The Internet as a teaching tool, not to be overdone!

In the article I read titled, “Teachers Using the Internet” on teachersindex.com, the author is not listed, how the internet can be a valuable resource for teachers at all levels and across all the subjects is discussed. The article states that it is a great places for teachers to find fun activities and, for teachers to be able to communicate with students and parents. Almost immediately the author warns us that as teachers we should be aware of what the internet should and shouldn’t be used for, what its limitations are. The author writes that teachers most commonly use the internet for help finding lesson plans, and warns that the internet is a teaching tool not a replacement for good teaching.

Although it is a great resource it should not be relied on heavily, it should be a resource that is used sporadically.  The author writes, “you cannot be an effective teacher if you are getting your daily lesson plans from the internet”. Another reason teachers use the internet is to find worksheets, because they are free, downloadable, and printable; however we are warned to not go looking for worksheets because, “your classroom should actually be for the most part, work-sheet free”.  Further explaining that many teachers are not aware of this. The author explains that worksheets “can be a lazy way of teaching. However, worksheets are terrific for drilling on basic skills like math and language arts”.  Even though we are warned to stay away from the practice of worksheets, we are told to save any good ones we do come across.

Another use that is given is creating classroom websites, which I my pre-practicum one teacher does utilize to great success.  It really works for her, students know that homework is always up and they can also submit work via their website.  The only caveat given for using websites is privacy issues.

Next email is touched upon, it is recommended that teachers have a parent email list for their students, because this is a way to keep in touch and keep them informed.  Parents can recieve updates, assignments, and any concerns can be addressed quickly. Finally, the author discusses the use of internet to, “do some educational research. If you are having problems in class, do an online search. See if other teachers have the same problem and have solved it”.  Although, this article wasn’t long it was an insightful read.  Some of the stuff in common sense, but in an age where we “Google” everything, it was a helpful reminder that in order to really succeed as a teacher we should never overuse any teaching tool.

With that being said this website (teachersindex.com), ironically, has a banner across the top that says, “Free teachers resources, lesson plans, worksheets, & teacher articles”.  

HOPE EVERYONE HAD A GREAT THANKSGIVING 🙂

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “The Internet as a teaching tool, not to be overdone!

  1. abthib

    You bring up a good point about using the Internet for locating teaching tools and not exclusively as a teaching tool–like with blogs and online student assignments as we’ve discussed in class. I see how it could become a crutch from some teachers who are relying on the Internet as their sole source of teaching material/inspiration. I think the best solution is to be cautious and creative with it–finding material that works for a specific class and tailoring it to the students’ needs. I would argue too that perhaps the best way to use the Internet is as a tool for communicating with other teachers. I think there is a lot more to be gained from using the Internet as a communication tool than just for printing out worksheets. I think it’s about finding those online communities where you can share your ideas, your success stories, and your not-so-success stories.

  2. I think you both make valid points about utilizing tools such as online as a tool not the foundation for the class and curriculum or class outline. I do think having the internet aspect as a part of class gives the class diversity and also gives students a chance to obtain information an alternative way if need be. The use of online use shouldn’t be abused or solely relied on because as we know technology can be unpredictable and at times unreliable despite its evolution; teachers must find a good healthy rationale balance when it comes to the web. If the web continuously becomes overused teachers will be crippling students, as well as themselves as teachers and ultimately the pupil and faculty could become at a disadvantage.

  3. Brenda you bring up alot of good points in this article. I can’t help but remember the days when all I did all day long were worksheets after worksheets, how boring!

    Abby you hit the nail on the head when you stated, “I think there is a lot more to be gained from using the Internet as a communication tool than just for printing out worksheets.” The internet is an amazing source, as all of you have stated. It is not to be overused or abused but to be shared. The great success stories of lesson plans and the fatal ones.

    I’m sure most of you know the popular website Pinterest. Well one of my coworkers goes there a lot to get some of her classroom ideas for building some activity plans. When she first told me this, I was kind of mortified because it may not be the most reliable source. After further explaning she said that she finds ideas there and then builds upon them to perfect them. She just sees an image and creates some positive classroom atmosphere off of it. She also writes down whether it was a good/ bad plan and how to tweak it next year.

    I think in the years to come, the internet will become a more reliable source and we won’t have a choice inside our classrooms but to use it!

  4. I thought this was a great article on how to successfully use the internet not only for teachers but also in a classroom. I have on more than one occasion been told that teaching is easy now because you can find all your lesson plans on the internet. I find this to be such an insult and as you pointed out the internet is in no way a substitute for a good and effective teacher.

    I liked how you and this article pointed out the good things about the internet and how it can be used effectively. First off, I love the idea of having a parent email list. Not only is this a “green” was to go about sending classroom letters and announcement homes, but it also makes sure that parents are receiving the message. We all know that we cannot always count on the students, no matter what age group you are teaching to actually give their parents all the messages that get sent home. This is always great because now the parent has a permanent copy of it in their email in case they lose the hard copy. I think that parent involvement in a child’s education is very important and this can prove to be a good way to make sure that a parent is kept in the know.

    I also liked how you mentioned classroom websites. I think that these can be used in many successful ways. Whether students are required to post assignments there or if it becomes a resource for students where they can find a copy of handouts or other material.

    I think like everything else teachers, especially those who did not grow up in the internet era, need to be taught how to effectively utilize such tools in the classroom.

  5. huyhoa87

    While I love the internet, I have a few issues with it when it comes to academics. For one, not everyone will have access to the internet. When I go to my local library, I still see a line for the computer. I often seen young kids and teenagers on them surfing the web or playing games. This indicates to me that not only do they not have internet access, but they don’t even have computer access. I remember teaching a confirmation class where I asked my students to jot down their cell-phone number and I inadvertently embarrassed a brother and sister, because they don’t have a cellphone. When using the internet as a tool for education, we must be considerate of student economic statuses. In a well-off town, we might not have a problem with that. But in a large city such as Boston, we might run into some trouble. Kids are embarrassed that they are poor and might not admit to not having access to the internet or a computer. I remember a history class where we had to watch a debate, but I knew a kid who didn’t have even have a TV and was too embarrassed to tell the teacher. If we decide to use something as a tool, we must be certain that ALL of our students will have equal access to that tool.

  6. I agree with Brenda and students comments that internet based technology is a powerful and helping tool to enrich and advance learning. But, teachers need to know if all students in the class have internet connection at home and able to use technology effectively. The use of technology should not replace teacher or overvalued students. So, teachers need to be aware of the challenges and gaps can be appear, at the same time be eager to use technological advantages, since they advance and transform teaching and learning. It is absolutely necessary teachers examination how technology would work best in each class setting, and which results it would produce! Incorporation of technology in study process is a relatively new method of teaching. Thus, teachers should study how incorporation of each technology advances, improve, and asseverate learning process.

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