fall 1998

swedish teachers respond:

it makes sense - "I learn more reading 20 papers than students do writing one!"

Louisa, already doing something similar, reports that web publishing works "very well for troubled students."


For years, especially at Swarthmore College, I saw students slave to write hundreds of papers only to throw those papers away weeks later. That seemed like such a waste of brains!

I read a few of my classmates' works, and I appreciated that they were written in my language, with contemporary references. I enjoyed their introductions to and interpretations of subjects I didn't care to study as deeply as they did. I was sad that I couldn't read more of them!

Let's use the web to help students share their papers with other students so intellectual work can be a more collective contemporary endeavor!

The web is a perfect place for that to happen, for a few reasons:

  • The web is a fun place to learn.

  • Having an audience for their words could help students become more responsible and media-literate.

    fast typin'

  • Young people, given access and a little assistance, tend to have a quick grasp of computer technology.

  • Space on the web is cheap.

  • not simple cut-and-paste

    Presenting information on the web is not as simple as posting up an essay. Web pages need pictures, and links to make them breathe. The result is an exciting browsable hypertext that can keep up with a hungry mind.

    Writing for the web is different from writing a straight essay. Pieces work better than strict wholes. Papers should be written with an eye towards clearly delineated sections.

    so just what do you have in mind?

    self contained, web-based multimedia hypertextbooks, appropriate for experimentation and development of models and skills

    Thanks to Mark Bernstein and Howard Rheingold for feedback and inspiration.

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