Some Important Points on the Use of the Internet in Education
The Internet is used in business daily by corporate employees and sole proprietors, by photographers, musicians and writers. It's important that you know how to search the Internet, where to find what you need and how to distinguish between credible and non-credible resources. The Internet is as much a resource as your local library for many subjects. The Internet can outpace a local library because your reach encompasses the globe and is instant.
Use the Internet for Further Explanation
More than just a research tool, the Internet is a source for useful guides, explanations and expanded and alternative instruction on how to learn different skills. Your instructor can explain a topic, but not impart what you need to really understand. In using the Internet, you may discover further explanations that give you the perspective that unlocks your understanding of your topic.
Learn to Research the Internet
Searching the Internet is often as simple as entering your topic into a search engine like Google, Bing or Dogpile. There are different search formats like Boolean searches, however; these are searches that use Boolean operators such as "and," "or," "not" and "near."
Information for the Asking
There is a wealth of information available on the Internet. Popular search engines only scratch the surface of what is uploaded for free or registered access. There are even more resources that you must pay subscription fee to access. There are sites that present corrupting viruses and unsavory content. Learning the ins and outs in a classroom setting is beneficial for students.
Why Learn to Search the Internet
Learning to research on the Internet is a great piece of education in itself. Like computers, the Internet is not going anywhere. Using it effectively can benefit you in your professional and personal life. In fact, the process of learning to search the Internet is an invaluable exercise in critical thinking. Learning to qualitatively evaluate websites will teach you how to know credible from not credible pages, so you can steer clear of useless sites.
Some Points against the Internet in Education
Considerations that fall on the negative side of Internet in education include cost of classroom technical support and presence of questionable content freely available online. Even if the teacher is trained on how to use and search the Internet, using the Internet would still require additional out-of-classroom preparation time on top of the many out-of-classroom hours teachers already invest. With all that invested, you have to allow for the fact that the same site you pulled your information from, one evening, may well be gone the next day, for myriad reasons that don't necessarily speak to the site's credibility.