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August, 1998

Millenium Project
GRADE LEVEL: Professionals

This is a mediated forum for discussions of the role of technology in education. Users can post questions, supply answers, or read other responses.

The site uses few decorations in its layout. The discussion pages are text-based and easy to read, showing messages and their responses in a threaded format.

Each page includes two navigational menus with links to each major section of the site. The top menu uses graphics to display the links, and the menu at the bottom is a text version of the same menu. Users can view a site map or the "Hot Topics" section to select where to start.

The purpose of the Millennium Project is to create an environment where school community members --along with educators, policy makers, researchers, and learners throughout the world -- can meet to discuss the evolving role of technology in education. The project comes from the Academy for Educational Development. The main thrust of the site is the discussion, or message boards. Users can view the "Hot Topics" at the site to select a topic to discuss. Debates at the site include the input of experts in the field of educational technology. The project is an ongoing three-year discussion in order to see patterns, attitudes, and practices as they develop. Every three months, a set of key issues and questions concerning learning technologies, both in and out of classrooms, is presented. Each week, the key points raised by the participants in the prior week's discussion are summarized so viewers can read and respond to individual messages, or the summarized versions. At the end of each three-month period, one of the "Hot Topics" will be moved to the dialogue area for users to read and discuss. At the end of each year, all of the contributions will be summarized and the site will host a weeklong "live" online conference to discuss the issues. Users can read studies, reports, and articles on educational technology in the library section of the site. This is quite an undertaking. Everyone interested or concerned with the use of technology in education has a chance to voice their opinions, and to possibly help bring about future policy changes.