Coleman's expressions

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Internet in K-12 Instruction

  • Check out the statistics on Internet use in today’s world – Can you relate? How can educational processes NOT include this widely used-tool?
    21 million Americans use it to get additional career training
    Helps 17 million when dealing with major illness
    17 million use it for choosing a school for a child
    16 million use it to buy a car
    16 million use it for a major financial decision
    10 million use it for finding new place to live
    8 million use it when changing job
    7 million use it to cope with family illness
    Source: Pew Internet and American Life Project (BBC News, January 26, 2006)

    As many of my classmates have done, I feel the need to post a reflective piece…these last two months have been a delightful learning experience – one in which I plan to continue growing! The use of blogs, podcasts, wikis, social bookmarking and other tools will have a huge impact on education and instructional technology. What a great feeling I’ve had in considering how to apply them to my own situation…and now that I can take a moment from “living and breathing” the knowledge acquisition, I’m anxious to put social software to use. This will be one of those classes that “won’t go away” – I’m so trained to check my bloglines and accounts everyday that its impact is already noticeable.

    A couple of basic tenets remain:
  • Learning is not an end-all product in the form of content iterated by a teacher – it is lifelong process that is more exemplified by knowing “how” to get the information rather than making the brain a repository of facts (unless, of course, you are going to play Jeopardy with Alex T.). The power of the Internet to harness all of that wonderful information is only as good as the skill of the learner to filter, screen and select the best fit.
  • Learning usually involves social construction of knowledge – how great that social software has evolved to help bridge the gap in our global community!
  • Learning is also tied deeply to motivation. Expecting our “digital natives” to conform to the agricultural-age education model is not only a “turn off” but does nothing to help promote learning in our students nor prepare them for their future lives.
  • Even with the abundant technology applications for education, the teacher still plays a huge role in not only facilitating the process of learning, but also providing the “touch” (i.e., that special caring connection that only exists between teacher and student).


  • I agree with you, this class is one that “won’t go away”. I have also become accustom to checking my blogline and account daily. This class has opened my eyes to so much technology that I would never have been exposed to (in at least the foreseeable future). To me, it is truly amazing all the resources available to everyone via the Internet. I feel so fortunate to be taught how to use these resources and incorporate them into my classroom.
    The basic tenets you mentioned are so true. We, as teachers must remember and stay vigilant to all the tenets you have shared.


    By Blogger Jen, at 3/01/2006 9:32 AM  

  • Marie,

    The statistics that you quote are staggering, but I realize they are correct. I can't imagine not having my computer to use for so many aspects of my professional and personal life.

    I too have become accustomed to blogging on a regular basis and using my account. Now that I know about social bookmarking, I will probably never export my favorites from Internet Explorer ever again.

    I have enjoyed reading and responding to your blogs and I hope that you will continue to post your thoughts. I intend on keeping the "habit" alive.

    Best wishes for the future!

    :-) Ruth

    By Blogger Ruth Paine, at 3/01/2006 4:45 PM  

  • I agree with you about living and breathing what we have learned in this class. I need to time to practice my new acquired skills and use them to supplement my curriculum. Thanks for the info on the Digital Photography and Visual Literacy class. I have two classes and one practicum left to finish my master's program. I can finally see the end of the tunnel. I have learned so much throughout my course work. This class has been awesome because I can apply what I learned not only professionally but personally as well. Thanks for all your expertise that you added to our class.

    By Blogger Carrie Barnes, at 3/04/2006 6:53 AM  

  • I'll take "wikipedia" for $200, Alex! As I have come to expect, your insight and eloquence provides a good read! Your comment about learning and utilization is in line with what I am feeling at the end of this experience and as Jen said in a preceding comment, "this class is one that 'won't go away!'" Kind of like graduating from high school in a way. One journey's end gives way to the beginning of another. Life-long learning...a concept that I want my students to embrace. You capture its essence in your blog. Thanks. I'll be watching!

    By Blogger James Harris, at 3/04/2006 6:45 PM  

  • Two sites that may help keep you on the bleeding edge of new technology if you can stand the overall nerdyness of it all:



    By Blogger Jesse, at 3/06/2006 6:23 PM  

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