Teacher Perceptions of PSInet as a Computer Teleconferencing Network for the Improvement of Science and Mathematics Education
Day, Dennis Paul
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This is a descriptive study of two small groups of educators in Iowa during the 1991-92 and 1992-93 school years. The researcher examined the use of People Sharing Information network (PSInet) by "new user" educators. PSInet is an asynchronous teleconferencing network that provides modifiable conferencing and private messaging to network users. The participants were surveyed using "Likert-type" survey questions and discussion questions to determine ease of setting up computer hardware, learning to use the software and network, applicability to the teaching/learning processes, and difficulties encountered by the "new user" educators. Analysis of responses suggests teachers are more apt to promote student use than self use, are more likely to use telecommunication via PSInet to communicate locally than long distances, and are more likely to communicate within their own school system than with sources outside the system. Results suggest asynchronous teleconferencing using PSInet is easy to set up and use, and is applicable to those teaching/learning projects that could benefit by sharing data gathered in several different locations, and projects requiring collaboration among individuals geographically remote to one another. Indications are PSInet provides accessibility to near or distant colleagues and other professionals with ease. Problems associated with applying PSInet to the teaching/learning process seem to be related to educator time constraints and adapting the structure of teaching/learning processes to make use of the technology.