In this paper we discuss how classroom instruction can benefit from state-of-the-art technologies in networks, worldwide web access through Internet, multimedia, databases, and computing. Functional requirements for establishing such a high-tech classroom are identified, followed by descriptions of our current experimental implementations. The focus of the paper is on the capabilities of distributed collaboration, which supports both synchronous multimedia information sharing as well as a shared work environment for distributed teamwork and group decision making. Our ultimate goal is to achieve the concept of 'living world in a classroom' such that live and dynamic up-to-date information and material from all over the world can be integrated into classroom instruction on a real-time basis. We describe how we incorporate application developments in a geography study tool, worldwide web information retrievals, databases, and programming environments into the collaborative system.