October 1996


Education and CMC

by John December

The students I see on campus this month seem so eager--their idealism hasn't yet been tarnished by the hard work that will surely come with the October light. Can the Web help them? Is there a place for online communication to improve training and education; and, if so, how do you accomplish this improvement?

I'm excited to say that the three main features in our special focus this month, like last month, take a variety of approaches to these questions.

[]Ted Nellen provides an account of how Internet-based mentoring can be used to help in teaching. He discusses several programs and projects in which students get help in writing with mentors available over the Internet.

[] Jennifer Gold describes how professional development designed by the National Center to Improve Practice combines both resources and online conversations to deliver information to educators via the Web. She documents how a variety of activities have components of an online system that are used to support education through computer-mediated communication.

Closing out our special focus on CMC and Education is [] Joyce Menges' article on her study of how nonverbal communication plays a role in online communication. Using a combination of quantitative and qualitative techniques, she describes her experience and surveys of synchronous Internet Relay Chat (IRC) and Multiple-User Dialogue Object-Oriented (MOO) communication.

In our regular departments, [] Chris Lapham provides a report on a book for education,, [] I meditate on the meaning of literacy on the Web, and [] John Horberg provides a fascinating book review contemplating narratives about computers and technology.

Speaking of narratives... there's still more time to [] enter our hypertext fiction contest!

Enjoy this issue, and, as always let me know what you think of the magazine and any suggestions for making it better. [TOC]

John December is editor of CMC Magazine.

Copyright © 1996 by John December. All Rights Reserved.

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