Monday, July 28, 2003

10 Stages of Web-Use Nirvana

In my course on designing web-based learning, I've been seeing these patterns in the comments from my teacher-classmates about using the internet in their classes:
  • The internet is a scary, dangerous place where kids could get hurt
  • The computers in my school are broken and useless, and the lab is always booked
  • Kids just waste time surfing and getting into trouble on the internet
  • The students are more interested in finding their own stuff rather than listening to me
  • They could do research using books in the library just as effectively
  • This list could go on and on, but you get the point...
There are also defenders of the value of the web, but even those posts include disclaimers about the need to protect kids, limit their choices, and only use the technology as an occasional tool. I'm starting to feel like I'm alone in my belief that the internet (including emerging communication technologies, learning-object repositories, wireless, simulation/video, and everything else that we're just getting a taste of now) will change everything in education. I haven't had the energy for a point-by-point rebuttal, because I'm just not on the same page.

Before I gave up in despair, I checked out this list for teachers wanting to do more internet integration: 10 Stages of Web-Use Nirvana. It shows how an ambitious teacher (in an ambitious school) could go from learning to use a search engine to facilitating rich self-directed online learning experiences in a decade or two. Big thinking...I like it.

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