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Early September, 1999: This message was distributed by Papyrus News, a free e-mail distribution list on the global impact of information technology on language, literacy, and education. Feel free to forward this message to others, but please include this introductory paragraph. For information on subscribing or unsubscribing to Papyrus News see


Welcome to Papyrus News. Since this is the first official posting on the list, I thought I should briefly say why I started this list and what I hope to accomplish with it.

As editor of Language Learning & Technology ( and as an educational technology consultant in Egypt, I try to keep up to date regarding the impact of information technology on language, literacy, and education. Over the years I've shared news and reports with colleagues through informal e-mail exchanges and participation in listserver discussion lists, but I've yet to find the best way to consistently pass on what I come across to the wide range of colleagues interested in similar issues. At the same time, I write and present on these topics regularly, and I also wanted to find a mechanism to occasionally share some of my own ideas or excerpts of papers with those who are interested.

I will try to keep traffic on the list light--about 3-5 messages a week. On many weeks it may be just 1-2 messages. On others it may be a few more. The idea will be to send a few high-interest messages a week. The general topic will be the global impact of information technology on language, literacy, and education, but I will occasionally send other things that I find of special interest.

This is not a discussion list, but a one-way distribution list. There are many discussion lists on the Net and they serve a different purpose. If any of you want to start a discussion list on these topics, let me know and I'll be happy to announce it on the list. By the way, there is now free software whereby anybody can set up and manage an e-mail discussion list if you are willing to tolerate small ads at the bottom of messages. While there are a number of such services, I find one of the best to be E-groups (

I do hope that that list members will e-mail me interesting items from around the world to share on the list. I can't promise that I will pass on everything, but I will consider everything I get within various constraints (such as space, copyright, general interest, etc.)

Thank you as well for passing on word of Papyrus News to your colleagues. The more people who are subscribed, the more worthwhile it will be for me to put time and effort into finding and sharing interesting items. Though all of you have already seen the announcement for Papryus News, I include it one more time at the bottom of this message in case you'd like to pass it on to colleagues.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge Phil Agre of UCLA whose work on "Red Rock Eater News Service" ( helped inspire me to start Papyrus News and provided a model of a well-managed news list. I will sometimes forward to Papyrus News interesting items from RRE related to language, literacy and education, but those of you interested in a more general news service on information technology and society (including issues related to privacy, biometrics, finance, encryption, surveillance, artificial intelligence, etc.) may want to subscribe to RRE directly.

Aloha and salaam,

Mark Warschauer

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Last updated: November 2, 1999