Field Experiences at a Distance: Virtual Internships

Document Type

Contribution to Book

Publication Date


Publication Title

Proceedings of SITE 2001--Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference


Online instructors face the dilemma of providing meaningful field experiences for learners. In the Social Life of Information, John Seely Brown and Paul Duguid revisit Jerome Bruner's distinction between "learning about" and "learning to be." Brown and Duguid state (p. 128) "In the age of the web, learning about is easier than ever before." The real challenge for internet-based education is to help students learn how "to be." Field experiences and internships move students away from focusing solely on information toward an understanding of how knowledge informs practice. This paper explores creative ways to facilitate meaningful experiences in the field of practice for students-at-a-distance.