Using the Internet in the Classroom


SuperHighway


Table of Contents         Internet Activities Part I        Internet Activities Part II



Objectives

In this session you will:




Introduction

The Internet should be considered one of many resources you use in your classroom. The Internet is a source of information and platform for communication that can assist you in providing effective engaging activities for your students. It is, for both teacher and student, a research tool that provides current and extensive information on virtually any topic. It may serve as an adjunct to classroom assignments or be the primary instructional tool in thematic units and projects.

Some lessons lend themselves more readily to Internet enhancement. Appropriate lessons may involve activities that require:


In order to effectively use the Internet as an instructional tool, consideration should be given to these major issues: student safety, scheduling and management of student access, teaching necessary technology skills, and preparing lessons/units.



Beginning Steps

Student Safety

Devote time before you begin use of the Internet to introduce and familiarize students with both the equipment, your Internet browser, and the Internet itself. Acquaint students with your classroom rules and the District rules regarding the use of technology and the Internet.

With traditional print material, most information goes through some type of publishing procedure. Most content in reputable publications is reasonably accurate. On the Internet, however, anyone can publish information with absolutely no screening. We must teach our students to be skeptical of all Internet information.

Reference Sites:




Scheduling/Management Tips

Establish a time schedule for technology access that ensures that every student will have an opportunity to complete the assignment. The technology must be used as a tool within the curriculum not as a “reward” for completed work. Every student must be guaranteed equal access.

Assign each classroom computer a number or letter. Boldly print, laminate and post this designation on every computer.

Assign each student to a computer group. These groups may be permanent or on a rotating timetable for either a six weeks, a semester, or on a project by project basis. Each group should use the same computer all the time. This helps to hold students accountable.


If only one computer is available in the classroom, consider rotating use of the computer to a different group for each project throughout the year. This will ensure that every student will get a chance to use the technology for at least one assignment.

Place a sign on / off log beside each computer station. Spiral notebooks work great if you don’t want to prepare special weekly access sheets. Require students to sign in and out every time they use the Internet. File and keep these sheets in a folder to maintain a record of student access or responsibility if questions or problems arise.




Teaching Technology Skills

Include technology objectives in your unit/lesson plans. Teach only those skills that are necessary for the completion of the assignment. Use simple to follow step sheets to guide students through the necessary technical steps for "just-in-time" learning. When a new technical skill is needed, teach the skill to a small group of "computer tutors" who can assist other students. Institute the "ask three before me" concept.




Lesson/Unit Planning      

NEVER allow students to “SURF” without a purpose. This will lead to problems. Every time a student accesses the Internet, it should be to complete a task assigned by the teacher. It will take time in the beginning to prepare Internet assignments, but it is necessary for effective use of the technology. Numerous lessons and ideas are available on the Internet. However, always carefully preview a site before using it with your class.

Use the Internet only when it enhances learning in the content area. The activity should be a vital step in mastering the content benchmark. Therefore, ALL students need access to participate.

Table of Contents        Internet Activities Part I        Internet Activities Part II