Edition 05 of the Astronomy On-line Newspaper

Danish Schools Connected

The interest for Astronomy On-Line in Denmark has been so large that the Danish Ministry of Education, together with the University Computer and Internet Centre (UNI-C), decided to respond positively to my request, submitted in my function as Danish member of the Executive Council of the European Association for Astronomy Education (EAAE).

Consequently, a total of DKr 360 000, or approximately 50 000 ECU, has been allocated for in-service teaching of physics teachers on how to use the Internet in astronomy and physics education. During the past 6 weeks we have succeeded in connecting 90 percent of all schools at the secondary level to the Internet through at least one teacher in each place, in all 145 teachers. It took only 6 weeks from the time the request was made to the Ministry until the last teacher had been connected. This is an extremely fast decision process in Denmark and we are all very thankful for this efficient action!

Within this scheme, the teachers have received a subscription to the UNI-C Internet for 1 year from their private residence, but they have to pay themselves for the computer, the modem and the telephone expenses. The virtually unanimous adherence to this project by the teachers shows that they have not lost their pioneering spirit. The argument for the present scheme was that the only way you can efficiently learn to work with the new medium is to use it regularly from your working desk at home.

There is no doubt that this system will now lead the preparation of many new educational materials, better contact with students and most probably also increased exchange of students and teachers among the schools (in Denmark and outside).

Astronomy On-line has truly fulfilled its role as a pilot Web-programme in our country and it is no wonder that its further development is now being followed with great interest by teachers of other subjects. I also expect that many of the `on-line' Danish teachers and their students will soon register with Astronomy On-line and the European Association for Astronomy Education.

I very much hope that Astronomy On-line organisers and groups in other countries may use this example in their own area in order to promote similar schemes.

If you would like more information, please contact me by email to kjepsen@inet.uni-c.dk.

Knud Jepsen
Member of EAAE Executive Council
Haslev Gymnasium (Denmark)

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Last update: Oct 29, 1996