Frequently Asked Questions

Last Update: October 11, 2001

The WWWEDU FAQ is posted at least once a month to WWWEDU. If you have never read the WWWEDU FAQ before or are planning to post a message for the first time, PLEASE READ CAREFULLY! And because the FAQ contains information regarding list policies, I would strongly urge you to save a copy for future reference.

The most recent version is available on the Web at http://www.edwebproject.org/wwwedu.faq.html.

The purpose of this FAQ is to answer some of the most common questions asked on this group, and to refer people left with unanswered questions to available sources of additional help.

Submissions, comments, etcetera are welcomed, and should be sent to Andy Carvin at acarvin@benton.org. Comments posted to the WWWEDU list should have a subject header containing "WWWEDU FAQ" so that Andy notices them as quickly as possible :-). Received materials will be considered in the public domain and subject to editing unless specific text to the contrary accompanies the message (which may render the submission unusable).

Table of Contents

Section 1: General Questions
1.1 What is WWWEDU?
1.2 What are the posting guidelines for WWWEDU?
1.3 What does WWWEDU have to do with EDWEB?
1.4 Who the heck is Andy Carvin?
1.5 How do I subscribe to WWWEDU?
1.6 Is a daily digest available?
1.7 How do I unsubscribe from WWWEDU?
1.8 Where is the WWWEDU archive, and is it searchable?

Section 1: General Questions

1.1 What is WWWEDU?

WWWEDU (The World Wide Web in Education List) is moderated list coordinated by Andy Carvin at the Benton Foundation. The purpose of WWWEDU is to offer educators, students, webmasters, policy makers, parents, and Internet users in general a continuous discussion on the role of World Wide Web use in education. The Web is an ideal environment for teaching students of all ages. A well-conceived Web site can inspire creativity and interactivity, yet it is still too new of an environment for us to completely grasp its potential. What are teachers and students doing with the Web today? How can the structure of the Web positively affect learning and assessment? What else can be done to expand the Web's role in education? And how can we encourage non-Web using schools and educators to take advantage of this new tool? WWWEDU will hopefully provide a forum for these questions and others as they come up.

WWWEDU is targeted for use by educators, students, parents and webmasters, but anyone with a keen interest in the use of the Web in education is welcome to join. Discussion is moderated, but anyone may jump in at any time to begin a new topic. Standard netiquette and courtesy apply at all times, and flaming will not be tolerated.

WWWEDU's home page can be found at http://www.edwebproject.org/wwwedu.html.

1.2 What are the guidelines for posting WWWEDU?

Because WWWEDU is a moderated group, all posts that are submitted to the list must be approved by Andy Carvin before they can be distributed to the entire subscribership. All posts must be in plain text (sometimes called ascii text), in order for all members of the list to be able to read them. _Never_ post an attachment or anything coded in HTML, for these messages will seriously mess up digests of the list. If you're going to post to the list, be sure to check that your email software is set up to send messages as plain text or ascii rather than HTML or MIME-encoded. If necessary, make the change in your software's preferences before you post a message.

In general, the following subjects (and any related issues) are considered fair game:

In contrast, the following subjects are considered inappropriate and may be rejected for publication:

Most of the above examples are straightforward, but I'd like to explain the virus warning ban. Every now and then you may receive an email from someone warning you about some new computer virus, encouraging you to spread the word. In 99.9% of all cases, these messages are _hoaxes_. The virus itself doesn't exist; rather, the hundreds of thousands of emails generated by people spreading the word about it is the actual virus, taking up precious Internet bandwidth. If you are determined to post a warning, though, please check the Virus Warning website at http://www.kumite.com/myths to confirm or debunk the virus' existence.

Sometimes, the occasional off-topic message will be allowed if the subject is clearly of interest to the WWWEDU community. But in general, the reason for disallowing these subjects is simply that there are often more appropriate forums for them elsewhere on the Net, and because the vast majority of WWWEDU subscribers subscribe to more than one discussion list, they would be bombarded with redundancies. For example, if you have a general question related to technology policy, I would highly recommend you post it to the EDTECH list at edtech@h-net.msu.edu. For a comprehensive list of other educational/technology lists, please visit http://www.edwebproject.org/lists.html.

As for the rule for not allowing "requests for greetings," invariably they clog up the discussion because people will cc-post their responses to the group, and not directly to the original person. As noted before, flaming, rudeness and commercial advertisements will not be tolerated. If you are unable to follow these rules, you will be removed from the list.

When posting a message to the list, be sure to consider the following:

Write clear and meaningful titles. If you're going to post an email to the list, the title of your message should be clear enough to convey the purpose of that message. For example, if I have a question regarding elementary school students accessing the Web, I shouldn't title the message as "Question" or "Help." A much clearer title would be something like "Web Access in K-6?" or "Using the Web in Elementary." Or, if you're going to post your first message to the list, you might want to say "Introduction: Bill Gates," assuming your name was Bill Gates, of course. Clear message titles are important because many WWWEDU subscribers received hundreds of emails a day, so if you want to be sure your message gets a close look, your title should be clear and should stand out.

Don't post huge messages. You should always say what you want to say, but don't post messages that drag on for pages unless you've got a really good reason for it. Long messages are slower to process and can cause bottlenecks in the listserver. So if you want to announce that you've got a call for registration for a conference, post a summary and let us know how to get a copy of it, instead of posting the entire conference program.

Responding to another message: private vs. public posting. Ideally, when a person posts a message to the list, we all like to see responses posted as well, assuming the original poster hasn't requested that the responses be private. When you respond to a message, the mailing list system is set up in such a way that your response will go automatically back to WWWEDU and not the original author - please be aware of that when you compose your message. And whenever possible, trim the size of the original message - there's no reason to repost the entire original, since we've all seen it before. Instead, include the highlights and key points to which you're responding. And NEVER respond with an entire daily digest of messages tacked to the bottom of the message - emails that large will never be posted due to size constraints. There's also no need to respond with a post that says "Yes, I agree," or "me too" and nothing else. If you're going to post a message, make sure that message is adding to the conversation. :-)

Sign your messages! All posts to WWWEDU must be signed with your name and email address, and preferably your location and what you do. Be sure to say exactly where you are - for example, if I signed my messages Andy Carvin, Cook Middle School, no one will be able to tell if I'm in Arkansas, Australia or anywhere else. Anonymous postings to lists in general is considered rather impolite and won't be posted. Besides, it can make it very difficult for people to respond to you privately.

Posting regular project updates. If you're like me and you like to post updates about your particular website or project on a regular basis, don't bombard us with an overabundance of messages. If your site is dynamic enough to merit a posted update ever week or two, than feel free to do it. But if you want to post a message every week just to reannounce your site, even if there aren't substantial changes to the site, please hold off and wait til there's something new to announce. Never post attachments of any kind!Attachments are the scourge of listservs everywhere because they can't be processed by every email reader. While it may seem nice to attach a picture, a business card or a Word file to your messages sometimes, this means that hundreds of subscribers will get your attachment as pages of garbage data. Under no circumstances can attachments be posted to the list.

1.3 What does WWWEDU have to do with The EdWeb Project?

The relationship between EdWeb and WWWEDU is a bit nebulous. Both are maintained by Andy Carvin, and the WWWEDU home page is hosted on EdWeb. Beyond that, they tend to follow different paths. EdWeb focuses strictly on K-12 education, reform, and telecommunications policy, and all of the content is written and/or edited by Andy. WWWEDU, on the other hand, does not focus specifically on K-12 (though it is certainly an important component of it). Discussion spans all aspects of education, from kindergarten to adult learning, and is tied together by their involvement on the World Wide Web.

1.4 Who the heck is Andy Carvin anyway?

Andy Carvin (acarvin@benton.org, 202-454-5627), moderator of WWWEDU, is Senior Associate for the Benton Foundation in Washington DC. Andy is the editor of the Digital Divide Network (http://www.DigitalDivideNetwork.org), a national coalition of high tech corporations and nonprofit foundations working to find solutions to the digital divide. Andy and his writings have appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Times, Harvard Educational Review, Education Week, the Washington Post, Rolling Stone, the Village Voice, Esther Dyson's Release 1.0, Web Review, and the second edition of The Internet Unleashed, published by Sams/MacMillan.

Andy was named in 1999 by eSchoolNews magazine as a member of the Impact 30, an annual list highlighting 30 of the most influencial people in education technology today. He is a member of the Board of Directors for the Asia/Pacific Center for Justice and Peace, a consortium of NGOs that promotes democracy, free speech and freedom of religion across Asia. He also serves on the Board of the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), which advocates policies regarding the role of information technology in schools. He previously served as New Media Program Officer for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, where he developed Internet-related grant programs for the public broadcasting community.

Andy holds a bachelor of science in rhetoric and religion and a master of arts in telecommunications from Northwestern University, where he received the prestigious Annenberg/Washington Graduate Fellowship. While living in Illinois, he was co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Chicago area arts weekly, Art+Performance magazine. In his free time, Andy has traveled extensively around the world and has written about his adventures in popular online travelogues. In January 1999, Andy premiered From Sideshow to Genocide: Stories of the Cambodian Holocaust (http://www.edwebproject.org/sideshow), a historical collection of accounts from survivors of the Khmer Rouge regime. Most recently Andy published Anatolian Fortnight (http://www.edwebproject.org/anatolia), detailing his September 1999 trip from Istanbul to Mount Ararat.

1.5 How do I subscribe to WWWEDU?

To join WWWEDU, send a message to wwwedu-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. You will then be added to the WWWEDU list.

When you first join WWWEDU, please post an introduction of yourself to the group, and feel free to suggest any discussion topics. You may post at any time by sending a message to wwwedu@yahoogroups.com.

1.6 Is a daily digest available?

Because WWWEDU can be a high-volume list at times, you can elect to receive the its postings in one large chunk each day. This is the best way to avoid information overload for many people, but it can also slow down one's involvement in the discussion. To receive the digest, visit the WWWEDU list management site at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/wwwedu and click on the "edit my membership" button on the right-hand side. Here you'll be able to switch your membership setting to digest format. If you ever need to switch it back, return to this same page and you'll be able to re-adjust your settings.

1.7 How do I unsubscribe from WWWEDU?

To unsubscribe, send a message to wwwedu-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com. You'll then be removed from the list.

If you experience any problems with the list, please contact Andy Carvin directly at acarvin@benton.org, and no matter what, DO NOT post unsubscribe requests to the entire list.

1.8 Where is the WWWEDU archive, and is it searchable?

You can access a hypermail archive of all posts from June of 1995 to the present at http://majordomo.wested.org/hyper-discussions/wwwedu. Messages are archived in year-by-year folders.

If you want to perform a search of the entire archive, visit http://majordomo.wested.org/hyper-discussions/wwwedu.html. Both the archive and the search engine can also be accessed through the WWWEDU homepage at http://www.edwebproject.org/wwwedu.archive.html.

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