"High Wired" is a collection of essays designed to integrate all
aspects of the use and administration of the virtual educational
communities known as MOOs (Multiple-user, Object-Oriented
environments). MOOs were originally designed as a space for online
social interaction. While MOOs bear a resemblance to the "chat
rooms" with which many people are familiar, they differ in several
important respects: participants can not only communicate in actual
time from great distances, but they can also add to this virtual
world by building new rooms and other objects, and writing programs
that alter their particular MOO universe in profound ways.
LambdaMOO, developed in 1990 by Pavel Curtis at the Xerox
Corporation's Palo Alto Research Center, quickly became a popular
hangout on the Internet, and has run continuously since then, with
thousands of players from around the world. Today, MOOs are
increasingly recognized for their value as an educational tool. In
MOOs teachers and students can meet on line at scheduled times and
exchange ideas, even calling up online reference materials as they
participate in discussions. Educators are currently exploring the
potential of this technology for such applications as online
writing centers, electronic classrooms, netbased collaborative
environments, and even complete cyberspace campuses. Teachers,
students, and researchers who have long awaited a comprehensive
treatment of this powerful technology will welcome the publication
of "High Wired: On the Design, Use, and Theory of Educational
MOOs." Editors Cynthia Haynes and Jan Rune Holmevik have brought
together a diverse group of experts whose contributions help answer
questions and dispel myths surrounding MOOs and their use in
education. Contributors include John Barber, Jorge R. Barrios, Mark
Blanchard, Amy Bruckman, Juli Burk, Brian Clements, Eric Crump,
Pavel Curtis, Diane Davis, Jeffrey Galin, Dene Grigar, Cynthia
Haynes, Jan Rune Holmevik, Michael Joyce, Beth Kolko, Ken
Schweller, Sherry Turkle, Victor J. Vitanza, Shawn P. Wilbur, and
Deanna Wilkes-Gibbs. "High Wired's" essays are arranged in a
practical sequence, beginning with the context and history of MOOs,
followed by more technical essays on how to set up and administer a
MOO. Subsequent essays discuss applications for the use of MOOs in
education, and finally, provide theoretical explorations of the
nature of MOO communities. "High Wired" is at once a textbook, a
reference book, and a handbook. Teachers, students, and other
interested readers will find that it appeals to both practical
needs and theoretical concerns. Cynthia Haynes is Assistant
Professor of Literary Studies and Director of Rhetoric and Writing,
University of Texas at Dallas. Jan Rune Holmevik is Assistant
Professor, Department of Humanistic Informatics, University of
Bergen, Norway. In 1995, they cofounded Lingua MOO, a text-based
virtual space where writing classes are held on the University of
Texas at Dallas's computer network.
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