Using the Internet for Learning and Teaching

The Greatest Tool?


Learning is defined as ‘knowledge or skill acquired by instruction or study’ according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. This is similar to my belief that learning is a consequence of action. When a person acts they are given a result, either positive or negative, which allows them to evaluate if the action was detrimental or beneficial. This can even be observed in very small children. For example, if a child is around a stove and the mother says ‘No, hot, that will burn the baby,’ the baby will not know what that means and may touch a hot piece of metal. This of course will burn the child and cause lots of pain. This is a learning experience and the child will now associate the stove with being hot. The child may also associate the words that the mother spoke with pain. So every time the mother looks at the baby and says ‘No, hot, that will burn the baby’ the child will stay away from whatever may burn them.

The fact that experience and learning are so intertwined used to be a hindrance to teaching students. This is because a student couldn’t go back in time and become a soldier in the American Revolution. With the advancement in technology this roadblock has disintegrated. Technology is growing at an exponential rate in the modern world. Many people have been reluctant to use this technology to teach students, but these people are slowly becoming replaced with new teachers who were born in the ‘digital age.’ This new technology is something that holds young people’s attention very well.

Many schools have decided to integrate more and more technology into the classroom. In Avery County High School every student is provided with a new Mac laptop, which they receive as a gift on their graduation day. This is a form of positive reinforcement that motivates the children to finish high school. This is not only a graduation gift though. It is the gift of technology and the gateway to learning and information.

The internet is the center of a lot of controversial conversation on its benefits to children. Some argue that the internet does nothing but makes children dependent on a computer for information. Scientists have conducted multiple studies on the premise that students don’t learn when they are using the internet for research. Their results have varied but the fact still remains that a student can use this powerful technology to accomplish great things.

Technology is something that I cannot say I am scared of using in the classroom. I believe that it can really be an amazing tool. It is just waiting for educator to realize its potential. I have realized it and have already started looking at games, videos, and various other pieces of technology that could be useful in drawing the attention of high school students. Two examples that I have so far is a video and a video game. The video is by Soomo Publishing and has historical context related to the American Revolution. The part that makes the video interesting is that it takes a lot of historical facts and ideas and expresses them in a music video. The video is a spoof of the song ‘Too Late to Apologize’ by OneRepublic and even has a scene with Benjamin Franklin playing an electric guitar while Thomas Jefferson is the lead singer of the band. The types of games that I have been looking into are war games. I have tried to steer clear of anything that requires students to kill, instead focusing on spy missions that have historical context. So far there are numerous mainstream games for World War II. I believe that these types of games can bridge the previously mentioned roadblock of not being able to relate to the past. If a student can play the dangerous role of a soldier they can at least see the situations that our soldiers had been in.

The main fact in teaching is that students and teachers do not relate to one another mainly because of their age difference and interest differences. One thing that can connect students to learning history is allowing them to learn while using video games. If they can make the connection of learning and fun they are then like the baby. Instead of ‘No, hot;’ it is ‘learning, fun.’

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Comments 11 comments

kittyjj profile image

kittyjj 4 years ago from San Jose, California

Interesting idea - using video games as a tool to teach history. It's definitely a fun way to learn.


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 4 years ago from California

Computers are definitely the future for education. One of my kids learned so much playing Oregon Trail years ago. It was a planning and strategy game that also taught history. The government and airlines use computer games, so why not regular schools. I still like to see students do some research at the library as well as on line.


old albion profile image

old albion 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

I do my best with new technology but it can be difficult when you are older. As even the simple things are an education when you are not taught with / via the computer from an early age. Very interesting hub. Thanks.

Graham.


dmop profile image

dmop 4 years ago from Cambridge City, IN

I think computers are great tools for learning, though they do make it awfully easy to just look up the information and never learn it. I constantly use the internet to learn, all my college classes were online and even beyond that I use it every day to advance my knowledge. Great article, voted up and interesting.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland

Very interesting hub and well laid out. There are ups and downs with using computers for education, but nevertheless, I do think that the future of education will be more computer based.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 4 years ago

Hi Dwayne - it just goes to prove that theory about ' it's never too late'

because at the tender young age of 51 (lol) I finally got on the internet and a computer for the first time in my life and look at how far I have come in the last 3 years - and I always consider 'everything' on the internet 'just the tip of the iceberg' - we are always learning, changing and growing with each new day - thank you for your insight here in your bub and so nice to meet you.

lake erie time ontario canada 11:39am


LuxmiH profile image

LuxmiH 4 years ago from Fort Pierce, Florida

This Hub reminds me of a tour I took of a Helicopter training school for the Army, many years ago. The instructor explained that the new recruits were light years ahead of their instructors thanks to the development of certain neurotransmitters of their brains being developed through the electronic gaming industry.


dwayne1240 profile image

dwayne1240 4 years ago Author

Kitty,

I have always been interested in teaching. It's actually my major. I believe that teaching history will be tough and that any help I can get will be great. Thank you or your read and comment.

1240


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 4 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

I think the Internet is a great Teacher and more. it is a great leveller too. The world was probably suspicious of the printing press and the telephone when they were invented. But the internet is invaluable and can only improve our lives. It's one more thing we have to add to our learning now.


dwachira profile image

dwachira 4 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

Technology tools are developed to make life easier. I agree with you, Technology can be amazing and useful tool to use in a classroom. Voted up and shared.


dwayne1240 profile image

dwayne1240 4 years ago Author

Thank you Tireless, Albion and dmop. I remember playing Oregon Trail when I was in the 5th grade. It was one of the many ways that I accidentally learned history through the internet. I believe that the internet can be a great teaching tool. Thanks again.

1240

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