Internet in Classrooms: The Ultimate Teaching Aid?

by A Guest Author

While transferring to Ivy League from community college, advancements in technology are often seen as unnecessary in classrooms. The usual rhetoric is nothing can quite beat traditional teaching methods and amongst the older teaching generation in particular, this is the general consensus. Indeed there are a range of different technologies that are actually quite ineffectual in classrooms. For example, teachers using television documentaries or audio books to get their point across never really succeed in teaching as effectively as good old textbooks. This is especially true for community college and university students. However, there is one technology that’s proving to be of revolutionary use to teachers: the internet.

Why the Internet is so Useful for a Teacher

Far from what we assumed as children, teachers don’t know it all. In fact, some could even know very little in the field they’re teaching in. Nevertheless, they’re bombarded with constant questions by kids who expect them to know the answers. Furthermore, knowing the answer to a question can be a matter of reputation for a teacher, and for a teacher, reputation is everything. The words ‘I don’t know’ are translated into ‘I have little knowledge’ by a student and this pressure can be daunting.

How useful is it therefore, to have a laptop connected to the internet on standby for whenever a difficult question comes along? All the teacher needs to do is say ‘let’s look it up’ and save their reputation, while at the same time succeed in providing the child with the correct answer. In fact, by checking answers up on the internet with the child, the student effectively better learns the answer to the question. This is as human beings learn more when actively seeking an answer, instead of simply being told.

Why the Internet Isn’t so Useful for a Teacher

However, it must be remembered that teachers are expected to know everything! This means that relying on the internet for every answer can also damage one’s reputation. Furthermore, while a teacher can more or less eventually know everything pertaining to the particular curriculum they’re teaching, this level of knowledge cannot be attained through simply referring to the internet every time a student has a question.

A teacher must be encouraged to learn just as much as the student and the convenient presence of the internet in a classroom can discourage many from feeling as if they need to learn the answers to every question. This is a dangerous state for the future of teaching.

Furthermore, one over-reliant on the internet will find themselves in trouble if the connection goes down or if a broadband speed test renders the connection to be unstable in a particular classroom.

Upon Deliberation 

Ultimately, whether or not a teacher ought to use the internet depends on the teacher. If one is incredibly enthusiastic about teaching then he or she will continue to learn in their own spare time regardless of the fact that they can answer any question with the use of the internet. Furthermore, a great teacher knows when and when not to refer back to the internet for any unanswerable questions.

An unenthusiastic teacher however, will grow accustomed to using the internet as an ultimate ivy league transfer guide and come to over-rely on the web. This will in time ruin the teacher’s creativity and prevent him or her from learning as much as they could have, were their classrooms to have been internet free.

This post was written by A Guest Author

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