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Doing Kid's Homework For Them



I've read the commentary from Phillip Bigelow, Larry Smith, TchrJamie and
others regarding doing kid's homework for them.  I originally joined this
newsgroup because my 3rd grade daughter was given the assignment of writing a
dinosaur report about ornitholestes and had questions.  Our encyclopedias,
dictionaries and other home sources lacked any information on that dinosaur.
I thought the entire learning experience might be enhanced by getting some
information from an on-line source such as yours.  I also contacted TchrJamie
using AOL's TeacherPager.  The dinosaur newsgroup kindly gave us some useful
information, cited some references, and TchrJamie did the same.  We obtained
about a dozen books at the local library.  We even obtained some books that
looked at the dinosaur question from a creation science viewpoint, just to
look at alternative's that are debated among scientists.

Perhaps I owe you an apology.  I forwarded the newsgroup Internet address to
my daughter's teacher, thinking that other students might get interested.  I
suggested they use the group as a resource.  Lately, I read postings that
express concern about the group being flooded with questions from teachers,
students, and others with a passing interest in dinosaurs.

I thought the 'net was for the exchange of information.  I rightly thought
that subscribing to your newsgroup would be enlightening.  I also thought you
might want to share your expertise with today's youth.  Now, I don't know.

I do appreciate your concerns.  They are valid.  However, I haven't seen a
tremendous upsurge in questions from teachers and students.  In fact, I've
seen more of an upsurge in discussion about this issue.  Is there a better
Internet to use that would not mind the requests and questions?  Is there a
way that the current newsgroup can continue and field requests and questions?


  The teacher to whom I gave the dinosaur address has posed several questions
for her students.  Newsgroup members have kindly provided information that in
one case helped the students see that their source was not current.  (They
asked about two brains in brachiosaurus - pardon spelling, if incorrect.)
 Their school system is trying to promote an approach to learning that is
interdisciplinary.  Using books, videos, interviews, museum visits, Intenet
questions, mutimedia programs, etc. can help reinforce learning. I really
don't see a problem with children asking for help from the experts.

   I apologize that this posting isn't really dinosaur-related.  I just would
like to see the Internet community support kids that ask for help.  I know
that many of you actually do.  It's just that I'm afraid some of the
"academic elite" might not want to serve as mentors and resources for kids
who sorely need this.  You wouldn't believe the excitement my daughter has
for the subject of dinosaurs since getting her first tidbit of information
and a bibliography over the net.  Keep up the good work.  Help the kids.  And
remember some of us have left the universities for the business world and can
only access the 'net by paying for a service like the one I use.  So please
don't shut us out unless we've earned it by acting in a rude or unseemly
manner.  Thanks for your help.

  By the way, ... dinosaurs in Japan?  That really was an exciting piece of
news.