Bringing the Internet Into the Classroom
International and long distance education collaboration has come a long way since Yvonne Marie Andres’ first foray in project-based learning.
A 2017 inductee into the Internet Hall of Fame, Andres was one of the first to develop and utilize online learning programs for students and educators. Among the education initiatives she helped develop are Global SchoolNet, Global Schoolhouse, the International Cyberfair and the U.S. State Department-backed Doors to Diplomacy Program.
Although web-based collaboration has now become second nature for many teachers, it was a challenging sell for Andres in the early days. Few school districts had internet access in the early 1980s and even fewer teachers were trained on how to use the new technology. The handful that did have the necessary computer skills needed additional coaching to be able to fully utilize the new tool at their finger tips, she said in a recent video interview.
“We needed to move them from the pen pal mentality to deeper learning and deeper collaboration, teamwork and building projects,” she said.