James L. Morrison

Our students are entering a world in which 60% of the jobs will require technological competency--a world in which they must continue to update their occupational and technological skills in order to be successful. We must enable them to become technologically competent. We must take advantage of the capacity of technology to enhance our traditional classroom presentations and to engage our students in active learning.

The goal of Technology Tools for Today's Campuses is to provide you with informative, sometimes intimate, accounts of colleagues who have agreed to share with others their encounters with using technology in their classes. No one has all the answers to all the questions regarding use of technology in instruction. However, the following collection of 72 articles, presented in seven sections, includes important and useful information that you can use in deciding if you want to use such tools as listservs, e-mail, the World Wide Web (WWW), or multi-user domains (MUDs) in your teaching. Each article has links to such illustrative material as syllabi, student papers written on the Web, and reference sites. You will be able to see all links by connecting to the Web when viewing the CD.


We have chosen to organize this CD by subject area so that if you teach a chemistry course or a math course, you can go to the science and mathematics section and see how fellow professors of these subjects have incorporated technology in their instruction. If you teach English, you can go to the language section. If you teach sociology, you can go to the social science section. If you teach in a teacher education program, you can go to the section on professional schools. In addition, we have sections that focus on instructional technology or on technological tools per se and we have a section where the articles focus on change and technological innovation in education.

We have an alternative organization for the CD where we have placed the articles under type of productivity tool used. For example, a number of articles describe how to use presentation software to enhance lectures (e.g., Pence, Peterson); others on how to use e-mail, newsgroups, and listservs (e.g., Pacheco, Holeton, Grandjean-Levy), or Web-based chat-forums (e.g., Merola). A number of authors describe how to incorporate the Web, which displays multimedia documents in color and allows students to upload and download multimedia files with ease (e.g., Brooks, Isbell, Lasarenko, Grandjean-Levy, Liu et al., Walters). Some authors explain how technology has improved the quality of their students' writing in that when students know that their writing will be available for anyone in the world to view, they seek critique and are willing to rewrite their drafts several times (e.g., Keenan, Morrison, Simard). Other authors describe how to use MOOs and MUDs (e.g., Liu et al., Keenan, Merola) and Internet Relay Chats (e.g., Mathis) that allow students to connect synchronously with distant writing partners, regardless of the platform or software package they are using. Several authors tell how they have students create Web pages (e.g., Dennison, Woodlief). Klonoski explains how he teaches students to evaluate on-line information resources.

A number of authors (e.g., Krygier et al., Matthews, Pacheco, Peterson, Russ, Seeburg, Simard) describe how they use multimedia tools in their instruction. Shaw illustrates how he replaced a series of math lectures by using a computer-assisted learning program and Perez, Cann, Seeburg, Berge and Geeslin describe how they use this tool. Elsea, Pence, and Roy describe how they use computer simulations, laserdiscs, and videotapes in their teaching. Jones and Graziadei et al., tell how they use computer-mediated tools, Englebardt describes her use of discussion boards in her classes (with "visiting experts"), Russ discusses his use of CD ROMs, and Liu et al. discuss the utility of desktop video conferencing.

How This CD Evolved

James Ptaszynski, Strategic Relations Manager, Higher Education Group at Microsoft, asked me as a Microsoft Scholar to develop and edit a CD that Microsoft would publish and distribute to faculty. I drafted a call for manuscripts, and with Jim's approval, distributed it to a number of lists that focused on integrating technology in education. In addition, I posted the call on Horizon Home Page. Prospective authors first submitted proposals for acceptance and wrote a first draft that we posted on Horizon Home Page. At the end of each article, we posted a link to the CD Discussion Board (described by Roger Akers) to facilitate discussion of articles as we progressed. Some authors posted their first drafts on their own Web site; others sent their manuscripts either by disk or, most often, via e-mail. We edited and posted all drafts on Horizon Home Page. We wrote our questions about references, abstracts, organization in bold type on the posted manuscript and e-mailed authors to respond. Toward the end of the project, we did one final on-line edit, then printed a copy of each article for a "paper edit." At each stage of the process I would send out a note to the author listserv requesting authors to check their revisions and send me either confirmation of our edits or corrections they wished to make, right up to the date of publication. This process worked well, and quickly.

The process also allowed remarkable flexibility. For example, toward the end of the project I saw a posting by Dorothy Frayer to Steve Gilbert's AAHESGIT List that fit this publication. I immediately phoned her and said that with an abstract and introductory paragraph, the posting would be an excellent contribution to Technology Tools on Today's Campuses. By return e-mail, she sent a formatted, revised posting as an attachment; all we had to do was use Word's Internet Assistant to save it as an HTML document and include it in the publication. Our phone conversation was at 12:30; by 2:30 I had the attachment, by 3:15 it was on our site and I had e-mailed Dorothy to look it over for corrections or additions. Within 24 hours we had a completed article on our Web site.


Assembling this CD has been a labor-of-love for me as editor, for my assistants (Blanche Arons, K. C. Brown, Eric Chernoff, Todd DeVries, Hiram Enriquez, Noel Fiser, Bascha Harris, and Jon Lillie), and for our sponsor at Microsoft, James Ptaszynski. Before beginning the preface, I asked myself what reasons you would have for reading Technology Tools for Today's Campuses. Would it be because your institution expects you to incorporate technology in your instruction? Would it be because you already use technology and want to see how colleagues in your own and in other disciplines are using these tools? Would it be because you have tried to integrate technology in your teaching and have had difficulty?

It is our hope that Technology Tools for Today's Campuses has provided answers to such questions as those above. Moreover, it is our hope that the information has served to whet the appetites of those who were reluctant or borderline-enthusiastic to use technological tools in their instruction. If you have questions of any author, a response is a click away (provided that you are viewing this CD while connected to the Web). I encourage you to take advantage of this technology to widen acquaintances and explore how you can use productivity tools to become a more effective teacher. Enjoy.

James L. Morrison
Chapel Hill, NC
May 1997