October 1996

Root Page of Article: Enhancing Professional Development in Special Education Through the Web, by Jennifer A. Gold

Online Library

NCIP's model also includes extensive information in the form of an online library. Divided into eight topical collections related to special education and technology, each expanding collection consists of approximately 25-40 resources that include:

  • research articles,
  • summaries of new findings and trends in the field,
  • vignettes of exemplary classroom practice ideas,
  • descriptions of hardware and software products and links to vendors,
  • compiled threads of relevant conversations on NCIPnet, and
  • supplementary print materials available in both text and Adobe Acrobat formats which can be distributed to colleagues and used in trainings and/or conference presentations.

Another strength of this online library is allowing educators to access information in a variety of formats; some prefer to access information resources, while others prefer to seek the online advice of their colleagues. NCIP realizes it is important to provide information in various formats and that people appreciate having choices; some prefer to access information in the form of resources, while others prefer to seek the advice of colleagues through conversing online.

Supported by a comment made by an educator who has utilized both components, NCIP believes the promise of professional growth is in the power of providing two interconnected, yet different means of communicating information.

"One of the real problems is that as technology is evolving, it is very difficult to first of all know what's out there and know what's been effectively used, the strengths and weaknesses of the programs. The dialogue aspect [NCIPnet], as well as the library, are helpful, so you can first of all know what's out there and secondly, get feedback and know that as an educator we can make better matches between the students who would be best served by both hardware and software options." --

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