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Roger Blumberg's Comments

Introduction to HT&T96

In our study of so-called "best" or "promising" practices in educational hypermedia, we've been struck by the fundamental questions that new educational technologies have raised for teachers, as well as curriculum specialists and policy makers, in K-12 settings. These questions, concerned with the transformation of traditional instruction and curricular practices, have come about in response to the appearance of networked computers and networked hypermedia systems in schools. We found that the most pressing educational technology issue in K-12 (and, as we soon realized, at the undergraduate level as well), concerned how to successfully integrate Web-based, and other networked technologies, into classroom practice and curriculum. The primary purpose of the NetTech Forum on Hypermedia, Teaching and Technology, therefore, is to bring together teachers and researchers who are distinguished not, or not merely, because they have an idea of what constitutes a useful on-line resource, but because they have expertise in teaching with technology, expertise in using the technology to make classroom experiences richer, student understandings deeper, and curriculum of superior quality.

A second goal of the HT&T Forum is to convene a new kind of conference, one in which the physical gathering features extraordinary talks and discussions but is, ultimately, a small part of the conference's reach and impact. To this end, we have constructed a website (http:// cds.library.brown.edu/conferences/HTT96/), and the conversations at the site have already begun.

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Lessons from Day 1

During the first day of the Forum we saw compelling evidence, in Rebecca Sinker's presentation for example, of how even "basic" technologies (e.g. cameras and personal computers), can expand and enrich the classroom:

In addition, we saw evidence of how Web-based, and other networked resources have already transformed curriculum, and how they can be used to:

Finally, we heard, and realized over and over again, how difficult it is, in principle and in practice, to measure the results of teaching thoughtfully and productively with technology. It is perhaps a tribute to how exciting we, as a group that has long been involved with the art and business of teaching and education, think these technologies can be in the classroom and at home, that we have a difficult time relating the results that we observe in these case studies to traditional means of assessment. I like to think that if we didn't have such a difficult time correlating what we see and hear in these presentations with traditional measures of student achievement, we wouldn't be nearly so excited about the possibilities of teaching and learning with these technologies.

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HT&T Table of Contents Selected Readings || HT&T96 Program || HT&T96 Speakers || HT&T96 Participants || Discussions || Contact Info

NetTech Education Alliance STG
This Forum on Hypermedia Teaching & Technology is sponsored by NetTech, the Education Alliance at Brown, and STG. Email questions, comments, etc. to Roger Blumberg at Roger_Blumberg@brown.edu