The Internet Letters

By Dianne Lewis

In the last issue, I asked for support to establish lobby groups to ensure that Australian schools have free or cheap access to this information network, as do our counterparts in North America and Europe. Recent development suggest that access to the Internet is likely to become more expensive in 1995, and most Australian schools have not even had a taste of it.

I received responses to my article from colleagues in Victoria, Queensland and NSW. If you are interested in being part of a lobby group to ensure that school libraries do not miss the boat, please contact me.

Dear Dianne,

I write in response to your article on Access to the Internet.

As a private citizen, I log on to a number of computer bulletin boards in Sydney which gives me access to the InterNet (sic) for sending and receiving mail. These connections operate on the "Store and Forward" principle where other computer hobbyists who operate the bulletin board systems have gateways to the Internet. As principal of this school, and as the computer co-ordinator, I am in the process of setting up a small computer bulletin board system which can be accessed by students within the school over the local network, as well as by other students, staff and members of the communities of other schools in the local area. Eventually I hope to link this BBS with FidoNet and Kl 2NET, not as good as the InterNet (sic), though.

Like you, I read with envy in the K12 Net Teacher Chat forum about teachers in the U.S. and Canada having InterNet (sic) in-services in their schools with the result of a huge increase in the use of the technology as students and teachers send mail, chat in conferences, and more importantly, access to the InterNet (sic) news, databases and file transfers I access possibilities.

Unfortunately the "Information Superhighway" is still rather a dirt track, but it is surprising that teachers who have not been excited by word-processing, desktop publishing and the like, are really excited by the possibilities of the InterNet (sic) and are prepared to go to great lengths to grapple with the initial complexities.

U.S. Vice President, Al Gore's commitment to getting the InterNet (sic) to all schools and public libraries (amongst other aims) should be matched here inAustralia. If there is any lobbying to be done, I'd love to be a part of it.

Jim Norman
Grenfell Public School

Dear Dianne,

I was very interested to read the article, "Access to the Internet", in Connections, Issue No. 9. As a teacher-librarian, I believe that it is very important that students have full Internet access as current information is often required in a wide variety of fields. This service needs to be provided to schools at a reasonable cost. I would like to know who and how to lobby for access for schools.

I look forward to your reply.

Yours sincerely,

Jenny Krassnig
Senior Teacher-Librarian
Anglican Church Grammar School

Dianne Lewis