Judi Harris, firstname.lastname@example.org.
==> Please include your name, institution, and areas of
==> PLEASE RESPOND ASAP; teacher-SME pairs in the
==> specific areas requested above will be formed on