First a little background....

Many educators see the Internet as a gigantic library resource where students can conduct research by searching through endless volumes of information.  In most cases, schools and students already have access to a wide range of tools for conducting research. Use of these more traditional resources may be faster, cheaper, and more effective than using the Internet.

 

Encyclopedia

  CD-ROMs
Periodicals   Teachers & Students
Textbooks     Others ???

 
How have you used the Internet for your classes? Could you have used other resources instead of the Internet to accomplish the same thing?

 

What are Unique and Compelling Internet Applications?

There are some learning experiences that are made possible only through the use of the Internet. These unique and compelling applications can provide a valuable and rewarding experience for your students and can expose them to resources and activities that they could not access without the Internet. These applications include:

Use of the Internet as a Communication Tool

Students can use the Internet to communicate with experts in various fields, or with other classrooms and students from around the world. 

"I have some exciting news.  One of my former students from last year came to visit [last week].  She mentioned she had been excited by the Human Genetics Collaborative Project that our class participated in last year.  She wanted to see me again to tell me that she was the only eighth grader in her school to pass that section of the state GEPA test this year!"

-- Middle School Science Teacher
Patterson, New Jersey

Use of the Internet to Access Real-Time Data 

Students can access real-time information such as weather images, data from ships at sea, and hourly air quality readings.

"Our study of the changes in the earth's crust through the Musical Plates lesson on the CIESE site, brought real-time data to our classroom.  With daily amazement, for two weeks students plotted earthquakes on a map.  They had not realized the frequency of the world's earthquakes.  When asked to describe any similarities they might see between a tectonic plate's map and the plotted quakes, my students understanding of tectonic theory, increased significantly."

-- High School Science Teacher
Cleveland, Ohio

Use of the Internet to Publish Student Work

Students can publish their work online where the whole world can see it, comment on it, and interact with the students about it. 

" One of the projects we participated in was the Monster Exchange project. Students try to communicate an original monster image into another child's mind using writing skills and technology. The integration into the curriculum included geography, science, math, history, writing processes, computer skills, and reading comprehension. Our students were gratified to see their work published on line and are encouraged to participate in other projects. Students work can be viewed on the Minds Eye Monster site."

-- Elementary School Computer Teacher
Wittmann, Arizona

Use of the Internet to Access Primary Sources

Students now have access to digitally archived historical documents, photographs, diaries, etc. that they can examine first-hand.

"My at-risk urban kids, with histories of failure in school, wrote superb descriptive essays after studying former slaves' narratives on the Web, unique resources unavailable in other media.  The total silence in the classroom as my students listened to an audio file of Fountain Hughes, a former slave, describe his experiences being sold, his using a pass and his desire to die rather than live as a slave again, reflected their total engagement in that learning experience."

-- High School Resource Teacher
Cleveland, Ohio

 

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