Why Use Internet in the Classroom?
As an experienced teacher, you already have lessons that work well for the age you teach and the topics you cover. To evaluate whether using the Internet will enhance your classroom practice, consider these questions: 1. Would digital images help students understand a concept or topic? For example, could they use the Web to see images of black holes in space, historic photographs, artwork, or to look at satellite imaging or MRI scans? (On some sites, "objects" can be manipulated or rotated, so students can see them from different angles. Would this help students with a difficult concept?) 2. Does the lesson require collecting and analyzing data and building databases? 3. Does the lesson refer to time-related data, such as the changing stock market, the annual rainfall of a region, or the migration of whales? 4. Can the impact of the lesson be enhanced through students communicating via email with peers in other cities, or other cultures, or through contact with "experts" in a field? 5. Will students be asked to create and conduct surveys, make presentations, conduct in-depth research, or work in teams? Answer "yes" to any of these, and you'll want to explore how you can put the Internet to work in your classroom. Used well, the Internet is a great tool for inquiry-based learning. The Internet is particularly well-suited for:
Communication and collaboration
Real-time data collection
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Communication and collaboration are particularly exciting for students using the Internet. Students can set up keypals (email pen pals) to connect with peers around the country and the globe. Students can correspond with experts in various fields via e-mail. E-mail activities are a good way to get started on the Internet, as they require minimal planning. However, be sure to contact your "experts" ahead of time to find out how long it will take them to respond. Students can also...
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