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Internet:  Textbook of the Future?

The Internet holds so much information that it is estimated that it would take a lifetime of browsing and it would be impossible to visit all sites.  Currently the web has over 5 million sites and continues to double yearly.   The key to success on the Internet is learning to search and find what you want and to plan your Internet sessions.

A wide variety of skills are needed to use the Internet effectively.  Research, problem solving, critical thinking, data management, and communication are just a few of the essential skills needed.

So while the data may be available on the Internet, it is not nicely ordered and organized like a textbook.  You can't find a table of contents or an index.  The best that you can do is a search engine and the effective use of them takes a little practice.   

The Internet can make a difference in teaching and learning.  Some of the ways the Internet can affect you personally and as a teacher:

  • Global electronic mail--Send a note anywhere, to anyone, at any time.  The globe has shrunk and individuals can connect to anyplace--isolation is easily overcome.  
  • Knowledge--Documents, pictures, sounds, movies, are all available on the web.  Original research, historic documents, census records, links to world and US agencies are a mouse click away.
  • File exchange--Send and retrieve files and programs from any place in the world.
  • Discussion groups--engage in debates and discussions with other Internet users on any topic imagined.  
  • Live conferencing--Talk directly to other Internet users.  Real time conferencing both with audio, text and pictures are possible.

The Internet is just beginning.  The rate of change is phenomenal.  Every nanosecond (blink of the eye) brings change.  

 
This page was updated on:  04/10/02