Technology has become a very important aspect of education. The use of technology has been associated with improvements in learning and other related classroom activities. The use of computers, and the internet is part of technology use in the classroom. Both the teachers and the students can make good use of the internet in the course of their studies. There are several advantages associated with computers and internet use in the classroom. However, the use of the internet can also pose a danger to the classroom and the entire learning process. Because the teacher should go through learning in his/her entire life, the internet becomes a very essential tool in the course of learning in the classroom. In the classroom environment, some of the questions that would have taken a long time to be answered can easily be found on the desktop using the internet. Learning can be made alive in the classroom using the available search engines and things like pictures, slides, and facts can be included in-class activities. The teacher can expand his scope of knowledge on the content material using the internet. He can design simple tests and administer them in class making use of the internet. (Freedman 2005)
For the students, the internet becomes a very important tool for learning. Through various websites and search engines, information in different fields can easily be accessed using the internet. However, with students using the internet, a lot of responsibility is required if any meaningful learning is to take place. According to Castro 1999, the internet provides an opportunity for students to explore the world in a manner that conventional methods of learning have never achieved. Students can carry out research and can express themselves with new ideas using the internet. Research has also indicated that through the internet, learning can become more concrete than the use of traditional methods of study.
Through the internet, the students can acquire information and facts using different approaches, unlike the traditional methods which restrict the learner to specific methods of study. Learning in the classroom using the internet becomes more active for the students. This has been witnessed with a lot of participation in internet-based learning. The benefits of the internet to students are numerous according to Berenfeld (1996). The internet promotes the acquisition of communication, social and other skills concerned with the thought process in the learners. By gaining access to the internet, students can develop thinking skills that could not be easily achieved by conventional methods. From inquiry-based learning, students stand to benefit because of the ability to comply with the required standards that can easily be accessed on the internet.
In terms of fairness, the internet has been known to provide an equal opportunity for all students when it comes to access to facts and information. This is unlike the traditional methods of inquiry which might be of disadvantage to some students.
Research has revealed that most teachers in schools have begun making use of the internet in their lesson plan preparations. Though this is happening, teachers still need technical support on how to integrate technology in the classroom situation.
The focus should be put on building the skills in the teachers on proper internet use. The teachers also need incentives for them to carry out the process of integrating technology in class. As much as people are embracing the technological change that has resulted from internet use in the classroom setting, attention needs to be paid to the issue of access to inappropriate materials, especially by the students. This has been a major concern by parents, politicians, and even the government. Most people have argued that the internet is a big threat to the moral standards of society. The continued access to inappropriate content by students is a matter that needs to be addressed. From the parent’s point of view, there should be restrictions to access to the inappropriate content by the students while in class. (Freedman 2005)
The government also believes that censorship should be applied concerning the content that students are exposed to while exploring the internet in the classroom environment. The internet to some extent can be a hindrance to learning in the classroom if proper management policies and standards are not put in place. This especially concerns the time when the students should be allowed to use the internet. During instructional time, teachers need to be trained on how to detect students who are not paying attention as a result of the internet. This can help to prevent the students from losing out during the times of learning. (Honey et al 2000)
In conclusion, it is vital to mention that internet use is a very important aspect of learning in the classroom considering the benefits to both the teacher and the learners. However, there is a need to protect the students from the bad side of unlimited access to the internet which can have undesirable results. This is because young people cannot be considered to be responsible enough to understand why they should not access inappropriate data, content, and pictures in the classroom or even outside class.
Castro, C.M. (1999). Education in the information age: Promises and frustrations. TechKnowLogia.
Berenfeld, B. (1996). Linking students to the Infosphere. T.H.E. Journal Online [On-line serial], 23, (9).
Freedman, Terry “Seven Reasons To Use Computers In Your Classroom.” Seven Reasons To Use Computers In Your Classroom. 2005.
Honey, M., Culp, K. M., & Carrigg, F. (2000). Perspectives on technology and educationresearch: Lessons from the past and present. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 23(1), 5-14.