As a teacher myself, I understand how difficult it can be to retain the attention of students who would prefer to be texting, talking to their friends, or spending a lovely day at the beach. Fortunately, there are a variety of effective ways to incorporate Internet use into the classroom to captivate the attention of your students and increase their learning.
-1) Utilize Online Information Resources
YouTube is a great source for teachers. YouTube has thousands of hours of audio and visual content. Movies are a great resource on Youtube. For example, if you are a history teacher and need a supplement to a lesson about the Civil War, you can find clips from the Ken Burns Civil War documentary on the website. Historic speeches, such as Ronald Reagan’s Berlin Wall Address, or Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s 1933 Inauguration can also be watched on YouTube. Students can literally watch history come alive through this resource.
Wikipedia is also a fantastic resource for teachers to use. While Wikipedia is often condemned as an unofficial resource or unreliable, it is generally a pretty accurate source of information. Wikipedia is helpful if you want to quickly confirm a date, or get a basic understanding of a historical event.
-2) Stop Plagiarism Using Internet Technology
The Internet makes cheating easier than ever for students. That does not mean as teachers that you should simply surrender and give up the ethical battle! Fortunately, innovative resources provide ways to catch students who simply buy their paper on the Internet.
Turnitin.com is a great way to stop cheating in its tracks. This is a great service that compares student papers to other papers that have been turned in to the website, as well as searches the Internet for similarities between student papers and Internet documents. Requiring students to submit their papers to turnitin.com will both show students you take plagiarism very seriously and make them think twice before trying to pass off someone else’s paper as their own.
-3) Increase Paths of Communication Between Teachers, Parents, and Students
Teachers, parents, and students all have busy schedules, and it can be difficult to communicate and convene with each other on a regular basis. Using e-mail can be an effective means to bridge this communication gap. If you want to keep a parent informed regarding how their student is doing, sometimes a parent with a busy schedule may be unble to pick up a phone call. But sending emails allows parents to keep informed when they get off work. E-mail is also an effective way to keep students informed about missing assignments they may need to turn in, or remind students of upcoming deadlines.
The Internet is a great resource to use in the classroom! Start with these quick tips and be part of the Internet revolution, changing classrooms across the country one day at a time!