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Communication matters
 Ethnography and Education in the States
 Learning by correspondence revisited:
 Let's be "elitist" for entering the Jobless Society
 Mailbox, Or The Importance Of Being In Quest
 Computers and Power in School environments
 SOCRATES MAILBOX, a European Project
 Potentials and Constraints of ICT in Schools
 Does telematic communication follow rules of "primitive" societies ?


Communication matters, learning at school in a wired world
by J. Jenkins, CIDE

Ethnography and Education in the States: a Tentative Mapping (L'éthnographie en éducation aux Etats Unis: une première cartographie); by Y. Winkin, Professor at the Liège University Belgium), Director of the Anthropology of Communication Laboratory (Laboratoire d'Anthropologie de la communication)

The paper wants to sketch the development of the "ethnography in education" in the United States in the 70's and 80's, arguing that this pole of research deserves to be better known in Europe. In order to lay out what is called in the paper an "intellectual landscape", data are tapped from the conference "Ethnography and Education: Children In and Out of School",, which was held in April 1979 at the Graduate School of Education of the University of Pennsylvania. The conference gathered three types of participants: teachers and heads of school, education officials, research scholars (anthropologists, linguists, educational psychologists). Even Margaret Mead was present. A close-up analysis of the debates, publics and institutional context of the conference offers a tangible approach to the study of the actors and the ideas of the American "ethnography in education" landscape. As the saying goes: "Conferences are history of science in real time".

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Learning by correspondence revisited: a report on the Socrates Mailbox Project, by Janet Jenkins

With increased access to electronic mail, communication by correspondence has a new and important role in distance education. The paper focuses on children as learners, and considers the effects of electronic correspondence on their learning. It will focus particularly on interpersonal communication skills, group dynamics, intercultural communication, expression skills, integration strategies, the relation of learning to time and place. It will draw conclusions relevant to the integration of new learning technologies into the classrooms of tomorrow.
The paper is based on the preliminary findings of the Socrates MAILBOX observatory project. The project is examining the use in schools of electronic mail, computer conferencing, electronic forums, Internet and the World Wide Web. It covers schools in 6 countries. The paper will report on preliminary findings from one country, the United Kingdom, but will be supplemented through oral reporting at the Conference. By then, it should be possible to provide an initial comparison of results from the six countries.

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Let's be "elitist" for entering the Jobless Society, by Eric Barchechath, Contribution Paper, Open Classroom II Conference, Crete, September 1997

Usually when discussing on technology and learning we mostly discuss on "potential": widen access, freeing from time and space both the learner and the teacher, learner rhythm and learning path, etc. I feel that doing so we are restraining the scope and playing the game of a sort of self-censorship which results on restricted perspectives. Based on my experience within the SOCRATES-MAILBOX project I would like to share some views in respect to two issues that are "political", political by nature and also because they require political involvement to be implemented:

 An economic and organisational sort of issue concerns the production techniques that are used in education and their change.
 A social and ethno-methodological issue related to the present situation of unemployment and the need to re-orient education itself.

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Mailbox, Or The Importance Of Being In Quest: an ethnographic study of information and communication technologies in European schools; by R. Magli

Questioning the relationship between Computers and Power in School environments: An Ethnographic Approach; by R. Magli

(An abstract precedes the paper)

SOCRATES MAILBOX, a European Project, two articles published in French (in Mac or PC pdf format) in Informatique Informations - the Newsletter about ICT and Education of the Geneva educational system - vol 33, June 1997 and vol 34, November 1997; by Dagmar Hexel, Olivier de Marcellus, Marc Bernoulli, Research Associates at the Center for Pedagogical Research - CRPP - of the Geneva Department of Education, Switzerland.

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Potentials and Constraints of ICT in Schools, by Dagmar Hexel, Olivier de Marcellus, Marc Bernoulli, currently submitted for publication.

How are electronic communication technologies used in school? In what ways do they impact on learning? How can teachers best deploy them to support classroom delivery? How can they be used to improve the quality of teaching and learning? Do these technologies contribute, and how far, to develop the learners' social and communication skills? These questions (and some more) were raised by the Socrates' Mailbox project. The present article provides an overview of the observational study carried out by the Swiss partners of the project. It points out that the use of ICT remains for the time being restricted to a small number of classes run by teachers who are at one in favour of open learning situations and technically competent. The observations focus on the objectives pursued by the teachers and tend to show that even these "pioneers" neglect some essential conditions for attaining them successfully.

A version of this article is available in French, under the title of: Splendeurs et servitudes de la télématique. Download it in rtf, pdf or ps formats.

Timewarp: Does telematic communication follow rules of "primitive" societies ? (Messagerie et formes traditionnelles d'échange social: une esquisse); by Dagmar Hexel, Olivier de Marcellus, Marc Bernoulli, Research Associates at the Center for Pedagogical Research - CRPP - of the Geneva Department of Education, Switzerland.

Exchanges of e-mail between school pupils strangely resemble ritual exchanges of traditional societies.

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