ERIC Number: ED360971
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Two Cans and a String: A Metaphor for Electronically-Supported Conversation in Collaborative Instruction.
Koschmann, T. D.
Collaboration in the classroom is a major theme of educational reform today. Electronically-supported conversation (ESC) is one way of using technology to support collaboration in the classroom. ESC offers several instructional benefits over simple spoken discourse. We describe a simple model ("two cans and a string") for how ESC could work in the classroom. A software program entitled "e-talk" implements the "two cans and a string" model. The features of the program are described, and techniques are presented to demonstrate how the program works. Several examples are provided of instructional activities based on ESC using the e-talk program. E-talk is not the first program developed for ESC; nor is ESC the only way of supporting collaborative work in the classroom through groupware. Nonetheless, the paper presents arguments for two claims. First, it is argued that ESC may provide benefits not only in teaching writing, but also in collaborative teaching in general. Second, the model underlying e-talk (i.e., "two cans and a string") is sufficiently flexible to serve as a basis for further experimentation into the uses of ESC in collaborative instruction. Four figures illustrate the discussion. (Contains 31 references.) (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A