The connections made are both similar to and different from non-electronic connections. Many of the conversations — full of wit, intimacy, grace, fear, bias, and joy — could have occurred on the playground or at the mall. What is quite different, however, is that children in Joliet, Illinois seldom meet Yup'ik Eskimo children on the playground, and adolescents going to the mall near rural La Center, Washington rarely meet peers with a wide range of experiences and diverse views on such topics as gays in the military or evolution. Teachers, who spend most of their days in isolation from other adults, seldom find colleagues with whom they can talk openly about teaching. Children, adolescents, and adults have an opportunity to make contact on the Internet with persons who they simply would not encounter otherwise. It can be a formidable cognitive task to encounter someone else's experiences indirectly and attempt to understand them. Each of the teachers in this volume is providing extended opportunities for students to learn to do just that.
Each of the six teachers featured in this volume is a quite extraordinary educator working in a rather ordinary setting. Their conversations about conceptions and actions, and their reflections about their own practice sit at the core of this book. Each has agreed to continue conversations with the authors, with each other, and with readers. E-mail and web addresses are listed in the book.
eBook internet Communication in Six Classrooms