It is the policy of the University at Buffalo - as well as a legal requirement - that reasonable accommodations be provided for any students with disabilities who may need special arrangements in order to benefit equally from university programs. Please contact myself or the Office of Disability Services (25 Capen Hall, 645-2608) if you require such arrangements.

State University of New York at Buffalo
Department of Educational Leadership and Policy

OAP 638
Educational Uses of the Internet
Spring 1998
Tuesday 7:00-9:40 pm
218 Baldy Hall
Hank Bromley
222 Baldy Hall
645-2110 (office)
884-6897 (home - not too early, please)
office hours: after class, W 7-8 pm,
or by appointment
Course Description

This class is an exploration of ways the Internet can be utilized in classroom settings. Beyond acquiring hands-on experience with such resources as the World Wide Web, email, newsgroups, and mailing lists, we will investigate related pedagogical, cultural, and social issues, to clarify what the Internet means in the context of classroom experiences: How might teaching and learning practices change with Internet use? How does the Internet relate to the cultural context of the classroom and the cultural background of the teacher and students? Whose interests does the technology reflect, and how does it help further those interests?


In addition to attending class regularly, prepared to discuss the readings, students will be expected to take part in online discussions via email and WWW; to complete several lab assignments involving use of the Net; and to complete midterm and final projects involving development and evaluation of Internet-related educational materials (to be described in more detail later on).

Anyone who wishes is welcome to take the class on a pass/no credit basis.


Two books are available for purchase at Talking Leaves bookstore (3158 Main Street, a few blocks west of the UB South Campus): Brave New Schools, by Jim Cummins and Dennis Sayers, and The Emperor's Virtual Clothes, by Dinty Moore (yes, really). The rest of the readings will be in a photocopy packet at Imaging Solutions, 6020 N. Bailey Ave, Suite #4 (behind Tops International and past the Amherst post office). The packet should be available by Thursday or Friday; you can call them at 831-9150 to check. They're open M-F 8-7, Sat 9-1.


[*'d items are located in the photocopied reader. The Cummins & Sayers and Moore books are available for purchase at Talking Leaves. All other items will be available online, via links at (the online version of this schedule).]

Jan 20 Introduction to course
[Lab-related readings and activities for each week will appear in this typeface and shaded]

Introduction to email and listservs
Jan 27 History of educational technology and competing visions of the future

Larry Cuban, Teachers and Machines, Introduction (pp. 1-7)*
Steven E. Miller, Civilizing Cyberspace, Chapter 1 (pp. 1-16)*
Cummins & Sayers, Chapter 6 (pp. 165-76)
More on listservs, brief intro to World Wide Web

read: Cummins & Sayers, pp. 186-91
Feb 3 Hype and myth about the Internet

Russell Baker, "Observer" Column, The New York Times, January 4, 1994*
Gary Chapman, "Digital Nation" syndicated column, "The Internet May Be the Latest Media Darling, But It's No 'Baywatch'," December 15, 1997
Esther Dyson, et al, excerpts from "Cyberspace and the American Dream"
Langdon Winner, "Cyberlibertarian Myths and the Prospects for Community"
Evan Ramstad, "The Home Advantage," The Wall Street Journal, November 17, 1997, p. R22*
Usenet, telnet

read: Cummins & Sayers, pp. 192-95
Moore, Preface and Chapters 2 and 7 (pp. xi-xviii, 11-26, 97-104)

Feb 10 What the Internet does offer education

Cummins & Sayers, Chapters 1, 2 and 4 (pp. 3-80, 119-40)
Brigid Starkey, "Using Computers to Connect Across Cultural Divides," in Hank Bromley and Michael Apple, ed, Education/Technology/Power (pp. 175-85)*
Moore, Chapter 6 (pp. 81-96)
Chris Bigum, "Antipodean Dreaming," CPSR Newsletter 15:1, Winter 1997 [if that doesn't work, try this alternative link]


Feb 17 Corporations and the business of higher education (guest: Langdon Winner)

Note: class will start late this day (exact time to be announced; probably 8:00-8:30). Those who can are strongly encouraged to attend the special event that afternoon in the Student Center Theater built around Langdon Winner's visit to campus.

Langdon Winner, "The Handwriting on the Wall: Resisting Technoglobalism's Assault on Education"
David F. Noble, "Digital Diploma Mills: The Automation of Higher Education"
Gary Chapman, "Digital Nation" syndicated column, "Will Technology Commercialize Higher Learning?," January 19, 1998
Micro$oft Monitor, "Comments to the California Legislature by Nathan Newman," and "Questions Delay Corporate Takeover of Cal State University Technology," Issue No. 21, January 8, 1998

Feb 24 "Corporate" vs. "public" agendas

in class: view PBS/Frontline show "High Stakes in Cyberspace"

Steven E. Miller, Civilizing Cyberspace, Chapter 13 (pp. 377-98)*
Loka Institute, "Telecomm & Democracy: Citizens' Report (Loka Alert 4:3)" (please also take a quick look at the Report itself)
Clive Thompson, "Master of Your Domain," In These Times, December 28, 1997, p. 30*
Jamie Moses, "The Alarming Future of Shopping on the Internet," ARTVOICE, January 21, 1998, p. 5
Moore, Chapters 8-10 (pp. 105-47)
World Wide Web

read: Cummins & Sayers, pp. 199-210
Moore, Chapter 13 (pp. 187-96)
March 3 Intellectual property/copyright issues: government and the protection of whose rights?

Karen Coyle, "Copyright in the Digital Age," talk given at San Francisco Public Library, August 7, 1996
Association of American Publishers, Inc., press release and Congressional testimony, September 17, 1997
Bruce Hartford, "Writers on the Information Plantation," CPSR Newsletter 15:4, Fall 1997
Anonymous, "Some myths about intellectual property"
The Home Recording Rights Coalition, press release, February 26, 1998

and if you have time, please read these also:

Pamela Samuelson, "The Copyright Grab," Wired 4:1, January 1996
John Perry Barlow, "The Economy of Ideas," Wired 2:3, March 1994
World Wide Web: simple authoring

[no class March 10 - Spring Break]
March 17 The controversy over Microsoft's business practices

Ralph Nader and James Love, "What to do about Microsoft?," Le Monde Diplomatique, November 1997
James Love, "MS Control of Internet Navigation," Information Policy Notes, January 22, 1998
Nathan Newman, From MSWord to MSWorld: How Microsoft is Building a Global Monopoly, a NetAction white paper, "Part 5: Microsoft Bids for the Internet"
Microsoft Corporation, "What's Myth and What's Fact"
World Wide Web: more advanced authoring

March 24 Cyberporn and other controversial materials

Moore, Chapters 11-12 (pp. 149-86)
Electronic Privacy Information Center, "Faulty Filters: How Content Filters Block Access to Kid-Friendly Information on the Internet," December 1997
Filtering Facts (David Burt), "Responses to Arguments against Filtering"


The Censorware Project, "Blacklisted by Cyber Patrol: From Ada to Yoyo," Abstract, Introduction, and Conclusion, December 1997
American Library Association, "Statement on Library Use of Filtering Software," July 1, 1997
Andy Oram, "How to Filter the Internet: Recruit a Senator," The American Reporter, March 19, 1998 (report on the March 12 effort in the U.S. Senate to require schools and libraries to use filters; alternative site for same paper)
Peacefire (a student group opposed to "Internet censorship"), "Why Peacefire opposes blocking software" and "Peacefire FAQ"
Cleveland Hill High School "New Ireland" project (guests: Paul Lewis and students)

read: "New Ireland" project web pages
Elaine C. Casler, "Real Lives Discovered: Lessons from the Past," Main Menu (newsletter of the Western New York Regional Information Center), February 1997

March 31 Identity on the Net

Hank Bromley, excerpt from "Border Skirmishes"
Mary Schmich, "Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young," "Vonnegut? Schmich? Who can tell in cyberspace" and "Her Last Web Word Might Be 'Rosewater'," Chicago Tribune columns of June 1, August 3, and August 8, 1997
Cynthia Joyce, "Race matters in cyberspace, too," Salon Magazine, June 5, 1997
F. Leon Wilson, "Why African Americans aren't online" (comment on Joyce article), message posted to AFAM-L listserv, June 9, 1997
Lisa Nakamura, "Race In/For Cyberspace: Identity Tourism and Racial Passing on the Internet"

Commercial courseware shells, comparison to WWW

April 7 Evaluation of information sources

Cummins & Sayers, Chapter 3 (pp. 81-117)
Lou Rosenfeld, "Get Rich Quick! Rate Web Sites!," Web Review, April 26, 1996
Robert Harris, "Evaluating Internet Research Sources," November 17, 1997
Synchronous communication: text (IRC, MUDs) and video (CU-SeeMe)

read: Moore, Chapter 4 (pp. 47-62)
April 14 Presentation and discussion of student "finds"

Cummins & Sayers, Chapter 4 (pp. 119-40)
April 21 More student "finds"

Moore, Chapter 3 (pp. 27-46) [not really related to this topic, but I wanted to include it somewhere and there was no other reading for this week...]
April 28 Wrap-up / another look at competing visions

"Class Wars" (debate between Seymour Papert and Theodore Roszak), The Wall Street Journal, November 17, 1997*
Colleen Cordes, "As Educators Rush to Embrace Technology, a Coterie of Skeptics Seeks to Be Heard," Chronicle of Higher Education, January 16, 1998 (also skim the reader comments under the "Responses" link)
Moore, Chapter 14 (pp. 197-204)

Pamela Mendels, "Study Shows Disparity in Schools' Internet Access," The New York Times, March 11, 1998
Pamela Mendels, "U.S. Official Calls for Studies of Technology in Classrooms," The New York Times, April 27, 1998