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ERIC Identifier: ED372758
Publication Date: 1994-05-00
Author: Morgan, Nancy A.
Source: ERIC Clearinghouse on Information and Technology Syracuse NY.

An Introduction to Internet Resources for K-12 Educators. Part II: Question Answering, Listservs, Discussion Groups. ERIC Digest.

The Internet is an international computer network consisting of thousands of smaller interconnected computer networks. As K-12 schools connect to the Internet, a new and different means of communication opens up to educators and their students. This digest describes some sample services and resources that are available to the K-12 community by electronic mail over the Internet.


The number of information services that use electronic mail to deliver information is increasing. Services that teachers will find on the Internet include:

AskERIC: AskERIC is a human mediated question answering service for teachers, library media specialists, administrators, and others involved in education. A project of the ERIC Clearinghouse on Information and Technology at Syracuse University, AskERIC uses the vast resources of the ERIC system and the Internet to answer questions sent by electronic mail. Questioners receive an electronic mail response at no cost within 48 hours. Typical responses include citations from ERIC database searches, full text ERIC Digests, and Internet resources such as listservs and addresses for gopher sites. (Frequently asked questions (FAQs) and other resources developed from questions received at AskERIC are archived at the AskERIC Virtual Library which can be accessed by gophering to Address for electronic mail questions:

Ask a Young Scientist: A question answering service for elementary students on scientific topics. Questions are researched and answered by advanced chemistry students. Students are asked to limit their questions to five per message, but are encouraged to post as many questions as they wish. Address:

Ask Prof. Math: Answers questions on mathematical content or pedagogy from K-8 students and teachers. (Archives of the questions and responses can be found via anonymous ftp in the pub/prof.math subdirectory.) Address: Online Writing Lab (OWL): Purdue University Writing Lab provides help on correct English usage and writing. Information on how to get free copies of help sheets on topics ranging from resume writing to proper punctuation can be obtained by sending a message to Subject: owl-request. Message: Send help. Tutors will also answer a question by email. Send the question to


Listservs are automated programs that serve as distribution centers for mail messages. Listservs usually focus on a single topic that may be very broad or extremely narrow. People join a listserv by subscribing, and actively participate by sending messages to the listserv, or by simply reading them.

To subscribe, send a message to: listserv@node Leave the subject line blank. In the body of the message, write: subscribe <listserv name><your firstname lastname>

For example, to subscribe to LM[underscore]NET: Address the message to: Message: subscribe LM[underscore]NET Nancy Morgan

Below are listservs of special interest to K-12 educators: Internet related news and announcements

CHILDLIT@RUTVM1.RUTGERS.EDU: Children's literature

LM[underscore] School library/media services Supercomputing implementation and utilization in the K-12 environment K-12 educational administration

MIDDLE-L@VMD.CSO.UIUC.EDU: Middle school education Internet use in education

EDTECH@MSU.BITNET: Educational technology

EDPOLYAN@ASUVM.INRE.ASU.EDU: Education policy Global network (formerly Kidsnet) for K-12 children & teachers Kidlink Society runs several listservs in support of a global dialog for 10-15 year old students. Subscribe to KIDLINK listserv to receive information about the other lists.

ECENET-L@VMD.CSO.UIUC.EDU: Early childhood education

TESLK-12@CUNYVM.CUNY.EDU: Teachers of English as a second or foreign language to children International Counselor Network (ICN): counselors or counselor educators

BIOPI-L@ksuvm.bitnet: Secondary education relating to biology

NEWEDU-L@uscvm.bitnet: New and improved methods of education Talented and gifted students

MUSIC-ED@UMINN1.Bitnet: Music education


Usenet Newsgroups are an electronic bulletin board system, accessible via the Internet, that consists of discussion forums on literally thousands of topics. Users should contact their system operator for instructions. (Student access should be monitored. Many newsgroup topics are not suitable for minors.)

Some of the Usenet Newsgroups are: General discussion for Elementary Students General discussion for Junior High Students General discussion for Senior High Students General discussion between K12 Teachers Arts and Crafts Education Business Education Life Skills Education

k12.ed.math: Mathematics Education Music and Performing Arts Science Education

k12.ed.soc-studies: Social Studies Education

k12.ed.tag: Talented and Gifted Education Technology Education



Andres, Y. M. (1993). Education on-line. EXECUTIVE EDUCATOR, 15(6), 21-23.

Harris, J. (1993). Mining the Internet: Using Internet know- how to plan how students will know. COMPUTING TEACHER, 20(8), 35-40.

K-12 computer networking. (1993). THE ERIC REVIEW, 2(3). (ED 355 940)

Krol, E. (1992). THE WHOLE INTERNET: USER'S GUIDE & CATALOG. Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly. (ISBN: 1-56592-025-2)

Murray, J. (1993). K12 network: Global education through telecommunications. COMMUNICATIONS OF THE ACM, 36(8), 36-41.

Sellers, J. (1994). FYI ON QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS: ANSWERS TO COMMONLY ASKED 'PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOL INTERNET USER' QUESTIONS. Network Working Group, Request for Comments 1578. [Available from AskERIC Virtual Library, gopher]

Tennant, R. (October, 1992). INTERNET BASICS. ERIC DIGEST. Syracuse, NY: ERIC Clearinghouse on Information & Technology. (ED 348 054)

Valauskas, E. J. (1993). Education online: Interactive K-12 computing. ONLINE, 17(4), 89-91.


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