Why do educators need the internet

Internet and school

Michael Kerres

Connection between the Internet and schools

In schools, the Internet is crucial in 3 situations: for the distribution of didactic media, as a tool in the classroom and as learning content itself.

A lot of worksheets, slides, exercises, etc. are created with a lot of work. So it would make a lot of sense to make them available to everyone. In the meantime, the products of school book publishers etc. are also being sold more and more on the Internet.

As a medium, the Internet can be helpful in various situations Self-regulated and cooperative learning: The Internet is intended to support learners in obtaining the necessary information. Furthermore, by working with computers and the Internet, they can develop knowledge of various media, classic and new (cf. Collis 1994).

Worldwide cooperation: The internet enables personal contact with the whole world. This function can again be beneficial for schools. Students can talk to people from foreign countries. In this way they can get to know foreign languages ​​and new cultures (cf. Schrum & Berenfeld 1997).

Presentation of school: Everything that has been created on an Internet server can be published on the Internet. In many cases, the Internet replaces the “school newspapers” as it gives more people the opportunity to find out more about what is happening in school.

With the advent of the Internet, information technology education was added to the curriculum. At first, everything around the computer was assigned to mathematics, as it used to be mainly about logic and the number system. Today the computer and the Internet are widely used for construction and communication in schools. Furthermore, the use of new media is learned (cf. Kerres 2000, p. 113ff).

Consideration of the discussion about "Internet and School"

The different opinions about “Internet and school” diverge mainly because of two points: because of the value and because of the potential of the new media (cf. Kerres 2000, p. 117f).

It is not the ability of the medium that is decisive for its educational value but what is done with it and how. When developing educational programs, attention must be paid to which problems or didactic concerns are to be dealt with with them (cf. Kerres 1998).

Educational reasons for using the Internet in schools

There are 3 different explanations:

Internet use as an elementary cultural technique: The internet is important for communication and culture. Furthermore, the various educational and entertainment offers and the purchase of goods and services (in this context, knowledge of data security and data quality is essential) are very important.

Students should also learn to use search strategies and to select the information received.

Increase in effectiveness / efficiency: "With the use of media, the aim can be pursued to convey teaching content more effectively and efficiently" [...] "From a media didactic point of view, the following possible functions of the Internet are particularly relevant:" Illustration and structuring, cognitive and operational activities, knowledge construction and communication, Learning motivational function (cf. Kerres 2000, p. 122f).

Media educational arguments: "Action-oriented media education is more about the ability of people to articulate themselves - through avoidance - to satisfy and reflect on their media-related information and entertainment needs and interests, and to be able to understand and evaluate media products" (Kerres 2000, p. 123).

How do I use the Internet educationally?

The use of the Internet itself does not achieve any pedagogical expectations, but there are several different pedagogical arguments for using the Internet in schools (cf. Kerres 2000, p. 123).

At the beginning you only saw the introduction of a school “on the net”. Over time, one was confronted with the costs involved. “The lack of adequate materials, didactic concepts and previous training of the teachers has made the scope of the necessary efforts towards media literacy of the school clear” (Kerres 2000, p. 129). This illustrates the importance that teachers and learners have competent knowledge via (digital) media (cf. Kerres 2000, p. 129).


Kerres, Michael (2000). Journal of Education.

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