Using the Internet in the Classroom
In this session you will:
- Survey major issues in using the Internet in the
classroom: student safety, scheduling and management of student access,
teaching necessary technology skills, and preparing lessons using the
- Examine various types of learning activities using
- Explore Web sites to support Internet learning
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
Some lessons lend themselves more readily to Internet enhancement.
Appropriate lessons may involve activities that require:
- Collecting information
- Analyzing information
- Investigating a given topic
- Comparing and contrasting information or points of
- Obtaining a global perspective on a given issue
- Using current data not readily available elsewhere
- Obtaining background information on topics related to
the lesson objective
- Providing multimedia for student/teacher presentations
- Obtaining opinions and information from experts
- Providing opportunities for authentic applications of
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.