The importance of the internet in today's society

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The internet is important to America and world society

as it adds another resource to enhance entertainment,

education and business. How do we know this? The amount of

information available on the Internet is growing at a rapid

rate of 10 percent in just one month. The internet is slowly

but surely becoming the number one household commidy beating

out the Television. How is this possible? Well look how much

the Internet has to offer.

Imagine being able to take college courses from highly

regarded Colleges from your own home. With the World-Wide-

Web this can all be possible. The World-Wide-Web has great

potential as human resource development tools. Many

institutions and government departments are experimenting

with a variety of methods and models for administering

this powerful new medium. For some Newfoundlanders and

Labradorians, the Internet plays an important role in their

education.

Paul Smith teaches courses in computer studies at

Menihek Integrated High School in Labrador City and is

enroled in a doctoral program in Computers in Education at

Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The program requires that Smith complete courses and a

thesis. He works on the course requirements at his home in

Labrador City via the Internet.

During the winter 1996 term he worked on two courses,

Research Methodology and Learning Theory. Classes are held

in an 'electronic classroom'. At the scheduled time, Smith

and his classmates sit in front of their computers and log

on to the Internet. They connect to Nova Southeastern and

participate in the class. The professor has control over the

top two-thirds of the screen while the students are given an

opportunity, at various times in the class session, to type

questions and comments in the bottom one-third of the

screen. 'It's an interesting way to go to class,' says

Smith. ' The professor presents material on the top two-

thirds of the screen. When I finish reading it, I

press the escape key which lets him know that I've completed

that screen. Using the keyboard I can electronically raises

my hand. A question mark appears by my name on the

class list on the professor's monitor and I'm given control

of the bottom one-third of the screen.'

The scope of the class enrolment is impressive. Some of

Smith's classmates attend class with him in front of their

computers in Germany, Israel,Taiwan and Hong Kong. Students

share ideas with their professors and each other, ask

questions and submit assignments via email. Smith, who

completed the requirements for a Masters degree at Nova

Southeastern using this method, is pleased to be able to

have this opportunity. 'Being there is the preference,' says

Smith. 'But if I couldn't work on the program this way, I

simply wouldn't be able to do my degree.'

Memorial University is also experimenting with

delivering courses over the Internet. Michael Collins of

Memorial University's Biology Department is offering the

non-laboratory biology course, Modern Biology and Human

Society I, through the WWW for the first time during the

spring semester of 1996. The course examines the

implications of modern biological research on human beings

and explores topics such as cancer, diet and nutrition and

associated diseases, immunity, genetic engineering, and

reproductive engineering. The course is organized into 12

weekly self-contained units. Students complete a computer-

administered multiple-choice test at the end of each unit

and submit their responses via the Internet. They also write

mid-term and final examinations.The text for the course and

other materials such as diagrams are available

on the WWW. Future offerings of the course will be enhanced

by animation and video clips on various course topics.

Collins also hopes to use the vast resources of the...
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