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					                                The Role of the Internet
                                     In Education

                                    Jennifer J. Hendershot



        The Internet today is the pathway to the world. Anyone, anywhere, as long as they have
a computer and Internet service, can reach all the way to the other side of the world. From
searching on the Internet you can find any piece of information you want, whether it’s directions
to your favorite spa or how to dissect a frog. You can talk to someone on a distant continent.
You can view a small suburb of Rome by accessing a web cam. You can even read your local
newspaper. As an educator you have many resources at your fingertip. Everything you are
given should be looked at as a learning opportunity. Live and love what the Internet has to offer
you.


        At an early elementary educational point of view you can access resources to aid your
classroom. There are lesson plans, WebQuest, worksheets, activities etc. right at your fingertips.
At the early elementary level hands on Internet use in minimal. Students will learn the basics of
searching online, but will not be able to venture out on their own into this vast world called
cyberspace. However, this does give a teacher the ability to do whole class technology lesson,
which may prove to be more concrete at this level.


       As a teacher the amount of resources available are outrageous. If I was teaching a lesson
on flowers and I was stuck for a great activity I could simple pull up a search engine and type in
“flower lesson plan.” I would surely have over 500 hits to browse. In addition to search
engines, there are many resource sites available where you can download worksheets or mini-
books. The amount you can find about one topic seems endless at times.


        At an upper grade there is a very wide gap between students who use the Internet and
those who do not. Students who use the Internet have access to many more resources, such as
online journal articles and educational websites. Students who use the Internet also have the
advantage of online spell checkers, citation checkers, and thesauruses. Conversely, students who
access the Internet can come into problems if they find false information. Equally, students who
access the Internet may be at risk for plagiarism.


        On the other hand, students who do not use the Internet do not have the access to so many
rich resources. In our world today, our lives are run by technology. If we send a student out into
the world that doesn’t have knowledge about the Internet or technology where will they be? One
who has this knowledge can be carried a lot further than.
        Students need to be skilled in Internet searching in able to not be fooled by bogus
material. Students also need to be skilled in the correct way to cite the information they find. In
order for proper student usage of a website, I feel the teacher must be proficient as well. There
are a great number of teachers who are proficient at teaching a technology-based lesson, many
who are younger. Where, on the other hand, many older teachers are rigid in their teaching
strategies and may not feel comfortable using the Internet. Still, while other teachers are simply
not funded to learn the basis of the Internet.


       In many districts technology is used greatly. In other districts, because of funding, it is
simply encouraged. Many teachers do not have the necessary skills to conduct a web-based
lesson or even a technology lesson. With funding issues, these teachers do not even have the
means to access workshops to gain the knowledge about technology and Internet use.


        In my opinion, there should be no excuse for not incorporating technology, and mainly
the Internet into a class lesson. It is every teacher’s job to give their students the fullest
education they can give. Even if a few “Internet for Dummies” books are needed every teacher
should jump to learn about this great resource, the Internet. Furthermore, every teacher should
jump to learn every, and any new resource available.


        As the New Jersey State Department of Education has technology listed in the New
Jersey Core Curriculum and Content Standards as standard number 8, it is obvious the
importance of technology in the classroom. If New Jersey is requiring a technology standard
then technology must be something very important. If a district does not have money in the
budget to enforce technology amongst every teacher in every classroom they must make room
for it.


       With the above said, the role that the Internet plays in education can be very beneficial if
used properly. Students can correctly access information and learn many new facts. While, the
students’ teachers can greatly enhance their own knowledge and classroom activities. As I had
previously said the Internet is our pathway to the world. We are given so many resources and
opportunities to learn and we should grasp them and fly with them.

				
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posted:7/25/2011
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