Some negative things you should know about using internet at schools

Nearly all schools are using the internet within their lessons, and encouraging students to use it for their independent learning. There’s no doubt that the internet has massively improved the education system. However, there are some disadvantages to the relatively new technological development. Like they say, every rose has its thorns, so what are the thorns of using internet in schools?

 

Not everything you read on the internet is entirely true

 

There’s a lot of information out there that students have to sift through when researching for a project, and a lot of it might be absolute nonsense. The trouble with finding information online is that literally anyone could have written the content for a website, not necessarily someone that knows what they’re talking about.

 

Admittedly, the majority of people who put information online make sure that the information they’re giving out is accurate, but not everyone will be so thorough. This means that students’ projects could end up riddled with false information and inaccurate statistics that could result in poor grades.

 

It’s also easy to mistake people’s opinions for facts, and including opinions in a fact based essay is another thing that can bring down grades.

 

Information overload

 

There are currently many millions of websites out there, and a lot of those will contain information that students will access. Whilst it’s great to have a wealth of information to access, students may feel overwhelmed with so much available information, and may not know how to pick out the relevant bits of information that they need.

 

Exam boards also like students to be concise with their points, so an overload of information could mean that relevancy is forgotten in exam answers. Rather than expanding on certain points, students have a tendency to just write everything they know, in one long sprawl, and this isn’t helped by them taking in excessive information.

 

The internet can cause students to become lazy with their research

 

The internet is a major source of research, but students should also be gathering information and quotes from actual books. The trouble is though that after finding information so quickly through simply Googling a few keywords, students are reluctant to put more effort and time in to visit libraries and flick through the pages of books.

Viruses are a big risk

 

The internet holds a lot of distractions           

 

This is one of the main disadvantages of using internet in schools, as students are already easily distracted from their studies, but with the internet offering social media sites, games, and funny viral content, there’s almost no chance of students staying completely focused.

 

Most schools have software that blocks distracting and irrelevant sites, but there will always be a few that slip through the net, and students will always figure out a way to find them.

 

So when students are working on computers, it’s unlikely that they’re using the internet solely for their education.

 

Plagiarism is more likely

 

Plagiarism is when people claim the work of other people as their own, and this is especially easy to do when using the internet.

 

Younger students may discover the joy of copy and pasting, and whist this may be obvious to teachers, it’s hard to control and unfair on other students who actually complete the work.

 

As for older students, there are many sites offering free essays, or paid-for unique essays that can be passed off as their own work. It’s also easy to plagiarise without realising it. After looking at so many different websites, you might write down a sentence or two, thinking they’re your own words, when actually it’s the exact phrasing you read on the last website.

 

There’s a lot of online content that isn’t suitable for young people

 

Most educational institutions have controls in place that block unsuitable websites, but still there’s a lot of online content that slips through that is inappropriate for young people.

 

There are millions of sites dedicated to gambling, pornography, graphic content, or weaponry and it’s easier than you might think for young people to stumble across these sites when searching the internet. Advertising has meant that such content can reach young people through pop ups and banner ads.

 

The internet can threaten students’ privacy

 

A lot of sites ask for personal details such as your email address in return for information, and young people may not know to be wary of giving out their information.

 

Most sites simply add email addresses to their email list as a marketing technique, but some sell information to other companies and partner sites, so it can be difficult to know exactly who you’re giving your details to.

 

Social media sites also ask for phone numbers, addresses and the likes, all of which could be dangerous for a young person to put freely on the internet.

 

It’s also important to remember that once your information is out there, you can’t get it back, or prevent it from being found. Students aren’t always aware of this and it could cause trouble later down the line.

 

The internet makes cheating a lot easier

 

Most mobile phones have access to the internet, and this has caused a lot of problems in tests and exams, as students have been able to sneak in phones and look up answers. The internet gives students portable unlimited knowledge, and if they manage to use it to get through tests it manipulates results and puts those that genuinely revised at a disadvantage.

 

It also enables students to ‘cheat’ at reading books. English lessons often involve reading a novel, but now there are sites online that summarise books in a few hundred words, rather than a few hundred pages. So fewer and fewer students are actually reading what they’re supposed to.

 

Summary

 

So there’s a fair few disadvantages to using the internet in schools. There are of course ways around them though, like software to block inappropriate content, and lessons to teach young people how to responsibly and fairly use the internet. As long as internet usage is controlled somewhat in schools, the disadvantages shouldn’t cause too much of an issue, but whether or not they outweigh the advantages is for you to decide.

Internet libraries: which are the best?

Internet libraries (also known as digital libraries) are fast becoming the new way to borrow books, only in digital form. They store books, audio files, visual and video material, so the range of accessible media is huge. How it works is you can access these files, often after signing up, on your computer, phone, or any other device that connects to the internet. The best part about digital libraries is that you don’t even have to leave the house to find the perfect book!

 

There’s a fair few different digital libraries, all storing different files, and it can be hard to know which one to turn to when looking for your next good read. So we’ve come up a list of some of the best.

 

Project Gutenberg

 

You’ve probably heard of this one, as Project Gutenberg has come a long way in the last few years. It’s run by volunteers, is funded by donations, and the best part is that reading their resources doesn’t have to cost you a penny. It hopes to ‘encourage the creation and distribution of eBooks’ so you can rest easy that by reading their resources, you’re helping them achieve their goal.

 

They also now have a few different formats and languages available, so you wherever you’re from, and however you plan on reading, they should have the resources for you. They have around 33,000 eBooks available, a number that’s growing, so they’ll always have something in store for you.

 

Bartleby

 

This is another free one, and whilst it’s not as big as Project Gutenberg, it’s easy and pleasant to use. The website is well presented, and has clear categories and collections for you to browse. You can also search for titles, if you had something specific in mind.

 

They also have an option to buy the physical books, as they recognise that not everyone enjoys reading from a screen.

 

The World Digital Library

 

This is an internet library run by the United States, but it’s one that aims to include culture from all over the world. It’s less for fiction, and more for academic resources, and encouraging understanding of other cultures.

 

The resources provided date back to 8000 BCE, so rather than the latest bestsellers, expect to find historic resources, including maps, music and photographs. If you’re interested in history and other cultures, this is definitely the internet library for you.

 

Again the resources are free to access, and can be read in a variety of languages.

 

Google Books

 

Google Books is a huge index of around 100,000 books. Whilst it’s not completely free, you can access certain chapters, search for books, and search within books. So you can’t access all of their books for free, you can only access them in part, but then you have the option to purchase the books online and download them to your device.

 

This may not seem much like a library, and more like a book store, but it’s especially useful for students, as they can access the parts of books they need, and can reference the book without having to purchase it or read all of it. Searching through books on Google Books is a lot quicker than flicking through a hard copy to find what you’re after.

 

Universal Digital Library

 

Last but definitely not least, this is the largest digital library you’ll find on the internet. It’s also known as the ‘million book project’ so as you might expect, it has more than 1 million books available. The best part is they’re all free! The site also allows for full text searching, much like Google Books, but with full access and no additional costs.

 

This internet library is run by a range of different institutions, from all around the round, so like the World Digital Library aims to do, they have resources from all different cultures and time periods.

 

Open Library

 

This is another of the largest internet libraries, with over 1 million eBooks available. Their goal is to build one webpage for every book ever published.

 

The site is beautifully presented and has options to read, borrow and buy eBooks as well as offering physical copies to borrow and buy. Unlike a lot of other internet libraries, the Open Library also includes modern texts (Harry Potter for example is on their home page) whilst also having as many classics as you can imagine.

 

How does the internet affect young people?

Young people nowadays are growing up with the internet as an assumed part of their lives and learning process. For the older generations, it’s still a relatively new technological advance, but the young people of today can’t imagine life without it.
Games on the internet are used to teach maths and literacy to children in a fun way, and teens are now taught how to effectively Google their research, searching the internet rather than books for answers. More than for learning though, the internet is used for socialising, the children of today rush inside instead of out, to play with their friends over Xbox live, or flick through Facebook.

 

So it can be educational and sociable, but it also affects young people in ways you might not have thought of. Here are some surprising ways that the internet can affect young people.

 

 

The internet creates social barriers

 

Young people struggle more than any other generation when it comes to socialising. Being young, they haven’t had as much experience as the rest of us, and the whole process can be quite daunting.

 

The internet can further these difficulties though. Browsing the internet on a mobile phone can be a welcome distraction from any intimidating social situations, but long term, it can create a social barrier.

 

The more time they spend looking at screens instead of interacting with others, the less confident they’ll become even just talking to new people.

 

Whilst the internet allows for a lot of socialising via social media sites, it also provides a screen to hide behind throughout online interactions. Young people of today have grown up with that protective screen as a part of their social interactions. Without it, socialising can be a completely different experience.

 

Online identities

 

Developing your identity and discovering who you are is a huge part of being young. The internet can help with that, broadening your interests and knowledge, and allowing you to contact people from all walks of life. But it can also create confusion around identity.

 

The internet has allowed people to create an alternate identity for themselves, their online identity. Social media sites allow people to garnish their profiles with whatever they want people to see, even if it doesn’t truly reflect their personality.

 

A lot of social value is now placed on how many ‘likes’ and ‘follows’ you get, and so young people often become more focused on creating an interesting online personality, than actually living their lives, and discovering their true personality. As long as their online profiles look interesting, it doesn’t really matter what they’re actually doing with their days.

 

 

 

Internet addiction and dependence

 

When you think of addictions you probably think drugs, or alcohol, but for young people, internet addictions are perhaps more common. The internet may not be a ‘class A’ drug, but excessive use can be unhealthy and can lead to dependence.

 

So we’ve spoken about social barriers and this is one of the reasons for internet dependence. Put plain and simply, it’s just a lot easier and less stressful to socialise in the virtual world than the real world. Some young people even place more value on their virtual identity than their actual identity, so the internet is something they feel they just can’t go without.

 

Those that develop an internet addiction generally do so as a result of a feeling of euphoria when they use the internet. Not everyone gets this feeling, it’s a ‘high’ that’s more common in those that feel anxious, depressed or isolated.

 

 

The creation of cyberbullying

 

Bullying is a huge issue amongst young people, and despite all the great advantages to the internet, there’s no getting around the fact that it’s a whole other playground for bullies to thrive.

 

Whilst screens can be handy for introverts to hide behind in social situations, they also allow bullies to avoid face to face confrontation, and even remain anonymous if they wanted to.

 

This means that often, bullying issues are outside of schools’ hands, and anti-bullying methods just aren’t as effective, especially when delivered by those who can’t necessarily relate to this new age of social media, or understand its potentials.

 

Perhaps the biggest problem with cyberbullying is the distance the internet puts between bullies and their victims. This also means that often other people are more likely to go along with a vicious rumour or join a hate group, without realising that it’s still bullying. This can cause victims to feel as though everyone is against them.

 

 

Extensive use of the internet can have physical affects

 

Young people often use the internet a lot more than they should. Whether to play games, complete homework, socialise, shop or just browse, some young people have been reported to spend up to 9 hours a day online. This is a shocking statistic, and one that gets worse when you realise the physical affects this can have.

 

I’m sure you’ve all sat awake at night, thinking that one more scroll through Facebook won’t hurt, but using the internet can actually disrupt your sleep. It can act as a distraction before bed, and leave the mind active and wanting more. Cognitive stimulation is exactly what you want to be avoiding when trying to fall asleep. This is problematic for young people, as they often need more sleep than older generations, but aren’t getting it.

 

Excessive use of the internet is also a contributing factor to the recent increase in levels of obesity in young people. The more time spent in front of screens, the less time they are engaging in physical activities.

 

 

How does the internet affect the older generation?

The internet is something that most of us don’t go a day without using. Children have computer lessons in school, ‘to google’ has become a verb, and I can’t remember the last time I saw someone look up a word in a physical dictionary rather than an online one.

 

But for the older generations, the internet is something relatively new. If you’ve ever had to show your grandparents how to use Google, or how to get internet on their phones, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Whilst young people are now growing up with lessons on the internet as a staple part of their education, the older generations aren’t so lucky, and for the most part have to figure it out on their own.

 

For some older folk, the internet and their lack of understanding of it, means that the development of this technology affects them in ways that younger generations might never consider.

 

Older generations struggle to master new technology and it can be disheartening

 

You might get frustrated every time your Grandma asks you for help with finding something online, but what most people don’t think about is how difficult it can be to master something completely new.

 

The prime time for learning new things is childhood, not the later years of your life. Whilst children and young people pick things up pretty quickly, older generations don’t have that ability. They might have stopped applying themselves to learning a long time ago, especially if they spent a lot of time a secure but repetitive job, and so it’s difficult for them to activate that part of the brain again. It’s like trying to lift weights after not having been to the gym for years. So bear with them, because it’s a lot harder for older generations, regardless of how quickly you picked it up. Trying to understand the internet can feel like learning a whole new language.

 

Older generations also struggle physically with a lot of technology. Poor eyesight can make it difficult to read screens, so even typing things into a search bar could prove a struggle. Things like arthritis can also affect their ability to master the internet, as tapping away on phones or keyboards can cause a lot of pain. Whilst they may be determined to use the internet, doing so might actually and literally be a pain.

 

The internet provides a whole new online world, one that older generations can feel left out of

 

We’ve all had experiences of feeling left out, so no matter what your age, you can surely empathise with this.

 

The internet is a whole other world from what older generations have been living. People are using it to talk to each other, shop, learn, work remotely, everything! And many older adults feel cut off from this. Whilst everyone else is constantly using the internet for something, half living in the virtual world through social media and messenger sites, older adults can feel like they’re alone in the real world.

 

Think about how many people you see walking through the street, their eyes glued to their phones. Then imagine that you don’t have a phone. Suddenly no one seems approachable, and there’s definitely no chance of a friendly passing chat.

 

So to sum up…

 

Not understanding and not being a part of something can feel awfully lonely. The internet affects older generations in ways that we probably didn’t realise.

 

So if any older adult asks you to help them with something, rather than giving a sigh of inconvenience, smile instead and give them a little of your time. Remember how frustrating and disheartening it can be not knowing what to do, and how upsetting it can be, feeling like you’re not included.

 

How can the internet help studying?

The internet contains millions of websites full of information and resources that can help young people study for school and exams. Answers to complex questions can be found on Google in under 1 second! With such quick and easy access to so much information, the internet is helping more and more students study every day.

 

Easy access to study materials

 

The main way that the internet benefits studying is of course the easy access it provides to study materials. Millions of websites are dedicated to providing learning resources and information for students and they can be easily found within a few seconds.

 

Most schools also have learning portals, so that students don’t even have to look very far for relevant resources. They can simply log on to the learning portal, and find resources that contain exactly what they need to excel under their specific exam board.

 

If students have different learning styles, with the millions of online resources they’ll be sure to find the right resources for them, ones that suit their style of learning. For example, some people learn better with visual aids. There are thousands of YouTube channels dedicated to helping students learn visually, and that’s only on one site!

 

The internet encourages independent study

 

Sometimes, individuals struggle to learn in the same way or at the same pace as the rest of their class, and it can have a negative impact on their studies and on their final grades if they don’t grasp what’s going on in class.

 

The internet allows for such students to go away and go over everything by themselves, at their own speed. Young people know their way around the internet like they know the back of their hand, so they’re easily able to find sites with the best learning resources for them. This means they don’t have to rely so heavily on their teachers and classes for all of the information they need to learn. In fact, it means that if there’s disruption with teaching (which can often happen in circumstances such as teachers leaving for maternity leave or illness), then students are able to almost teach themselves a lot of the syllabus.

 

Politics is impossible to ignore

 

Grasping history and politics used to require reading newspapers about current affairs, and text books about history. Whilst this might still assist in studying for these subjects, it’s not the only way to pick up relevant information anymore.

 

Politics is literally everywhere now, thanks to the internet. Social media sites are plastered with shared news stories, and news website send alerts directly to mobile phones, so it’s become impossible for anyone to ignore current affairs. The more up to date students are on the current political situation, the more they’ll be able to understand the situations of history, comparing and contrasting politics of then and now.

 

Students can now study at any time

 

Before the internet, late night studying was hard if you hadn’t already made a trip to the library. But now, students can study at any hour they wish, even if they haven’t yet collected any resources.

 

Digital libraries mean that students can access eBooks and critical essays whenever they like, so if they fancy some late night studying, there’s no restrictive opening hours to abide by.

 

A lot of assignments are also required to be sent in over email, rather than in person. This means that students can hand in assignments at a time that is convenient to them (before the deadline though obviously).

 

Communication over the internet

 

A lot of students prefer studying in groups, or are even assigned group projects. Emails, social media and messaging sites allow for students to collaborate on projects, or discuss ideas and effectively study together, without even having to be together.

 

This can help with individual study as well as group study as often it can be good to get a fresh opinion from someone less invested in a project. Sites like Google Docs mean that students can proofread and edit each others work and support each other through projects and assignments that might otherwise be stressful.

 

Education is available to everyone

 

The internet has allowed for more people to learn from home. This is incredibly convenient for those that can’t get to a school easily, or older folk who just want to learn a little more about a subject.

 

There are resources online for parents to effectively teach their children at home, and plan lessons in line with specific exam board’s requirements. This means that regardless of where children are taught, they can receive the same standard of education.

 

There are also online educational institutions, like the open university, that allows people to learn and become an expert in a subject they are passionate about, whilst also fitting their studies around their own lives. This is great for those whose time is often tied up with parenting or jobs.

Advantages of using internet at schools

Everywhere uses internet nowadays, especially schools. In fact, it’s become a vital part of learning. Teachers are able to plan and research lessons more easily, and young people are able learn in a modern way. There’s no denying that the internet has helped education come a long way in the last couple of decades. Here are some of the main advantages of having internet in schools.

 

Learning doesn’t have to cost students anything

 

Before the internet, students often bought their own books to study from, which meant that the grades of those that couldn’t afford it suffered.

 

Books aren’t cheap, and when you’re studying for a whole load of different subjects, it can be pricey to buy books covering every topic. Now that almost everyone has access to the internet, this isn’t so much a problem anymore, as most of the information required for exams and standard school syllabuses is available online. Whether students have their own methods of accessing the internet, or just use the school computers, they’ve got access to all the resources they could need.

 

It provides the latest research

 

The internet also has webpages added everyday with the latest research and findings. Before, books would become outdated as new discoveries were made, and more money would have to be spent on acquiring the latest versions. With the internet readily available, young people can quickly find the latest news and academic research.

 

Career planning through the internet

 

A big part of schooling is preparing young people for what comes next – a career. There isn’t always time for teachers to plan as many lessons as they’d like on career planning, but use of the internet allows the suggestion of specific career planning websites, so that if young people find themselves at a loss for what to do, there’s a wealth of information and websites online that can steer them in right direction.

 

Whichever path they think they might like to go down, no matter how obscure, there’ll always be enough information online for them to be able to take the right steps to reach their goals.

 

It makes lessons and research more enjoyable

 

The internet has become a part of young peoples’ lives, so to incorporate it into lessons can boost excitement to learn, and make lessons more enjoyable. Technology is generally the area of expertise for most young people, so using it for learning gives them their time to shine.

 

There are also now a lot of online educational games, so that students can learn in fun and interactive ways. This is good for those who have different styles of learning, as often generic lessons don’t cater to those who learn more effectively with visual and interactive methods.

 

The internet provides a range of ways that students can learn in visual ways. PowerPoints, images, animations and even YouTube videos can be a more interesting and effective way of learning.

 

The internet allows for effective communication

 

Think about how many times children are given letters to give to their parents, and then think about how many times those letters actually make it to their parents. If my school days are anything to go by, then there’s a big difference in those numbers.

 

Now that schools are equipped with internet, letters are being sent out via email instead, so that they definitely reach parents, rather than remaining crumpled at the bottom of book bags and lunch boxes. This has improved communication between schools and parents, and is also a lot better for the environment.

 

Using the internet is actually saving the planet

 

Schools use more paper than any other institution, text books, exercise books, hand outs and letters all use tons of paper, and as we know, that’s not great for the environment. But use of the internet allows for less use of paper, as students can read books online, or on kindle, and they can type on laptops rather than in exercise books. Even things like interactive whiteboards mean that teachers don’t need to produce so many hand outs – information can just be shown to classes on the big screen.

 

Using the internet in schools teaches pupils more about technology

 

We are currently in a quickly developing age of technology, so it’s important that students are able to confidently use many different forms of technology. There aren’t many jobs or leisure activities that don’t rely on technology any more, so for young people to grow up with a hesitant approach to technological devices would mean they’d be somewhat behind the times.

 

Internet usage in schools allows students to explore technology in an environment where they can ask questions, and independently discover and research, without stumbling across the wrong sites!

 

Students can learn any time and anywhere with access to the internet

 

A lot of schools now have their own learning portals online, which means that students can learn any time and anywhere. Before the internet, access to resources were restricted to school hours, and library opening hours, but now students can revise at any hour. This is great for those young people who prefer late night learning, or last minute revision.

It’s also good for teachers, as there’s no excuse for not being able to complete homework. Even if students go away for the weekend, or take a holiday during term time, as long as they still have internet access they can still complete the school work.

 

A lot of learning portals also allow teachers to see what students have accessed, when they last used the learning portal and how long they spent on it. So for students, there’s no way of claiming to have done work they haven’t even looked at.

 

Students can easily complete group projects

 

Group projects can be a nightmare, especially if no one’s free on the same day to meet up and get things done. The internet allows students to communicate about projects over email or social media, so that delegation can begin, even if they’re not together at the time.

 

There are also sites that allow for students to collaborate on projects in real time. Take Google Docs for example, students can all work on the same document at the same time. They can see everyone’s input and edit it, or offer feedback and improvements.