July 1998 // Spotlight Site
EdWeb: Exploring Technology and School Reform
Note: This article was originally published in The Technology Source (http://ts.mivu.org/) as: "EdWeb: Exploring Technology and School Reform" The Technology Source, July 1998. Available online at http://ts.mivu.org/default.asp?show=article&id=1034. The article is reprinted here with permission of the publisher.

Andy Carvin, the designer of EdWeb, describes this site as follows:

The purpose of this hyperbook is to explore the worlds of educational reform and information technology. With EdWeb, you can hunt down online educational resources around the world, learn about trends in education policy and information infrastructure development, examine success stories of computers in the classroom, and much, much more. EdWeb is a dynamic work-in-progress, and numerous changes and additions occur on a regular basis.

With three mirror sites to ensure quick loading times and constant availability, this site is a wonderful place for those unfamiliar with the debate surrounding technology in education to get a rudimentary rundown of some salient points. EdWeb is divided into seven sections (chapters of the hyperbook), each of which deals with some segment of the larger topic of instructional technology.

For example, the first section, entitled "The World Wide Web in Education: A Closer Look" takes a look at several different approaches towards integrating the Web into a classroom environment. Not only does the site focus on a number of case studies—invaluable resources for more experienced researchers and educators—but there is also an extensive network of background links for those readers who are unfamiliar with the history and terminology of the Internet. In this way, EdWeb provides a beneficial service to users of every level of technical acumen, from the relative newcomer to the savvy veteran.

The other sections of the "hyperbook" are similar in their method of presenting information. These sections include:

  • "An HTML Crash Course for Educators" provides users with a self-tutorial that allows them to create their own Web pages while learning rudimentary HTML. Also available in Quebecois French.
  • "The Information Highway: History, Vision and Issues" is an informative and expansive look at the development of the Internet and the various commercial and non-commercial technologies that are involved in making it work. This section has excellent breadth as well as a variety of content for users of differing experience.
  • "Trends in Education Reform" looks at a number of large issues in education reform in general, often removed from the context of technology in favor of a more open-ended philosophical bent. This section provides a necessary primer of arguments for and against various facets of school reform in an unbiased setting.
  • "Computers and Education in Action: Some Examples" is a collection of case studies from successful projects that incorporated technology into the classroom in a variety of different ways.
  • "The EdWeb K-12 Resource Guide" gives a large and exhaustive list of resources (most of which are available without charge) on the Internet. The resources are arranged according to their medium (i.e., Web sites, listservs, newsgroups, etc.).
  • "WWWEDU: The World Wide Web in Education List" not only gives a FAQ and information on how to subscribe to this 1700-member listserv (pronounced "We Do"), but also houses an archive of old postings, which can be either browsed chronologically or searched by keyword.

EdWeb is a unique site which has a great deal to offer to its visitors, regardless of their level of technological skill. We heartily recommend this resource to all our readers.

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