Existing & Projected Use:In August of 1994, Kent State University, under the direction of Dr. Harold Johnson (Co-Director of the K.S.U. Deaf Education Teacher Preparation Program) established a Deaf Education "Gopher" (i.e., text only) Internet site. The site was designed to serve as a centralized repository for information concerning the instruction of deaf/hard-of-hearing (d/hh) students. In June of 1995, the "Gopher" site was changed to a "Web" (i.e., text, graphics and hyper-links) site and expanded to become the "Council on the Education of the Deaf (CED) Deaf Education Web Site" ("www.educ.kent.edu/deafed"). During the course of the last six months (i.e., from August '96 through January '97), 106,200 files have been downloaded, or read, from the site by individuals from over forty countries throughout the world. The accessed information was developed by K.S.U. Deaf Education majors and included a wide range of materials from instructional strategies, curriculum materials, pertinent Internet sites, to employment opportunities for educators of d/hh students. Nine other deaf education teacher preparation programs (i.e., programs at Converse College, Canisius College, Lamar University, Flagler College, University of North Carolina, Fountboune College, University of Tennessee, Texas Women's College & Smith College) have agreed to collaborate with the Kent State program in gathering, searching and sharing deaf education information on the Net. In each case, preservice teachers will be used to:
- recognize, describe and share the expertise of their mentoring teachers;
- search for information and materials requested by their teachers;
- assist their teachers in their understanding and use of the Net;
- implement Internet based activities for d/hh students; and
- share the resulting information through Web pages placed in the CED Web site ("www.educ.kent.edu/deafed").
With the support of program faculty and mentoring teachers, the resulting information will be used to:
- reduce interpersonal and informational isolation;
- increase instructional effectiveness and curricular opportunities;
- recognize, share and build upon proven instructional designs;
- enhance the professional development of preservice teachers and the ongoing professional growth of experienced teachers; and
- share educational successes and collaborative on educational problems.
In this manner, mentoring teachers will receive support and recognition, preservice teachers will be better prepared to assume their instructional duties and faculty will research and describe the impact of Net-based activities upon instructional design and student performance. At the same time, the entire field of Deaf Education will benefit from this work through access and use of the resulting resources at the CED Web site ("www.educ.kent.edu/deafed").