Internet, by definition using Wikipedia:
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to serve several billion users worldwide. It is a network of networks that consists of millions of private, public, academic, business, and government networks, of local to global scope, that are linked by a broad array of electronic, wireless and optical networking technologies. The Internet carries an extensive range of information resources and services, such as the inter-linked hypertext documents of the World Wide Web (WWW), the infrastructure to support email, and peer-to-peer networks.
I am amazed that after all these years I have defined INTERNET simply by using it but when you read the Wikipedia definition, then it is obvious that the term relates to the “interconnected” “networks” ie inter-net…how could I have missed that all these years.
I remember as a teacher when the internet “hit the school” and I was teaching Year 6. My specific question to the class was”What is it you want to learn about? Name anything? One girl had just had cheese and crackers for lunch and so she said “Jatz biscuits”. I remember thinking I really hope she won’t trip my excitement up by making me look up Jatz biscuits and there not be anything there. Instead there were over 500 pages that had Jatz biscuits in them…that moment was the dawning of the internet for me!
I can’t imagine life without the internet. The knowledge bank, the communication, the designing, the “personal instant library”, the graphics and so on.
Google is just a “member of my family”; iTunes is my musical reference point; youtube is my instant example-giver. But to this point it was non communicative use. No Facebook, no Twitter, just email applications (and emails are my life crutch! ).
It wasn’t until I started another university unit that I started to explore Twitter and PLN”s ie Personal Learning Networks. To imagine life without the Internet now is unimaginable.
Obviously, there are many instances where the Internet can be a “hazard” in the classroom due to content and inappropriate materials so it is important that it doesn’t become an “open board” for research reference point for our students. I constantly hear the argument that we should allow children to use other mediums ie books, and I dont disagree, but most books now are also referenced on the Internet.
Sadly, or not, I switch my computer on as soon as I wake up. It is my “letterbox, my news connection, my study partner and my entertainment…as I said, I can’t imagine life without it.
As I said I have just started my this Personal Learning Network, “webclasscommunity’ and I have also connected a Twitter account to it. But I keep reflecting on my “Digital Footprint” and remembering how permanent and accessible my work is. I hope to maintain this site as a professional tool for future employment. I see so much more advantage to presenting a future employer a reflective, educational site that I can maintain than telling them I worked at Woolies over 25 years ago!
I can see that these communicative tools ie WEB 2.0, have so many advantages. When I can connect to an educationalist in America or Saudi Arabia and exchange ideas than it is incredible to think how much more effective learning can be for teachers and students.
In the last five years, the expectations and usages of the Internet have exploded with such social sites as Facebook and Twitter. I amaze at the possible intuitive domain of WEB 3.0 and Semantic Web and where we will be in another 5years…mind blowing!