Using the Internet in the classroom is becoming the new fad in elementary schools across the U.S. Your child or students may soon be joining the "10 million children who are using the Internet" (http://www.ou.edu/oupd/kidtool.htm). This is quite a high number of children to be entrusted with our computer technology, but it's proven to be worth the risk in expanding our children's great minds. Using the Internet with your child or students has many positive results, but also has some risks, which we as adults can learn to look out for.
Roles of the Internet
The Internet has many positive interactive roles for your children. Using the Internet effectively has proven to "increase a child's school performance and future job potential" (ibid). Children can learn from the World Wide Web, email services and chatting services. Learning on the World Wide Web consists of positive features, risks/dangersand parenting control tips. Using email services and chatting services also consist of postitive features, risks/dangers and parenting control tips. Before using the Internet in your classsroom, make sure you take advantage of the parental control tips--the last thing a teacher needs is a lawsuit because one of her students is sending another student in her classroom pornographic pictures.
But is using the Internet in your classroom cost effective?
We all know how expensive a computer can be, let alone Internet services. But to use the Internet in your classroom is virtually free, aside from the cost of the computer itself. Most schools nowadays at least have access to a computer lab, so be prepared to make the most of your time allowed in the computer lab. If possible, try and get your school to look into getting a computer in each classroom. It is becoming a de facto standard to be computer literate in our society, and children need to learn these skills young, so that when they get into high school and college they are not left behind. Besides, many computer companies will cut deals with educational institutions if they order a certain number of their computers. It seems the cost per classroom is pretty low compared to the skills and knowledge the children will acquire from using the computer. So, it's up to you to decide if increased learning ability is worth the expense of computer and Internet costs.