Teaching children the ins and outs of the Internet may not be as necessary as it used to be, especially when you consider the amount of knowledge students today have gleaned on their own home computers—knowledge they could probably teach many of their teachers.
But one thing is for sure.
Students need direction. More often than not, students are caught fiddling with computer keys when they should be listening to a lecture, playing online casino games or e-mailing friends in favor of working on their research project.
So how can teachers help?
- When computers are not in use, turn the monitor around.
- Use the computer on certain days and times of the week. When not in use, shut the computer off. A computer lab within the school may help with much of this if you either can’t, or decide not to have computers in the classroom.
- Walk around the room when giving a lecture; make sure that no one is making use of a computer when it should be turned off.
- Don’t forget you have a school library. Other resources for retrieving information like video, film strips; even in class speakers.
- Teach your students how to use power point but not at the expense of teaching them how to give a speech with the use of a few note cards.
- Make use of computers in group situations where the group researches a topic together and discusses the sources he or she found when searching.
- Teach your students the difference between .com, .edu, .gov and other website tags. Not all information on the Internet is valuable, as you well know.
The Internet can be a glorious, even a hated thing in the classroom unless you handle this forward moving technology with care. Use it, enjoy it, and then put it away for another day.