New Technologies: No Place to Hide?
by Prof. Edna Aphek
prompted me to write the first message and send it to the
forum. Reading my message at the forum she sent me an e mail
message to my private e mail in which she said the following:
Edna: I read your message in the forum. I think that the
questions you raised are very important. I hope these questions
will prompt a dialogue.
the four participants responded to both my messages (1 and
A very active, unconventional teacher, always eager to try
and experience new forms of teaching and very involved as
far as computer usage is concerned, had the following to say:
the number of participants in thisforum is very small, I feel
I might sound weird - I simply love to participate in various
forums, conducted as an integral part of courses.
Drawing on my experience I find that the learning and the
discussions conducted in the forums, are both enriching and
effective. One of the problems in the forums, though, is the
fact that they are open to all "surfers" and other
interested parties .Being aware of that makes it hard for
me and I find myself "censoring" what I am writing...
Last year I took part in a course +a forum, where the teacher
communicated with each and every participant via the telephone
encouraging and "pushing" the participants towards
greater participation in the forum.
The results were quite evident.
( cu, Hebrew) Ha.
is a new participant, a counselor to be.
I hardly know M. who joined the forum at a later stage but
became very active in it.
M. wrote the following:
I think that there two reasons for this lack of participation
in the forum:
1. lack of experience in participating in forums.
2. Fear that in comparison with others, mainly real professionals
[i.e., someone like myself and the head counselor H.] I have
very little to say.
It took me quite sometime to get used to the forum, but now
I really enjoy reading the messages.
I wish replies could be simultaneous and synchronous, just
as they are in a chat.
I think that accessing the forum in one of our face to face
meeting could be most helpful as the participants will realize
that it's not that frightening
who is a student of mine at the David Yellin College of Education,
in addition to being one of the participants in the counselors
course, had the following to say:
am in favor of holding a special training session dedicated
to the use of the internet in general and the forum in particular.
Personally, I enjoy immensely reading the messages in the
forum. I read each and every message, read every attachment
and accessed suggested sites.
I am quite new to the internet. Only a week ago, my husband
reminded me that until about a year ago, I had no idea whatsoever,
of using the internet. In the course of this year, I discovered
a new world, full of possibilities and opening up new avenues.
I would like us to hold a special meeting dedicated to the
internet and its usage, in which we'll tell the computer -
phobic counselors, about some of these [wonderful] things.
is a senior counselor, sort of an assistant to H. the head
This is how D. responded to my messages:
all, there are a few reasons for the lack of participation
in the forum.
I think we should give it ample time, wait, be patient and
I am sure that more counselors
will join in.
In the training course itself we should dedicate more time
to practicing- hands on experience.
Another thing I would like to mention here is that each counselor
has her own pace of learning, and we should respect that.
Another issue is the issue of being exposed: what should I
How should I write?
It's really about being exposed to a new ball game, to a new
genre of writing.
Once one has accessed this new communication space, the cyber
one, one starts understanding its value and merits.
I have gained so much as far as knowledge, getting to know
myself as a learner.
Yes, it's indeed a different learning environment and one
should get acquainted with it, just as one learns how to drive.
summed up the responses of the trainees :
all the course participants and Edna,
In spite of the easiness in accessing the forum, it's a fact
that only a small number of the participants is participating
in the forum: Ha, M. Y and D. raised a few points explaining
the reasons for this lack of participation.
It seems to me that the problem of exposure is crucial and
problematic, as M and Ha point out.
What I find encouraging, however, is that until a year ago,
Y. didn't participate either in forums whereas now she is
very active. I believe that practicing is very important,
In addition to the practicing issue, we have here the issue
of learning at one's own pace and not in a classroom uniform
setting. This is rather hard for us all.
I'll try to invite Edna to one of our next meetings to help
us in practicing.
All in all, I am quite glad that we have started using this
mode of learning and in comparison with the other forums,
we are really ahead.
would like to take this opportunity to thank Edna and those
soon as H. finished writing her message and sent it to the
forum, she realized that she made a few mistakes in her message,
so she wrote the following:
as you may see," I was exposed" and made a few typo
errors (mistakes in the Hebrew original) . Well, nothing happened.
She maintains that this is no big deal and that it doesn't
matter, but in the next line she addresses me:
Is it possible to correct mistakes in an on line message?
A note to myself: even when writing in a forum one must proofread
what one is writing!
In short - lucky me - to have made mistakes.
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