Internet has become an essential part of many people’s lives. Others do not approve such a wide use of the Internet. They assert that along with having a tremendous impact on all the fields of human’s life, it can cause a big havoc that will replace the cultural heritage that was gathered during thousands of years. So, is it better to allow the Internet use during studying, or to stick to more traditional method of learning and searching information using books?
There are a lot of arguments emphasizing that computer technology greatly influences the education sphere. Luke Hodorowicz in his work “Computer Ethics” affirms that “computers and technology are used in an educational setting very often.” He also notes that “a trend of wiring schools, using long distance learning, and reliance on the internet for information is seemingly pushed forward without any real test or study on the usefulness of such technology on education” (Hodorowicz).
The Internet use in education has both advantages and disadvantages. According to Plomp and Anderson, the use of computers as a tool of teaching and learning can contribute much to the educational practice, improving the effectiveness of education. Moreover, such educational goals as teaching of problem-solving and productive (as opposed to reproductive) cognitive skills can be reached.
However, Angela Young presents some of the negative effects of using the Internet for educational purposes. She brings up an issue of Internet abuse in the schools. According to her, students have become lazy using the internet in their education. In those days when students had to spend time at the library looking for resources and writing information on the cards, they actually had to work to get information. Though it was tedious, it certainly helped students to comprehend information more deeply. Now, students do not want to take the trouble to spend much time finding resources, or to check if the resources are appropriate. It results in “poorly researched papers with little work put into them” (Young). Besides, because of students’ laziness and unwillingness to present the read article in their own words, plagiarism becomes widely spread. Moreover, there are sites where it is possible to buy ready papers. It has become one of the burning problems in many educational institutions. The solution to this problem can be seen in monitoring the usage of the Internet in education, and in teaching students the ways to do a research appropriately. So, there is a question: will students given research assignment be required to do both Internet and non-Internet research? Or perhaps, the role of the Internet is this task is irreplaceable?
In my opinion, we should try to get back to non-Internet research, but I am not sure that the results will be positive. Taking into account how modern world is dependant on technologies, the attempt to make students to come back to the previous methods of studying and searching information sounds like a utopia. I think no one will waste his or her valuable time looking through a lot of books and articles in order to find some information, instead of just referring to the Internet. It concerns not just the sphere of education, but all the fields of human being. New technologies make our life easier and more comfortable, and the price for it is laziness to think. The Internet provides us with a possibility to view pictures as well as watch videos and listen to speeches or lectures. It makes the process of learning interesting and interactive, which contrasts much with the gaining knowledge with the help of books. Having tried easy ways, it is hard to reject them and come back to old ones. Perhaps, the best way to make students learn and look for information for their projects in books, is to remove the Internet from the educational process at all. However, it can be a big loss for the educational system. Removing it can cause bigger havoc than using it (Hodorowicz). So, in my opinion, the best way is to teach students how to analyze the gained information in the Internet, how to find out if it is appropriate or no, and how to avoid plagiarism, rather than make them use books for getting required information. In such a way, the Internet will not be abused in education any more. Instead, it will become a good educational tool.
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Though the usage of the Internet in the educational process has some disadvantages, the role of it is very significant. We just should try not to overuse it, considering it to be not a means of education, but a tool. It is impossible to reject it and come back to traditional methods of learning and getting information, but it is possible to teach students to use it in appropriate manner. In such a way, it will be not a loss, but a benefit both for teachers and students.