Importance of Internet to Education
By James Wright
The Internet has introduced improvements in technology, communication and online entertainment, but it is also incredibly useful for education purposes as well. Teachers use the Internet to supplement their lessons, and a number of prestigious universities have opened up free online lectures and courses to everyone. It has even allowed retired teachers to read to and educate children in poorer countries. Widespread use of the Internet has opened up a substantial amount of knowledge to a much broader range of people than ever before.
Teachers can make use of the Internet by giving students extra resources and material from the Internet, such as interactive lessons and educational games. Many college courses use a "hybrid" model where many lessons are done online, requiring fewer in-class meetings. This saves students from having to commute to campus with their heavy textbooks every day. Tests, homework, collaboration with students and research can all be done from any computer with Internet access. Even for non-hybrid classes, the Internet is used as an addition to normal studies.
Study and Research
The Internet contains a wealth of knowledge that is available instantly upon any search. Because of this, the Internet has superseded libraries as a source for information gathering and research. Many teachers will now ask students to visit specific websites to study from home, and online encyclopedias provide masses of knowledge on almost every topic imaginable. The variety of sources allows students to pursue subjects in much greater detail rather than being limited to whatever the teacher sends home.
It used to be that students that forgot work, missed a lecture or couldn't remember an assignment were out of luck until talking face to face with a teacher or a classmate. However, the Internet allows instantaneous connection to your classmates and teachers. Improving communication between students and teachers allows teachers to assist students without having to stay after class. It also allows for students to have greater efficiency when working on projects with their peers when everyone cannot attend or asking for clarification when something is unclear.
A number of universities, such as Harvard, Yale and Stanford, have opened up free courses on a variety of subjects that are accessible to anyone for free. These typically come in the form of lectures on video, but some also have notes attached. This means there is easy access to plenty of free lectures without emptying your bank account to pay tuition. The Internet also makes education accessible to impoverished communities. The "Granny Cloud," for example, made use of Skype as a number of volunteers, mostly retired teachers, read stories aloud over Skype to children in India to teach them how to read.
Based in California, James Wright has been writing since 1998. Wright's articles have been published on various websites with a focus on technical fields such as computers and the Internet, and were also featured in a now-retired publication for an online artistic community. Wright studied English, journalism, politics and psychology at Riverside Community College.