Jim Swierkosz, Ph.D.

Actually, from the “Chair” of the “Electronic” Networking Committee, but I think the above title conveys more of the “sizzle” of this exciting and ever-expanding technology. Most of us are already using computers for a variety of academic and personal reasons, and many are into electronic mail via local area networking or more globally through BITNET. For those of you experienced in these venues, and for those about to make the plunge, I would like to tell you about two electronic sources of information and communication relating to basic science medical education.

One is ETNET, the Educational Technology Network. It is an online computer conference network for developers and users of interactive technology in health care education. Sponsored by the Lister Hill Foundation at the National Library of Medicine, it is available free of charge through the INTERNET at your institution. There are “conferences” on computer hardware, shareware, CAI, hypermedia, digital imaging, and education to name a few. Each conference consists of notices (called items) which are posted by individuals who are either asking for information or giving out advice about topics dealing with that particular conference. E-mail messages can also be sent. One can access ETNET via the INTERNET by starting a Telnet session and typing: telnet and then hitting the ENTER key. When it asks for a network login, type etnet followed by ENTER (always use lower cases when typing), then just follow directions. TRY IT OUT, you may get hooked! The National Group on Educational Affairs of the AAMC is planning on using this conference system to an increasing degree in the near future.

The second is a new “multi-user E-mail system” that I have just started in order to bring Medical Microbiology teaching faculty together via BITNET. It is a sort of ListServer which I have called MICRONET. Once you have joined this List, any message you send to the List will automatically be sent to ALL other members of the List. Though not a real conference or bulletin-board system, it does allow instant multi-user communication among those with common interests. Since many of the teaching ideas that I have gotten have come from basic scientists in areas other than my own (Microbiology), we thought it may be worth a try to use this MICRONET system as our electronic communication link for all basic science disciplines interested in sharing information on medical education. To join this List, just send me your complete BITNET address and I will add your name and send you instructions. It is very easy, just like sending a BITNET message.

I hope to talk more about these systems and get some feedback at the National “Forum” meeting in New Orleans. Call, write, or BITNET me for more info.

Department of Microbiology, St. Louis University School of Medicine
1402 South Grand Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63104
Phone (314)577-8433 BITNET: