The information highway or the internet has changed the way the world does things. It is one more point in a long continuum of inventions that is destined to revolutionize lifestyles. One is inclined to ask, how does the ability of computers to talk to each other improve the learning process in the classroom? How does it make a difference in studying epic poems like the Odyssey and the Iliad? These and other questions will be answered in the following steps. The Internet has a more pervasive effect than other electronic media and is the modern engine of progress; it is the new form of thinking that will show a new approach to online education.
Personal computers and the information superhighway are rapidly transforming America. The Internet is already making vast amounts of information available at unprecedented speeds. When this revolution is fully felt in schools, teachers and students will have virtually instantaneous access to vast amounts of information and a wide range of learning tools. If we lead the information revolution wisely, these resources will be available not only to affluent suburban schools, but also to rural school districts and inner-city schools. Widespread access can narrow differences in the quality of online education and offer children of all areas new learning opportunities. Used well, this transformative technology can play an important role in educational reform.
The new technology will enable students to acquire the skills essential to succeed in modern society. Exposure to computer technology in school will enable students to become familiar with the necessary tools at an early age. By using technology well, they will also acquire better thinking skills to help them become informed citizens and active members of the community.
The drive to integrate technology into our nation’s schools goes far beyond the Internet. Were the Internet not to exist, advanced technology would still have so many valuable educational uses, applications for distance learning, collaborative learning, and so on, that much larger investments than contemplated would be warranted.
Web resources are great tools for research. Let’s not kid ourselves, however. Even if policy makers, professionals and parents decide what their goals are and even if the research findings support one of several hardware and software configurations, deciding when, how or whether to use technology (or any other reform) in the classroom it is not likely to be determined solely on these grounds. Many other factors—ranging from parental pressure to superintendents wanting to leave their footprints on the district to technology companies promoting their products—shape decisions about purchasing and allocating technologies to schools.
The Internet is an incredible resource of information and a powerful communication tool. The ability to use new technologies is becoming an increasingly important factor in career prospects, and the future success of today’s students will be most influenced by their understanding and ability to access and use electronic information. The increase in the use of online services at home by children increases the impetus for schools to take a more active role in family education regarding their use.
Schools have the potential to be access points and online education hubs for exploring Internet resources. Greater parental involvement in school education programs can help address community concerns and can improve the overall academic performance of their children. If educators take responsibility for helping students master the use of technology and educating them about potential risks, students will become more empowered to make smart choices.
Multicultural education refers to education and instruction designed for cultures of different races in an education system. This approach to teaching and learning is based on building consensus, respecting and promoting cultural pluralism within racial societies. Multicultural education recognizes and incorporates positive racial idiosyncrasies into the classroom atmosphere.
The concept of learning styles is rooted in the classification of psychological types. The different ways of doing this are generally classified as: Concrete and abstract perceivers and Active and reflective processors.
There are many academic and psychological problems minority students encounter such as: low single breadwinner, low socioeconomic status, low minority group status, limited English proficiency, low educational attainment of parents, mobility, and psychosocial factors.
Not only do school programs and practices have a direct impact on student success, but the school and community contexts in which these programs and practices occur also impact success rates. The “context” is made up of many factors. Some contextual variables can positively impact students, while others work against student success.
The call for comprehensive school reform strongly suggests that existing conceptions of education are inadequate to promote multicultural equity. Unfortunately, these same ideas have shaped the education of future teachers. Their education likely featured tracking (the process of assigning students to different groups, grades, or programs based on measures of intelligence, achievement, or aptitude), traditional education that appeals to a narrow range of learning styles, and study that exclude the contribution of women and people of different cultures. Competition drives this factory school model, where students tend to be seen as products rolling off an assembly line.
Education is a fundamental human process; it is a matter of values and action. The cluster of technologies called the Internet has the ability to integrate, strengthen and empower the educational process. It will bring the focus of education from the institution to the student. The internet has come to make friends, inhabit and live beyond, both the teacher and the student. African wisdom says, “It takes a whole village to raise a child.”
My personal conclusion is that all students, regardless of race, ethnic group, gender, socioeconomic status, geographic location, age, language, or disability, deserve equal access to challenging and meaningful learning and outcomes. This concept has profound implications for teaching and learning across the school community. It suggests that ensuring equity and excellence must be at the heart of systemic reform efforts in education as a whole.