The primary authors of this book are all members of the staff
of The Concord Consortium, a
nonprofit research and development organization in Concord, Massachusetts. The Consortium
is dedicated revolutionizing education through the use of information technologies:
George Collison, PhD, is the academic director of the
INTEC (International Netcourse Teacher Enhancement Coalition) Project, a suite of
professional development netcourses that support teachers who are bringing inquiry-based
approaches into their mathematics or science classrooms. Dr. Collison first articulated
the vision for INTEC, and he trained INTEC moderators to implement our successful approach
to facilitating online learning communities.
Bonnie Elbaum works with the Virtual High School
(VHS), a collaborative of high schools from around the United States that, in exchange for
contributing a small amount of teaching time, can offer their students a choice of 200+
netcourses ranging from advanced academic courses to technical and specialized
courses to augment local curriculum offerings.
Sarah Haavind designs and teaches online courses for
the Consortium, including the INTEC netcourses and a sequence of courses that support
learning the moderating techniques presented in this book.
Robert Tinker, PhD, is internationally
recognized as a pioneer in constructivist uses of educational technologies. He developed
the idea of using probes, such as the ultrasonic motion detector, for student learning
based on real-time measurements. He also was the first person to use electronic networking
to permit students to collaborate on dispersed environment investigations. The initial
result of this work was the NGS Kids Network, the first curriculum making extensive use of
student collaboration and data sharing. This early success led to the Global Lab and GLOBE
projects as well as the development of LabNet, an early use of networking to support
teachers professional development. Six years ago, Dr. Tinker founded The Concord
Consortium. His current research includes work on the educational applications of portable
computers, large-scale tests of online courses for teachers and secondary students,
sophisticated simulations, and the development of technology-rich materials for
sustainable development education.