Global Schoolhouse Home Home Base: Harnessing the Power of the WebIntro to NetPBL: Collaborative Project-Based LearningBuilding Collaborative Student Web ProjectsGuide to Conducting Research on the InternetLibrary of References, Readings and ResourcesTable of Contents
Introduction to Searching the Internet
Information Resources
Human Resources
Mailing Lists
Organizing Messages
Digital Resources
Topic-Oriented Research Directories
Search Engines
Primary Document Resources
1. Finding mailing lists
2. Information from
mailing list participants

2. Tips for Soliciting Information from Mailing List Participants

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View a Sample Mailing List Message Soliciting Information

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  1. Carefully read the e-mail message that is sent to you upon joining a mailing list. This message will include very important information about the purpose of the list and the types of discussions that take place there. Follow these guidelines.
  1. Consider that Internet mailing lists are forums and emit a sense of place for their users. You are a guest in this place and should respect their customs and wishes.
  2. Most people are eager to help you. There is a genuine concern for education, and using the Internet to send valuable information to classrooms is an obvious benefit that most people appreciate. So, do not hesitate to post questions to a mailing list for your class as long as you feel that it is within the guidelines of the mailing list.
  3. At the same time that most people are eager to help education, they are also busy. They will not appreciate receiving numerous postings that do not contribute to the list's goals. So as you ask for information from experts via the mailing list, consider that this will be your only chance. Carefully word your question(s) so that you will get the most and best information for your classroom.   Ask your students to help.  Learning to construct effective questions is an important Information Age skill.
  4. When writing your request for information, make it short. Once again, the people to whom you are sending the message are busy, and do not have time to read a lengthy letter. Also keep your paragraphs short (no more than three sentences) with a blank line between. People are more likely to read many short paragraphs than a few long paragraphs.
  5. Do not write a lengthy introduction. Explain very briefly what your class is doing so that you don't waste the time of a busy person.
  6. Include a signature at the bottom of your message. The reader can much more quickly learn about you and your personal and/or professional context if you clearly identify yourself and how to contact you.
  7. If you are soliciting information from a mailing list used by K-12 educators, then promise something in return. If you are developing a new unit on butterflies, then offer to send your teacher friends a copy of the unit. If you are asking teachers to survey their students for information that your class will be compiling and analyzing, then offer to send the results of your survey to all contributing classes.

Section: Mailing Lists
Page 1: Finding mailing lists
Page 2: Information from mailing list participants
Next Section: Organizing Messages

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