This set of pages only skims the surface of the possibilities for using networked information and interaction in teaching and purposely emphasizes things for which proven practical applications are in place already with the lowest-level technology possible. One example just on the borderline of what's possible now is the on-line video-conferencing software called CUSee-Me (the "CU" stands for Cornell University, where this was developed). This allows you, with a fairly simple camera and microphone, to send and receive video and sound over the Internet, typically displaying on your screen in a number of small windows: up to about eight may be displayed on a regular-sized monitor without losing recognizability. For the moment at Penn we're scratching our heads and looking at this and thinking about how to use it, but have no compelling ideas yet. It will allow some face-to-face "videophone" contact between people at remote sites, but regular videophone service has never really caught on despite numerous tries over the last thirty years. The two chief limitations now are (1) the cost of equipment and (2) the limited number of participants who may be on-screen with each other at one time. But none of this is to say that exciting applications may not emerge or already have emerged elsewhere: only that the present writer at this time is reluctant to urge its adoption broadly.
What else is around the bend? Surely more video and sound, certainly easier interfaces (on bigger screens, for example, that will put a window of text and a window of video and a window of other text all conveniently side by side, with pen-based or voice-based commands and interaction). This is assuredly not a time to adopt a few new technologies and then relax: we are in for exciting times and a constant flood of new possibilities.