Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Internet for Teaching : Introduction

The year was 1969. The US Department of Defense launched a hush-hush project that entailed the acquisition of confidential information through the use of interconnected networks. As a military tool for intelligence and defense, this interconnection of networks was developed by the National Science Foundation. After three decades, it has evolved into a phenomenal gadget and means of communication that affects the lifestyles of people from all over the globe. Dubbed as the Internet, its presence is strongly felt in all the fields of scholarly discipline, entertainment and pop culture.

Today, the Internet continues to grow rapidly. People from all walks of life and from different socio-cultural and economic backgrounds are mesmerized by the many advantages it can provide and offer. Children are not excluded to be captivated with this medium and technology. In fact, they are the more frequent users of the Internet than adults.

In many a survey conducted in the US and Australia, children are at a high percentage when it comes to exposure and access to the Internet. Since parents, teachers and caregivers know that the content of the Internet is not all treasure, efforts by schools and parent organizations to guide children in the intelligent and responsible use of the Internet has been the upswing trend in the past three years. Parents recognize the high risk of Internet use among children (commonsense media, 2006). Thus, prompting them to acquire filtering software and establishing rules at home. Teachers face a great challenge in modeling the utility of this technology. Furthermore, they are at a good position to facilitate instruction using the Internet effectively and ethically in their subject or content area.

Initiatives on technology integration and web enhanced teaching are plentiful. Schools are investing on hardware, software and training to help students become better learners. While traditional learning tools are trusted upon to deliver instruction, more and more teachers are experimenting, learning and assessing the use of Internet for teaching.

This report explores the issues and concerns surrounding the use of the Internet for teaching. Standards and position papers on the use of technology in general are identified as seedbed where teachers can root their practice of teaching using the Internet. Strategies, techniques, projects and activities using the Internet are included to show examples on the many ways that web enhanced teaching can be done in the classroom. Lastly, it provides resources for teachers to further their understanding, skill and competence in teaching using the Internet.

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