A How-to Users Guide for Event Organizers
March 26, 1997, revised April 14
Note (May 2000) -- This page is an archive record of NetVision's efforts. It is not being maintained, and thus many links to educational resources can be expected not to function.
NetVision: What is it?
NetVision is a group of educators in Maryland that has formed to help schools utilize the emerging availability of the Internet to enhance student learning. In September we provided all Maryland schools a booklet entitled, "Teaching With the Internet." For those schools scheduled for wiring as a part of Maryland's Net Weekend we also mailed a packet with a videotape on "Teaching and Learning with the Internet," several books and pamphlets, and disks containing sample Internet sites. We are now proposing another initiative, called, "Spring Into the Net."
What exactly is "Spring Into the Net"?
We realize that schools and districts are struggling to meet the huge demand for workshops and training courses on Internet-enhanced instruction for teachers. Most teachers report that they want to see how their colleagues are using the Internet for instruction, and need supportive guided practice to familiarize themselves with this new technology. To facilitate this important first step, NetVision has committed to help schools and districts organize "teachers helping teachers" sessions in which teachers who feel comfortable using the Internet in instruction conduct informal sessions showing colleagues what they do, and how other teachers might use this important resource. We call this effort "Spring into the Net."
What are the dates?
NetVision recommends that these events be held during the period from April 21-May 4. We will publicize that the Spring Into the Net initiative will occur during this time frame, but schools that wish to have sessions later in the spring are welcome to do so. Packets of materials from NetVision will be available after April 15.
What is the target audience?
NetVision would like for the Spring Into the Net events to have a teacher-to-teacher emphasis focused on providing an opportunity for teachers to experience the potential of the Internet to enhance learning. Because the goal is to help teachers build their comfort level in using this new resource, we recommend limiting participation to teachers and staff. Teachers have commented that they are most comfortable in these settings if they are learning from and alongside their peers. However, if you have techno-savvy students or parents available, you may wish to enlist their assistance.
What would a Spring Into the Net workshop look like?
Our suggestion would be to hold 3-hour mini-workshops in late April or early May on a Saturday morning (or late afternoon or early evening during the week). The format we recommend would be:
- 1 hour demonstration by Internet-using teachers showing and discussing what they do, how and why.
- 1 hour of hands-on experience or demonstration of Internet features -- e.g. Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Explorer Homepage, bookmarks, search engines, etc. The training materials we will send you include enough material for almost 2.5 hours -- lots to choose from!
- 30-60 minutes of informal discussion about experiences with the Internet and sharing of lesson plans developed using this resource.
Please note that this recommended schedule can be modified as appropriate; it is meant only as a guide.
The effort can be as simple as one teacher working with a handful of colleagues, or a much wider effort involving many experienced users paired with novices in their curriculum area.
How can my school participate?
For public school teachers wishing to organize a Spring Into the Net event we would recommend that you first call your school system's information technology office to determine if plans are already underway to sponsor one or more of these workshops. If that is the case, you might want to volunteer to assist in securing interested teachers as trainers, inviting teachers to participate, etc. A few local school systems have already indicated interest in organizing "Spring Into the Net" sessions; in this case, they will be coordinating efforts and will be delighted to have your assistance.
If, on the other hand, your local school system has no plans to participate, you can still organize a Spring Into the Net event. We will put you in touch with other people from your school system that have indicated their interest in organizing an event. However, you will need to make your own arrangements for a school where the event can be held, set the date and time, secure interested teachers as presenters, and invite teachers and staff to participate.
If you are a teacher or administrator in a private school, you may want to contact several other private schools to determine if they have teachers interested in sharing how they are using the Internet in instruction. It might then be possible to bring together teachers from several schools for Spring Into the Net events. We have heard from several teachers/administrators in private schools who have expressed an interest in organizing Spring Into the Net activities and will put you in touch with them. Another possibility might be for private schools to link with public schools in sponsoring these events.
When you know your plans, contact Stan Bennett or Kathleen Fulton at the addresses provided at the end of this memo. We will then provide you with resource packets after April 15th.
If you do not want to organize a Spring Into the Net activity but do want to attend one, please use the NetVision Web site (www.inform.umd.edu/netvision) to contact a school in your area that will be holding a Spring Into the Net event
What kind of facilities will we need?
For the demonstration of how teachers use the Internet in instruction, it might be best if the teachers do this in their classrooms where they have their bookmarks and other materials already loaded on their machines. For the hands-on portion of the workshop we recommend a lab or classroom in the school that has one or more computers connected to the Internet. Obviously, the more networked computers schools have, the better for hands-on experience, but if you have only one, you can simply demonstrate Internet features.
What costs are involved?
The materials for presenters will be provided through NetVision (thanks to financial support from MSTA and NetTech--the Northeast Regional Technology in Education Consortium). Duplication of handouts will be necessary. Each participating school will have to find ways to pay for custodial costs (if the sessions are held on Saturday or other hours when extra custodial support will be required). You may wish to contact your PTA to see if they can help with any of these costs or help provide refreshments. If you decide to invite other schools in your cluster or area (public or private), they may be able to help support some of the costs.
What materials do we need?
NetVision will supply a resource kit for trainers that contains the following materials:
- Trainers Guide
- Introductory outline of a training session
- Educational Web sites (by function rather than topic)
- Search engines -- usage and where to find help for query construction
- Using bookmarks
- Sample lesson plans using the net (courtesy Classroom Connect)
- How to cite Internet resources
- Masters of handout materials that may be useful for participants
- World Wide Web sites for teachers and students
- Frequently asked questions about using the Internet and WWW
- Netscape beginner's tips
- Videotape of excerpts from ASCD's "Teaching with the Internet"
- Training-site readiness checklist
- Sample press release and promotional flyer
- Participant sign in materials and evaluation sheet
- Copies of a revised version of Teaching with the Internet ("yellow book") -- a step-by-step guide into the Internet and WWW for Maryland teachers published by MSTA and NetTech
How will organizers and volunteer trainers be recognized for their efforts?
Much of the reward for involvement in Spring Into the Net will come from the inner satisfaction of knowing that you are helping your colleagues and are developing a community of learners for teaching with the Internet. Beyond this intrinsic motivation, however, NetVision plans to provide some other tangible forms of thank-you for your efforts, such as:
- A letter of recognition from the Governor, with copies sent to the principal of your school.
- Recognition of presenters as 21st Century Teachers, a national effort supported by the President.
- Membership in Maryland's own charter group of 21st Century Teachers, a leadership cadre of educators who will be invited to participate in future technology activities.
- Showcasing of Spring Into the Net presenters and their work at the next Governor's Technology Showcase.
Decide if you would like to be involved, and get your ideas rolling! For more information or to register a Spring Into the Net event that you have organized contact:
Stan Bennett |
301-596-3377 or 405-2798
| - OR - ||
at the University of Maryland, College Park
Once you inform us that you have organized a session, we will place it on the NetVision Web site so that people will be able to get in touch with you to sign up for an event they want to attend. The NetVision Web site can be found at:
In addition, you may need to think of other creative ways to publicize your event. Let us know how we can help!
Posted: 26 May 1997
Comments and suggestions to: firstname.lastname@example.org