Volume #3, Issue #2

Date: December 1989

Jason Ohler, Director
Educational Technology Program
University of Alaska Southeast


In the industrial age, we go to school. In the information age, school can come to us. This is the message implicit in the media and movement of distance education.

Volume #3, Issue #2

December 1989

Editor: Jason Ohler

Educational Technology Program Director
University of Alaska Southeast
11120 Glacier Highway
Juneau, Alaska 99801
Phone: 907-789-4538, 4417

Technical Coordinator: Paul J. Coffin
716 Taschereau
Ste-Therese, Quebec J7E 4E1
Phone: 514-430-0995



Many of the Online readers have entered the "holiday season" in their respective areas of the world. It is customary during this period in many cultures to exchange greetings using print media and postal delivery system. Please accept our alternative:

SEASONS GREETINGS From the Online Journal Staff

This will be the last issue until sometime in February. The editor, believing de-technologization to be good for the soul, will be on holidays in Florida until the first week in January.


Bear in mind that the electronic journal suffers from "uncompromising sequentiality"- readers can not skip past articles that don't interest them the way they can in a paper-based journal. Until our technology allows "browsing," our only alternative is to make articles brief and to provide the authors' IDs so they can be contacted directly by readers for more detailed information. This approach cuts down on the network resources needed to distribute the Online Journal and allows for greater reader interactivity, while reducing the amount of unwanted information readers are forced to scroll through.

Therefore, please limit articles to 4 screens (2 pages) maximum if it's possible. If you can, also please indent one tab space on the left and keep the right margin at 70. I look forward to hearing from you.

This issue at a glance:

  1. GETTING CREDIT WHERE ITS DUE - NEW WAYS FOR HIGHER EDUCATION TO ACCOMODATE DISABILITY by Tzipporah Benavraham, cmcl2!dasys1!tzippy%harvard@harvunxw.BITNET

  2. PHONE LINKS FOR THE DISABLED by Mal Bernstein -respond to:cmcl2!dasys1!tzippy%harvard@harvunxw.BITNET

  3. ONLINE LEARNING RESOURCES Respond to: cmcl2!dasys1!tzippy%harvard@harvunxw.BITNET

  4. THE EUROPEAN STUDENT INFORMATION NETWORK (ESINet) by Kurt Jaeger (pi%complx@nadia.UUCP) & Massimo Labbrozzi

  5. NEW HORIZONS IN COMPUTER/VIDEODISC EDUCATION: The Use of Hypermedia to Create "The Yup'ik Eskimo Computer" respond to: Barry Sponder, LFBMS@ALASKA


  7. WORLD 2000- THE MOSCOW <-> JUNEAU CONNECTION - Going Online with the Soviet Union, by the editor

  8. DISTANCE EDitorial - A Letter to President Bush by the editor

  9. ABOUT THE JOURNAL by the editor


by Tzipporah Benavraham

From Disabled USA 1984/2 Edition of the President's Committee on Employment of Persons With Disabilities Spring 1984

Handicapped adults are missing out on a good deal of off campus education, a learning arrangement that is becoming increasingly popular in the adult education field. A learning institution so decentralized that education occurs in any number of convenient locations- sometimes even the students home- is attracting large numbers of mothers of young children who want to go into the work force. Also interested are employed persons who, with more education, will command better wages and enhance their standard of living, but who find daily attendance at a central learning point impossible to schedule. Handicapped adults, too can tap into off campus learning and become more self-sufficient.

I am a student in a n on-traditional "without walls" university- Empire State College of the State University of New York. I am working on my bachelor's degree in Human and Community Services, and the diploma I receive will be the same one (but with my college's name on it) given to all State University of New York students. Nor will it be different from a diploma from any other college approved by the New York State Board of Regents.

Nonetheless, Empire State's approach to education (which is by the way accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Universities) differs greatly from most other State University campuses. It is the most flexible and least restrictive of any I have ever heard, allowing me to earn credit, in three different ways; prior learning experience, learning contract, and prior transcript credit.


The philosophy of grading college credit for life experience is based on the fact that adults often learn at the college level in certain life activities. To get credit, a student at Empire State must write up his or her prior learning experience in a degree essay. It sounds simple? Actually, it was taxing and indeed the most difficult part of my college credit. Evaluation on essay, moreover, is done by a qualified person selected by the college, who the college trusts to maintain quality and high standards.

My college has a booklet on how to write degree essays. (It is available to the print handicapped through Recording for the Blind) in addition, other publications are helpful. The Educational Testing Service at Princeton, New Jersey, has a series of books called the "have skills Books". In them very task specific "I Can" lists outline the skills intimately associated with functioning as a homemaker, a volunteer, and different salaried positions, including administrator/manager, cook, group leader, and teacher/trainer.

These skills indicate learning done in "task form" that could be college creditable if written up in a degree essay. Some people interested in "without walls" learning will be particularly interested to know that another useful booklet at Educational Testing Service is called "How to Get College Credit for What You Learned as a Homemaker and Volunteer"

Within the State University of New York people are generally familiar with degree essays. Outside the state university there are a few places that are familiar with institutions which give college credit for prior learning experiences. One is the Council for the Advancement of Experiential Learning. Two other sources of information are Dr. Tumms, of Edinbourough, Pennsylvania and Education Information Information Center (ERIC) at Ohio State University at in Columbus, Ohio. ERIC in particular has a wealth of knowledge in prior learning experience in its many fine publications.

Learning done in the armed forces services is also creditable at Empire State College, as are certain certificates of professional accomplishment, such as Emergency Medical Technician, paralegal, and paraprofessional teacher. (On this topic, the Council for the Advancement of Experiential Learning has a good publication, called "Using Licenses and Certificates as Evidence of College-Level Learning" and priced at $3.00.)


Besides granting credit for prior learning experience, my college has several very interesting ways for students to attend classes. For instance, I can register at any campus course for any college that would accept me. For one semester, I took a course at the New School for Social Research that required a supervised internship in human service. This meant I applied what I learned as I learned it.

Part of my motivation was to show that I could go to a campus with my visual handicap, function there, and simultaneously acquire skills for college credit under supervision. However the rigors of going to a second campus for another course I took would have been physically too exhausting for me.

So I made use of another form of contract learning. At my request, Empire State searched for and retained a qualified person to tutor me and only me in counseling theory. My tutor turned out to be an individual with a master's degree in rehabilitation counseling, and he taught me the theories of counselling - over the telephone.

Of course much of the course involved course assignments and background reading. My tutor agreed to accept my coursework in a taped form on audio cassette, and when it was time for an examination, he came to my home. (This latter accommodation was his own decision; he was not required to do this, nor was he re-imbursed for travel time and transit costs.) The entire arrangement was one-on-one in a mutually agreed upon time and under contract. In the course, I sucessfully learned role playing, counseling theories, and their practice, and then applied some of the concepts of role playing and counseling in my human service internship. So voila! a custom tailored learning contract.

And this is the norm, not the exception, at a university "without walls" like Empire State, where there are no pre-designed classrooms. The classroom can be anywhere a person can learn.

Empire State College also has a program called the Center for Distance Learning. By means of a conference call telephone hookup a course instructor creates a college level "class" for students who cannot all physically collect in one location. (Think of single parents who work days and must remain home during the evenings.) In New York City, LaGuardia Community College and also Queens College have similar technological capabilities.

At Long Island University I understand a student in the field of special education is working on her masters degree by using her work proctoring exams for the other students to fulfil her required work-study tasks. What a fine co-operative network! In sum, cross registration, special tutoring, distant learning, and independent study permit a person to earn college credit in a variety of ways. And internships are particularly encouraged by Empire State as they prove a person can apply knowledge.


The third way a student earns credit at my college is by transcript learning. There are several kinds. The clearest example is where a person attended another college in the past and passed courses there. An official record of passing those classes translates into credits at Empire State College.

With the College Level Examination program, a student earns college credit by means of passing scores on tests. There are many testing sites throughout the country.


In an educational system "without walls", there are generally many avenues to the same goal. But there are limits to the flexibility of off campus learning, and not all forms of non-traditional forms of education are creditable. One way to find out in advance which are and which are not is to write to the U.S. Department of Education, or the American Council on Education. I suggest also the book HOW TO BEAT THE HIGH COST OF A COLLEGE EDUCATION by DR. Albert W. Munzert. He lists many ways to obtain a non-traditional education, and most all of them are creditable.

My college career hasn't been a total paradise. At Empire State I have encountered some problems, mostly because a university without walls is also without conveniences and supports taken for granted at more traditional systems. For example, I had trouble co-ordinating the purchase and transcription of my college textbooks. There was no dean of handicapped students or office of handicapped student services to assist me. I also had to do everything myself in order to find and secure readers.

Another major problem I had- and one I imagine other disabled persons would likely encounter- was that my rehabilitation counselor refused to sponsor me in an off campus program. For one thing, the counselor felt there was very little accountability for prior learning experience. Furthermore it was difficult to make an individual written rehabilitation contract when it is uncertain in advance how much credit will be awarded for prior learning experience.

To this day, my vocational rehabilitation agency does not sponsor me. Unlike the flexibility of my education program, my rehabilitation program is very rigid- I must be able to travel independently as well as have good communication skills before they will consider assisting me pursue a college degree. But when I first started my college education, I was just beginning to learn mobility techniques and braille. I did much more at my home, went out with sighted guides, and made copious use of tape recorders. But those arrangements did not meet the standards of the agency and I was labeled "not independently functional".

Yet given the opportunities at Empire State, I function very well. Moreover, I felt that my educational activity there helped me avoid some of the restlessness of waiting and not doing anything measurably productive, which usually accompanies the more lengthy rehabilitation process. Activity, especially of a progressive kind such as learning, is particularly rewarding.

And I am not the only handicapped person taking advantage of opportunities for non-traditional education. There are a few others in the State of New York. I found out, for instance, that the Union of Experimenting Colleges and Universities, there is a mobility impaired student working on a doctorate. Also an alumnus of Empire State College is working on a doctorate, through Goddard College in human services, and is also trying to set up a polio hotline.

The only homebound vocational program I found for physically handicapped persons is a project on Long Island (and in Chicago) called Project Lift. This project aims to encourage disabled persons to learn computer technology and to set up computer assisted businesses at home to do bookkeeping, inventory control, medical record management, and other data processing tasks.

Finally, there are home study courses through the National Home Study Council and the Hadley School for the Blind offers a non-traditional, off campus, college level program for qualified blind students.

One solid aspect of nontraditional education is the ability to learn how to learn in a self-directed, self-motivated fashion. For me, it provided the right degree of flexibility and rigidness at the right time. And all of the learning is individual. And all the learning is individual, similar to the individual education programs of special education in primary and secondary school.

One other good aspect of non-traditional learning is the price. Because there are no halls of ivy to pay for, it is very inexpensive. Those edifices are expensive. I feel the day will come when non-traditional education will be very much "de rigor". As education changes with our lifestyle, I feel the disabled community will benefit along with the rest of society from the individual approach to education. I can almost feel it in the wind.


The American Council of Education- 1 Dupont Circle, NW, Washington, DC, distributes "Guide to External Degree Programs in the USA" by Eugene Sullivan, published by MacMillan Publishing Company in New York

Council for the Advancement of Experiential Learning 10598 Marble Faun Court, Columbia, Maryland 21044; has a vast publication list and can explain how people earn prior learning credit.

Project Lift, Inc.- 137 Russek Drive, Staten Island, New York 10312; write to the attention of Donna Walters Cozberg, Empire State SUNY- 2 Union Avenue Saratoga Springs, NY 12248; the telephone number is (518) 587 2100

Union of Experimenting Colleges and Universities- the Provident Bank Building, Suite 1016, 7th and Vine St. Cincinnati, Ohio 45202; the telephone is 1 800

543 0366. Vermont College of Norwich University (formerly Goddard) Goddard Graduate program of Vermont College, Montpelier, Vermont 05602.


by Mal Bernstein

[respond to:cmcl2!dasys1!tzippy%harvard@harvunxw.BITNET]

The Rio Salado Community College Homebound Project is a pilot program in Phoenix, Ariz. which is expected to become a national project in the not-so-distant future, according to the program's director, Helen Sprawls.

It offers an opportunity for handicapped homebound people to take college classes in a live, interactive "classroom setting" through the use of an audio teleconferencing system--the Sundial Network.

The program, begun in 1984, has served hundreds of handicapped students who have been bridged together. The homebound program is available to anyone who has access to a telephone. Headsets are available for those who cannot hold onto a telephone.

The telephone lines between students and teachers are linked through a bridging device that can join up to 20 telephone lines for simultaneous, interactive instruction. In addition, the bridge can break down those 20 lines into smaller groups for discussions and then reconnect them with an instructor.

Carolyn Jackson, at 51, took her final college exams while in intensive care after suffering her second heart attack due to a connective tissue disease. Her instructors didn't even know that she was in the hospital let alone the IC Unit.

"I believe in offering help but not complete support," Carolyn said. "Full potential cannot be obtained unless self-esteem is high. I have earned 16 college credits and I am a straight A student."

She said she received her "death notice" from doctors seven years ago. She admits being in "24-hour-a-day pain" but very much alive.

Carolyn continues to contact other handicapped people to enroll in college classes while studying to become a computer operator--a job she says she will be able to do right at home.

The Homebound Project also offers classes for homebound careers--those who must care for severely disabled people and cannot leave them alone. Anabel Mattson, 48, is a homebound carer. She has two severely handicapped foster children and says she has been "stimulated" by the program. And Elizabeth Lampron, 65, is a student who cares for her husband recovering from a stroke. She says she can "immediately leave class by just putting down the phone" if her husband needs immediate attention.

"If you don't use your mind you might as well be dead," says 46-year-old Judy Matta, who was diagnosed with scleroderma, a terminal disease that hardens organs and skin to the point they no longer function. "I could become a vegetable. I'm not going to do that. I'm not going to limit myself," the homebound student insists.

Ann, a 52-year-old student with an impaired voice resulting from a stroke said she regained her self-confidence being able to speak at her own pace on the system. Another individual with a physical appearance problem states, "I'm so excited, I suddenly feel so alive. I now have something to get up for." Michael Reeung, a 25-year-old quadriplegic, said the classes offer comradery of students through technology.

"The Homebound Project equalizes educational opportunities for severely disabled-homebound people. Through studio teleconferencing, students are able to participate in a classroom environment," says Helen Sprawls. "For many of our students, this is a first-step to re-entering the outside world."

ACCENT, Winter 1988.

From Accent on LIving Magazine.... and Handicapped Users Database of Compuserve.



[ Respond to: cmcl2!dasys1!tzippy%harvard@harvunxw.BITNET]

A recent trend in educational telecommunications is online learning. Online learning programs use telecommunications links to connect students with educational institutions. Through these programs, students are able to complete courses, often for academic credit, entirely from their home or office. Although initially intended for busy professionals, online learning programs are becoming increasingly popular with homebound students. Some of the many programs now available are described below. [This can also be found on Compuserve Education Forum, courtesy of Chuck Lynd.]


The American Open University (AOU) is an online learning resource sponsored by the New York Institute of Technology. Over 100 online courses are offered in three degree programs. All class activities are conducted online, including student to teacher and student to student interactions. AOU is accessed via Telenet. Cost per credit hour is $85.

For more information, contact:

New York Institute of Technology
Central Islip, NY 11722
(In New York, call 516-348-3300)


In this experimental project sponsored by Harvard University (in cooperation with the University Tech-Tel Corporation and the Cambridge Tele-Teaching Corporation), calculus is being taught in "an electronic classroom." Special modems will be used that allow simultaneous voice and data transmission.

For more information, contact:

University Tech-Tel Corporation
4720 Montgomery Lane; Suite 1100
Bethesda, MD 20814


Nova University offer various masters level and doctoral programs by modem, including programs focusing on educational technology and the use of computers in education. Although all classwork takes place online, you must spend two weeks per year on campus.

For more information, contact:

Nova University
Center for Computer-Based Learning
3301 College Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314


Hundreds of academic and personal enrichment courses are offered through Connected Education's online learning program. The courses, taught via the New Jersey Institute of Technology's Electronic Information Exchange System, are loosely structured to accommodate student schedules and to facilitate daily interaction between teacher and student. Three-credit courses cost $725.

For more information, contact:

Connected Education, Inc.

Bronx, NY 10463


The Distance Learning Program is an online educational program offered by City University of Bellevue, Washington. Six graduate, seven undergraduate, and five certificate programs are offered through the Distance Learning system. Students use GTE's Telenet system to access the University's host computer to receive instruction, turn in class assignments, and interact with their teachers. Costs range from $130 for a one-credit "foundation course" to $465 for a five-credit undergraduate course.

For more information, contact:

City University
16661 Northup Way
Bellevue, Washington 98008
(In Washington, call 206-643-2000)


The Electronic University Network (EUN), operated by Telelearning Systems, is a national online learning network through which students are linked to academic institutions throughout the country that offer courses online. A wide variety of degree programs, as well as personal enrichment courses, are offered from accredited universities and colleges. All coursework, homework and student-teacher interactions take place online. An initial membership fee of $195 is required; courses cost from $60 to $130 per credit hour.

For more information, contact:

Telelearning Systems, Inc.
505 Beach Street
San Fransisco, CA 94133
(In California, call 415-928-2800)

For more information about all types of unusual degree programs, see BEAR'S GUIDE TO NON-TRADITIONAL COLLEGE DEGREES, by John Bear. It is available for $10.95 postpaid from Ten Speed Press, Box 7123, Berkeley, CA 94707.


BY Kurt Jaeger (pi%complx@nadia.UUCP)
& Massimo Labbrozzi

Communication Network Proposal

The European Student Meeting in Bologna (Chiasmus) this fall confirmed the growing need for information exchanges among members of the european student community. 40 people from 20 countries of Europe (East & West) have signed a statement to set up the European Student Information Network (ESINet).

We want to give everybody the possibility to exchange information without restriction. Everybody is invited to join the network. We will be happy to share our experience of communication networks and all our know-how as they develop.

Our aims are for the network to be:

We propose to cross-connect, for example, these networks:

If you are interested in details, contact:

Kurt Jaeger Massimo Labbrozzi
Schozacher Strasze 40 ITER, Facolta' di Ingegneria
D-7000 Stuttgart 40 Universita' di Bologna
Tel. +49 711 8701309 24h a day Viale Risorgimento 2
EMail: pi%complx@nadia.UUCP 40100 Bologna

A detailed list of participants is available.


NEW HORIZONS IN COMPUTER/VIDEODISC EDUCATION: The Use of Hypermedia to Create "The Yup'ik Eskimo Computer"
respond to: Barry Sponder, LFBMS@ALASKA


New Horizons in Computer/Videodisc Education: The Use of Hypermedia to Create "The Yup'ik Eskimo Computer

by Barry Sponder & Dennis Schall, Education Department
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Kuskokwim Campus
Pat Nelson, Education Department
University of Alaska, Fairbanks
Ted Simmons, Lower Kuskokwim School District


At the University of Alaska Fairbanks Kuskokwim Campus, students and faculty have developed a multi-media instructional database program to help collect and disseminate information about the language, art, and culture of the Yup'ik Eskimo people. The Yugtarvik Museum project, undertaken during the spring 1989 semester, is designed to increase the opportunities for both Alaska Natives and non-Natives to learn about Yup'ik culture and Alaska Native crafts.

Using the Hypercard program on a Macintosh Plus computer, and a videodisc designed by Kuskokwim Campus faculty, the contents of the Bethel Eskimo Museum were photographed and placed into an interactive computer/videodisc program designed to encourage viewers to access information about museum's displays. Community residents and Yup'ik Eskimo college students have been contributing information to the computer program, and working on the project has become a powerful preservice training experience for many future Native and non-Native teachers.

Additionally, the program has been made available for use in public schools throughout the state to enable Alaska Native school children to add to the database and to use the system as self-motivating learning tool.


The University of Alaska Fairbanks is comprised of several campuses throughout the state of Alaska, with the largest of these located in Fairbanks, and several smaller campuses and rural education centers scattered throughout the state. The sobering reality of making college courses available to a geographical region which is larger than the state of Texas, and is beset with climatic extremes, forces the university to rely heavily upon telecommunications technology to accomplish its mission.

Located in Bethel, the University of Alaska Fairbanks Kuskokwim Campus (UAF-KUC) provides post-secondary education programs for the residents of Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, a region of over 60,000 square miles in southwestern Alaska. With 18,000 Yup'ik Eskimos, out of a total population of 20,000, the area has the largest concentration of Alaska Natives in the state. The Kuskokwim Campus is well-known for its attention to inter-ethnic communication and provides cross -cultural teacher training for many regional school districts.

The campus is also known for a strong developmental studies emphasis and for its expertise in delivering distance education courses to rural areas of the state. Additionally UAF-KUC serves as a model for the use of educational technology for southwestern Alaskan school districts.


A recurring theme in rural Alaska has been the encroachment of western society on the indigenous Native cultures. (Scollon, 1980; Collier Jr., 1973; Barnhardt and Tonsmeire, 1987).

The educational system of rural Alaska has been particularly dominated by western culture for the past century. The typical curriculum often reflects the traditional cannon of subject areas that you would find in any school setting regardless of context. This subject-oriented approach tends to teach fragments of knowledge which are often not related to real-life situations in rural Eskimo communities.

The subject-oriented curriculum continues to be challenged by many faculty, public school teachers, and native community members (Collier Jr., 1973; Scollon, 1980). As George Olanna points out, "The curriculum of a rural Alaskan school should be related to the local community and the local environment. The community should be a resource (Barnhardt and Tonsmeire, 1987)."

A widespread concern for cultural preservation has also led to a strong commitment and willingness on the part of many Alaskan educators to be innovative in improving the relevance and quality of postsecondary education. The University of Alaska Fairbanks offers a rural-based teacher training program that has been graduating Native Alaskan teachers for over a decade (Lipka, 1985).

A growing trend in postsecondary education is the use of commercially prepared telecourses for both on-campus and off -campus instruction, permitting a rough standardization of curriculum (Luskin, 1983). While this practice has certain advantages, minority students in these classes may be at a disadvantage because of various cross-cultural differences with the majority culture, unless there is a conscious attempt to adapt materials to specific minority audiences (Goulet and Spronk, 1988; Nelson, 1988). Because of these limitations, rural UAF institutions serving indigenous people have been making a determined effort to adapt instructional technology to fit their audience, rather than trying to shape the audience to fit the instructional material.

Instructional Technology At University of Alaska Fairbanks Kuskokwim Campus:

The Kuskokwim Campus (KUC) has a long history of developing and using instructional technology. The campus has been offering distance education courses to rural communities on a wide scale since 1981, covering fields such as Education, History, Business, Alaska Native Languages, Psychology, Mathematics, English and Developmental Studies.

The Kuskokwim Campus was the first institution in Alaska to deliver distance education courses in Yup'ik orthography.

Regional school districts look towards KUC for assistance in the distance delivery of specialized courses to villages with small student populations.

KUC has an excellent computer network which combines Macintosh and IBM-compatible machines to offer on-campus students up-to -date computer courses. Many computers are being programmed to provide locally-relevant individualized instruction, primarily on the Macintosh, and some are linked to videodisc machines that present additional audiovisual materials. Locally developed science courses utilizing videodisc support have proven particularly effective for Yup'ik Eskimo students.

The Kuskokwim campus also provides leadership in the use educational technology throughout its service region. School districts, regional businesses, and governmental agencies often send employees to Bethel to be trained in various computer-related jobs, either on the Macintosh or IBM-compatible machines. Kuskokwim campus faculty and staff are also active in helping local school districts to develop appropriate distance education systems.

Technology and Traditional Yup'ik Culture:

Not far from the Kuskokwim Campus is the Bethel Yugtarvik Museum, which possesses a nationally recognized collection of Alaskan Native artifacts, drawn exclusively from the Yukon-Kuskokwim region. The Yugtarvik museum functions as both a preserver of indigenous culture, and as a disseminator of information about traditional Alaskan Native crafts. The museum's contents are augmented by a large collection of slides and film depicting the traditional life -styles of southwestern Alaska

. For the past year, Kuskokwim Campus faculty, with experience in videodisc and computer instruction, have been working on a project designed to employ computer technology for the presentation of traditional Alaskan culture through the use of the collection and facilities of the Bethel Yugtarvik Museum.

Using a Macintosh computer as a visual database, the contents of the Yugtarvik museum have been photographed and scanned into a computer program designed to encourage museum visitors to access information about the crafts and artifacts on display. The information has been arranged in an attractive presentation format using the Apple Hypercard application, with the majority of the programming being done by college students and residents of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.

A videodisc containing pictures of the museum's exhibits, footage of Eskimo elders demonstrating traditional craft skills, and geographical information about Alaska Native villages was developed for use with the Hypercard program. Since the contents of the museum represent part of the collective wisdom and heritage of the Yup'ik Eskimo people, the opportunities for learning about traditional Yup'ik culture are enormous.

While community residents, college students, and museum personnel helped to design the presentation and collect the relevant data, the university provided the equipment and the technical expertise to supervise the project. The campus-community relationship became a partnership serving the dominant culture of the region.

An initial Macintosh database was completed in May, 1989, and the program has undergone pilot testing at the Kuskokwim Campus and the Yugtarvik Regional Museum. Additional storage space on the computer has been set aside for community residents to continue contributing to the presentation, making the exhibit an on-going information gathering tool. The interactive program is available for school districts to use or adapt to fit the needs of their academic and cultural programs. In this way the University of Alaska is providing leadership in the use of instructional technology for Native American students and minority populations throughout the state.


The museum project team was recently award ed a U.S. D.O.E. grant to develop a similar interactive program for teaching science courses to Alaska Native college students. The 18 -month project will concentrate in the design and development of an Alaska-specific course which will provide locally-relevant examples for universal scientific concepts, in addition to including culturally-specific science concepts from Yup'ik culture. The program is also being designed for use at the k-12 level, and it is hoped that this project can serve to demonstrate the availability of technological solutions to some of the problems of Alaskan education. The team members are also working with regional school district personnel during most phases of this project to help them develop the expertise to pursue similar projects on their own.

Additionally, the team is working with another Kuskokwim faculty person who is designing a Hypercard database on Yup'ik culture for use in University courses and in cross-cultural training programs. The database is a compilation of many aspects of the Yup'ik lifestyle, and both the museum videodisc and the science videodisc will be available for use with this Hypercard program.


The Yugtarvik museum project undertaken by faculty and students at the University of Alaska Kuskokwim campus is one example of the use of computer technology to address relevant curriculum for indigenous peoples; It can serve as a model for future University-community cooperation.

The focus of the Yugtarvik Project is to integrate subject matter with the experience of students and the community. Students become actively involved in the process of inquiring, organizing, categorizing and communicating through cataloguing museum collections on a computer database. In this type of curriculum the students are the "doers" who are in charge of their own learning. This process-oriented curriculum "recasts content as a means, rather than an end" and opens new horizons for culturally sensitive curriculum (Barnhardt and Tonsmeire,1987).

For more information contact:

Barry Sponder or Dennis Schall
University of Alaska Fairbanks, Kuskokwim Campus,br> P.O. Box 368, Bethel, Ak. 99559
(907) 543-4584


Barnhardt, R., and Tonsmeire, K. eds. (1987). Lessons Taught, Lessons Learned: Teachers' Reflections on Schooling in Rural Alaska. Alaska Staff Development Network Publication.

Collier, John, Jr. (1973) Alaskan Eskimo Education: A Film Analysis of Cultural Confrontation in the Schools. Holt, Rinehart, and Winston: New York.

Goulet and Spronk (1988) Partnership with aboriginal peoples: Some implications for distance educators. In Stewart, D. and Daniel, J.S. eds. Developing Distance Education. ICDE: Varanmo, Sweden

Gjelten, Tom (1978) Schooling in Isolated Communities. Maine: North Haven Project. Kleinfeld, J., McDiarmid, R., and Hagstrom, D. (1985). Alaska's Small Rural High Schools. University of Alaska, Center for Cross-Cultural Studies.

Lipka, J. (1985) The Development of Native Alaskan Teachers. Paper presented to the 13th World Conference, International Council for Distance Education. Melbourne, Australia, Aug. 13-20, 1985.

Luskin, B.J. (1983). Telecourses: Twenty myths and twenty-one realities. Community and Junior College Journal. Vol. 53, #8. pp. 32- 41.

Nelson, P. (1988) Making Distance Education More Effective: The Alaskan Context. In Stewart, D. and Daniel, J.S. eds. Developing Distance Education. ICDE: Varanmo, Sweden.

Purdy, L.N., ed. (1983) Reaching New Students Through New Technologies. Costa Mesa, CA: The Coast Community College District

Scollon, R. (1980). Human Knowledge and the Institution's Knowledge: Communication in Patterns and Retention in a Public University. Final Report on National Institute of Education Grant no. G-80-0185. October 1, 1980-December 31, 1981.




I am the manager of personal computers at Boise State University. I am by training, however, a European historian, and still get to teach one history course a semester. I have recently become interested in using telecommunications as a supplement to the classroom and even as a replacement for the classroom. I have joined this list in hopes of sharing ideas and gaining information about distance education.

Skip Knox, Boise State University, DUSKNOX@IDBSU

Ellis 'Skip' Knox, Ph.D.
Historian, Data Center Associate
Boise State University
1910 University Drive
Boise, Idaho 83725
(208) 385-1315<


Re: Congres la distance apprivoise La Tele-universite organise pour le mois de mai 1990 le prochain congres de l'Association canadienne pour l'enseignement a distance. Serait-il possible de faire paraitre dans votre journal le communique ci-dessous. J'aimerais qu'il soit indique dans ce communique que le congres sera bilingue (francais et anglais). Voici le communique:

Canadian Association for Distance Education (CADE)
Chateau Frontenac, Quebec, May 8-11

Reaching out : visions for a new decade.


Persons working in distance education area are invited to present applications, research and theory papers.

The conference themes are:

This is a bi-lingual conference. You are invited to present your papers, before January 8th,1990, to

Jeannine Laurent, coordonnatrice
Congres de l'ACED
Tele-universite, 26435
Hochelaga, 7e etage, C.P. 10700
Sainte- Foy (Quebec), G1V 4V9


Subject: Practitioner Research Program

The National Center on Adult Learning announces a call for practitioner research proposals. The mission of the Center is to improve the theory, research and practice of adult learning.

In 1989-90, the Center will support several research fellowships (up to $5000 US) for proposals on LINKING ASSESSMENT WITH LEARNING.

The research efforts of the Center are problem-focused and practitioner centered, providing solutions to problems encountered by faculty, administration and staff in the delivery of educational programs for adults.

The DEADLINE for submitting proposals is JAN. 15, 1990.

For information and guidelines, contact:

Dr. Timothy Lehmann, Practitioner Research Program
National Center on Adult Learning,br> Empire State College
1 Union Ave.
Saratoga Springs, NY
12866 USA or call 518/587-2100, ext. 287.


WORLD 2000- THE MOSCOW <-> JUNEAU CONNECTION - Going Online with the Soviet Union
by the editor

For years I had wanted to do it: connect Juneau, Alaska to the Soviet Union in an education project that used telecommunications to help focus on the unity and limitations of the earth. Finally last summer, my colleagues and I developed a vision for such a project that led to a proposal, the core of which follows:

- World 2000 -
A Proposal for the Development of a
Joint US-USSR Health and Telecommunications Project
for High School Students


The world faces a number of serious health issues that are global in nature and which can only be solved by efforts which are cooperative in design and international in scope. To be part of such an effort, students need cooperative working skills, an understanding of health as a personal and collective concern, a positive appreciation of cultural diversity, and the technological skills to facilitate international cooperation.

This project develops all four while offering students a fundamentally transformational experience: to work with Soviet youth in understanding and designing the future they will jointly inherit. In addition, this project helps develop a relatively low cost model for international student cooperation that can be widely applied in a number of subject areas at a number of grade levels.


A ninth-grade Juneau-Douglas High School health teacher and her Soviet equivalent will plan a half year health curriculum which stresses global health and cooperative living as health issues of primary consideration to be carried out during our 1989-90 school year. Using computer telecommunications (electronic mail and computer conferencing), the teachers and their students will communicate on a regular basis during the course of the health class to develop their collective vision of the status of the world's health in the Year 2000. A report will be produced which details the health curriculum. It will also include joint student research which describes how to deal with the global health problems we face, the prospects for the world if the problems are overcome, and what awaits the world if they are not. Some form of the document will be made widely available to the public. It is our hope that this project is the beginning of an on-going relationship which can be sustained beyond this year's project, a decision that will made following project evaluation.

[end of proposal excerpt]

Last October the dream materialized. From October 6th to October 15th, Juneau high school principal Kathy Odegaard, health teacher Nancy Seamount, and myself worked at Public High School #1201 in Moscow, aligning curriculum on environmental health and establishing a computer link between the two schools.

The hospitality with which we were received, the intense interest on everyone's part to develop a plan and work out the details, the gracious facilitation on the part of the Foundation for Social Innovation (who coordinated the Soviet end of the project), the excitement and sheer joy as we worked with the students, are still vivid as I write about it 2 months later. By the time we left Moscow, a crew of telecommunicators (teachers and students) had been trained that was already exchanging messages with people back in Juneau.

Since our trip, CNN has aired a piece about World 2000 (which was also seen all over the Soviet Union), and a film crew visited School #1201 in order to prepare another piece for national media in both countries. World 2000 is on its way.

There is so much to report about my visit to Moscow that as I pull on one strand of it, a rich tapestry of experience begins helplessly to unravel. However, I am lead to write this week's DISTANCE EDitorial because of one particularly disturbing fact that emerged from the process of going online with the Soviet Union: The United States is currently blocking the Soviet Union's membership in BITNET and its affiliates.


DISTANCE EDitorial - A Letter to President Bush
by the editor

While in Moscow, Mr. Sovostin (described to me as "second in command of higher education in the Soviet Union") took me to see the Vice-Rector of Moscow State University for the purpose of explaining "networking," and, inevitably, the world of BITNET.

Afterwards, Vice-Rector Dobrenkov produced a letter for me to take home stating his desire for Moscow State University to be part of BITNET and asking me to pursue the matter on his behalf.

On my return, I contacted Jim Conklin at EDUCOM who informed me that he had queried the Dept. of Commerce about a Soviet BITNET connection six months earlier and learned that it violated Dept. of Commerce regulations. My understanding is that the Dept. of Commerce is worried about Soviet access to super computers which can be reached via Internet.

Once again, I found myself face to face with the fact that communication between the U.S. and U.S.S.R. was being thwarted by our government, not theirs. It prompted the following letter to the President of the United States:

November 27,1989

Dear President Bush:

While in Moscow, USSR in October, I was asked to meet with an official from the Soviet Ministry of Higher Education and Vice-Rector of Moscow University regarding connecting the Soviet Union to educational computer networks in the United States. We all agreed that there was already strong support from the international academic community for such a development as an obvious next step in glasnost and the educational and cultural exchanges which our governments are encouraging. At their behest, I am now exploring how to establish such a connection.

It has been brought to my attention that a recent attempt to connect the Soviet Union to one of the most popular academic networks in the United States, BITNET, was blocked by the Dept. of Commerce. This decision appears to be based upon the fear that through BITNET, Soviets may have access to super computers.

I urge you to reconsider this policy, as it is not based upon a correct understanding of the situation. Only an extremely small portion of the network has super computing capabilities. The vast majority of BITNET simply functions as an electronic messaging service for thousands of academicians to share ideas. The current policy essentially states that because of the minute fraction of the network that might be subject to abuse, we shall exclude the Soviets from all of the network, and thwart all contact between thousands of Soviet and American universities.

This is the electronic equivalent of banning all Soviet visitors from the United States because one might pose a security risk. In addition, the policy doesn't take into account that where the potential for abuse exists, there are a number of security measures that, while not perfect, can certainly be used to reduce the potential for abuse greatly.

I urge you to reconsider this policy at such an opportune moment in history. Networking exerts a powerful, positive influence on the developments in the USSR and Eastern Europe. It is a living, dynamic testimony to everything the Eastern Bloc is striving for: freedom of information and freedom to gather and exchange knowledge. We should be their mentors as they strive for such democratic goals. It is up to the United States to demonstrate leadership in tearing down the electronic walls that the U.S. currently imposes on the international educational community.


Jason Ohler
Director, Educational Technology Program
University of Alaska SE
Phone: 1-907-789-4538

cc: Sen. Ted Stevens
Sen. Frank Murkowski
Rep. Don Young
Dr. Jim Conklin, EDUCOM
Various members of the university computing community




[What follows is an excerpt from the first issue of the Journal.]

This first issue will be primarily concerned with the Journal itself. Once we provide an idea of the Journal's identity and direction, we hope you will contribute to this rapidly growing field of education and communication.


We want short contributions, 4 screens maximum. Rather than trying to compete with a paper-based magazine which does a much better job of presenting long articles, we want contributions that present overview information. Based upon information gleaned in contributions, readers can directly contact the author for more details.


The issues that the Journal is concerned with fall into four basic content areas:

  1. Content Area #1- Distance Education

    The Journal is interested in distance education as the organized method of reaching geographically disadvantaged learners, whether K-12, post secondary, or general enrichment students. Areas of interest include:

    • delivery technologies,
    • pedagogy,
    • cross cultural issues implicit in wide area education delivery,
    • distance education projects that you are involved with,
    • announcements, workshops, or programs of study,
    • anything else regarding the theory and practice of distance education.

  2. Content Area #2- Distance Communications

    The Journal recognizes that education encompasses a broad area of experience and that distance education includes distance communications that fall outside the domain of formal learning. The Journal welcomes contributions that deal with serving people at a distance who aren't necessarily associated with a learning institution. The Journal welcomes information about, for examples:

    • public radio and television efforts to promote cultural awareness,
    • governmental efforts to inform a distant public about social issues,
    • or the many training programs run by private business to upgrade employee skills.

  3. Content Area #3- Telecommunications in Education

    Once the distance education infrastructure is solidly in place, local learners will want to tap into it, because they simply prefer learning in a decentralized setting or because they want to expand their learning opportunities and resources beyond those immediately available to them. This phenomenon, which we call 'bringing distance education home,' will grow in the coming years and we look forward to hearing from people about telecommunications in education, as a tool or a content area.

  4. Content Area #4- Cross Cultural Communication Efforts
    Particularly Between the US and the USSR

    The Journal is interested in projects concerned with overcoming cultural barriers through the use of electronic communication. The Journal particularly looks forward to contributions concerning:

    • efforts to improve electronic communication between the USSR and the US
    • international electronic conferences
    • cultural domination through the inappropriate use of media
    • the use of telecommunications to promote understanding of the human condition

To subscribe to The Online Journal of Distance Education and Communication, send the following command to LISTSERV@UWAVM :

SUB DISTED your_full_name

All contributions should be sent to JADIST@ALASKA

Any other questions about DISTED can be sent to:

Jason B. Ohler, Editor
Paul J. Coffin

Disclaimer: The above were the opinions of the individual contributors and in no way reflect the views of the University of Alaska.

End of the Online Journal of Distance Education & Communication