K-12 Echomail

GENERAL TAGNAME CONVENTIONS: *ALL* echoes with the "K12_" (underscore) prefix are "public" which means they are to be readable by the general public. K12Net System Operators are encouraged to identify their users before granting them "write" access. Echoes with the "K12." (period) prefix are "private" and access is to be restricted as described below.


General comments: The "core" echoes are meant to approximately correspond with traditional subject areas typically found in Kindergarten thru senior high schools.


(Sysops, please try to reflect the curricular "flavor" of these echoes in your menus as much as possible. We suggest you include the word "education" in your menu options to indicate that, for example, K12_SCI_ED is not for discussing general concepts of science, but, rather, the process of educating students ABOUT science as a curricular area. Also try to emphasize that these echoes are for ALL grade levels from K-12---some elementary people may feel excluded--)

tagname       Suggested menu description (in upper case)
-------       -----------------------------------------
                --MAIN SUBJECT AREA ECHOES--
K12_ART_ED    ARTS & CRAFTS EDUCATION (excluding music)
K12_COMP_LIT  COMPUTER EDUCATION: Technical assistance and
              exchange for computer educators and students.
K12_LIF_SKIL  LIFE SKILLS EDUCATION; Home economics, career skills, 
              legal issues, safety education.
K12_LANG_ART  LANGUAGE ARTS EDUCATION: reading, writing, literature,
                grammar, composition, etc.
                Sciences, etc.
K12_SPEC_ED   COMPENSATORY EDUCATION: learning disabled, etc.
K12_TAG       TALENTED & GIFTED EDUCATION: challenges specific
              to educating intellectually and/or artistically 
              gifted students.
K12_TECH_ED   TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION: Robotics and engineering,
              industrial & manufacturing technologies, drafting, 
              design, CAD/CAM, and Vocational Education.

                --FOREIGN LANGUAGE ECHOES--

ASCII only for all echoes--keyboard characters only: emphasis on 
            communication in non-native language.

K12_FRANCAIS  French-only discussion for level 1 students. 
K12_RUSSIAN   Russian language discussion.
K12_SPAN_ENG  Spanish-English "practice" echo. Native Spanish speakers 
              are urged to correspond in English and native-English 
              speakers are urged to write in Spanish providing exciting, 
              interactive "practice" for beginning and intermediate-
              level students.
K12_GERM_ENG  Same format as K12_SPAN_ENG but for German language

                  --ANCILLARY PUBLIC ECHOES--

K12_ELE_CHAT   ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CHAT: All-purpose chat echo for K-6
K12_JR_CHAT    MIDDLE SCHOOL CHAT: All-purpose chat echo. Grades 7&8
K12_SR_CHAT    SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL CHAT: All-purpose chat echo. 9-12

                  --RESTRICTED ACCESS ECHOES--

K12.SYSOP      K12.SYSOP: **This is for sysops-ONLY**. For discussion
                    of network operation, coordinating echo
                    installation and distribution, technical
                    problems with system software & hardware, etc.
                    SYSTEM OPERATION. Do NOT allow non-sysops in here!
                    Direct all other conversation to K12.TCH_CHAT.
K12.TCH_CHAT   TEACHER CHAT: **For ALL professional educators ONLY**
                    This is an all-purpose CHAT echo with emphasis
                    on the design and evolution of K12net. I suggest
                    you provide access through "flags", or security
                    levels in individual user accounts.
                    educators.** For the discussion of various
                    curriculum-driven, classroom projects,
                    advertising for "partners" for specifc projects,
                    etc. Suggest user account level access. Note
                    that K12.CH0 is for administration of projects
                    currently in progress.
K12_NEWS       K12Net NEWS (all should read): A place for
                     announcements at the network level.                     
                     ****Configure this for READ ONLY****
                     The Editor of the K12news is the ONLY person
                     authorized to post in this echo. This is
                     the only echo in K12net which is not open
                     to discussion. Please direct all discussion
                     to another echo.

(Note: please see the separate file which describes the "Channel" echoes. You must carry ALL of the above echoes to be eligible to carry the "Channels". See also the file "moderate" for a list of individuals who are responsible for each of these conferences, as well as the general guidelines for "echomail etiquette".)

Why Use K-12?


K12Net is a "window to the world." It allows you to transcend rural isolation and community colloquialism by freely, conveniently and inexpensively conversing with people in Canada, Hawaii, Sweden, or Australia. You will develop friendships, explore other cultures, gather insight and exchange opinions with other people all over the world. You will become a bona fide member of the "Global Village".

K12Net provides a vehicle for wide area collaborative classroom projects using telecommunications. Use K12Net to jointly gather data and draw conclusions about the distribution of acid rain across North America. Publish a classroom-based "electronic newsletter" for immediate international distribution. Compare fast food prices in a multitude of different currencies throughout the world and develop theories as to the economic reasons for their variations.

K12Net lets you "rub professional elbows" with other professional educators throughout the world. Find out how educators in the next school district, state or nation are using technologies, materials and methodologies to improve education. Discover why the "movers and shakers" in the educational world meet here to gather and explore new ideas and concepts.

K12Net is a "great equalizer". Online discussions transcend social stigmas based on age, learning disabilities or other handicapping conditions which might otherwise tend to limit dialogue. No one needs to know that you may be 12 years old or in a wheel chair or have dyslexia. All anyone else will see is your words.....

K12Net is an information-gathering facility. The online world is particularly well suited for asking "Say, does anyone know...." questions to large groups of people who converge in a wide variety of topic areas.

Moderate K-12

The strength and continued popularity of K12Net depends upon its identity as a significant collection of educationally-related conferences. To this end, each echo is "animated" by an educator who is familiar with the subject matter, sensitive to the needs of new users, and adept at steering conversation in an educationally appropriate environment.

A "topic sentence" for ALL of these "core" echoes is as follows:

====================================================================== The purpose of this conference is to provide a meeting place for international discussion of educational processes, information, materials, technologies or content WHICH ARE SPECIFICALLY APPLICABLE to its named curriculum area AND WHICH RELATE TO elementary and secondary education ONLY. All teachers, students and parents are invited to participate and to assist in the enforcement of these basic "common sense" guidelines:


1. STAY ON TOPIC. If you are in the k12_music echo, don't talk about politics or the weather. Stick to music and performing arts education. This a generic guideline. The moderator of a particular conference should indicate its scope.

2. DON'T INTRUDE. If you are an adult and the echo is intended for kids, refrain from making any comments except perhaps to encourage or help the intended users.

3. DON'T RESPOND TO INAPPROPRIATE MESSAGES. This compounds the problem. Instead, tell your Sysop about it in a local message area. Leave the moderation to the Sysops and echomail conference moderators.

4. AVOID PERSONAL MESSAGES IN FIDONET OR K12Net ECHOES. Nobody in Ontario or Sweden cares about your luncheon arrangements, and Sysops object to the telephone costs of such messages.

5. BE BRIEF. Don't repeat the same message unnecessarily in the same or different echoes. If several people respond to your question, don't thank each individually.

6. COMMUNICATE CLEARLY. Use descriptive subject lines. In replies, quote enough of the original so readers know what you are talking about. Use appropriate cases; messages entered in ALL UPPER CASE letters is considered SHOUTING.


Jack Crawford (1:260/620) is responsible for recruiting, appointing, and supervising Moderators of the K12Net "core" echoes. The following individuals have committed their time and energy to encourage appropriate content in each of these areas:

K12 Art Education - Lynn Pass 1:105/23
K12 Business Education - Cynthia Denton 1:3400/7
K12 Computer Literacy - Dan Lafica 1:260/615
K12 Health/ Physical Education - Janice Kibbe 1:321/302
K12 Language Arts - Cindy Long 1:225/333
K12 Math Education - Sheila King 1:103/315
K12 Music and Performing Arts - Andy Vanduyne 1:260/375
K12 Science Education - Lowell Herr 1:105/32
K12 Social Studies - Larry Denton 1:3400/7
K12 Special Education - John Beames 1:17/65
K12 TAG (Talented & Gifted) Education - Lori Loranger 1:105/114
K12 Technical Education - Herman J. Matos 1:3609/33
K12 Francais - Robert Brault 1:167/130
K12 Russian - Mike Kelly 1:105/23.48
K12 Spanish/English - Fernie Castillo 1:381/64
K12 German/English - Sheila King 1:103/315
K12 News Editor - Jack Crawford 1:260/620
K12 Elementary Chat - Diana Campbell 1:321/110
K12 Junior High Chat - Susan Cox 1:138/118
K12 Senior High Chat - Jason DeCaro 1:260/205
K12 Senior High Chat - Bob Shayler 1:161/470

K12 PROJECT CHANNELS- How to get one! How to use one!

K12 Net offers 12 conference areas that can be assigned to different people at different times to pursue individual projects. Anyone, teachers and students alike, can request and use a channel by following the following guidelines.


This is a very big question... Basically, any idea that requires telecommunications to succeed, and deals with a specific topic or activity on which the user wishes to focus. For example, there are currently coordinated weather readings that are posted weekly - the data collection is to be global in nature, potentially covering the breadth of the network. In addition, while this might be considered a "science" project and could possibly be conducted in the K12_SCI_ED echo, the intent of this project is to focus exclusively on weather reading, warranting a dedicated channel for that specific purpose.

Other projects have included compilation of Top Ten lists, cookbooks, Global Village News, Composition critiquing, Physics challenges, and private educational sessions for specific groups.


There are two classifications of projects: Open and Closed.

Open projects will be available to all users of K12Net. If you design a project in which you want as many people as possible to participate, then you want an Open project.

Closed projects are limited to only a selected set of participants. If, for example, you want to conduct an online class specifically for Jr. High Phys. Ed. teachers, and don't want anyone else posting, then you would want a Closed project.


Start with an idea. Engage other users of the net in conversation about your idea, and see if anyone would like to join you in the project. You can "advertise" your idea in the Teacher Chat echo, Projects echo, or any of the appropriate curricular conferences. Make sure that your idea would require its own channel, and cannot be carried out in the existing conferences.

When it seems you have a few others interested in your project ("critical mass"- enough to make it work), apply for a channel. Given the limited number of channels available, and the growing interest, new projects should demonstrate that there at least several other points in the net that wish to participate in the project.

Send channel requests to Helen Sternheim, Channels Coordinator, at 1:321/109. Your request can be made in the Projects echo, or via netmail. Include the following:

     1. Name of the Project
     2. Name and FIDO address of the Moderator (see below)
     3. Project type- Open or Closed
     4. Requested start time and duration of the project (see below)
     5. A brief project description (see current project guides for
     6. A list of participants (so we can see the size of the group)
     7. If your project is to be Closed, a list of participants who
          are to be granted access to the channel.

When this information is received, you will be assigned a channel when one is available. Please note: changes are slowly being made to the channel allocations to minimize the extra work required of Sysops throughout the net. To that end, new projects will be assigned to Channels 1-12. Your project will be assigned an appropriate channel when and if a channel is available.


The person designated as the Moderator will have control over the conduct of the project channel. It is s/he who will make decisions about appropriate posting and participation, set whatever rules are required, and generally conduct the business of the project. The Channels Coordinator will offer advice and assistance if asked for, and help with technical problems if possible. However, the Moderator is responsible for setting up,advertising (beyond the projects listing), and running the project.


Unless unusual circumstances exist, new project channel allocations will be limited to a two month period. You may request a channel for a shorter time.

It is advised that the Moderator schedule the channel activities very carefully to make the most of the two month allocation. A good schedule also will help your other participants make better use of your project by being able to plan more effectively their participation. Extensions to projects will be given _only_ if there are no other projects waiting for channels and the Moderator demonstrates a need to continue.


Channel 0 is now being used for class letter exchanges (between 2 classes) for batch letter uploads.

Channel Coordination will take place in K12.projects.


Please read these guidelines carefully. If you still have questions you may contact the Channels Coordinator, Helen Sternheim at 1:321/109


The K12Net Library was begun in January, 1991, by a number of sysops who had files that directly related to education. They desired to pool them so that they would be available to everyone on K12Net. Eventually all the files which these sysops had were exchanged. Later more sysops contributed their educational files to the K12Net Library. In May, 1991, the K12Net Library's holdings totaled just over 100 megs carried by 19 K12Net Library (FidoNet) sites located on three continents.

The files in the K12Net Library cover virtually the whole spectrum of education. The majority of program files are designed to run in an MS- DOS environment. The future goal of the K12Net Library involves securing files which will run on various types of computers. There are a few thousand ASCII text files which cover lesson plans in specific areas, NASA space lesson plans, physics, articles from magazines, curriculum guides, US Department of Education reports on all aspects of education, special education reports, ERIC outlines, telecommunications tech articles, and on, and on, and on.

FidoNet: The file libraries can be downloaded or FREQed from any one of 19 regional K12Net Libraries. The K12Net Files listing is available from all the K12Net Libraries via FREQ. You can also FREQ 1:321/218 and request K12FILES.ZIP (which is the K12Net Library listing).

USENET: We do not yet have the K12Net Library available for FTP. We will secure a USENET site which will house the complete K12Net Library so that it will be available via FTP, UUCP, or download.


Rob Reilly
K12Net Librarian
FidoNet 1:321/218

Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D.
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