N E W S
For Immediate Release
February 18, 2000 Contact: Karen Wilkinson (Ext. 215)
Free Online Course Introduces Families to the Internet
Jan Ison, Executive Director of Lincoln Trail Libraries System, encourages families to take advantage of a free online course called "FamiliesConnect: An Introduction to the Internet" that begins the week of March 6, 2000. "This five-lesson course is designed to help parents, grandparents, and other extended family members learn about the Internet and how to use it with children and their information needs," said Ison. "Anyone with Internet access and a basic understanding of e-mail can register for the course." The deadline for course registration is March 5.
FamiliesConnect is the parent/extended family component of a technology initiative called "ICONnect," developed by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), a division of the American Library Association. ICONnect was originally established to train school library media specialists to use the Internet as a meaningful curriculum tool.
"FamiliesConnect: An Introduction to the Internet" was written by Helen Adams, media specialist at Rosholt (Wis.) High School, and Catherine Beyers, media specialist at LaCrosse (Wis.) Elementary School.
The first of five weekly lessons will be delivered to registrants via e-mail during the week of March 6. Lessons will be posted simultaneously each week on the FamiliesConnect Web site at http://www.ala.org/ICONN/familiesconnect.html.
The first lesson provides a brief history of the Internet, defines terms related to Internet use, and describes 12 ways families can use the Internet together including making travel plans and visiting virtual museums. The second lesson is an overview of ways to find information on the Internet including using a variety of search tools, homework sites, ICONnect's KidsConnect service and subscription-based services such as online encyclopedias. E-mail and the way it has changed the way people communicate is the topic of the third lesson. The fourth lesson addresses privacy concerns, child safety, the use of the Internet in schools and the pros and cons of home Internet filtering programs. The fifth and final lesson covers criteria for evaluating Web sites, intellectual property rights and citing information found on the Internet.
Each lesson features recommended sites related to its topic that will be accessible via a Web page created specifically for the course. Recommendations for books and other materials for more in-depth information are also included in the lessons.
Send an e-mail message to: email@example.com
As the subject of the message, type: subscribe
As the first and only line of text in the body of the message, type: subscribe FAMILIES Your Name. For example: subscribe FAMILIES Jane Doe
Contact ICONnect at ICONnect@ala.org if a confirmation message is not received within 24 hours. Do not send registration messages to the ICONnect@ala.org address.
To register, America Online (AOL) users must set their Parental Controls to accept e-mail from the "ala.org" domain. If this is not done, AOL will automatically block delivery of the confirmation message and all of the lessons. AOL will also block any attempt to respond to a message sent to ICONnect@ala.org. Contact AOL if assistance is needed in adjusting Parental Controls. Other Internet service providers may have child safety features similar to AOL's Parental Controls that would also need to be set to accept e-mail from the "ala.org" domain.
ICONnect receives financial support from Follett Library Resources, The Gale Group, Winnebago Software Corporation, Linworth Publishing, Grolier Publishing, Brodart Books and Brodart Automation. Learn more about the ICONnect technology initiative by visiting the ICONnect Web site at http://www.ala.org/ICONN.
Founded in 1966, Lincoln Trail Libraries System has headquarters in Champaign and is one of 12 regional library systems in the state of Illinois. The System serves 7 academic, 53 public, 44 school, and 17 special libraries in Champaign, Clark, Coles, Douglas, Edgar, Ford, Iroquois, Piatt, and Vermilion counties. Lincoln Trail is committed to excellence in library service and facilitates and promotes collaboration and cooperation which empowers information agencies to improve and expand access to and delivery of information resources.