Sam Saunders' internet insights;Briefing;Research Focus

29th January 1999 at 00:00
A lot of teachers are now involved in action research (even if they don't use the term itself). What the Internet adds to the action is an opportunity to share and discuss the results without the long formalities of academic publishing. Links with higher education can also be part of the process. The Canterbury Action Research Network, (CANTARNET) hosted by Christ Church College Canterbury at http:www.cant.ac.ukdepts acadteachedcantarnetcantarnet.htm is a lively example of what can be done. Two issues of The Enquirer appear on the website each year. In the most recent issue Penny Skoyles, a teacher from Tunbridge Wells, gives an account of her first research steps using the Internet. Jill Oliphant-Robertson of Angley School, Cranbrook, Kent, describes an experimental values forum, conducted with her three Year 9 religious education classes. News of CANTARNET conferences, activities and interests appear in a regularly updated bulletin.

* Information gateways provide some of the support that researchers need to find useful resources on the Internet. Contributors to higher education's Electronic Libraries Programme http:www.ukoln.ac. uk serviceselib have been conducting a lively debate about how such help is best organised and what services it should provide.

For their part, education professionals can use at least three good UK-based gateways and form their own view of which best fills their needs. SOSIG at Bristol is the social science gateway, with an education section. The address is http:www.sosig.ac.uk BUBL is a well-known general gateway that has education links. It is at http:www.bubl.ac.uk NISS at http:www.niss.ac.uk has lots of useful lists and regularly helps me to remember where school performance tables and reports by the Office for Standards in Education are to be found. Further education college addresses and school postcodes can also be traced very quickly. Once you have used these gateway sites, it is harder to complain that the web is chaotic.

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