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A listserv is an Internet mailing list that you can subscribe to at no charge. Messages automatically come to your e-mail in-box. There will be three addresses with a listserv that you need to know for participating. The first is the e-mail address where you send your subscription to join. The second is the e-mail address where you will send mail to the list after you join. The third is instructions for getting OFF of a listserv when you no longer want to receive mail from this list (unsubscribe). IMPORTANT: Be sure that you know how to unsubscribe to remove your name from the list.
Instructions can be confusing and different for each type of listserv. Read the instructions completely for subscribing and unsubscribing. If you try to join but get a message that you have done something wrong, you can hit the reply button and type the word “help” in the message area. Recommendation: Print out the instructions page for each listserv you are joining and keep these in a folder for future reference. You will find the instructions either as a part of the confirmation message when you subscribe or in the printed material that gave you the e-mail address to subscribe.
After you have successfully subscribed, you will automatically begin receiving copies of all messages that are addressed to the group.
You can get an idea of the range of listservs available by exploring:
Never been on a listserv? Subscribing to one of the nine mailing lists at Education World may be a good place to begin. These mailing lists are newsletter type rather than subscriber message exchanges.
The International Reading Association maintains six listservs labeled Online Discussions. One of these is the Reading Teacher Listserv (RTEACHER), which is the message exchange type.
The listserv may also have a URL where messages are archived. If so, you can follow a message and its responses (thread). You can explore past exchanges of the Reading Teacher Listserv as follows.
A newsgroup is a discussion about a particular topic. USENET is the portion of the Internet that handles most of the newsgroups. Messages do not automatically come to you as e-mail. You participate by going to the newsgroup rather than messages coming to you. A newsgroup may or may not be moderated, and is only as good as its contributors. Some groups will have numerous junk-mail messages, and there will be some misinformation in individual messages in many groups.
A good analogy for a newsgroup is a bulletin board where an individual tacks up a note, and then other readers tack their messages along side the original. When using a newsgroup you can read as much or as little of a posted message and responses as you wish, respond to the author, and/or post a new comment or request to be read by anyone else accessing the newsgroup.
Your Internet browser probably contains a News Reader to access newsgroups. The procedures and settings differ somewhat depending on your browser and version. The browser must be connected to a server configured to access a USENET site directly. Access and costs will depend on your Internet provider. Teachers who would like to examine a newsgroup, can ask the network knowledgeable person in your building for help. For background, explore the following sites and their links, but note that references are not current.
A chat site is a virtual meeting place where the people who are online at the same time can exchange messages in real-time. Many of the worthwhile education chat rooms have regularly scheduled meeting times on specific topics.
You can get an idea of the range of chatrooms available by exploring:
Instant messages resemble a cross between a chat room and e-mail. You send a text page similar to e-mail, but the message is immediately displayed on the recipients screen so it is in real-time similar to a chat room. Unlike e-mail, you cannot save or forward the messages.
You can get an idea of the mechanics of instant messaging by exploring:
Blog or weblog
A blog, or weblog,.is a personal journal posted publicly on the Internet for anyone to read. Dated new entries written informally in a log format reflect the authors thoughts. Often there is an opportunity for the reader to respond. The blog can become more of a moderated discussion if readers are actively participating with their own comments. A wiki is similar, but users can edit the content of others.
You can see the wide range of content for which blogs are being used by exploring:
Download pdf file listing of sites for Profession Dialogue for handout or filing.
Note: Links are to other sites. Content may have moved or no longer align with the description by Merry Bee.
© 2003-2005, Mary Berry.
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