GRANTS AND FELLOWSHIPS
January 2. Library Services.
The American Library Association offers the Carroll Preston Baber Research Grant. One librarian--from a school, university, or public library--will receive a $7,500 grant to pursue innovative research that could lead to an improvement in library services for a particular group of people, such as high school students or young children. For more information, contact: ALA Headquarters Library and Information Center, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611; (800) 545-2433, ext. 2153.
January 6. Arts Education.
The Council for Basic Education, in conjunction with the National Endowment for the Arts, invites teachers of grade K-12 to apply for the 1995 Arts Education Fellowships. Thirty-three teachers each receive a $2,800 stipend, plus $200 for books and materials, for full-time independent study during the summer of 1995. Applicants must propose a project in any artistic field--such as creative writing, visual arts, performing arts, media art--or a combination of fields. For more information, contact: Arts Education Fellowships, 2506 Buckelew Drive, Falls Church, VA 22046; (703) 876-5782.
January 9. Gender Equity.
The American Association of Uni-versity Women offers the 1995-96 Eleanor Roosevelt Teacher Fellowships. The fellowship program gives female teachers the opportunity to learn techniques that will increase girls' self-confidence and academic performance, especially in math and science. Approximately 13 teachers who have demonstrated a commitment to gender equity in the classroom each receive stipends ranging from $1,000 to $10,000. Eligible are women who have taught full time in a K-12 public school for at least three consecutive years; at least part of their teaching assignments must include math, science, or technology. Contact: AAUW Educational Foundation, Dept. 14, 2201 N. Dodge St., Iowa City, IA 52243-4030; (319) 337-1716, ext. 14.
January 26. Science.
Toyota's Appreciation Program for Excellence to Science Teachers Reaching Youth, a partnership program of Toyota Motor Sales USA and the National Science Teachers Association, offers grants to science teachers of grades 6-12. Forty teachers each receive yearlong grants of up to $10,000 that support the implementation of innovative environmental or physical science projects in their school or school district; projects should motivate students to learn about the practical aspects of science. Both individuals and teams of up to five teachers may submit proposals. In addition to the grants, award winners receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the 1995 NSTA convention in Philadelphia. Contact: TAPESTRY, 1840 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22201-3000; (703) 243-7100.
January 31. Travel.
EF Educational Tours invites teachers of grades 7-12 to apply for the Global Classroom Teacher Award. Two teachers--one American, one Canadian--who have fostered global awareness among their students will receive a comprehensive educational tour to Europe or Mexico for themselves and six of their students. In addition, the company offers the American Classroom Teacher Award. One U.S. teacher of grades 4-12 who has in some way inspired students to be better citizens will receive an educational tour of the United States or Canada for him- or herself and 10 students. Contact: Global Classroom Teacher Award/American Classroom Teacher Award, EF Educational Tours, 1 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA 02142; (800) 637-8222.
- February 1. Science.
The Wright Center for Science Education at Tufts University invites high school science teachers to apply for its yearlong fellowship-in-residency program. The fellowship, which extends from Sept. 1, 1995, to June 30, 1996, allows teachers to pursue science-related projects of their choice. Two to five teachers with the best proposals will be granted a travel stipend, a $35,000 salary, and benefits through Tufts University. Contact: The Wright Center for Science Education, Tufts University, 4 Colby St., Medford, MA 02155; (617) 628-5000, ext. 5394.
- February 15. English/Language Arts.
The National Council of Teachers of English offers its members two grant opportunities for research: the Grant-In-Aid program and the Teacher-Researcher Program. The first awards up to $12,500 to professional researchers, including graduate students, conducting dissertations on an English or language arts topic. The second offers preK-14 teachers research grants of up to $2,500. The number of grant winners in both categories will be decided in April. Contact: NCTE, 1111 W. Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096; (217) 328-3870.
- February 15. Space Camp.
NASA and the National Science Teachers Association offer the NASA Educational Workshops for Elementary Teachers and the NASA Educational Workshops for Math, Science, and Technology Teachers. The first is geared for teachers of grades K-6, the second, teachers of grades 7-12. The two-week workshops will be held at various NASA centers located across the United States during the summer of 1995. They are designed to help teachers take a multidisciplinary, "real world'' approach to teaching about space, math, science, and technology. One hundred fifteen teachers will be selected for the elementary workshops and 100 for the secondary. Those chosen receive travel stipends, room and board for the two-week session, and graduate credit from Oklahoma State University. Applicants must be full-time teachers with at least five years' teaching experience. For more information, contact: NSTA, NEWEST/NEWMAST Programs, 1840 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22201; (703) 243-7100.
January 15. Gifted Children.
The Intertel Foundation Inc. invites individuals and organizations to apply for the 1995 International Hollingworth Award Competition. Applicants must submit a research proposal in the field of education or psychology of gifted children. One winner receives a $2,000 cash prize and a certificate. For more information, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Roxanne Cramer, Chairwoman, HAC, 4300 Sideburn Road, Fairfax, VA 22030-3507.
- February 1. Media Centers.
Follett Software Co. and the American Association of School Librarians invites applications for the 1995 Microcomputer in the Media Center Award. Applicants must be school media specialists and AASL members who have innovatively used MS-DOS or Macintosh desktop hardware to bring information technology to their schools' media centers. The winner receives a $1,000 cash award, $500 for his or her media center, and an all-expenses-paid trip to the American Library Association's 1995 annual meeting in June. Contact: AASL, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611; (800) 545-2433, ext. 4381.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
The International Society for Technology in Education has presented Patricia Horn with its 1994 Outstanding Technology-Using Educator Award. Horn, facilitator for integrated curriculum and technology at Webster Elementary School in St. Augustine, Fla., was selected from applicants nationwide for her innovative use of computers in the classroom. She received a plaque at a ceremony last June in Boston.
Follett Software Co. and the American Association of School Librarians has given Becky Mather the 1994 Microcomputer in the Media Center Award. Mather was honored for bringing information technology to the students at Muscatine (Iowa) High School, where she is media specialist. She received a $1,000 cash award, $500 for her school's media center, a plaque, and travel expenses to attend an awards ceremony.
John Judy has been honored by the North American Association for Environmental Education. A former science teacher and currently an environmental educator with the Tennessee Valley Authority, Judy received the association's Jeske Award for his national and international contributions to environmental education, particularly for helping set up environmental education networks in Russia. Judy was honored last September at the NAAEE annual meeting in Cancun, Mexico.
McGraw-Hill has given its Harold W. McGraw Prize in Education to three educators who have developed programs that improved learning in American schools. Each winner received a $25,000 cash award and was honored last October at a black-tie dinner at the Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. The winners are: Patricia Bulanos of the Key Elementary and Key Renaissance Middle schools in Indianapolis; Harold Howe II, former U.S. Commissioner of Education; and Alicia Thomas of Jackson-Keller Elementary School in San Antonio, Texas.
Following is a list of free or inexpensive resources that teachers can order.
Water Resource Posters
The American Water Resources Association has created three educational posters: Water: The Resource That Gets Used & Used for Everything, How Do We Treat Our Wastewater, and Wetlands: Water, Wildlife, Plants, & People. Each 36-by-24-inch, full-color poster comes in two versions: one for elementary school students and one for middle school students. Both have information and activities printed on the back. Black-and-white versions of the posters, which can be colored in, are also available. Cost: $5 per poster. Contact: American Water Resources Association, 950 Herndon Parkway, Suite 300, Herndon, VA 22070; (703) 904-1225.
KidsArt, a publishing company, offers a 16-page reproducible workbook, The Art of Ancient Rome. Designed for elementary and middle school students, the booklet features art history and a number of hands-on projects, such as how to build a Roman arch and mosaic. Similar books are available on ancient Greek, Egyptian, and Celtic art. Cost: $4 each. Contact: KidsArt, Dept. TM, P.O. Box 274, Mt. Shasta, CA 96067; (800) 959-5076.
Peguis Publishers Ltd. has released a new 176-page softcover book, For the Love of Language: Poetry for Every Learner, by Nancy Lee Cecil. The book is designed to help young poets, in grades 1-8, express themselves. It features examples and creative, easy-to-understand lessons and warm-up activities for various types of poetry. Cost: $14.95. Contact: Peguis Publishers Ltd., 520 Hargrave St., Winnipeg, MB, Canada R3A 0X8.
The Allied Arts Foundation and the University of Washington Press offer a 64-page paperback titled Stop the Violence Please, by Michele Durkson Clise. Written for young children in large, easy-to-read type, the first section of the book tells the story of two teddy bears and their human friends who encounter gun violence in their school. The second section contains statistical information, resources, and tips on what children can do to stop violence in their communities. Cost: $9.95. Contact: Publicity Department, University of Washington Press, P.O. Box 50096, Seattle, WA 98145-5096; (206) 543-4050.
Keep America Beautiful Inc. offers a new educational poster, 200 Million Tons of Trash, What Can We Do With It?. The double-sided poster shows a large trash can divided into four categories: compost, recycle, waste-to-energy, and landfill. It lists activities elementary and middle school teachers can use to encourage students to reduce the amount of trash they produce and to manage trash more efficiently. Cost: $5.75. Contact: Keep America Beautiful Inc., Order Dept., 9 W. Broad St., Stamford, CT 06902; (203) 323-8987.
Intel Corp., a computer chip manufacturer, has developed "The Journey Inside: The Computer,'' a free package for math, science, and computer teachers of grades 5-9. The package includes a 300-page teachers' guide and lesson planner, a 58-minute videotape, a poster, and a computer chip kit that contains a microchip and all the wires, transistors, and diodes needed to conduct classroom experiments suggested in the teachers' guide. To order, call: (800) 346-3029, ext. 143.
Academic Therapy Publications offers the newly revised 132-page edition of The Tuned-in, Turned-on Book About Learning Problems, by Marnell Hayes. The book offers advice and study tips for learning-disabled adolescents, their families, and teachers. Chapter titles include "If I'm So Smart, Why Do I Have Trouble Learning?'' and "How Can I Make Learning Easier for Myself?'' Cost: $10. To order, call: (800) 422-7249.
Free Spirit Publishing offers Safe at School: Awareness and Action for Parents of Kids Grades K-12, by Carol Silverman Saunders. The 232-page, softcover book discusses a number of school safety problems, including guns, drugs, sexual harassment, asbestos, lead, and bullies. It provides statistics, resources, and step-by-step action plans for parents and teachers. Cost: $14.95. Contact: Free Spirit Publishing, 400 First Ave. N., Suite 616, Minneapolis, MN 55401; (612) 338-2068; (800) 735-7323.
The Bureau for At-Risk Youth offers its 72-page 1994 Buyer's Guide, a free catalog that features more than 750 videos, publications, posters, and prevention programs for teachers, parents, counselors, and others who work with children in grades K-12. Topics covered include domestic violence prevention, conflict resolution, AIDS, smoking, guns, and teen pregnancy. Contact: The Bureau for At-Risk Youth, 645 New York Ave., Huntington, NY 11743; (800) 99-YOUTH.
Rethinking Schools Ltd., a school reform advocacy group, has published Rethinking Our Classrooms: Teaching for Equity and Justice. This 208-page softcover book, written by classroom teachers, contains lesson plans and activities that teachers of grades K-12 can use to promote equality and fairness. The book also includes compelling narratives by teachers who have used innovative strategies in their classrooms. Accompanying the text are poems, bibliographies, and detailed resource lists. Cost: $9.50, which includes shipping and handling. Contact: Rethinking Schools, 1001 E. Keefe Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53212; (414) 964-9646.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York offers the booklet The Story of Money. The free, 24-page comic book, designed primarily for high school students, explains the characteristics of money, how the banking system works, and what the Federal Reserve does. A teachers' guide with discussion ideas is available upon request. Up to 35 copies of the comic book are free; additional copies cost 25 cents each. Contact: Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Public Information Dept., 33 Liberty St., New York, NY 10045; (212) 720-6134.
FOR YOUR STUDENTS
Following is a list of contests, scholarships, and internships for students organized by application deadline. Asterisks (
- ) denote new entries.
January 13. Inventions.
Duracell and the National Science Teachers Association invite high school students to enter the Duracell/NSTA Scholarship Competition. Students must design and build a working mechanical device powered by Duracell batteries that performs a useful function. Students should photograph their devices, draw schematic diagrams of them, and write a two-page paper describing their uses. The top 100 finalists will be asked to send their actual devices for judging. The first-place winner receives a $20,000 U.S. Savings Bond; five second-place winners each receive a $10,000 bond; 94 additional winners receive bonds of up to $1,000 in value. Students are encouraged to send their preliminary ideas by Nov. 15 to receive a general critique and a certificate for free batteries. Contact: Duracell/NSTA Scholarship Competition, 1840 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22201-3000; (703) 243-7100.
- January 16. Nutrition.
KUDOS Brand, makers of whole-grain snack bars, invites students in grades 1-6 to enter its Dig Into Your Food Poem, Rap, Or Rhyme Contest. The student who creates the most original poem, rap, or rhyme about nutrition in 50 words or less receives a $500 U.S. Savings Bond, and his or her school cafeteria receives $500 in cash. The top 100 runners-up win a free T-shirt. Contact: KUDOS Brand, P.O. Box 5111, FDR Station, New York, NY 10150; (212) 759-7900.
January 31. Letter Writing.
RespecTeen invites students in grades 7-8 to enter the 1995 Speak For Yourself competition. Entrants are asked to submit a copy of a letter they have written to their U.S. representative on an important issue concerning young people. One winner from each state and the District of Columbia will be selected to attend the 1995 RespecTeen National Youth Forum, to be held April 22-27 in Washington, D.C. For more information, call: (800) 888-3820.
January 31. Publish-A-Book.
Raintree/Steck-Vaughn Publishers invites students in grades 2-6 to enter its annual Publish-A-Book Contest. Students must write a piece of fiction or nonfiction on the theme "The Future.'' Each entry must be typed, double-spaced, and mailed by a sponsor, either a teacher or a librarian. Entries for grades 2-3 should be 300 to 500 words; entries for grades 4-6 should be 700 to 900 words. One winner from grades 2-3 and four winners from grades 4-6 each receive a $500 advance against author royalties and 10 copies of their book, published with professional full-color illustrations; 30 honorable-mention winners each receive a $25 cash prize. Contact: Publish-A-Book Contest, Raintree/Steck-Vaughn Publishers, P.O. Box 27010, Austin, TX 78755.
February 1. Technology.
Toshiba and the National Science Teachers Association announce the ExploraVision Awards for students in grades K-12. Groups of three or four students working with a teacher-adviser must create a project predicting what technology will be like in 20 years. All projects must include a descriptive paper and 10 storyboard scenes presenting the students' ideas. Regional finalists will be chosen and asked to make a video of their team project. Each member of four first-place teams wins a $10,000 U.S. Savings Bond; each member of eight second-place teams receives $5,000 in savings bonds. In addition, the winning teams receive some money to help pay for a trip to Washington, D.C., where they will be honored at an awards ceremony. Contact: ExploraVision Awards, Toshiba/NSTA, 1840 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22201; (800) EXPLOR-9.
- February 3.
The U.S. Treasury Department welcomes submissions for its National Student Poster Contest. Participating students in grades 4-6 should create a poster that promotes the U.S. Savings Bond programs and the importance of saving for the future. One winner will be named from each state. The top three winners from that group will receive a $5,000, $1,000, and $500 U.S. Savings Bond, respectively. The national winners will also travel free to Washington, D.C., to receive their awards. For an entry form, contact: Savings Bonds Marketing Office, Department of the Treasury, 800 K St., N.W., Suite 800, Washington, DC 20226.
February 4. Traffic Safety.
The American Automobile Association invites students in grades K-6 to enter the AAA National School Traffic Safety poster contest. Students must design a poster addressing pedestrian, bicycle, driving, or alcohol safety. There are two judging categories: grades K-3 and 4-6. Forty winners from both categories receive savings bonds. For a free brochure, contact your local AAA or call: (800) 763-6600.
February 15. Music Scholarships.
The National Federation of Music Clubs invites music students with visual or physical disabilities to apply for the Joyce Walsh Scholarship for the Handicapped. Students must send a cassette tape of their instrumental or vocal performance, a letter of recommendation from a teacher or other mentor, and a letter from a medical doctor stating the nature and duration of their disability. Scholarships will be awarded to 14 students, with the first-place winner receiving $750. Applicants must be between the ages of 12 and 18 and be active members of the NFMC. Contact: Joyce Walsh, 905 Dial Drive, Kennett, MO; (314) 888-3347.
February 15. Geography.
American Express invites students in grades 6-12 to enter the sixth annual American Express Geography Competition. Students must examine an issue or problem related to one of three themes--travel and trade, cultural diversity, and the environment--and then develop a written solution. Students may enter as individuals or in teams, but they must be sponsored by a teacher and principal. Two first-place winners each receive a $7,500 cash award; second- and third-place winners also receive cash awards. The sponsoring teacher of each winner receives $1,000. For more information, contact: American Express Geography Competition, P.O. Box 672227, Marietta, GA 30067-0038; (800) 395-GLOBE.
- February 24. Environmental Solutions.
The National Science Teachers Association invites teams of two to four high school students to enter the fifth annual Seiko Youth Challenge. Each team must submit a written proposal that identifies, investigates, analyzes, and proposes a solution to a specific environmental problem in its community. Twenty-five teams will be chosen as regional finalists and asked to submit a videotaped version of their project. The winning team receives a $25,000 college scholarship to be divided among its members; the school receives $5,000. Four runners-up teams receive $5,000 scholarships to divide up and $1,000 for their respective high schools. All team members must attend the same school and have an official faculty adviser. Contact: Seiko Youth Challenge, c/o The DRB Group, 20 Summer St., Stamford, CT 06901-2304; (800) 323-1550.
- February 28. Geography.
Weekly Reader magazine invites classes of K-3 students to enter its annual GeoPicture Contest. Each class must submit a GeoPicture, a collection of materials including, among other things, writing and illustrations by students that describe their community's location, environment, uniqueness, physical and human systems, and society. The collection must fit into a 12 1/2-by-18-by-3-inch box. Two grand-prize-winning classes and eight first-prize winners receive GeoPicture T-shirts and certificates; their teachers receive $300 and $100, respectively. Eight second-prize winners receive certificates, and their teachers get $50. Contact: Weekly Reader, GeoPicture Contest, 245 Long Hill Road, P.O. Box 2791, Middletown, CT 06457-9291; (203) 638-2415.
February 28. Fiction Contest.
Highlights for Children magazine invites children and adults to enter its 16th annual fiction writing contest. Entries should be humorous stories for children of 900 words or less that have not been published elsewhere. Three winners receive $1,000 each and will have their work published in upcoming issues of Highlights for Children. Entries must be postmarked between Jan. 1 and Feb. 28. Send manuscripts with a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Highlights for Children, 803 Church St., Honesdale, PA 18431; (717) 253-1080.
Following is a list of educational CD-ROM titles that have been recommended by teachers. All require basic multimedia components, including a CD-ROM drive and at least 4 MB of RAM; call individual dealers for more specific requirements. Prices listed are those recommended by the manufacturers; products may be available for less at retail outlets.
Educational Resources has put together the K-12 Preview CD-ROM for users of Macintosh computers. This CD previews more than 150 CD-ROM titles from more than 60 publishers, including Aldus, MECC, Microsoft, and Time Warner. With a click of the mouse, you can search by title, grade level, or subject area and sample a variety of CD-ROM products. Cost: $5.95. Contact: Educational Resources; (800) 624-2926.
Broderbund Software and Random House offer the popular Living Books series, interactive CDs that feature a variety of multimedia stories written by such well-known children's authors as Mercer Mayer and Marc Brown. Kids can read aloud with the computer in English or Spanish, highlight individual words and phrases, and make the characters talk, move, sing, or dance. Living Books are available for two different age groups: 3-8 and 6-12. Available for MAC or Windows. Cost: $39.95 each. Contact: Broderbund Software; (800) 776-4724.
HarperCollins' The American Sign Language Dictionary is a sign language reference for students of all ages. Featuring more than 2,500 color video clips of the most widely used words and phrases, this CD allows zoom-in and slow-motion replays of signs. The dictionary understands typed words in English, Spanish, German, French, and Italian. Definitions include video demonstrations of both signs and finger spelling. Available for MAC or Windows. Cost: $69.95. Contact: HarperCollins; (800) 242-7737.
MECC offers an interactive CD-ROM version of Oregon Trail, which turns students into 19th century pioneers. This program has been extremely popular in software formats for years, but the CD format has made it even more complex, challenging, and appealing. Students ages 10 and older must read maps and overcome such adversities as rattlesnakes, wagon fires, and disease as they guide a wagon train across the United States. Requires Windows. Cost: $79. Contact: MECC; (800) 685-6322, ext. 227.
Grolier's award-winning multimedia encyclopedia for students of all ages is a popular, comprehensive resource. Featuring an interactive historical time line, the CD-ROM contains more than 33,000 articles and 8,000 pictures on a variety of topics. Also included are detailed maps and "personal insight'' videos on such varying historical figures as Buzz Aldrin and Jackie Joyner-Kersee. Available for MAC or Windows. Cost: $149.95. Contact: Grolier's; (800) 285-4534.
Maris offers Red Shift, a comprehensive "multimedia planetarium'' for children of all ages. Users can view more than 200,000 stars and galaxies and 700 full-screen photographs and can simulate astronomical events. Explanations are provided from the Penguin Dictionary of Astronomy, as are detailed maps of the Earth, Moon, and Mars. Available for MAC or Windows. Cost: $99. Contact: Maris; (800) 336-0185.
Davidson & Associates Inc. introduces Math Blaster Mysteries, interactive CD-ROMs in which students solve various mysteries by correctly doing math problems. Different versions of Math Blaster Mysteries are available for students in grades 1-6, 3-7, and 5-adult. Younger students must rescue space creature Spot by solving basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems. Older students must retrieve the stolen brain of the Math Olympics champion by completing pre-algebra and word problems. Requires Windows and a double-speed CD-ROM drive. Cost: $40 in stores. Teacher editions or classroom lab packs are available from $79.95 to $189.95. Contact: Davidson & Associates; (800) 545-7677.
Syracuse Language Systems offers Triple Play, a foreign language program for students ages 9 and older. Versions are available in French, German, Spanish, or English. The format features colorful comic-book stories and game-show-style quizzes, all of which allow students to record their voices and play them back along with those of native speakers. Requires Windows. Cost: $69.95 each. Contact: Syracuse Language Systems; (800) 688-1937.
Microsoft recently released a CD-ROM version of the popular desktop publishing program, Creative Writer. Designed for students ages 8 and older, this CD allows users to create their own illustrated stories, newsletters, and banners. More than 8,000 story ideas, plus a variety of fonts and formatting options, are available to help students write, edit, and illustrate their work. Available for MAC or Windows. Cost: $64.95. Contact: Microsoft; (800) 888-3303.
National Geographic presents the Picture Atlas of the World. This multimedia atlas of physical and cultural geography features more than 800 interactive maps and 1,200 full-screen color photos of every country. Icons allow students of all ages to access video and audio clips that highlight the language, music, and culture of each country. Available for MAC, Windows, or DOS; requires a double-speed CD-ROM drive. Cost: $99. Contact: National Geographic; (800) 368-2728.
Also by National Geographic and highly recommended by teachers is Mammals: A Multimedia Encyclopedia. Seven hundred photos, vocalizations, and video clips describe more than 200 mammals, from aardvark to zorille. Maps of animal populations around the world are included, as is a mammal-classification game. Available for MAC or DOS. Cost: $99. Contact: National Geographic; (800) 368-2728.
Kidsoft Inc. offers a club for those interested in purchasing interactive software for students ages 4-12. Club Kidsoft allows teachers to preview CD-ROM and software programs on a demo CD. Then, using a toll-free number, a credit card, and their ClubCode, they can order the desired programs, which will be instantly released into their computer. Along with the preview CD, club members receive a bimonthly magazine and a free catalog of discounted CD-ROMs and software from a variety of manufacturers. Cost: $29.95 per year for club membership. Contact: Kidsoft Inc.; (800) 354-6150.
INTERNET 'NEWSGROUPS' FOR EDUCATORS
If you have access to the Internet, the "newsgroups'' listed below may be worth tapping into. A newsgroup lets you join an ongoing discussion on a topic of interest. You can respond to others' comments and questions or ask a question of your own.
Any full Internet connection should offer access to most newsgroups. The first step is to run software that lets you read the newsgroups. Some of the most popular "newsreader'' software programs available are rn, trn, nn, tin, cnews (Unix), and NEWS (VMS); some e-mail programs can also be used to read newsgroups. Ask your Internet access provider which newsreaders it offers or recommends.
At first, you will see a huge list of all the available newsgroups. Select the newsgroup or groups that you wish to read, usually by selecting the group name and pressing ENTER or "s.'' This is called subscribing. The next time you start up your newsreader, you will see only the newsgroups you've subscribed to. Once you've subscribed to a group, you may select it and start reading. Most newsreaders will in some way list the subjects of the messages that have been posted during the last week or so. Choose a subject that interests you.
Usually, when you want to respond to a message, you enter something like (r)eply or (f)ollowup. If you want to start a new topic, you will be asked to enter something like (w)rite, (p)ost, or (c)ompose. Then you type in the subject, enter your message, and send it. You may be pleasantly surprised at how quickly someone responds. Beware: There are no behavior restrictions; if someone disagrees with you, his or her response may not be very tactful. Most newsgroup users, however, are considerate and constructive. They care about the subject area and generally want to help.
The brief descriptions below come from an Internet listing of newsgroups. Each is accompanied by the newsgroup's official name, which you will need to know to participate.
Education for people with physical and mental disabilities
Support for the learning disabled
Learning from teachers who are far away
Vocational education discussion group
Computer science education
Geometry for secondary education
Casual conversation for students in grades K-5
Casual conversation for students in grades 6-8
Casual conversation for high school students
Casual conversation for teachers
Arts and crafts curricula for grades K-12
Business education curricula for grades K-12
Health and physical education curricula for grades K-12
Home economics, career education, and school counseling
Mathematics curriculum for grades K-12
Music and performing arts curriculum for grades K-12
Science curriculum for grades K-12
Social studies and history curriculum for grades K-12
Educating students with handicaps or special needs
K-12 education for gifted and talented students
Reading, writing, literature, grammar, composition
Discussion of the educational system
Issues related to science education
Children: their behavior and activities
The use of computers by children
The science of education
--Catherine Hess, Cheryl Landrith, and Megan Pincus