Schools—relation of hypertext with education.

Today digital telecommunication is producing a powerful resurgence of this alternative tradition; being online may soon become a more important mark of community membership than being in residence. Within legal education the successful Law Consortium bid under the Teaching and Learning Technology Programme has developed electronic courseware in the core substantive law areas. As the digital telecommunications era dawned, some universities were very quick to begin exploring the potential role of campus networks. At MIT in the 1980s, with extensive support from IBM and Digital, the campus-wide Athena system pioneered the educational use of networked workstations with (by the standards of the time) high-bandwidth interconnections. By the 1990s campus networks were commonplace; even the ivy-clad dorms in Harvard Yard had been hooked up.

At the same time (beginning in the 1970s), ARPANET, BITNET, and ultimately the Internet began to shake up the traditional, insular structures of colleges and universities by creating quick, convenient, inexpensive channels for worldwide, campus-to-campus interchange of text and data. Scholars quickly found that electronic contact with distant correspondents could sometimes be more rewarding than conversation with colleagues from just down the hall. Online conferences and bulletin boards began to challenge departmental common rooms and local hangouts.

School and university libraries become more like online information-brokering services. Reserve desks are supplanted by online document collections, and slide libraries by huge image and video-on-demand servers. Even laboratories can sometimes be broken up and scattered-and benefit from it. After visiting the schools and educational campuses in Cyberspace, we are sure that peripatetics will find the idea of a virtual campus -paralleling or perhaps replacing the physical one-seems increasingly plausible.

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