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        Idea Six: Electronic Publishing

Theoretical Rationale

  An HTML white paper on "Why." The Web offers teachers and students several advantages over traditional means of publishing. Students and teachers can retain control of the format and content of the works they've created. The process of Web publication may also be quicker and less expensive than traditional publication. But most uniquely, the Web provides an immediate and real audience that has the ability to communicate feedback to young authors.

Meet The Teacher

  George Cassutto is teaching national, state, local government, and AP US history at North Hagerstown High School (NHHS). He has been teaching since 1983. Prior to George served for five years as the Educational Director of Oak Hill House, a residential treatment facility for troubled young people. While there, he learned quite a bit about working with young people, especially in the areas of Reality Therapy, crisis intervention, and peer mediation.

  John Schick teaches fifth grade at Alderwood Elementary School in Bellingham, Washington. John has been teaching for four years. He enrolled at the University of Washington in 1989 to receive a teaching degree after holding a number of other jobs, most recently being a library technician at the University of Washington.


  1. The Essay Exchange Unit

    ŠIn this unit, students will develop both their social science research and writing skills. Students develop position papers on a variety of topics, conducting research to formulate and support their thesis statements.

    1. Lesson One: Thesis Development. Students identify areas of interest and conduct preliminary research using on-line and library resources to develop their thesis statements. Students gather data for one to three weeks both inside and outside of regular class time.

    2. Lesson Two: Rough Drafts. Students submit rough draft of position papers. Rough drafts are evaluated by instructor and students refine them. Messages announcing the project are placed on computer networks. The instructor e-mails copies of rough drafts for evaluation to those who respond. Reader-volunteers can also visit the school's website where the essays are posted to read and review. Phase 2 duration: One to three weeks.

    3. Lesson Three: Final Drafts. Students develop final versions of their position papers. Final versions are added to the school's web pages. The final projects are announced over the Internet via e-mail lists and World Wide Web, local bulletin board systems, national computer networks such as the World Message Exchange, RIMEnet, and commercial on-line services. Duration: one week.

    4. Lesson Four: Responses. Students receive and read electronic reviews of their essays. Responses from reviewers will be used as basis for class discussions and further research. Duration: 2 weeks.

  2. Virtual Ellis Island Museum Unit

    In this unit, students will conduct primary and secondary research to learn more about their cultural and ethnic heritage. These explorations will serve as a personal link for students to the historical importance of immigration in United States history.

    1. Lesson One: Introduction to Immigration. Read and discuss selected resources about children and immigration. Children develop an understanding of the concept of immigration and reasons why people immigrate.

    2. Lesson Two: Immigration Explorations, Part 1. Organize students into research groups to visit John Schick's Virtual Ellis Island Museum. This site will provide models for students to complete their own research. While students visit the site they should evaluate what type of research students carried out to create their site, how they structured the site, and what sort of information and graphics they included. The list of criteria students develop from their research will guide them in conducting their research and constructing their own site.

    3. Lesson Three: Oral Histories. Using the criteria they developed earlier, students begin to conduct oral histories of family members to learn about their cultural and ethnic heritage. Prior to starting, students and teachers develop a list of questions that students will use in their interviews and research.

    4. Lesson Four: mmigration Explorations, Part 2. After they've completed their oral histories, students conduct secondary source research using the internet and library resources to learn more about the backgrounds of their family's cultural and ethnic heritages. Students can work together in research groups that have common ethnic/cultural interests.

    5. Lesson Five: Final Reports. Students write reports, including a summary of their research findings to be shared with friends and families. Students should draw on the criteria developed during their initial explorations to guide the format of their reports.

  3. School Newspaper Unit

    Students will research and write articles that will be published in an electronic newspaper.

    1. Lesson One: Story Assignments. Students will choose their beats and decide what areas of school and community news they will cover.

    2. Lesson Two: HTML Paste-up. Students assemble and format their stories and layout their electronic newspaper. A variety of styles, from simple single block layouts to more complicated multiple columns are possible.

  4. Neoclassicism/Romanticism Unit

    In this unit, students will use Internet resources to conduct research on Neoclassicism and Romanticism (N/R), two periods in history, each with distinctive components, such as literature, architecture, and music.

    1. Lesson One: Introduction to Neoclassicism and Romanticism. In this lesson, students use Internet resources to begin to answer, in written form, a series of questions about N/R. The lesson introduces students to both general and specific concepts of N/R and conducting research on the Internet.

    2. Lesson Two: Further Study of Neoclassicism and Romanticism. Students continue to conduct Internet research to answer the remaining N/R questions. Students are encouraged to contact and communicate with N/R professors or other experts, either singly or over e-mail discussion lists.

    3. Lesson Three: Selecting the Focus of the Neoclassicism/Romanticism Project. Based on the research they conducted in Lessons One and Two, students identify and flesh out an area of particular interest to them in the field of N/R for the purpose of developing and submitting a more in-depth project on that area of interest.

    4. Lesson Four: Critiquing the Neoclassicism/Romanticism Project. Students request feedback on their projects from N/R experts they have contacted. Students work in pairs to critique each other's work.

    5. Lesson Five: Revising the Neoclassicism/Romanticism Project. Students revise the in-depth project based on the suggestions they receive from their peer editors and their N/R expert contacts for publication on a class Web page.

  5. Student Portfolios on the Web

    The Web provides an excellent medium for compiling and displaying student portfolios. In this unit students and teachers will create Web portfolios of students' work.

    1. Lesson One: Portfolio Planning. Students critically review their work, making selections to be placed in their Web portfolios.

    2. Lesson Two: Assembling Portfolios. Students create their Web portfolios and up-load them onto the server.

Tips and Techniques

  Tips & Techniques. The following tips and techniques can help teachers think about ways they might incorporate Web publishing into their students' educational experiences.

Related Resources

  Related Resources for Electronic Publishing to help you get the most out of the Web.

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