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The Wired Professor: A Guide to Incorporating the World Wide Web in College Instruction

Copyright Date: 1999
Published by: NYU Press
Pages: 278
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  • Book Info
    The Wired Professor
    Book Description:

    The Internet is rapidly becoming a necessary and natural part of the way we access information. The Wired Professor provides instructors with the necessary skills and intellectual framework for effectively working with and understanding this new tool and medium. Written for teachers with limited experience on the Internet, The Wired Professor is a collegial, hands-on guide on how to build and manage instruction-based web pages and sites. In addition to practical tips, this book incorporates discussions on a variety of topics from the history of networks, publishing, and computers to hotly debated issues such as the pedagogical challenges posed by computer-aided instruction and distance learning. These discussions are geared to the non-computer savvy reader and written with an eye to allow instructors to maximize use of the Internet as a creative medium, a research resource of unparalleled dimension, and a community building tool. The Wired Professor comes with a companion web site that contains additional material, such as discussions on design and links to the resources discussed in the book.

    eISBN: 978-0-8147-7199-0
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. I-VI)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. VII-VIII)
  3. Preface
    (pp. IX-XVIII)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. XIX-XXII)
  5. CHAPTER 1 A History of Information Highways and Byways
    (pp. 1-36)

    Ithiel de la Sola Pool, MIT professor and computer visionary, argued in the early 1980s that computer communications would profoundly alter history. (At this point, the personal computer was still unheard of and the early Internet was the exclusive domain of engineers, computer scientists and scientists.) In a prophetic statement, he wrote:

    One could argue that computer communication is one of the perhaps four most fundamental changes in the history of communications technology. Any such list is, of course, judgmental, but the case can be made that writing 5,000 years ago, printing 500 years ago, telegraphy 150 years ago, and...

  6. CHAPTER 2 A Guide to the Geography of the Internet
    (pp. 37-70)

    Before we get started on how the Internet works, it is important to understand that the different terms used to refer to this technology, includingInternet,cyberspaceandonline,are not all interchangeable. The World Wide Web, e-mail and browsers are a part of the whole Internet package, but these terms describe different parts of a larger system. This proliferation of terms has led to confusion about the exact “geographic” layout of the Internet, leading one writer to describe it as “millions and millions of cars all being driven at top speed by people who barely understand road basics. Now, imagine...

  7. CHAPTER 3 Online Research and Reflections on Building Course Web Pages
    (pp. 71-103)

    In this chapter, we shift the focus from a general mapping of the geographic terrain inhabited by the Internet and World Wide Web to the twin aspects of many “wired professors’” lives: research and teaching. First, we focus on research on the World Wide Web. We then discuss the transformation that universities are undergoing as the Web is integrated into instructional technology. The remainder of the chapter presents a series of vignettes of a group of NYU instructors’ initial experiences thinking about and posting course Web pages between 1995 and 1996.

    The other main gripe [is] information overload. This arises...

  8. CHAPTER 4 Putting Together Your First Instructional Web Site
    (pp. 104-148)

    The process of creating materials for the Web is getting more complex all the time. New HTML enhancements, browser plug-ins, and Web-publishing tools are being introduced at a dramatic rate—even outpacing the standards that govern them. Formerly text-laden Web sites are metamorphosing into animated, splashy multimedia presentations. In many instances, the rules of advertising appear to have overtaken the orderly precision of Tim Berners-Lee’s design for the Web with its emphasis on scholarly methodology. All too often these days, Web pages are consumed as “eye-candy” by avid “net surfers”—a quick stop here, a taste there and then it...

  9. CHAPTER 5 Second-Stage Instructional Web Design
    (pp. 149-202)

    The first stage of your online career should be spent learning the building blocks of Web publishing. Learn the medium. Ask questions. Try things out. Make mistakes. Explore new ways to look at things. During this stage, set aside design manuals and focus on what feels comfortable. Try different pages, different colors, different fonts and type sizes, flow text in tables, expand tables, delete tables. Save a few files and print them out. Analyze the result. Make pencil changes. Draw storyboards. Slowly build up a portfolio of your own. Grab a few appealing pages from the Web and study their...

  10. CHAPTER 6 Visions for a Virtual University
    (pp. 203-222)

    Third-stage design in higher education is increasingly taken to mean a push toward distance learning. This is neither a fair nor an accurate assumption. However, because the connection between instructors with Web pages and distance learning has inevitably come up in conversations with administrators and faculty (outside of our small die-hard band of “professors with Web pages” co-conspirators), we realize that it is important to address this subject. However, it is important to stress that this is not a book about distance education, nor is distance learning the only logical outcome of adopting the Web as a teaching platform. As...

  11. Appendix: Useful HTML Tips and Tricks
    (pp. 223-236)
  12. Notes
    (pp. 237-246)
  13. Bibliography
    (pp. 247-252)
  14. Index
    (pp. 253-258)