New guide helps teachers harness the teaching power of the Internet

April 20, 1999 -- Schenectady, NY -- Teachers using the Internet as a resource at home and in the classroom have a distinct advantage over teachers who do not. A new reference guide available from Genium Publishing Corporation is designed to level that playing field. The Internet Pocket Guide for Teachers, by George Cassutto, helps teachers get connected to the Internet, comfortably up to speed using it, and then shows them how to use it in class projects. It is especially beneficial for teachers who are not computer literate or are concerned about protecting students from the dark side of the Internet.

Following an easy-reading, conversational question-and-answer style, the Internet Pocket Guide starts off with the basics of Internet connectivity and simple navigational tips. Examples that readers can follow online as they read help illustrate these basic principles. In just a few pages, even the most phobic reader will be quickly online and comfortably surfing the net.

What sets the Internet Pocket Guide for Teachers apart from other how-to references is its in-depth look at issues specific to the needs of teachers. A frank discussion helps readers understand the "dark side" of cyberspace and outlines suggested practice and policy for student use of the Internet. A directory lists the best educational sites by subject, pointing teachers in the right direction. Solid advice is offered for integrating the Internet into the classroom, including a step-by-step example of a classroom Internet project. The Guide also provides basic tips for communicating with other teachers via e-mail and mailing lists. You can go to http://www.genium.com/ipgt/ to view an online sample of the book.

"We feel there is a great need for a publication of this type" said Michael Cinquanti, President of Genium. "Nearly every classroom in the country is wired for the Internet, yet just over half of our teachers are actually using this phenomenal resource in their classrooms. That leaves a lot of teachers, and unfortunately a lot of students, who are unable to benefit from Internet access. We published this guide to help close the gap between teacher computer literacy and available Internet access."

Schools will find the Guide extremely useful as a handout during Internet training sessions or as the basis for in-service workshops. It also makes a valuable addition to new teacher orientation packets. Copies made available by librarians, media specialists, or other Internet gatekeepers can help quickly answer teachers' questions.

The Internet Pocket Guide for Teachers was written by George Cassutto, a net-savvy social studies teacher at North Hagerstown (MD) High School. Introduced to the Internet at an educators conference held at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1994, George caught the bug and has been busy ever since integrating this new technology into his teaching. Mostly self-taught, he has applied his considerable Internet expertise to helping students create the North Hagerstown HS web site and now finds his teaching assignment shifting toward computer instruction. Because of his unique position, Cassutto is able to write from the teachers' perspective and avoids the extraneous computer-ese normally found in a book of this scope.


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