The purpose of this website is to share thoughts and ideas on Technology in Education and how we can not only integrate but improve the learning experience with technology. With that said, I've been doing some interesting reading lately and will share it here.
Recently, I was reading about the congressional Web-Based Commission that was formed with the task of examining how the internet is being used and it's value to teaching and learning in the K-12 institution, higher ed and the work place. It compiled its findings and presented them to the President of the United States and the rest of Congress. Pretty intense stuff. I am going to share some of their findings with you because I think this commission did what we are always trying to do: prove the value and need for not only Internet, but consistent access to Internet. Keep in mind this commission published their findings in 2000. That is fourteen years ago. Imagine how much more of an impact Internet can have now.
To start, I will share a quick summary of what the commission found through their extensive research. The Web-Based commission found that with Internet, specifically consistent access to internet, enables education to occur in places that has none. It extends and provides resources. It extends the learning day. It opens up the learning places and removes the shackles the school building has on students. The internet connects people with communities and resources to support learning. It gives students multiple paths to learn, create, explore and understand. The commission states that the Internet is something today's students expect to use for expression and communication, for they are digital natives. They were born into this world. The commission also stressed that the Internet is not a cure all or solution for every problem in education. I think this is important to note because it shows an unbiased look by the commission, not just trying to push an agenda.
After their extensive research, they issued this statement: "A national mobilization is necessary, one that evokes a response similar in scope to other great American opportunities: Sputnik and the race to the moon; bringing electricity and phone service to all corners of the nation; finding a cure for polio."
Those are quite the comparisons. This bipartisan congressional committee reported back to the President of the United States that the Internet can have as big of an impact on the education of the nation as the cure for polio, electricity and the space race. Lofty company.