The Internet and Schools: A Survey of Networking Activities

Tracy LaQuey Parker
Manager, Education Market Development, Cisco Systems
(Presented at the Internet Society's INET '94 Conference in Prague)


This paper presents a survey of some of the major groups and activities that are shaping the future of the Internet's role in education. It also covers some projects that benefit administrative, instructional, professional development and community outreach projects and applications, and some exciting current initiatives around the U.S. Finally, it discusses some of the barriers that face schools in getting connected to the Internet. The paper was written with a U.S. perspective.

I. Introduction

The school community (commonly referred to as K-12 in the U.S., meaning kindergarten through 12th grade) is starting to focus its attention on the Internet. Most school networking activity has occurred in the U.S., however, there are projects being initiated in Canada, Japan, the UK and other countries. The Internet is being used for all aspects of education, including administrative, educational, professional development, and community building.

A recent informal census conducted via voluntary reportings over the Internet estimates the number of teachers and students (individual and classroom accounts) in the U.S. using the Internet, either directly or indirectly, at almost 250,000. The number of educational resources, databases, mailing lists, and archives is also growing rapidly -- so much so that one educator recently lamented on an education mailing list there was too much available, that the sheer number of distributed services was large enough to overwhelm the novice teacher embarking for the first time on a digital professional development trip. (This problem is being addressed with the appearance of user friendly search and retrieval tools that present a simple, organized face of the Internet, such as Gopher and the WorldWideWeb.)

The state of educational networking is being shaped by many groups, networking initiatives, pilot projects and new challenges. Some of these are outlined below.

II. International Groups and Projects

Some of the international direction and evangelism for K12 networking is being headed by the Internet Society's K-12 Committee.

The Internet Society (ISOC) is a professional organization that is chartered to facilitate and support the technical evolution of the Internet as a research and education infrastructure, and to educate the members on its technology, uses and applications. The ISOC's K- 12 committee was formed about 2 years ago to promote the use of networking in the classroom, discuss issues related to teachers and children accessing the Internet and to propose concrete and useful solutions to barriers facing educators and students.

II.A. IETF Involvement

Among the many projects its members are working on, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is working on school-related efforts.

For example, the IETF's Internet School Networking (ISN) Working Group recently wrote a Request for Comments (RFC) For Your Information (FYI) document (RFC1578) called "FYI on Questions and Answers - Answers to Commonly Asked Primary and Secondary School Internet User." The various sections answer questions about obtaining an Internet connection, technical implementation and technical options, security and ethics, educational collaboration, projects and resources.

This working group is creating other useful documents. One of these"K-12 Internetworking Guidelines" explains what schools need to know for future networking plans.

II. B. U.S. Groups and Networks

In the U.S., there is the well known National Research and Education Network (NREN) part of the High Performance Computing and Communications Act of 1991. The more recent National Information Infrastructure (NII) initiative, which is much broader in scale, is intended to benefit K-12 education in terms of ubiquitous connectivity to all schools. Indeed, the Clinton/Gore Administration recently issued an ambitious challenge calling for all schools and libraries to be connected to the NII by the year 2000. Many businesses have responded with pledges to make this a reality.

II.C. The Consortium for School Networking

The Consortium for School Networking (COSN) is a membership organization of institutions, companies and individuals charged with promoting the use of computer network technology in K-12 education within the United States. Services COSN provides to its members include regular newsletters on networking topics of interest, an extensive on-line gopher server of education networks, projects and resources. COSN has also testified to Congress on behalf of K-12 networking interests.

One of the latest efforts from COSN was a project funded by the National Science Foundation and being conducted in cooperation with the Federation of American Research Networks (FARNET).

The project, called "Building Consensus and Models," brought together representatives from industry, national, state and local levels. Five groups formed, each charged with laying out the key requirements and proposed models for a certain topic. The topics and models included educational reform and restructuring for a technology-intensive society; connectivity and access; technical and user support; financial; and curriculum and content. (See the COSN Gopher for more information.)

II. D. U.S. State Projects

In the U.S., state-level discussion are underway for a mix of connectivity and content solutions.

Many states have decided not to reinvent the wheel and are recommending schools and districts connect to existing midlevel and commercial networks, while providing a multi-phase approach to giving teachers and administrators Internet connectivity.

One example of state-based education networking is the Texas Education Network, also known as TENET. TENET has received lots of attention because of its success in leveraging an existing network, the Texas Higher Education Network (THEnet) as a backbone networking infrastructure. THEnet is a statewide Internet-connected network that provides services to over 100 education and research organizations in Texas. It is operated and maintained by the University of Texas System Office of Telecommunication Services in Austin, Texas.

The requirements for access are minimal; an educator can dial into 1 of 18 local points of presence (Cisco CommServers and modem pools connected to THEnet member universities) using existing equipment in his home or classroom: a computer (PC or Macintosh), a modem and a phone line. (An 800 number serves those not located in a local calling area.) The costs for access are low; teachers can currently get an account on the TENET computers for $5/year.

The success of this project is obvious: after a little over 2 years of operation, 30,000 educators are using TENET. The Internet and TENET have been demonstrated enthusiastically in every school district and the benefits and uses are now obvious to many people. As a result, many school districts are planning for direct connections to the Texas Higher Education Network. Additionally, all 20 Texas Education Service Centers (ESCs) have recently connected to THEnet.

Other states have had similar successes to TENET's. Virginia's Public Education Network (VAPEN) and Florida's Information Resource Network (FIRN) are also dial-up networks servicing thousands and thousands of teachers. The state of California offers dial-up Internet access to teachers through the California State University (CSU) network; this K-12 network is called California On-line Resources for Education (CORE) and is operated both by the California State University system and the California Department of Education. Oregon announced in September 1993 their ambitious OPEN initiative (Oregon Public Education Network) to connect all school districts, giving Internet access to 500,000 educators and students. Hawaii is investigating interconnecting all of its public schools to a statewide cable system. And other states have announced or are working on statewide initiatives.

III. Benefits of Using the Internet for Education

In order for the Internet to successfully be integrated into schools, benefits must be shown for all aspects of education: instructional, administrative, professional development and community involvement. The Internet is already proving itself in these areas as evidenced by some major initiatives. Some of these projects are described here.

III. A. Administrative Uses

There is quite a big business in US education for administrative applications, systems that provide everything from student record creation and maintenance, class scheduling, to food services and accounting. For the most part, these systems are accessible to local district or regions only and are not networked into larger systems.

This is unfortunate as there is much need for the ability to transfer administrative information between schools and districts. The US student population is very mobile. According to "A Study of the Feasibility of Implementing a Statewide Process for Electronically Sharing Student Information" (a collaborative effort by the California Department of Education, Far West Laboratory for Educational Research and Development and the California Educational Data Processing Association, published October 1992), it is estimated in California alone that as many as 20% of the student population change schools annually.

Furthermore, according to the study, the current method for exchanging student records and reporting to state and federal agencies costs California a staggering $50 million each year. It's not only expensive, it's time consuming; the average time spent transferring a record using the current system is 24 days. [1]

Clearly what is needed are standards for the exchange of this information across a common network, such as the Internet. Using Electronic Document Interexchange (EDI), student records could be transferred across the Internet to other schools, as well as universities and community colleges. The time could be cut from weeks to seconds and the cost savings estimated are considerable; according to the above California study, the cost drops from the current average $15 per transferred record to $4. (And some people think that $4 is too high, that the cost could be mere pennies per record.) Indeed, with savings like these, a business case can certainly be made for installing a network infrastructure and a link to the Internet.

A project called SPEEDE/ExPRESS, the Standardization of Postsecondary Education Electronic Data Exchange/Exchange of Permanent Records Electronically for Students and Schools, is taking the lead in defining standard record formats, and is also working with schools, universities and states to implement pilot projects. The University of Texas is currently exchanging records in this fashion with the Austin Independent School District and is planning on adding other universities and schools. There are similar pilots in Arizona, Florida and California.

It will take some time before standards exist for a ubiquitous networked student record transfer system. But the Internet is serving in other administrative capacities. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) currently makes many documents available on-line on TENET, including calendars, legislative summaries, directories, forms and spreadsheets. The hard copy versions are also mailed to schools, but an increasing number of people are realizing they can receive the information much faster by downloading it from the network. TEA could save millions of dollars in duplication and postage by making these documents solely available via the network. Indeed, the State of Texas has estimated annual savings of $1.4 million based solely on access to TENET.

III. B. Professional Development

Many teachers are using the Internet for professional development. Consider the plight of specialized instructors, such as journalism or physics teachers. Many schools or school districts only employ one such teacher. As a result, the librarian or woodworking instructor often feels isolated and must become very self sufficient in areas such as curriculum and professional development. With a network such as the Internet, these teachers now have support groups; "places" a teacher can go to share ideas with and ask questions of others in their discipline, as well as download resources for use in the classroom.

For example, Pat Gathright, the journalism teacher at MacArthur High School in San Antonio, Texas, is a true believer in the benefits of networking and using the Internet. Ms. Gathright has a TENET account and uses it to collaborate with other Internet-connected journalism teachers across Texas and the US.

"I have the sole responsibility on my campus for the yearbook, newspaper, Journalism I, and Photojournalism," she says. "Few of my fellow teachers can come close to understanding what my job is like or help me with some of the problems I face each day. But know that I can log onto the Internet and share with my journalism friends across the state a desktop publishing trick that I learned at a workshop, a place to find information on a story my students are working on, or just news about my day." [2]

Before TENET existed, journalism teachers like Ms. Gathright met once a year at their annual conference in Austin. Now many TENET-connected teachers meet online 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Many teachers are using the Internet to coordinate projects with classrooms in other countries. For example, Helen Bell, the school librarian at Lincoln Junior High School in El Paso, Texas, has been corresponding with Taichi Kameyama, a professor at Gifu University in Japan who has assisted in coordinating projects between a local Japanese high school and Lincoln. Juliette Avots from Wellesley High School in Massachusetts also works with teachers in France to develop structured language projects.

In addition to collaborating with colleagues and developing joint projects, teachers can also engage in dialogues with field experts. Using the Internet, teachers can connect to NASA's Spacelink (operated by the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville Alabama) and send questions to space experts, including space shuttle astronauts.

Another project provided by the Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC), a US national information system, provides an Internet-based question-answering service for teachers, library media specialists, and administrators who have questions about K- 12 education, learning, teaching, information technology and educational administration. Anyone involved with K-12 education can send an e-mail message to AskERIC and receive an answer within 48 working hours.

Teachers can also download useful information, guides and images for use in the classroom. Many are taking advantage of on-line Associated Press (AP) and Reuters newsfeeds, the daily CNN (Cable News Network) Newsroom curriculum guide, NASA space images, and regularly updated weather reports; all of these are easily accessible and available on the Internet.

III.C. Benefits for Students

One of the best publicized uses of the Internet is for instructional purposes. Children love computers and computer networks and there are lots of distance learning projects being conducted, ranging from electronic penpals to collaborative/comparison studies. One such project involved students from different countries comparing prices, packaging and contents of various products, integrating math, social studies, language and geography. (Most of the students were not even aware they were learning!) Other readily available information services are providing students with the latest in current events. Some of these include US White House press releases and briefings; Radio Free Europe reports; and UN News.

Rachel Weston, a 7th Grader at Georgetown Day School in Washington DC, wrote in a recent essay how the Internet has changed her life. "As I flipped through my e-mail messages one morning I suddenly received a new one entitled 'The Sydney Bush fires.' The mail was from my Australian keypal, and he was telling me and some of his other keypals what it was like to be experiencing the bush fires that were burning all round Sydney." [6]

Rachel goes on to describe the communication that took place between her friend and herself on Internet Relay Chat, his stories of the fires and how close they got to his house. In addition to the live reports, she clipped relevant newspaper articles. "However, all week long the information about the Sydney fires that I brought to current events in my social studies class was more up to date than anything in the newspapers," she said.

This is a powerful demonstration of how the Internet creates global and cultural awareness, augments current events classes, and motivates students to write. However, keypal activities by themselves are not always effective and usually fizzle unless they are given more structure than just assuming students will be motivated to carry on a dialogue. Students need a theme for their communication with other keypals.

The Global Schoolhouse

Perhaps one of the most interesting uses of the Internet recently for education is the Global Schoolhouse Project. This project is one example of how the Internet can be used to transmit video for educational uses. Sponsored by the US National Science Foundation, the Global Schoolhouse was demonstrated during the US National Science and Technology Week in April 1993.

The participants in this "school without walls"

were children ages 10 through 13 from four geographically distant schools -- Jefferson Junior High School in Oceanside, California; Cedar Bluff Middle School in Knoxville, Tennessee; Longbranch Elementary School in Arlington, Virginia; and Oldfield House School in Hampton, United Kingdom.

As part of their studies, the students spent six weeks prior to the event studying watershed pollution in their local areas. The curriculum was created by the FrEdMail Foundation (FrEdMail stands for Free Educational Mail Network), a non-profit organization devoted to creating and fostering meaningful distance- based projects using computer networks.

The students had an ambitious goal; to read Earth in the Balance by US Vice President Al Gore and then conduct ground-water pollution studies in their communities. Beginning three weeks before the demonstration, the students met in two weekly videoconference rehearsals over the Internet to give progress reports and show video clips of their research.

During the videoconferences, each group of students could see, in real time, all of the other groups and themselves on a quartered computer screen. For the demonstration event in April, US government officials in Washington, DC joined in the discussion, listening to the students' reports and asking questions. The students continued to meet in weekly videoconferences after the demonstration until the end of the school year; more meetings have been planned for the future.

During the Global Schoolhouse videoconference, a Sun Microsystems SPARCstation acted as a reflector, taking the video data from one site and reflecting it to the other three sites. A second reflector, located at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, sent copies of the video data to a viewing site in Vienna, Virginia, where guests could monitor the videoconference. The second reflector also sent the video data out over the Multicast Backbone, a collection of sites around the world that cooperate in global video and audio conferencing for various events.

During the videoconference, each desktop computer had a video camera and a projector connected to the monitor. The video camera fed the live action to the computer. Audio was provided by a traditional audio conference bridge. Cisco routers provided the main gateway between the LANs and the Internet and T1 or Switched Multimegabit Data Service (SMDS) lines provided access to the WAN.

The videoconferencing software, CU-SeeMe, is freely available on the Internet and is still currently being developed by Cornell University's Information Technology Organization (CIT). It allows one-to-one, one-to-many, or many-to-many connections. A user can be either a receiver, or a sender and receiver. To receive, one only needs an Internet-connected Macintosh capable of displaying 16 grays. Sending requires the same plus a SuperMac VideoSpigot board, a camera, Quicktime and Spigot VDIG extensions added to the system.

Until recently, most participants in Global Schoolhouse projects used the message scrawl feature of CU-SeeMe or audio-conference bridges. Real-time audioconferencing software was released for the Macintosh in March 1994 and is publicly available over the Internet. (Please see the resources section at the end of this paper.)

III.D. Community Outreach

In addition to the administrative and educational benefits achieved by access to the Internet, there are advantages to providing community access to school resources. Some schools and network projects are encouraging parents to become involved and have offered access via dialup accounts to school systems. Homework assignment archives, schedules, calendars, lunch menus, etc. are just some of the things that can be made publicly available. Additionally, teachers are more accessible via electronic mail for parent/teacher conferences.

While community access is not as well defined or publicized yet, it is a crucial part of the educational and community building use of the Internet. Several schools are experimenting with providing low-cost accounts (to help pay for their networking costs) to parents and members of the surrounding community to provide access to local school information and the Internet.

IV. Barriers and Solutions

There's no question that the Internet is augmenting traditional classes with live data from distant lands and cultural exchange between children. Unfortunately, there are quite a few barriers preventing teachers and schools from making the connection.

IV.A. Internetworking Expertise

For one, there is a lack of internetworking technical expertise and vision. Frankly, it's hard enough for anyone these days to make heads or tails of the bewildering number of choices, and so it's understandable that schools are having problems figuring out which way to go. There's concern that committing to one distance learning solution will prohibit upgrading to future technologies.

There's also the confusion of how to establish a wide area connection. It's going to take awhile for us to fully understand how the convergence of the broadcast, telephone and computer industries is going to play out and who the players will be. In the US, both telephone and cable companies are promising connections and reduced rates in hopes of capturing the educational market.

There are many open system solutions, many standards and many vendors promising the "only" solutions. One organization called the National Center for Technology Planning (NCTP) is trying to help. Located at Mississippi State University, NCTP is providing network planning and direction to many schools and archiving technology plans on the Internet.

Other projects and studies provide some direction. For example, the state of California is drafting a Strategic Plan for Information Technology, which outlines a vision for the use of computer and communications systems in California schools. Part of this plan includes a Technical Model for School Networks guide. Another research study conducted by Bolt Beranek and Newman provided several current and future models for schools. The Internet Engineering Task Force Internet School Working Group is drafting a K-12 Internetworking Guidelines document, intended to provide technical guidance to the educational community on school networking and connections to the Internet. All of these documents are listed in the resources section of this paper.

IV. B. Existing Network Infrastructure

Perhaps the confusing technology and large number of choices is partly responsible for the next barrier: the lack of existing network infrastructure. A significant percentage of schools don't have local area networks in the computer labs. Therefore access to the Internet for the time being is limited to stand- alone machines with modems.

Unfortunately, because of the current practice of most states in the US permitting phone companies to charge business rates for telephones in schools, there are very few phone lines in the classrooms. It is necessary to educate the state public utility commissions (PUCs) about the benefits of access to the Internet via a phone in the classroom; indeed, there have already been several success stories in some states where regulation was introduced to lower costs for phone lines in schools.

But it's important to educate the school and district technology planners on the importance of scaling their networking solutions effectively. One phone line in a computer lab is a great start to demonstrate the benefits of the Internet. However, the computer/phone line/modem model doesn't scale well -- the cost of adding phone lines and modems increases significantly, but the bandwidth and increased access to resources do not. Dialup access is an easier solution to understand and implement initially, but ultimately harder for the end-user to learn, and more expensive to scale. Schools need to be educated on the internetworking model, that is, connecting networks to networks. Building a good local area network foundation is crucial.

In addition to a scalable local area network, schools will need to address the issue of administrating email accounts, newsfeeds, local information servers and other network-related configuration duties. A server that makes these tasks considerably easier, and integrates educational software in a distributed networked environment is the Copernicus system, developed by Bolt, Beranek and Newman in Cambridge, Massachusetts. There are a number of pilot sites which are using this server very successfully. One of these is the Ralph Bunche Elementary School in New York, NY. Paul Reese the Computer & Technology Coordinator, says, "We support some 350 e-mail accounts, a school Gopher, private and public newsgroups and are developing other services. The server sits on a LAN with approximately 70 Mac workstations. A recently installed 56 Kbps line now connects a neighboring middle school allowing them to use the server and share general network access."

IV.C. Funding

Another barrier is one of the oldest problems schools have faced; that is, funding for just about anything that is needed. This will continue to cause a problem until schools and districts establish visions and plans. Business cases can and are being made for administrative uses. Savings on educational tools such as textbooks will be realized as more and more on-line books are distributed electronically. Once differences are resolved and standards made for the transfer of such useful information, such as student records and books, it will be easier to allocate funds for network connectivity and access.

In the meantime, there are a number of sources for funds in the U.S.. The National Science Foundation has an Internet Connections Program to which schools and organizations can apply for grants. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) recently announced a grant program to fund planning and demonstration projects that (among other things) promote the goals of development and widespread availability of advanced telecommunications technologies and support the advancement of an advanced nationwide telecommunications and information infrastructure. Both the NSF and NTIA programs benefit other organizations, as well as universities and schools.

IV. D. User Applications

In addition to the bewildering amount of information and resources available on the Internet, there's also the perceived notion that the Internet is deliberately user hostile.

The Internet is growing up somewhat in this area with the wider availability of information discovery and retrieval applications, such as archie, gopher, Wide Area Information Servers (WAIS) and the World Wide Web (WWW). Most Internet-connected education networks offer at least a simple menu interface to the Internet. A graphical program called "Graphical Interface to Network Access" or GINA (formerly known as "The Guide") is currently under development by the California Technology Project and reviews of it are confirming its promise to be one of the easiest to use graphical interfaces to the Internet yet.

IV. E. Information Age Projects

And finally, another barrier to using the Internet in the classroom is motivating teachers to throw away the out-dated, incorrect textbooks and instead engage students interactively, exploring the Web for current events, real examples and the latest data.

True, the Internet has a little way to go before it can reliably serve as the sole digital lab or classroom, but there are plenty of useful projects going on right now where students are encouraged to use their creativity and common sense. The problem is that teachers need help in learning how to use this technology and how to apply it to teaching.

What is needed are more Internet evangelists, people that can simplify the technology and demonstrate the benefits. Currie Morrison, a Technology Coordinator at Nathan Hale High School in Seattle Washington is such an evangelist and has seen enormous benefits from her promotional efforts. She noted in a recent message sent to the COSN email discussion list, "My anecdotal experience has seen a large number of people impacted by what I have passed on to colleagues and students alike. Too numerous to mention."

Just as school technology coordinators and directors plan for networks and scalability, so must teachers plan for the use of technology in their classrooms. Too many advanced instructional learning systems are sitting gathering dust because of lack of planning in this area. More emphasis must be made by all network planners (administrative and technical) involved on training and motivation.

The Port Neches-Groves School District in southeast Texas has started an interesting project designed to motivate and assist teachers with transitioning to planning and developing classroom curriculum projects in an online world. Kay Abernathy, the technology coordinator, is pairing each teacher involved in the project with an online mentor who is located outside of Texas. Mentors will offer encouragement and assistance via electonic mail over the Internet to teachers who are just getting started in using the technology. The Port Neches-Groves teachers will keep journals which chronicle their progress and problems.

V. Conclusion

Despite barriers and challenges, the K-12 community is moving ahead. The K-12 community is considered one of the fastest growing groups involved in the Internet. This market is treading on the edges of technology and telecommunications; some schools have adopted technology for the classroom and distance learning projects with open arms, while others are just now starting to think about long range technology visions and plans.

The Internet promises more equitable access to resources for teachers and students, as well as saving time and money for administrative applications. We will continue to see growth and use of educational resources, increased coordination at all levels, and more user-friendly applications being developed.

It must be stressed that the Internet by itself is not a panacea for educational reform. The Internet can enhance classroom activities and professional development by creating global awareness, providing access to the latest information and enabling communication on a large scale, but you cannot just "throw" the Internet into a school and expect projects to magically occur. Most successful projects are carefully planned, and many of them occur mostly outside of the Internet. The Internet provides a motivational, enabling and empowering tool for education.

VI. Resources

The following resources were mentioned throughout this paper.

VI. A. Organizations

ERIC Clearinghouse on Information Resources
030 Huntington Hall
Syracuse University
Syracuse, New York 13244-2340
Voice: (315) 443-9114
Fax:   (315) 443-5448

Consortium for School Networking (COSN)

1112 Sixteenth Street, NW Suite 600 Washington, DC 20036 1-202-872-4200 FAX: 202-872-4318 Email: cosn@bitnic.bitnet Gopher: The Global SchoolNet Foundation (GSN)

7040 Avenida Encinas 104-281 Carlsbad, CA 92009 619 931-5934 Email: Internet Society (ISOC) 12020 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite 270 Reston, VA 22091 1-703-648-9888 FAX: 1-703-648-9887 Email: Gopher: The National Center for Technology Planning (NCTP): ftp://Ra.MsState.Edu/pub/archives/nctp.

The National Science Foundation 4201 Wilson Blvd. Arlington, VA 22230 USA +1 703 306-1949 National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) U.S. Department of Commerce H-4889 Washington, D.C. 20230 +1 202 482-2048 +1 202 482-2156 Email: Gopher:

VI. B. Software

CU See Me:


Graphical Interface for Network Access (GINA): Send email to:

VI. C. Connectivity Guides

All of these guides are available via anonymous FTP in PostScript format only.

K-12 Internetworking Guidelines (an Internet-Draft) :

Local Infrastructures for School Networking: Current Models and Prospects :

A Technical Model for School Networks :

VI. D. Newsletter

For subscriptions queries, contact
Kathleen M. Rutkowski
13102 Weather Vane Way
Herndon, VA  22071  USA
VII. References

[1] California Department of Education, Far West Laboratory for Educational Research and Development, California Education and Data Processing Association, "California Student Information System: A Study of the Feasibility of Implementing a Statewide Process for Electronically Sharing Student Information," Sacramento, CA.: California Department of Education, October 1992.

[2] LaQuey, Tracy and Connie Stout, "High Tech Highway," America's Agenda: Schools for the 21st Century, pp. 26-30. New York, NY.: Scholastic, Spring 1993.

[3] LaQuey, Tracy, with Jeanne C. Ryer, The Internet Companion. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1993.

[4] Parker, Tracy LaQuey, "Cisco Routers Contribute to the Global Schoolhouse Project," The Packet, pp. 22-24. Mountain View, CA.: Cisco Systems, Inc., Fall 1993.

[5] Parker, Tracy LaQuey, "The Internet - K12 Connection: How Students and Teachers Are Using The Internet," ConneXions: The Interoperability Report. Foster City, CA.: Interop, Inc. April 1994.

[6] Weston, Rachel, "Networks: Where Have You Been All My Life?," Proceedings, Connecting with the Future Today.: NASA and the Center for Educational Statistics, February 1994.

Author Information

Tracy LaQuey Parker received a degree in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Austin and currently works for Cisco Systems, Inc. as the Manager of Education Market Development. Before coming to Cisco, she worked at The University of Texas System Office of Telecommunication Services in Austin as a Network Information Specialist where she represented the Texas Higher Education Network (THEnet) in various national networking groups and was part of the Texas Education Network (TENET, a statewide K-12 network) Development Team. A pioneer individual member of the Internet Society, she represents Cisco Systems on the Internet Society's Advisory Board. She also participates in the Federation of American Research Networks (FARNET), and the Consortium on School Networking (COSN). She is the author of two books: The User's Directory of Computer Networks, published by Digital Press and the best selling The Internet Companion: A Beginner's Guide to Global Networking published by Addison-Wesley.


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