The largest part of this book is Part Two which has eleven chapters. Each of the chapters presents in detail each of the Internet tools available to the English student: Electronic Mail, Mailing Lists, Telnet, Gopher and Lynx, FTP, Freeware and Shareware, WWW browsers, MOO's and MUD's, OWLs, and HTML.
The 11 chapters of Part Two are best left for the English student to read and to understand the tools available so the tasks of the English class can best be completed. This section is needed during those wee-hour online sessions when no one is around to answer a question that needs to be answered immediately so the user can continue. This section will provide needed encouragement and introduction so newbies can explore without fear of failure. This section covers those technical points an English teacher is not necessarily ready to answer nor discuss. The English class is for the business of English not for the technological aspects. Just because the English teacher uses the Internet, she/he does not need to spend so much time on the technological aspects. After all, how many English teachers taught typing?
Since the Internet is a personal experience in a constructivist environment, the authors have supplied a ring of keys to unlock a door for the English student to use when the need arises. Part Two allows the English teacher to get on with the teaching of English while the student explores the realms of the Internet in search of ways to satisfy the demands of the classwork.
What is very crucial to remember is the authors disclaimer in the Preface.
The chapter on the basics of Electronic Mail is very thorough and should provide to any English student, new to or experienced with to the Internet, some good explanations about an important tool in the English class.
The chapter on lists is thorough and an important chapter for the English student because lists offer the student greater access to other classrooms and an area in which a student can gather information or practice with an idea. Lists allow for intellectual discussion, student queries, and writing practice. The authors are very clear on the importance of lists -- from joining, lurking, participating, to signing off -- to the English student.
The chapters on Gopher and Lynx, FTP, and browsers provide a solid foundation for the English student in finding the elusive piece of information or for locating documents on the Internet that will be needed in the English class. The basic mechanics of these tools are explained and demonstrated so this task does not become the time consuming chore of the English teacher.
A basic lesson on HTML is provided so English students can produce a document for publication and so they may better understand what they see when they press View Source in their browser.
Two chapters introduce the unsuspecting English student to MOO's and MUD's, which make any normal class discussion a walk in the park. The authors, veterans of this realm, provide calm and coherent explanations and directions for the enterprising English student.
Part Two is a banquet. Everything is set before the user. It becomes incumbent upon the user to choose, consume, and digest the offerings of the Internet. Not all of the tools of the Internet are going to be used by each student and justly not all English teachers need spend time on all of these tools. The explanations of technical matters are best left to The Guide, sysops, the Internet, or other users. This part of the book provides important information to the English student and lets the English teacher GOWI.
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