Dear LRNASSTers, Jacqui Hill and now a couple of other people have requested information about how some of us are using internet with our students. Since there have been a couple of requests, I am posting this to the listserv in the hopes that others will share their experiences and thoughts. I trust I have observed proper netiquette in doing so. Sheila Nicholson [log in to unmask] ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Jacqui and interested others, Under Dave Caverly's tutelage (he's our resident internet guru), I initiated a booktalk project via e-mail last semester and continued it this semester. My developmental reading students read two books (Maya Angelo'Us _I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings_ and Gary Sot'Us _Living Up the Street_) and discussed them via e-mail with students at two other institutions, Tricity Tricounty Technical College in Pendleton, South Carolina and Nova University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Two benefits seem to have emerged from this e-mail correspondence: 1. Students write more, write better, and respond from a more aesthetic stance (Rosenblatt, 1979) when corresponding with a booktalk buddy at a distant university. I believe both e-mail and thedistant peer reader may account for this. This benefit is evident when I compare student responses on paper to e-mail responses and when I compare student responses to me with student responses to the distant buddy. 2. Students struggle to learn to use e-mail but they do learn to use it. Many of my students often give up in the face of difficult tasks and say they hate computers, but I have yet to have a student who has been unwilling to keep trying to master the computer so s/he can do e-mail. And, most of my students have developed their expertise to the point that they correspond with students outside of my class and the university. Because of these experiences with my students, I have come to believe that the internet can provide a forum for engaging developmental students (anyone, for that matter) in the kinds of academic discourse that we, as teachers, cherish. Gaining expertise in accessing information, in communicating ideas, and receiving feedback is an empowering experience for all of us, but especially so for those who have not been privy to or been successful in these endeavors previously.