Recent developments in information servers and collaborative learning have demonstrated the educational potential of the Internet. Information servers provide forums for students and teachers to be producers and mediators of knowledge within authentic learning contexts. We will describe exemplary servers and a framework for research and use in K12 settings.
The Illinois Learning Mosaic is a prototype server that organizes information about educational programs and resources across Illinois. Other servers support a variety of projects conducted by NCSA's Education and Outreach Group. We will describe various efforts underway to create and organize educational resources available to K-12 classrooms, and their impact on K-12 teachers and students.
Hillside Elementary School, in collaboration with the University of Minnesota College of Education, had sixth-grade students create one of the first K-12 Web servers. Our goal has been to integrate the use of the Internet, and specifically Web resources, into the K-6 curriculum by having students use computers for research, communication, and collaboration. We expanded this project to include Web66, a server which links schools throughout the world for collaborative work and helps teachers and students find curricular resources and tools. We will describe our experiences integrating the Internet into the curriculum.
New information servers make a wide spectrum of knowledge available, ranging from personal to globally shared. We have developed hypertextual and intelligent network software tools for network learning environments. We will discuss a "knowledge spaces" conceptual framework and describe software tools to facilitate productive learning interactions over distributed network environments.
The UIUC The UIUC Learning Resource Server (LRS) contains information related to the instructional, research, and service missions of the College of Education. This server is composed of resources provided by numerous staff, faculty, and students within the College from local K-12 schools using a model of distributed authorship. The LRS represents the realization of a suite of desktop server technologies that are feasible and scalable in a K-12 setting.
Currently, information and other resources on the Internet are organized from an information provider's point of view. The framework for this presentation is individual and group users' lenses on the local information infrastructure, with an emphasis on teachers. Three examples of such lenses include curriculum frameworks, project plans, and assessment tasks. We will consider tools, processes, and organizing structures for constructing, archiving, and modifying such lenses.