Volume #4, Issue #4

Date: February 1991

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 #4, Issue #4

February 1991

Editor: Jason Ohler

Educational Technology Program Director
University of Alaska Southeast
11120 Glacier Highway, Juneau, Alaska 99801

Technical Coordinator: Paul J. Coffin

716 Taschereau
Ste-Therese, Quebec
J7E 4E1
Phone: 514-430-0995


Should the OJ support an active listserv? What do you think?

Every now and again I get a message from a new subscriber who expected a more typical listserv, in which messages are frequently exchanged among members.

When I created the Journal, this was the kind of listserv I wanted to avoid. My goal was to create an information distillery in a world awash in data, publishing succinct information less often for readers to peruse. My philosophy has always been to keep articles short. Readers can then follow up with the author on a personal basis on those articles that interest them, sparing the rest of the readership a discussion it isn't interested in.

Every indication from readers suggest that this is a valuable service that should be continued. However, if readers perceive a need for another, more active listserv, the Online Journal encourages someone to start such a listserv. If you would like to work in association with the Journal, I would be happy to discuss that. In either case, an active listserv would require a director as I wouldn't have time to do a good job of it. Perhaps ideally an active listserv could serve as a source for the Journal.

If you have an opinion about this, please let me know. I will synthesize what I receive and post it in the next journal.


  1. The American Indian Telecommunications Share-Art Gallery by Cynthia Denton, c/o Frank Odasz, frisbee!hplsd!oldcolo!bigsky!franko@sunpeaks.Central.Sun.COM

  2. Kids 91 Update , by Odd de Presno, opresno@ulrik.uio.no

  3. Our Global Neighborhood - Telecommunications in the Classroom by Sally Laughon, laughon@vtvm1

  4. CHATBACK: Reaching Children the World Over: International electronic mail for young people with speech disabilities. by Mike Burleigh, UBJVM6Q@CU.BBK.AAC.UK

  5. About IISN: The International Information Sharing Network for Adult Educators , by Beth Oddy, ECODDY@SUVM.BITNET

  6. About the Western Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications by Mollie McGill, MCGILL_M@CUBLDR.Colorado.EDU


    1. Proposals due: 7th Annual Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning
    2. Request: Open Education School Listing
    3. Announcement: About DEOS: The Distance Education Online Symposium
    4. Announcement: Communication Project on Children's Feelings About the War
    5. Announcement: The First, Best and Most Authoritative Catalog of Internet Accessible Libraries and Related Databases is Now Available!!

  8. DISTANCE EDitorial: Indian and Native Americans and Distance Education

  9. ABOUT THE JOURNAL from the editor


The American Indian Telecommunications Share-Art Gallery
by Cynthia Denton
c/o Frank Odasz at

The American Indian Telecommunications Share-Art Gallery (SYSOP- Cynthia Denton) is now available for viewing and downloading on The Russell Country BBS in Hobson, Montana, 1-406-423-5433.

The purpose of this venture is to promote and preserve the culture of the Native Americans and the heritage of the American West. The state of Montana, like a majority of the western states, depends upon economic stimulation from outside our geographical boundaries to survive. In an attempt to stimulate the economic condition of the Indian reservations within the state of Montana, we hope to assist the Native Americans with the marketing of one of their most valuable assets--their art and craft works.

Leaders from the seven Montana Indian reservations were invited to attend a workshop for the purpose of learning how to create NAPLPS artwork for viewing by using a modem and a microcomputer. On December 17 and 18, 1991, a workshop, funded by Big Sky Telegraph, was held in Billings, Montana. In attendance were five artists and seven computer coordinators representing five reservations. Under the guidance of Dave Hughes, the artists produced the initial artwork which is presently online for viewing, while the computer coordinators learned how to assist the artists in getting the artwork to Russell Country and how to use telecommunications for a variety of other activities.

The artwork is in the form of Share-Art. Individuals may dial Russell Country BBS to view the artwork online as often as they wish. However, should they decide to download the artwork for permanent display on their computer system, they are asked to purchase that right. This is possible by using either VISA or MasterCard online or by check or money order with 85% of the proceeds going to the artist. Once an individual has purchased the right to display the artwork, they may enjoy it to enhance their computer screen while it is not in use.

The artists currently presenting work are: Harvey King, an Assiniboine from the Ft. Belknap Reservation; Gina Ryan, a Sioux living on the Ft. Peck Reservation; Henry Webster, a Chippewa-Cree from Rocky Boy's Reservation; Courtney Stewart, a Crow from the Crow Reservation; and Willis Tsosie, a Navajo, living on the Crow Reservation. In addition to these artists, Dave Hughes has presented some cowboy poetry and an illustration of a poem, in both English and Essiniboine language, written by Minerva Allen, a member of the Assiniboine tribe.

The expansion of the use of NAPLPS, with the combination of text and artwork, will have a significant influence in the Native American classroom. Taking advantage of the opportunity to use English, a second language, and the Native language in combination with artwork could provide benefits in learning covering many areas--English, Native Language and Tribal History. This is a way to encourage the Native American students to learn more about their heritage and to focus on their own culture. The Native American school children of today are the spokes people and leaders for the Native American population of tomorrow. This learning and training, which combines written and visual display through the use of NAPLPS, will further their sense of individuality, self-esteem, and expression.

Five years from now our goal is to have a wide variety of Native American Share-Art on line with as many tribes represented world-wide as possible. We also have a goal of having an online catalog showcasing Native American crafts and handiwork. The world has yet to have the opportunity to enjoy the wonderful work which Native Americans create.

For a century, Montana has been known primarly for its record low temperatures, its geographic remoteness, the beauty of its National Parks, and its cowboy heritage portrayed through the artwork of Charles M. Russell. It is our goal, through this NAPLPS-Share-Art project, to bring to the forefront the great heritage and culture of the Native Americans throughout the country and the world. As America and the world become more familiar with our Native American cultures, the splendid diversity of these cultures, and their magnificent artwork, we feel that it is inevitable that more people will want to visit and enjoy for themselves the culture which is present in our Native American areas.

To this end we will work toward a posting of the most up-to-date events on each individual reservation to encourage tourism and thus stimulate the economy. Many people already travel through Montana and the West and pass some of the most exciting, significant, and interesting historical points of interest simply because they are unaware of their presence. I is our belief that the population of the world is eager to enjoy a culturally enriching and spiritually enlightening vacation here in Big Sky Country and other Western states where Native Americans live. The NAPLPS-Share-Art project can bring the Native American to the world's attention.

Cynthia Denton
Reachable through Frank Odasz at:


Excerpts from Kids 91 Update #6
by Odd de Presno


The objective of KIDS-91 is to get as many 10-to-15-year-old children as possible involved in a GLOBAL dialog continuing until May 12th 1991. We want their responses to these questions:
  1. Who am I?
  2. What do I want to be when I grow up?
  3. How do I want the world to be better when I grow up?
  4. What can I do now to make this happen?

We would also like them to illustrate their future vision, for example in a drawing, a video tape, or something else.

On May 12th, 1991, the children will be invited to "chat" with each other in a global electronic dialog. Exhibitions of selected parts of the responses will be sent back to the world for the children to see and enjoy.

Our Internet/BITNET discussion lists, KIDS-91 and KIDCAFE, have quickly become key meeting places for people involved with the KIDS-91 project.

To join KIDS-91 send the command SUB KIDS-91 Yourname to LISTSERV@vm1.NoDak.EDU. (For example: SUB KIDS-91 Ole Olsen.) The command should be in the BODY of the text.

[Editor's Note- what follows are excerpts from KIDS-91 #6 Progress Report:]


The activity in Central Europe is increasing. We expect many responses from new countries like France, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Poland, and Austria soon. And then there is Algirdas Paktas in Vilnius, Lithuania, and Dr. Leon Peshtmaldjian in Yerevan, Armenia. We are always very glad when people in "conflict areas" want to give their children this opportunity!

Talking about conflicts, KIDS-91 now has contacts in Saudi Arabia, Chile, Colombia, and Sri Lanka, as well as in more peaceful corners of the world like New Zealand and Hong Kong.

Many of our newcomers are joining our global forum, the KIDS- 91 discussion list. Some subscribe directly. Others participate through parallel activities on participating networks. Reviewing the list of subscribers to KIDS-91@vm1.nodak.edu shows that it has become a global forum in the true meaning of the word. (Send a message with the command REVIEW KIDS-91 in the body of the text to listserv@vm1.nodak.edu to get the list of subscribers.)

"Is KIDS-91 only for teachers?" A business man in Puerto Rico asked the question the other day.

The answer is NO. Certainly there are many educators. But, there are also parents, people working in preventive child health care, with culturally deprived children, with children having speech disabilites, and then there are those who simply think that we have to give all children on earth a chance!

Among the responses received recently, a batch was sent to us from Biloxi, Mississippi (USA) on floppy disk! Besides being a great example of parent/teacher/student cooperation, we want to use it here to emphasize that _it is perfectly okay_ to send responses on floppy disks!

The war in the Middle East is making it difficult for many people to travel. Still, people from Leningrad in the north to Buenos Aires in the south have expressed an interest in going to Norway for the Celebration on the 12th of May.

The war has led to another development in the KIDS-91 project - a new discussion list called KIDPEACE. This discussion is for kids ages 10-15 to share their feelings about war and conflict in the world today. We decided to separate the discussion about the war from the other topics kids are talking about in KIDCAFE because kids tend to feel a little more comfortable talking about their pets, families, school, etc. when they first join the KIDCAFE and we didn't want kids to get intimidated by what can be an intense dialog - especially when 15-year-old Nachshon in Israel is reporting about the Patriot missiles intercepting SCUD missiles above his house!!! This new discussion list will also help us to attract attention to the KIDS-91 project -- and thus involve more kids!!


It's time to have the kids start working on their contributions to the Creative Challenge. The challenge is as follows:

The children are encouraged to express their future visions ('how they see themselves as adults in their desired future world') in as many creative ways as they can think of.

They can do it by using traditional art forms by submitting a drawing, a painting, a piece of music, or a drama. Other ideas include making use of computer graphics, photographic displays, hypermedia presentation techniques, audiotapes, video, or multimedia technologies.

A Latvian boy is working on a piece of music. Others are planning the use of video. Many drawings and paintings have already been received by mail.

All exhibits will be automatically entered into the KIDS-91 Creative Challenge which will be judged by an international panel. The most creative presentations will be publicly awarded prizes and included in an exhibition to be displayed throughout the world after May 1991.

There will be a KIDS-91 Celebration in Arendal, Norway on May 12th, 1991. All entries in the challenge will be showcased for the world to see on that day.

Remember: have the students mark their submission clearly with name, age and place/school/country. If the contribution is selected to be exhibited, then the audience will be able to know who made it.

Mail the Creative Contributions to

c/o Odd de Presno
4815 Saltrod, Norway
and allow time for the postman.

Deadline: April 30th, 1991!

The KIDS-91 Celebration in Arendal will be an integral part of this town's Children's Week, starting on the 4th of May. There will be performances by national theater/performance/puppet groups ("Free groups"), a children's theatre group from Sweden, the famous boys choir from Riga, Latvia (46 boys) will give two concerts. There will be an exhibition of Latvian children book illustrations, an exhibition of Polish sculptures for adults and children, as well as parades, clowns, music in the street, and much more.

We are looking forward to see you all!

Editor/Project director: Odd de Presno
Mail address: Saltrod, Norway (Europe).
Telefax: +47 41 27111
Online addresses:
Internet: opresno@ulrik.uio.no
UUCP/EUnet: uunet!ulrik.uio.no!opresno
S.H.S. BBS: SYSOP (Phone: +47 41 31378)

If you want to help out with KIDS-91, or participate, contact the editor, or one of the following persons:

Nancy Stefanik:

Jonn Ord/SciNet:

You can also write to
c/o SciNet
131 Bloor Street West, Suite 200,
Box 326
Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1R8, Canada


Reprinted with permission from _TIE, Telecommunications in Education_ Winter 1991, Volume 2, No. 1.

Our Global Neighborhood - Telecommunications in the Classroom
by Sally Laughon

The red convertible eased slowly into the parking lot of the high school. The top was down to accommodate two huge pieces of foam board wedged in the back seat, swaying gently like a wide, flat parenthesis. United States and World maps were curled inside a cardboard tube in the front seat. A can of spray adhesive and red tipped map pins completed the purchase. What was this computer teacher doing trying to teach geography to her students?

When I began reading electronic mail from discussion groups, I noticed that many people appended their messages with a signature, citing their location and often their job title. To give students who had completed computer labs something interesting to do, I designed an activity to mark maps indicating the locations of electronic messages. I wanted to help combat a national ignorance of geography by having students become aware of their neighborhood and the world. Originally, my goal was to find mail from each of the 50 United States and each of the provinces of Canada in an effort to informally focus on the layout of our continent.

After reading several hundred return addresses, certain computer nodes became familiar. Other computer names seemed interesting, from "Venus," "Zodiac," "Zeus" and "Poseidon" to "Snoopy," "Sleepy," "Sunrise", "Suntan", "Sunshine" and a corporate "Pinstripe." One of my favorites was an acronym from a company name, "Tots," managed by a man who signed himself "Harried: with preschoolers."

If messages omitted a geographic origin, I began to inquire where the writer lived. I was amazed how readily people responded. For example, Aas, Norway was formed from two universities. Auburn, Alabama, becomes the second largest city in the state during an Auburn football game. One professor included the longitude and latitude coordinates for his college as well as interstate directions and closest cities. He wanted to be certain we found his hometown!

I soon discovered we needed additional resources to find college and university locations across the world. My students quickly learned how to navigate the telecommunications pathways because they wanted to read new electronic mail whenever time permitted. The technical details of telecommunications became transparent to the task at hand.

Sometimes it took dexterity to find a city or town on an Atlas map and mark the corresponding location on a wall map. The United States and World maps are much smaller in scale and often locating a place required finding nearby cities or even countries. Shifting from a larger scale to a smaller scale often took some creative estimating.

Students in computer classes rarely have the opportunity to share their experiences. "Map marking" has personalized my classes, moving computers from an abstract realm to an accessory for learning about people everywhere. One student recognized a small town near his brother's college city because his family drove through that crossroads. Another student came to class depressed about his college entrance test scores. My map project proved an antidote to his troubles. For several days his knowledge of southeastern United States geography captivated his teenage classmates. Having something worthwhile to contribute, his sense of self worth was reinforced.

Two maps mounted on foam board are dotted with hundreds of red pins. Here I sit with a new box of map pins and lists of cities, colleges or universities that might not be marked. One list reads:

There are over 50 locations which students need to find. I wanted to help combat a national ignorance of geography but I found students who can readily master the intricacies of telecommunication idiosyncrasies, students who want to share knowledge of their travels and a world of people willing to take a few moments to let a class in Virginia know something about their locations and vocations.

Sally Laughon

INTERNET: laughon@vtvm1.vt.cc.edu


CHATBACK: Reaching Children the World Over: International electronic mail for young people with speech disabilities.
by Mike Burleigh, UBJVM6Q@CU.BBK.AAC.UK

Children who have speech problems, wherever they may live suffer the frustration of feeling cut off from their peers, neighbours, and people they meet. Chatback is a charity which uses the latest communications technology to help relieve their loneliness. It enables children with little or no speech capacity to communicate directly and instantly with other children all over the world. Chatback was founded in 1987 by Tom Holloway, who worked for an IBM centre that helps people with disabilities.

Tom's interest in speech problems was sparked by the case of a man called Joey, who had a severe speech dysfunction. "Because Joey's physical speech was poor, nobody took the trouble to find out he was both intelligent and arti-culate," Tom recalls. "This made me consider ways to provide communication without speech."

The children are provided with a modem and communications software, a Prestel account and a Telecom Gold electronic mailbox plus training for support teachers if required. The children call up a special 'noticeboard' on Prestel for information on educational projects, advice on computer use, lists of other users on the Chatback network and often see their own letters articles and curriculum achievements 'published'.

This is a gateway to the independence which they seek. Access to communications technology gives them not only a means for independent expression, but an employable computer skill. Exchanges with children across the world gives these isolated kids an immediate contact with other cultures and ways of life.

IBM, British Telecom, and British Gas have supported the project thus far. To extend our network would anyone interested in supporting this charity consider the following:

Would you sponsor a school or child in your locality with a modem, local call access to Tymnet, Telenet or Internet and perhaps technical support for the teacher responsible?
If only a fraction of 'Online' readers were to take this action then the charity CHATBACK would take on International dimensions.

For further details contact:

Tom Holloway
Dialcom <10001:CLK001>
Mike Burleigh, Management/support team
Charlotte Oliver, Administrator on Dialcom 01:CLK010.

115 New Cavendish Street
London W1M 8JS
telephone 071 323 0017

Please note that we seek through e-mail to integrate our special needs children into mainstream education and contact with ALL children regardless of ability. Some readers of 'Online' may be especially interested in our long term aims to twin advantaged schools/communities with disadvantaged schools/communities.


About IISN: The International Information Sharing Network for Adult Educators

The International Information Sharing Network for Adult Educators, developed by the Syracuse University Kellogg Project, aims to address the information needs of adult educators throughout the world and to encourage information exchange among them.

IISN relies primarily on conventional mail rather than electronic communication, since in many parts of the world the technical support for such communication is not available. We are currently looking for a new home base for IISN beginning in September 1991, when its initial five-year funding by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation comes to an end. We would greatly appreciate any suggestions that LIBREF-L parti- cipants might have to assist us in this endeavor!

Background on IISN:

For adult educators in developing countries, cultural impediments to communication and lack of physical access to materials compound the problems of information seeking. At the same time, rapid industrial and technological growth in these countries creates an urgent need for information about adult education.

The International Information Sharing Network attempts to meet the needs of these educators:

  1. by responding to queries sent by participants, offering guidance in using information to solve specific problems,
  2. by encouraging direct information exchange between participants, and
  3. by making current information available.

The network sent out its first 43 letters to prospective participants (practitioners, researchers and policy makers) in October 1987. Since then, it has grown substantially and spread to the far corners of the world. There are currently 368 participants in the network, from 75 countries, and 105 queries have been submitted. In addition to responding to queries, we also distribute newsletters three times a year to all participants.

The newsletters feature short news articles as well as descriptions of low-cost publications and other information sources. To keep track of the information flowing through the network, we have developed a HyperCard-based system, the Information Counselor's Workstation or ICW, now in daily use.

IISN is a component of the Syracuse University Kellogg Project, a five-year research effort funded in 1986 by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The project's main goals have been

  1. to process, promote research on, and provide broad access to the University's outstanding collection of adult education materials using laser disk and computer technologies, and
  2. to promote information exchange among adult educators through computer- mediated communications and, as appropriate, through non-electronic means.

Other project components include AEDNET (an electronic Adult Education Network) and the Kellogg Library and Archive Retrieval System (KLARS), developed for use with the University's Adult and Continuing Education Collection.

To continue to operate at its current level, the IISN network would require one full-time information professional with a knowledge of adult education, or a part-time professional with help from one or more research assistants, plus clerical support.

Easy access to library resources such as directories and adult education journals is important, as is access to the ERIC database and possibly other databases via CD-ROM or online searching.

Equipment required would include a Macintosh computer to support the ICW, word processing, and other applications. Other expenses consist mostly of moderate reproduction and postage costs.

We are looking for any ideas about

  1. institutions/organizations which might be interested in housing IISN
  2. possible sources of funding, and/or
  3. other people that we might contact or sources of information that we might investigate to help us identify (1) and (2).

Please respond directly to me at the address below. Also, please feel free to pass this message on to any other individuals, groups, or electronic networks that you think might be interested. Thank you!

Beth Oddy
Information Counselor
International Information Sharing Network


About the Western Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications
by Mollie McGill

The Western Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications was established in July 1989 under the aegis of WICHE--the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. Consistent with WICHE's mission to increase access to educational resources and minimize costly duplication, the Western Cooperative is working to strengthen the efficiency, impact, and quality of educational telecommunications systems and programs. It is doing this by making information, resources, and expertise in the telecommunications field more readily available to its members.

Over 145 universities, colleges, schools, public agencies from 18 states predominantly in the West, and private corporations from throughout the nation have begun to work closely to identify current and future concerns in educational telecommunications in the West.

The Western Cooperative's constituency, which represents a group of diverse needs and expertise, is committed to the premise that cooperation and collaboration can benefit their individual interests. Some of the current and planned activities that are being addressed include: