In the digital age, virtually all classrooms in schools across the United States should be able to access the internet. In fact, there are some teachers that use the internet with each assignment.
This is a big change from the way learning in the classroom took place for most of the 20th century. While it does have its challenges and limitations, there are also a lot of benefits to having the internet in the classroom.
Here are 4 of the top ways having the internet in the classroom can benefit both students and teachers:
Access to more information
One of the biggest advantages is that it gives teachers and students the ability to access all different types of information from resources from across the globe. No longer limited by out-of-date encyclopedias, the anything you want to learn is only a click away.
Teachers also have a lot more resources at their fingertips, which can greatly improve their lesson planning process.
Bridge communication gaps
Having the internet in classrooms can also help teachers avoid communication mishaps. When messages and information are shared digitally, misplaced notes and lost assignment sheets become a thing of the past.
The internet can also improve class community and camaraderie by facilitating communication outside of the classroom. Class websites or blogs can give students the ability to download assignments and materials, talk with other students, and share their work. Email and messaging can also make it easier for students to ask questions after hours, instead of having to wait until the next day and risk forgetting the question.
This type of communication is also great for parents who can receive updates and reminders digitally. Instead of having to dig through their kid’s backpack after school to make sure they haven’t missed an important note from the teacher they can just check their email or class website.
Enjoy virtual field trips
With the internet in the classroom, students have the ability to take virtual field trips – without ever having to leave the school. For example, students who are studying animals of Africa, the Great Pyramids in Egypt, or the Great Wall of China can watch videos or take virtual tours of these places without even leaving their seats.
If a school is struggling with budgets or located in a rural area, going to a virtual zoo or online museum can give students the chance to see things “up close” that they may not otherwise be able to see.
Assignment convenience and flexibility
It is well documented that students have different learning styles. Access to assignments online after hours can give students the ability to complete assignments on their own timetable. Having a way for students to study or submit assignments from home can greatly help students who suffer from test anxiety or have difficulty concentrating in a busy classroom.
E-rate discount program
All students and teachers should be able to experience the benefits listed above. Although not all schools have the same budgets and resources, the US government has taken steps to ensure that all libraries and schools in the United States have access to robust broadband connectivity through the E-Rate Discount Program.
The E-rate program provides discounts to eligible schools and libraries for internet services, hardware and network equipment, cabling, and the IT support needed to keep it functioning. For more information about the E-rate program, contact a managed IT service provider experienced with the program.