The Internet has revolutionized everything from games to business. It is now a staple in the modern classroom. Using the Internet has major benefits to students and schools.
Data Currency and Price
Many subjects students study – for example, health, technology and social studies – are in a constant state of flux. These subjects need continuous updating to be relevant and of use. Publishers create print materials such as textbooks only periodically, however, primarily because of the expense in creating and printing new editions. Websites, by contrast, can be updated with new information on a daily or even hourly basis, with some sites even using real-time applications. By using the Internet, students have access to the most recent data and therefore are in a better position to make well-informed decisions and conclusions on assignments and projects. Paying for the Internet service is typically cheaper than buying all the print materials a student would need, as well. If a student does not have Internet access at home, the Internet service paid for by taxpayers within the district makes the information free to the student.
Although many print publishers offer practice and study materials, practice tests and quizzes also are available on many websites for free. Students can use the Internet to check their understanding in virtually any subject and can hop from test to test based on their specific learning styles. These practice tests also help teachers, who can use self-grading applications to monitor the progress of students.
The Internet allows students to connect with professionals outside of the immediate school campus, in some cases permitting communications on an international level. This can be done through basic applications such as e-mail, as well as video conferencing. With distance learning available, students can take a larger range of classes, and schools can make up for curriculum deficiencies.
Any time a student uses the Internet, they rely on a basic keyword search. This search ensures they find websites or database results that contain information relevant to what they are studying. This filtering is not as quick when looking through books or other print materials, or when doing interviews. The Internet thus lets students quickly gather the data they need to continue with their lesson. Of course, the student must be able to discern what websites that come up are reputable.
In addition to letting students gain information, the Internet also lets students find and apply for open jobs upon course, diploma or degree completion. Some websites specialize in showing students what their interests and strengths are, suggesting possible career options.
Even when distance learning is not available, the Internet provides a basic means by which students and teachers can communicate. For example, students can submit papers through the teacher’s website or download the course schedule. Teachers can post class announcements or provide useful links, as well.