Internet Use in the Classroom

Internet in the Classroom

Technology and Internet in the classroom have long been debated topics among schools and educators. While it’s true that the world is becoming more digital, some people have reservations about whether Internet use should be allowed in the classroom.

Many believe that using the Internet in classrooms encourages a more creative and engaging classroom environment. Instead of just listening to a teacher lecture students can use the Internet to access information and explore the material more in depth. This can help students to learn the information better and develop critical thinking skills over straight memorization. 43% of students agree their school needs more technology (Source).

However, many teachers and even students find that when students are being allowed to bring their laptops to class and use the Internet, it goes from being a tool to a distraction. Most students, when allowed to, use the Internet for surfing the web which takes away from the what they should be learning and distracts those around them also. It also sets a bad standard for people who use their laptops to take notes. On the other hand, 47% of students agree technology makes professors better at their jobs.

Most schools do not have a school wide policy about using the Internet in the classroom and rather allow teachers to make their own policies. However, one school that is taking an active stance against Internet usage is the University of Chicago Law School that banned Internet access in their classrooms saying that it hindered the teaching and learning process.

On the other hand, most people who use the Internet in their classes don’t actually mean to distract themselves and their peers. It’s just out of habit and something that most students can’t resist. Because we live in a technology driven world we are constantly connected to the Internet and our generation is all about multitasking we find it almost impossible to battle the urge to surf the Internet, even during class.

So what’s the solution? Some schools have installed software that gives teachers the power to control Internet usage or disable it all together, even with students using wireless laptops. This cuts down on the distraction but also allows students to use the Internet and their computers for classroom uses.

However, even with this measure it is up to the students to take control of their time and apply themselves. While we are all guilty of checking our phones or going on Facebook when we shouldn’t, it is up to each person to control themselves and realize when something becomes too big of a distraction. According to the Spring 2011 Student Monitor Financial Services Survey, 89% of students own a laptop and 94% own cellphones, 54% of which are smartphones. Students are more connected than ever, for better or worse, though 75% of college students say that having Wi-Fi access on their college campuses helps them do better in their classes. In the end, with as much time as we have to go on the Internet during the day, sacrificing an hour of our time to learn is not actually that much of a sacrifice at all.