Summary on the subject: Web Site Development
Web Site Development
I propose to develop a web site for anyone in the sunglass, contact lens, colored contact lens or laser vision correction market. The most important features included in this site must be: savings, convenience and top quality products. It is necessary to tie all aspects of the site together smoothly. By this I mean the shopper must have the ability to purchase at any point In the site, as well as the ability to get anywhere from anywhere. We must outline our available products and services in such a way as to make it a “No Brainer” for anyone. Our available products must be outlined from the onset. If vendors need to be contacted to develop a wholesale relationship then this must be taken care of as soon as possible. We must assess which products will maximize our profit, which will maximize our marketability and which are just of necessity to carry. We must develop a database of products and maintain prices, additions and subtractions accordingly. One service I had in mind was to develop a free service for anyone interested in laser vision correction. We can develop an application where the patient inputs his/her doctor’s written Rx or their contact lens box/bottle prescription, and we can take this information and develop a sort of internet merge letter. By this I mean, we can send them an email response as to their current eye condition, the best suited surgical procedure for their condition, history of other’s w/ their Rx & results and maybe even doctors in their area. I understand this might take away from the promotion of INSIGHT, but remember, anything free – keeps em’ coming back!! This will more marketing tool to draw people in, rather than a service. Also, some production company or another could be contracted out to develop videos which we could sell to candidates, doctors, surgeons, etc… Dr. Sopher could develop a video directed to practicing optometrists interested in sales techniques in the examination room.
We are standing on the precipice of a new culture? Sceptical, questioning connected with the world, thirsting for information and change. Technology is driving society at a pace unparalleled in history creating new attitudes, interrelationships, and global awareness. A new consumer is emerging, suspicious of traditional media sources, incredulous of advertising, and contemptuous of the contrived the hyped, the false. This consumer is not easily persuaded by clever graphics or manipulated by fads in design. In order to integrate all aspects of a ‘brands’ presentation on a web-site, the designer must move beyond form, colour and type and embrace the comprehensive impact of design. Enhanced awareness of the world; deeper, broader thinking about problems and opportunities; a respect for the historical roots of and formal conventions of design; planning and diligent study are required to create interesting global web-site designs. What? subject: Web site design on the Internet Focus: Web site design in the future. Objectives: To identify web-site designs that work, and to identify the reasons to why they work. Why? With the increasing number of web-sites that are coming online daily, in order for them to work, they are more dependent on good design for attracting readership than print is. How? By examination of the most frequently visited web-sites, and although a historical approach with reference to print in design. Section Two Design is the Answer What? Web sites need to be far better designed than anything in the print medium, due to the very interdisciplinary nature of the web-site. Why? Because a magazine with even minimum design gets its information across to the reader. You buy it because you care about the issues in its headlines, if you want more you jump inside, ‘print’ by its nature is a tactile phenonenom; touch, smell and accessibility, and it is for that reason it will never die. But web-sites are purely visual and aural, one screen at a time. Encouraging the viewer to go beyond the first layer, even learn where to go for what is required is a common problem for designers. It is their job to bring the viewer inside through the "Dance of the seven veils", and once inside, guide them, not to confuse or frustrate them. How? Web-sites that work are sites that do what you want it to do. They do not insult your intelligence, but neither do they obfuscate. They must indicate the wealth of material lying beneath the first page, but also offer you options and alternate means of approach. The answer may lie in better selling of the ‘land’ – in urban planning, to use a metaphor. The solutions to timeless internet problems – navigation, access to information – will be provided by design. Good design means; pertinent information, content, good ‘surfing’, exploring, and gathering. The designer is the Web’s real pathfinder. How does the designer achieve this goal? By drawing up an agenda for good web design. Section 3 and 4 Where does good web design come from? I believe that the principles print informed quality print design for hundreds of years and that these principles are equally valid online. TEN RULES OF DESIGN FOR THE WEB 1. Put content on every page. Design should not be decoration. It must convey information. Or entertainment. Content should come to the surface on every single level. Avoid useless and confusing icons, e.g. a navigation bar that has a? for help. Make sure the content is easy to read quickly. Break the text into smaller segments. On the web people are in a hurry. They want the information they are looking for quickly, like a dictionary, that’s still what the web is really about. 2. The first colour is white 3. The second colour is black 4. The third colour is red. This is a basic rule that has been around for 500 years. In Print white is the absence of all colours. White makes the best background. Black holds the highest contrast to white; therefore it is the first choice for text. And red draws the viewer in, and defines the image. 5. Never letterspace l o w e r c a s e When this is done the natural rhythm of the letters, so carefully designed by font designer, is ruined. In design if you look at what you do today, it should look like what you want to do tomorrow. 6. Never set a lot of text IN ALL CAPS Fonts were not intended to be all set in caps. They were intended to be upper and lowercase and to have serifs and descenders and ascenders so that they are easier to read. 7. A cover should be a poster A single image of a human being will sell more magazines than multiple images or all type. Avoid the pitfalls of ‘fads’. Design loses its power when it falls prey to what is popular now. 8. Use only one or two typefaces There are thousands of fonts on offer, this does not mean it is clever if the designer can use as many as possible at once, good design is pulled together by one or two fonts. The best combination is one light and one bold. (This seems to work with colours too). 9. Make everything as BIG as possible Type looks good in big point sizes, a bad picture always looks better bigger. 10. Get lumpy! The trouble with most web design is that it holds no great surprise. 95% of web pages have beautiful graphic homepages, followed by legions of pages that look like newsletters with stamps stapled to them. Vary the content from page to page; don’t keep to the format of picture-and-story. NINE RULES OF WHAT NOT TO DO WHEN DESIGNING WEB PAGES. 1. Don’t confuse the viewer. Keep the site consistently designed. For different pages and sections the navigation tools and graphics need to look the same throughout. Make sure the viewer knows they are on the same site when surfing your web pages. 2. Be organized with navigation. Make sure your buttons and navigational directions are simple and clear. Be consistent in these from page to page. 3. Don’t make oversize pages. Research shows that 50% of all computers used for the internet use 13" monitors, designers often use 17" – 21" monitors, ‘size matters", keep to 480x640 pixels. 4. Don’t design pages that require scrolling. This makes it painful and impossible to read in a hurry. Browsers will never scroll, they are more likely to press a button and keep going. Shorter pages break up content to bite size pieces this is more appealing to the viewer. 5. Don’t use big, slow graphics. No one wants to wait a minute for art or seven minutes for a video; the only acceptable delay when it comes to the web is no delay. 6. Go monochromatic. Monochromatic pages frankly look better and run faster. Web clutter is typified by free wheeling use of colour. Use one or two colours, not all of them. 7. Don’t overdo text. Web browsers skim and surf, if you don’t give them something quickly they absorb nothing. 8. Don’t use tiny type. It is very hard to read small type on a computer, make everything bigger than you would print. If you want to get noticed on the web make it easy and clear to read. 9. Don’t navigate by type. Navigate by image, it’s less confusing and never dull. Section 5. Conclusions What was the question? What defines a well-designed web-site? The "wow" factor – this is not cool buttons or fonts, or graphics, or audio or video, but clear, easy to read information in bite size chunks, good content, and easy to follow consist navigation. ent How do we plan a web-site that work’s? Step 1. Client requirements and Goals The Brief Strategic planning, and engineering. Step 2. Response and Refinement Trial Pages Design, Content, and marketing. Step 3. Approval The Prototype Final design testing and coding Step 4. Launch The Launch Style book, training, and quality tests. What’s it all about? Content; The internet means nothing without good stories, personalities and good direction.
The Internet will greatly alter the structure and operation of all industries. For the management of any existing business the central question is not whether the Internet will be relevant to your business, but rather what will we need to do to profit from that change (“The Internet”). The Internet is evolving many aspects of business and it creates many new business opportunities. It is developing what is called the “New Business Environment”, because it changes the way products are developed, distributed, marketed, sold, and serviced (“Business on the”). In theory, doing business over the Internet with consumers should be ideal however, many people are not comfortable with it yet. It will take a little while before most people are completely at ease and order products. First off, the Internet will provide many capabilities that will be very beneficial to a business. Some of the benefits include E-mail, Mailing Lists, UseNet, Telnet, FTP, Gopher, and of course the World Wide Web. All of these are a way to keep you informed and in touch with business associates and customers anywhere in the world (“What can the”). With an Intranet in place you’ve got an infrastructure for group applications, you don’t need to install software on everyone’s PC, they can just use their Web browser and while the main costs are in employee time, the cost of software has dropped significantly (“Put Your Own”). The effects of the Internet will take a decade or more to generally replace existing patterns of business. The Internet and its strategic impact are not technological issues, they are business ones (“The Internet”). Executives are likely to carry responsibility for whether their organization ultimately prospers or perishes in an Internet impacted world. The particular impact will differ between industries, so you need to identify the likely form of impact it will have on your industry and adopt appropriate strategies. A few threats are when using the Internet, competitors become relatively more effective, e.g. reducing costs, improving service and increasing sales impact. Also, some important customers or suppliers may have migrated exclusively to the Internet and are inaccessible in any other way. Some firms redefine the industry in a very fundamental way that threatens all existing competitors (“The Internet”). With the advent of the Internet, it has dramatically improved operational and sales effectiveness in numerous different applications. A few such areas are, on-line stockbrokers: such as E*Trade and Ceres, on-line travel agents, banks and other financial services: such as on-line banking systems, and insurance and fund management. Right now, there are many companies whose outreach is global such as Amazon.com and CD Now, soon all of the above areas will be global (Daring). Another area of the business environment that will be significantly changed due to the Internet are small firms, especially ones who wish to export. The Internet can relatively easily give small firms access to international markets, and engage in electric commerce (Cragg). However, not much is known about the use of the Internet by small firms, mainly because it is such a new method. An example of such an idea was taken advantage of by Elizabeth Botham & Sons Bakery. The bakery is located in a small town called Whitby in North Yorkshire and business is tough because it is geographically restricting and it is based in a very seasonable town. In order to do business and keep their staff hired year around the manager, Mike Jarman turned to the Internet. He found a company called Octagon Ltd., which helped him get started. Since going on the Web in 1995, the company has had over 25,000 potential customers visit the site and receives a dozen hefty orders a week (“Yorkshire Bakery”). The Web is a great distribution tool, the information you place on your Web site can be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Web can save you time and money in information distribution over traditional mail and printing methods (Daring). Rather than reading a static advertisement, your customers can go directly to their areas of interest and see an intriguing web page. They can get detailed information on your staff and services, browse your product lines, and get up to date information on what is happening in your company. One of the benefits of a web site is that your customer can respond to you directly (Shaw). Even though the Internet has many benefits, there is still a few drawbacks to this technology. First of all, communicating with clients and customers via E-mail only goes so far. It is pretty difficult to market a product over a computer, basically whatever a customer sees they get. Also, empowerment is being transferred from sellers to buyers. The Internet is decreasing the importance of a merchant’s locale and information about competing products is readily available (“Business on”). Customers cannot be swayed by a salesperson over the Internet. A benefit as well as a side effect of the Internet, is it is knocking down market entry barriers, the Internet has no borders and the company’s market is global. A small company can be just as easily found on the Internet as a large one. The biggest problem that the Internet is going to have to overcome is the fact that people are still very skeptical about making purchases over the Internet. You could get scammed and not even know it. This will change eventually when people can be comfortable with the services that it provides, but this will take some time. With the incorporation of the Internet, business have undergone many changes in the past few years. They have become more in touch with many overseas company’s and even company’s here in the US. Many industries have realized that if they don’t adjust and incorporate the Internet in some way, they may not be around for much longer. Businesses are going to be on the Internet because it represents an additional and inexpensive resource for finding customers because they can market directly with less advertising and a smaller work force (Dearth). The bottom line is that the Internet needs to focus on growing existing accounts, extending to new markets and new customers, providing better customer service, and providing a higher level of customer satisfaction. Even though this may take some time, it is going to eventually happen and I think that most people who take a chance will be very satisfied with the outcomes.
How to Go From Class-Room to Web-Room as Painlessly as Possible
1.0 ABSTRACT Getting your course onto the World Wide Web (WWW) is best done using a systematic approach. There are a number of steps that need to be taken prior to starting any of the actual web work. Meetings should be held with various groups within your institution. Once the actual coursework is begun, there are some essential components and some optional components. There are specific skills and talents that you either need to acquire or you need to access. Each web-based course is unique, but they often have many components in common. Some are essential, others may be optional. Resources can be found on your campus, from the many web companies and from the web itself.
2.0 KEY WORDS World Wide Web, WWW, Distance Education, HTML, Web-Based Instruction
3.0 INTRODUCTION The number of degree credit courses available on the World Wide Web (WWW) has increased at the same astonishing rate as other activities on the WWW. There are some specific steps that can be taken that will help to transport the professor from the idea stage to the delivery of a course over the WWW. Also, just like any other educational technology, web-based instruction works better for some situations than others. Web-based instruction is useful when you want to create a virtual environment which is not easily or, perhaps, safely accessible. An example is sending learners to a virtual nuclear lab or on a "virtual tour" of the Louver in Paris.
4.0 WEB BASED INSTRUCTION Web-based instruction it allows learners to gain knowledge and skill more effectively than traditional methods. Simply transferring material such as lecture notes to the web is not using the technology to its best advantage. Lengthy text such as lecture notes are, in fact, best printed because most learners experience eye strain and sensory disinterest reading long passages of text on a screen. Some specific situations tend to lend themselves to web-based instruction. 4.1 Encouraging Communication You want to encourage communication through conferencing. Through internet conferencing learners may participate in discussions or group work with one another with or without the participation of the instructor. Role plays, simulations of historical events and debates are also examples of how learning can be facilitated through the conferencing option. 4.2 Accessing Source Documents You want learners to use "source documents" to complete assignments such as conducting an analysis or designing a project. These source documents may not be readily available to learners or perhaps, based on the assignment, will not be equally significant to all the learners. For example, you may ask learners to research and analyze issues pertaining to Canadian elections. To complete the assignment, various learners may access archived information such as newspaper and journal articles which specifically relate to their particular interest or point of view. One example is a site operated by the University of Victoria (http://web.uvic.ca/history robinson/index.html) which contains letters, maps, biographies and newspaper articles about the murder of William Robinson committed on Saltspring Island in 1868. The information at the site allows learners and the public to pursue their research as they please and to access original documents which are not generally available. Individuals are free to interpret the meaning of the documents and reach their own conclusions. 4.3 Flexibility of Learning You want to provide maximum flexibility to allow learners to undertake learning and research in the order which best suits them. Because the web allows learners to "move around" at will, they do not need to follow a structured hierarchy. Generally learners need and want some direction but the web allows a more flexible approach. 4.4 Further Study You want learners to pool data and/or analysis to find patterns and trends or to undertake further study.
5.0 ASSUMPTIONS For a starting point and to keep us on track in this paper, I will discuss degree credit courses delivered by the University of New Brunswick. I will assume that for your case there is ready WWW web access for the professor as well as web access for students. Again, for consistency, I expect my students to have at least Netscape 3 (or its equivalent), their own internet service provider (ISP), and the skills necessary to access the WWW. These are my starting points - but most concepts discussed will transfer across institutional lines.
6.0 BEFORE YOU START YOUR COMPUTER 6.1 Steps to Take There a number of things that you should do before you begin to do any coding, contracting or late night computer hacking. There are meetings to setup, there is paper work to be done and decisions to be made. Then, and only then, do you get to "play" with the computer. 6.2 Meetings I would advise that you consider the following meetings as part of your endeavors. They will help you set the ground rules, help you avoid some of the mine-fields, and start you off on a working relationship with groups that can be either wonderful allies or formidable combatants, and hopefully help keep you on track as you work towards a finished product. 6.2.1 Your initial meeting with your own department I feel it is imperative for any relationship you and your delivering agency (Department of Extension, Continuing Education or "University of the World") to start with a good relationship with your own department. In this meeting you may need to get the approval of the supervisors of your department to be able to deliver in something other than the traditional face to face, on campus mode. Those in authority may have to guarantee the academic support for some period after the first start of delivery of the course (at UNB, the period is three years). At the University of New Brunswick, instructors delivering courses through the Department of Extension are recommended by the faculties. This is something you might also wish to discuss with your own department at this time. It is often assumed that the person(s) developing a course will be the one(s) that wish to teach the course and the one(s) that the faculty will appoint to teach the course. This is not always the case. You should also discuss possible sources of help for the development of your course. There are times when stipend relief may be available from various sources. There may also be funds available from other agencies. 6.2.2 Your first meeting with your delivering agency Having gained the approval of your faculty, you should next meet with your delivering agency. In this meeting, you should discuss the ways that they can help you in the development of your course. They may also share with you what they know about possible funding sources. As Web-based learning is different from regular face-to-face lecture learning, they will want you to make use of good instructional design methodologies. This is often an area where they can help. Here are some items you may wish to discuss at that meeting: a. possible methods of web-based delivery for your course, b. method of payment to the instructor, c. ancillary support materials and their delivery to the students, d. how the materials, assignments, marks and communications flow between parties e. liaisons with the libraries f. liaisons with Computer Services g. on-going checkpoint meetings with your delivering agency. At regularly scheduled intervals, you should meet with your delivering agency as they will wish to monitor the development of the course. Your delivering agency should be checking with you to: * keep abreast of your time lines. They need this to be able to best market your course and to see that it receives the coverage it deserves, * ensure the consistency of an Academia "look and feel" * ensure the consistency of any standards for web-based courseware development (for an example, please see http://www.unb.ca/home/webinfo/guide.html) * keep abreast of your needs and successes. These meetings are intended to insure the standards and formats consistent with the delivery of your institute's courses, and should in no way be an attempt to interfere with your teaching.
7.0 NOW YOU MAY START YOUR COMPUTER There is an ongoing debate as to whether one should do all or some of the web work oneself, or if the work should be jobbed out. I enjoy working with the web, I have instructional design training and have been involved in courseware development for quite a few years and so, as long as I have more time than financial resources, I will do the work myself. There are many very good professional agencies that can be contracted to produce courseware for you. These agencies can be contracted to do a wide range of the jobs necessary to complete any type of web-based application. There are probably agencies within your institution who specialize in instructional design and courseware development. These units should be consulted. For certain areas of the development that you do yourself, you will need some specific skills. 7.1 Skills and Talents 7.1.1 Essential Skills (Talents) You will need to be very familiar with these or will need access to people who are and can do these aspects of the job for you. 18.104.22.168 HyperText Markup Language - HTML Stands for HyperText Markup Language, and on a scale of one to ten, learning the basics of HTML is about a three. The web is a great resource (see the Resource list below), and there are a plethora of good books on the subject. I keep the most current version of Teach Yourself Web Publishing with HTML in a Week by Laura Lemay near my computer. As with all aspects of the WWW, the print support is changing constantly, but the most recent edition is usually the best. 22.214.171.124 Instructional Design Again, there a large number of excellent resources and my favorite is Jerry Kemp's The Instructional Design Process (New York: Harper & Row, 1985). It is however, out of print, and this is one case where I do think the next edition was not as good as the first. Another good choice is, Robert Branch's Common Instructional Design Practices Employed by Secondary School Teachers, Educational Technology, 34, (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology Publications, 1995). 7.1.2 Optional Skills (Talents) 126.96.36.199.1 More HTML The more familiar you become with HTML, the more you will be able to enhance your course's web site. This can be a good thing, and it can also be not so good. Adding components and extra "bells and whistles" to your web site should be done as a conscious choice to support your educational objectives and not just because the "bells and whistles" are there. 188.8.131.52.2 CGI Stands for Common Gateway Interface and is the coding that allows the information collected from forms on webs sites to be manipulated. This can be as simple as allowing students to send specific assignments to you, or can be as elaborate as on-line registration. 7.2 Components of the Web Course Every Web-delivered course will have a number of components. These will vary depending upon your needs, your style and the degree of interactivity in the course. There are some components that should be part of your site, in order to make the course appealing to your customer. I feel that some components of a web-based course are essential and others are optional. 7.2.1 Essential Components These can be divided into static and dynamic. 184.108.40.206 Static Components These components change very little. They can be put on your web site and only updated as needed. 220.127.116.11.1 The Course Description This will often come directly from your University calendar. 18.104.22.168.2 The Professor This can be as informal or as formal as you like. What kind of first impression do you wish to make? How much do you wish to add? Do you wish to link to your own personal Web site (if you have one)? 22.214.171.124.3 Prerequisites Again, this can often come from your university calendar. It is always a good point to specify any particular computing hardware, software or skills that will be required for students to be able to take your course. 126.96.36.199.4 The Text Here is a nice place to put a scanned cover of the text - along with the ISBN, the publisher and all of the information needed for your potential students to acquire this text. Here is a good place to put a link to your institute's bookstore - assuming it has a web site. 188.8.131.52.5 Communications This is where you put as much information as you can about how students can reach you. Will you have office hours? Virtual office hours? Can they reach you via Email? How do they reach each other? Is there a listserv, a secure server? 184.108.40.206.6 Grading Students all seem to want to know what they have to do to get a mark. This is a good place to tell them about assignments, quizzes, mid-terms and finals, and any other expectations you have of them. 220.127.116.11 Dynamic Components These components may change often. They might be updated, or supplemented once a week or every few days. 18.104.22.168.1 Bulletin Board This gets used much more in the first part of the class. As the class gets "into it" this seems to be used less frequently. 22.214.171.124.2 Assignments These can be placed on the web site before the class begins for all assignments, or can become readable at given times or as new assignments are given. 126.96.36.199.3 Communications Options These are the actual components of the web site that allow interactivity in the course. The real power of the WWW is global communication. And this is what makes web-based courses so exciting. Your course's communications may include any number of the following: 188.8.131.52.4 Closed Listservs These use standard Email to allow all members of the class to send and receive messages from any other member of the class, including the instructor. Messages are automatically sent to all of the individual's personal Email addresses. 184.108.40.206.5 Web Forums These are places where people can interact. Student-to-student, student-to-teacher and teacher-to-student or teacher to the entire class. These are sections on the web that students go to and are able to read messages and participate in on-line, asynchronous 'conversations.' 220.127.116.11.6 Interactive 'real time' two-way audio or video There are numerous pieces of software available now that allow desktop two-way video and audio. These tend to require very high bandwidth, and because they are 'real-time' they require the participating parties to all be on the web at the same time. 18.104.22.168.7 Marks This is a place where your marking scheme can be listed. It is also a place where you can post marks or assignments in (if you have a secure server that only your class can access). 22.214.171.124.8 Class Notes As each week progresses, or just prior to each week's work, students may need to have the equivalent of lecture notes to supplement what is covered in the text book, or what has been assigned on the web. Some web software will allow you to put the all the notes on the web site - and as certain dates arrive, students then have access to the notes. 7.2.2 Optional Components These may be essential, depending upon your requirements. 126.96.36.199 Audio clips These may be as sound files (.WAV or.AU), audio streaming (Real Audio, Soundstream, Shockwave) or MIDI files. 188.8.131.52 Animations These may be as animated.GIFs, QuickTime, Shockwave or Java applications. 184.108.40.206 Quizzes, especially "self-correcting" quizzes These may be as part of a web educational software (WebCT) or can be developed by yourself or your institution. 220.127.116.11 Case studies These may be as included as text pages or may be referenced to other sites. This is one area where copyright can really come into play. The cost of clearing copyright on a set of Harvard business case studies can be out of the question. 18.104.22.168 Video clips These may be as QuickTime© video or may be done with the new Real Video that allows real-time video streaming. 22.214.171.124 Web Database Sites These will allow you to maintain and provide access to databases over the web. 126.96.36.199 Web Tutoring Sessions These may be as simple as step-by-step instructions for any topic with branching provided to additional sites. They can also be we intelligent tutorials with on-line interactive testing. 7.3 Points to Ponder 7.3.1 Open Server An "open server" will allow anyone, anywhere on the web to access your information. 7.3.2 Secure Server A "secure server" will only allow persons with some type of authorization code to access your information.
8.0 RESOURCES (This list does not constitute an endorsement on anyone's part. These resources are a jumping off points to help you get your course on the web.) Please do not overlook the many resources on your own campus. 8.1 My resources page This site has links to courses, resources, helper sites that aid you in choosing which type and format of media to use, sites that check your HTML for errors or idiosyncrasies, and much more. http://www.unb.ca/web/wwwdev/resources.html 8.2 Conferences, on-line or face-to-face NAWeb '98 - The Virtual Campus (October 3-6, 1998). This international conference is in its fourth year. It is intended solely for those developing courseware for delivery on the WWW or for those delivering courseware over the WWW. http://www.unb.ca/web/wwwdev/naweb98/ 8.3 Books, listservs and associations Badrul Khan's Web-Based Instruction (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology Publications, 1997) is quite good. I host the WWWDEV listserv. This listserv hosts the NAWeb conferences, and has 1400 members from around the world - developing for delivery over the WWW or actually delivering courseware over the WWW. http://www.unb.ca/web/wwwdev/ The DEOSNEWS listserv is involved in all aspects of distance education. You can join that one by sending this message SUBSCRIBE DEOSNEWS your name to LISTSERV@PSUVM.PSU.EDU This is who and what they are: DEOS-L is a service provided to the Distance Education community by The American Center for the Study of Distance Education, The Pennsylvania State University. Opinions expressed are those of DEOS-L subscribers, and do not constitute endorsement of any opinion, product, or service by ACSDE or Penn State. The Canadian Association for Distance Education (CADE) can often help http://www.cade-aced.ca/ The Association for Media and Technology in Education - Canada (AMTEC) is another favorite of mine. http://www.camosun.bc.ca/~amtec/ Use every and any resource you can. Join groups for support, and support others in similar projects. This is a rapidly emerging field, and it is evolving and growing just as fast as it is emerging. 8.4 Other Here is where you add ideas you pick up at the conference.
"Beam me up, Scottie." This popular line from Star Trek was a demonstration of the advanced technology of the future. Though it was a fictional story, Star Trek became the universal vision of the future. As always reality tends to mimic fiction. Though our society has not quite resulted to living in space, we have made life easier with technology. Economic survival has become more dependent upon information and communications bringing forth new technology of which was never thought possible. Just a mere thirty years ago a computer occupied a whole room compared today’s palm sized computers, which are faster and perform more functions. Cellular phones, now light and compact, were bulky just ten years ago. The most incredible invention, the Internet, is bringing infinite amount of information to your desktop. In the world of the of the Internet there exist a world blind to skin color and other physical appearances. The Internet while still young in age has grown rapidly, spreading to countries world wide and connecting 50 million users. With its popularity, it is incumbent upon our society to recognize how the Internet works and to be aware of its advantages as well as disadvantages. While seemingly high tech the Internet concept is rather simple. Computers speak to one another and send information. This is accomplished by sending and receiving electronic impulse, and then decoding them into a message. In order to communicate with one another they are linked up in a network. They are then able to access information from thousands of other computers. The network acts like one large computer storing information in various places, rather than in one physical structure. Users tap into the Internet to access or provide information. Internet technology allows one to surf the World Wide Web or send e-mail. The vision of the Internet that would revolutionize the computer and communications belonged to JCR Licklider of MIT (Leiner n. page). In August of 1962 he envisioned a globally interconnected set of computers which would allow everyone to quickly access data and programs (Leiner n. page). A government sponsored project at Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) started in October (Leiner n. page). The race for discovery of such technology raged between the Soviet Union and The United States of America. Both countries wanted control of the possibly powerful tool. Then in 1968, The National Physical Laboratory in Great Britain set up the first test network, which prompted the Pentagon’s ARPA to fund a larger project in the USA. (Sterling n. page) However the race was not limited to just nations but also companies. In 1965, working with Thomas Merrill, Lawrence G. Roberts created the first wide-area computer ever built. These experiments proved that computers could work together running programs and retrieving data as necessary on remote machines. Roberts put together his plan for ARPANET, published in 1966. At that time he learned of Donald Davies and Roger Scantlebury of NPL and Paul Baron and others at RAND. Research at MIT (1961-1967), RAND (1962-1965) and NPL (1964-1967) while parallel had no knowledge of one another. In August of 1968 an RFQ, a refined model of ARPANET was released for the development of one of the key components, the packet switches Interface Message Processors (IMP). Bolt Beranek and Newman (BBN) installed the first IMP at UCLA and the first host computer was connected. By the end of 1969 four host computers were connected together into the initial ARPANET and the Internet was off the ground. In 1977, electronic mail was introduced. (Leiner n. page) As the Internet quickly grew, changes were necessary. The Internet’s decentralized structure made it easy to expand but its NCP did not have the ability to address networks further down stream than the destination IMP. Bob Kahn decided to develop a new version of the protocol which eventually became known as the Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol (TCP/IP). Compared to the NCP which acted as a device driver, the new protocol was more like a communication protocol. In order to make it easier to use, Host were then assigned names, replacing numbers. A group of scientist then set out to show that a compact and simple implementation of TCP was possible. They succeeded, allowing it to run on desktop computers. (Leiner n. page). Original uses of the Internet included government communications and a forum for scientist to share ideas and help one another in research. In the 1980’s the Internet grew beyond its primarily research roots to include a broad user community and increased commercial activity. In present day it has become a tool for conducting research and finding information, as well as communications with others. Electronic mail, amazingly popular, with chat rooms and discussion groups makes the Internet a popular place for meeting new people. (Leiner n. page). Perhaps the largest shift is in the profile of Internet users. In the beginning users were scientist and government officials: those highly educated and well trained. However today’s 50 million users are all ages and from all backgrounds (Why use the Internet? n. page). Access to the Internet is no longer limited and can be found just about everywhere including schools, colleges, libraries, and at home. In 1992 the Internet had a growth of twenty percent every month (Why use the Internet? n.page). A developer of the Internet said, "If the Internet stumbles, it will not be because we lack for technology, vision, or motivation. It will be because we cannot set a direction and march collectively into the future." (Leiner n. page) Clearly the Internet has brought many conveniences. Businesses and students benefit from the technology as well as those who use the Internet for personal uses. Over 50 million people used the Internet in 1995 and by the year 2000 the number is predicted to be over 150 million (Why your company should be on the Internet n. page). Fortune Magazine said, "The Internet is the biggest and earliest manifestation of the way business is going to be conducted from now on." Companies are embracing the Internet and those who do not will be left behind (Why use the Internet? n. page). The Internet opens a wider audience to companies providing customers valuable information via mailing lists. Space on the Internet is inexpensive compared to paper, radio and television advertisements, therefore companies reach a broader community with little cost (Why use the Internet? n. page). Most web users are well educated Americans with professional or technical jobs with median annual salary of $69,000, making them a prime target group. Opening a storefront online gives the advantage of always being open. The Internet is a fair playing field for large and small companies alike. Computer networks track inventory and consumer demand resulting in increased profits (Why Minnesota Students Need Access to the Internet n. page). Remote video conferencing and Internet phones allow companies to conduct live chat sessions with clients around the world. Data bases are available for public or private uses. Companies can transfer files, bulletins or e-mail via the Internet, and it is all very affordable.(Why use the Web? n.page) Students as well as commerce is benefiting from the Internet. Students need more information than is offered by school libraries. The Internet gives students access to resources from around the world. They are also more willing to sit and browse the Internet then to use the library. Information can be found, selected and retrieved faster on the Internet. Entire books can be transferred in minutes (Sterling n.page). Students find the Internet to be a viable educational tool which makes them aware of the globalism of the world rather than sheltered in the realm of the classroom. They have the option of writing to pen pals in other countries and getting to know other cultures. (MRP-Discussion n. page) The Internet also serves as a preparation tool for the future. The world is moving towards electronics: in today’s market being competitive means knowing how to get information, and more and more, it is traveling by wires. The Internet allows children to get hands on experience, and helps them develop intellectual skills and problem solving. It allows children to research information that interest them. For example, a child interested in baseball can find information on the latest statistics and read about the history of the sport. By educating themselves it opens their minds to technology. (Why Minnesota Students need access to the Internet n.page) The Internet is a popular place to socialize. Exchanging information with those far away take only seconds using the Internet. While postal mail can take days, electronic mail, or e-mail, takes seconds. Many companies offer e-mail services for free to those with access to computer with a modem. Unlike phone system and postal system there are no charges for long distance service or communication with foreign countries. E-mail and instant messages (found in programs such as America Online and ICQ) can be used to send images and software. (Sterling n. page) Internet technology has gone as far as to allow people to make new friends without any physical contact. One way to meet new people is to join an Internet discussion group. In such a group people with a common interest ask and receive advice and exchange information. Another opportunity to meet new people is in Internet chat rooms. In such rooms one can speak freely to anyone as if they were at a party. America Online users refer to relations charter though the sever as "AOL luv". Those in discussion groups and chat rooms are not limited to just Americans but open to people all around the world. The Internet is a world wide tool filled with many cultures, and different people. In this world, race is not a factor since there is no physical contact. Everyone is equal and has the freedom to express oneself. It is an institution that resists institutionalization. It belongs to everyone and yet no one, everyone sort of pitches in and it evolves on its own. There are no censors, bosses, board of directors or stockholders. The Internet is unregulated and uncensored. However, the Internet being so free and uncensored presents many problems. Acknowledgment of children using the Internet has fueled a fight for regulation. Parents can not always monitor their children, therefore the Internet needs to be a safe place for the children. Children have access to the Internet in schools, libraries, and just about everywhere. In schools it is nearly impossible for a teacher to watch all the children, and in libraries it is not the librarian’s job to monitor them. Computers and the Internet are for everyone, including children, thus it has become an immense problem. Access to pornography has been one of the greatest concerns among parents. Surprisingly, pornography is easy to access and children will. Children are naturally curious and love to explore. Minors are also targeted by advertisers. Just like on television advertisers try to lure children in with pictures and web sites which include games and chat rooms. However the biggest danger is not what they find on the Internet but who they find. The information they access is not as dangerous as the people they meet. There have been many cases of molesters and kidnappers searching for pray on-line. Nicknames are used to protect the identity of the children but can also be used to mask adults. They enter children’s chat rooms and coax the children to trust them. Nonetheless, denying the children access to the Internet is not the solution, perhaps software is. However software limiting children’s access to web pages have not been successful. In some case the software does not filter out all inappropriate pages but filters out non-objectionable pages. (Should children be kept off-line? n.page) Molesters and kidnappers are not the only people with access to the Internet we should fear. Those mischievous thinkers also pose a threat. Known as hackers or crackers, they search for vulnerable computer systems then strike. Businesses can lose trade secrets, and the damages can be a disaster. In 1996 Dan Framer, a security consultant, tested 2,000 computers networks, and of those 65% had security holes large enough for an intruder to enter (Freedman 280). Government computers are just a vulnerable as teenagers have recently demonstrated. Teenagers working out of their home with guidance from a 18 year old broke into government classified information. Though they were caught, it bought alarm to the possible dangers of information leaks. The United States’ enemies could have access to military codes and top secret files. Although the average person is not targeted by hackers they are in danger of fraud and con-artists. Stolen credit card numbers have been rumored to be a major problem. The chances of it happening are not as great as the media makes it to be, but nevertheless it is a problem. The criminals easily get away with such a crime. They get the number of a credit card and charge ridiculous bills, but by the time the bill comes they have moved on to the next victim. Many schemes come in the form of junk mail. They offer deals that sound too good to be true and chances are they fake. They only ask for a small sum of money up front, next they cash the check and move on. (Anarchy Online 98) Secure passwords can prevent hackers from accessing computers. Passwords should consist of numbers, letters and symbols: an example "P11++69." No matter how secure and high tech the computer security system, all it takes is a simple, stupid password like "hello" to render the whole system worthless. (Freedman 279) Though the Internet has its advantages it also has disadvantages, therefore users should educate oneself on the revolutionary tool. With over 50 million users the Internet is rapidly growing and is to the ‘90’s what the personal computer was to the 70’s. New usage’s are springing up everyday, making it impossible to predict the future of the Internet. One thing certain is that the Internet has revolutionized the computer and communications. "The Internet is a world wide broadcasting capability, a mechanism for collaboration and interaction between individuals without regard to geographic location."
1. The Virtual Campus (October 3-6, 1998). This international conference is in its fourth year. It is intended solely for those developing courseware for delivery on the WWW Association for Distance Education (CADE) / The Association for Media and Technology in Education - Canada (AMTEC).