Why Teachers Use the Internet

Group Members:

 Ima Sample, Mike Crowsoft, Bea Stern


 October 29, 200X

In "NetLearning: Why Teachers Use the Internet," Serim Ferdi suggests ten main reasons why teachers use the Internet:

1. To find low-cost or free materials

2. To connect the classroom to the larger world.

3. To help teachers manage time more efficiently.

4. To motivate students.

5. To give students opportunities to learn by doing.

6. To expand opportunities for "telementoring"

7. To help teachers communicate and share experience and ideas with other teachers

8. To help bring the school and the community closer together.

9. To help teachers spread good news about what's happening in their classrooms.

10. To "rejuvenate" teachers' professional lives.

Adapted from Serim, Ferdi, "NetLearning: Why Teachers Use the Internet: Online Resource Guide. Online Internet Institute.


I. Three Important Uses of the Internet. Identify three of the above uses of the Internet that should be prioritized. For each of the three goals:

use complete sentences,

restate the goal,

explain why the goal should be a priority,

give examples of specific things teachers can do to encourage that goal

Unfortunately, teachers are often not given a lot of money to put toward classroom resources. The Internet can be seen as a repository of free materials that can be beneficial for students and teachers in the classroom.  By having access to thousands of books, games, websites, etc., teachers can provide a world of knowledge for their students for no additional charges. It also connects students globally adding to multicultural education by bridging the “cultural gap.” An example would be giving students the opportunity to correspond with pen pals from other cultures. Third, the Internet can be a virtual classroom. The teacher may not be able to provide hands-on experiences for all learning. An example of this might be online dissection of animals or conducting a virtual tour of a museum.

II. Other benefits of the Internet. In your group, discuss whether there are any other benefits of the Internet not mentioned in the article.

The Internet encourages students to conduct independent research. Having access to world databases at the tips of their fingers enhances student access to information by making searching convenient, easy and quick. Student can improve their ability to use the same skills with databases in different subject areas and circumstances

III. Two Potential Drawbacks. As a group, identify and briefly discuss two potential drawbacks of using the Internet in the classroom that we should pay special attention.

Not everything on the Internet is reliable. Students may have a hard time distinguishing between reliable and unreliable sources. Teachers should convey to their students how to discern between reliable and unreliable sources. The Internet could also be used as a “crutch” or as the main teaching tool in the classroom with the teacher relying solely on the Internet for all classroom information and activities. Teachers should closely monitor student Internet usage which can be a difficult with a full classroom. When using the Internet as a whole class activity it would be advisable to have another teacher or aid help monitor the students.

IV. Is the article dated? Why or why not? It is a common perception that the growth of technology is moving at a rapid pace. Are the articles written even a few years ago still valid in this ever changing field?

Despite the fact that it is a dated article many of the reasons given are still applicable in the classroom today. The Internet has become a "regular" in the school experience. Today teachers and students can design their own web pages or post homework, syllabi, and notes online.