Network-Based Classrooms: Promises and Realities

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Students in network-based classrooms converse in writing through the use of communications software on local-area computer networks. Through the electronic medium they are immersed in a writing community - one that supports new forms of collaboration, authentic purposes for writing, writing across the curriculum, and new social relations in the classroom. The potential for collaborative and participatory learning in these classrooms is enormous. This 1993 book examines an important type of network-based classroom known as ENFI (Electronic Networks For Interaction). Teachers have set up ENFI or similar classrooms in elementary and secondary schools and at more than a hundred colleges and universities. In these settings, teaching and learning have been dramatically transformed, but the new technology has brought with it difficulties and surprises. The process of creating such a classroom raises important questions about the meaning and the realities of educational change.