Article by Benedict Smythe
The internet is seen by many as one of the most powerful innovations ever invented, and with good reason. The internet figures increasingly in our lives that practically no aspect is untouched by it. One such area that the internet has had phenomenal impact is on education. Because it enables people to reach out across cultures, the possibilities it opens up for the teaching profession has become boundless.
The potential of the internet as a teaching tool is a relatively new concept but more and more people realize that it can indeed foster a dynamic learning environment. It is particularly beneficial as a teaching aid in English language learning.
The possibility of eliminating boundaries is one reason it can be effective in teaching English. Proximity is no longer an issue as it connects people located in different parts of the globe. Also, a teacher can facilitate learning by using materials that reflect the experiences and culture of his students. The internet makes this possible as there are now numerous studies on how different cultures look at education: how they respond to teachers, what kind of learning environment they have been exposed to, how they behave when interacting with each other.
The internet’s authenticity is also a factor. It enables students to gain access to real information and real-life experiences. They are no longer limited to using textbooks as their source of information as the internet offers an assortment of resources on a variety of topics.
The internet also makes learning practical. Students are empowered by the Net because it enables them to study independently. They have access to information round the clock and they can choose which information to take in. This promotes learning because students are active participants, learning how to do things themselves. They don’t really need to wait for the teacher to give them the go signal as they can even access the internet when they are at home.
Interaction is enhanced considerably when using the internet for teaching. It enables students and teachers belonging to different parts of the world to talk to each other and it allows students to talk to other students from different countries. It can also promote interaction within the classroom. Since the internet is such an interesting tool students are willing to participate more in class thus providing positive mental stimulation.
Its entertainment value motivates students to learn. Computers and the internet have become so popular among children over the years, and since student interest is already there, all the teacher has to do is make sure they are exposed to an array of stimulating activities.
As you can see, the internet is an empowering tool both for the teacher and his students. If used effectively and in accordance with learning goals, there is no reason it shouldn’t continue to be a powerful educating tool. As for students, their learning is no longer passive because the internet really does offer numerous activities for them to apply what they have been taught.