Getting the Most from On-Line

The on-line components of Live From Antarctica 2 (LFA 2) not only provide extensive information but also-perhaps more importantly-help the project come alive by connecting people together...

The Passport to Knowledge philosophy is ease of use and equity of access. We want teachers with a wide range of network skills and technologies-from simple e-mail up to full T-1 connectivity-to find success. LFA 2 will work for those just getting started in cyberspace, even if their access is not from the classroom but at home or at the workplace of an involved parent. For schools with a little more technology and training, inexpensive cameras and free software can bring moving images and audio into classrooms, via CU-SeeMe, RealAudio and other similar technologies.

How to start

All participants in Live From Antarctica 2 should sign up for the updates-lfa mail-list. This service won't overwhelm your mailbox (we plan no more than two e-mail messages per week). updates-lfa will keep you informed about the latest opportunities and also bring you lively behind-the-scenes accounts (Field Journals) from the men and women exploring Antarctica. Field Journals can be used as reading exercises, discussion starters, or for information about careers.

Other mail-lists which were available via e-mail include:

mail-list name who posts function frequency dates
updates-lfa PTK Team LFA 2 info & Field Journals 1 or 2 per week throughout project
discuss-lfa educators teachers share ideas varies, perhaps 15-30/week throughout
discuss-digest-lfa educators teachers share ideas once daily, discuss daily messages throughout
debate-lfa student teams students debate contributions of Antarctica varies 2/6/97-3/31/97
answers-lfa PTK Team stream of question/answer pairs varies 1/13/97-3/31/97


Getting On-line for the First Time

If you want to get on-line, but aren't, follow these suggestions:

  1. Watch out for Net Day in your state or city... and make sure you're included!
  2. Ask your colleagues. It's easy to forget those closest at hand! It's likely there are teachers, administrators, or resource personnel who know what's available locally.
  3. Don't forget your students. Today's youth is often leading the charge in this exciting arena.
  4. Don't forget your students' parents, there's probably a relative with an Internet connection.
  5. Check with a local University. Most have some type of connectivity available, and some provide it to fellow educators.
  6. Call your School Administrators, School District, County Office, and/or State Board of Education. Inquire about special deals on hardware, phone rates or Internet subscriptions.

Temporary Access

As noted above, teachers using all three components of PTK projects report they and their students get more from the experience. We really encourage you to go on-line, participate, and -- as pne of our most eloquent PTK Advocates puts it -- "Don't just surf the 'Net, make waves!"

LFA 2's Web Site provides three complementary kinds of on-line materials and experiences, some designed for teachers, and some for students:

Informational opportunities include:

Interactive Resources

Collaborative and Sharing

During the first Live From Antarctica Module, classes across North America, from Alaska to Florida, shared data on hours of daylight, as winter turned to spring and summer. This online activity-like Topsy-"just grew", but proved very popular. For LFA 2, we suggest that classes consider a similar activity, perhaps keyed to the experiments with plants and UV-B (Activity 3.2) Teachers, let us know-on-line, via discuss-lfa-if this seems interesting to your students. And comparative plant growth data from Activity 3.2 should also prove instructive, so that students can see if there's a clear and direct effect of geography and climate on their seedlings. Or go on-line and suggest something related to the content of the project that might work even better! Watch updates-lfa for news about this exciting opportunity.

As a Closing Activity, this Guide suggests a formal debate on the societal value of Palmer Station and research in Antarctica: consider sharing your students' comments and conclusions on-line. debate-lfa will provide an on-line forum for their voices to be heard across the nation, not just within the walls of your own classroom.

On the Web, LFA 2's Student Gallery also provides an on-line venue for student work of all kinds, whether journal entries, photos documenting class projects, art work, databases, HyperCard stacks, even student-generated html pages. You'll find directions about how to submit on-line.


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