Bringing the Internet to School: Lessons from an Urban District

Bringing the Internet to School: Lessons from an Urban District

Bringing the Internet to School: Lessons from an Urban District

Bringing the Internet to School: Lessons from an Urban District

Synopsis

"Practical, detailed advice about how to incorporate the Internet into instruction and why these new tools require new frames and supports for practice. High school educators will be especially interested to read how Internet projects can engage and empower high school students in new ways." -Milbrey W. McLaughlin, David Jacks Professor of Education and Public Policy, Stanford University "A superb book.... Required reading for those who seek to understand the social and organizational forces that shape different patterns of Internet use. This is the best book I know of to help teachers and schools make their hopes about learning from (and with) the Internet into reality." -David C. Berliner, Regents' Professor of Education, Arizona State University "Schofield and Davidson's pioneering study of how the local cultures of schooling shape the ways that teachers and students actually use Internet services in practice should be read by any educator who wants to realistically understand the opportunities and limitations of Internet use in North American schools." -Rob Kling, editor, The Information Society, the journal of the Center for Social Informatics "The best study of computers in schools I've read.... I finished the book with a much better sense of why the Internet offers such promise-and such threat-to education as our children, parents, teachers, and technical specialists experience it today." -Sara Kiesler, professor, Human-Computer Interaction, Carnegie Mellon University "Makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the potential and challenges associated with integrating technologies into schools...illustrates the many ways in which effective technology use is both facilitated and hindered by the cultural practices of schooling. This book is of great service to anyone wrestling with how to make technologies work as effective teaching and learning tools in schools." -Margaret Honey, vice president and director, Education Development Center, Center for Children and Technology

Excerpt

Today, millions of students in the United States. and around the world can connect to the Internet from their schools. Billions of dollars have been spent to provide such access with the expectation that the information and communication resources the Internet provides will improve educational outcomes. Yet educational benefits do not flow automatically from Internet access. Attitudes and expectations; technical knowledge; classroom culture and Internet culture; and curriculum design, implementation, and follow-through all affect what teachers and students can accomplish with the Internet. In at least one critical respect, the Internet turns out to be no different from any other classroom resource. What you get out of it depends a great deal on what you put into it. Our study suggests a number of the things that students, teachers, schools, and school districts will need to attend to in order to realize existing expectations.

The five-year-long project we report on in Bringing the Internet to School was developed by public school and university educators to do four things: bring Internet access to numerous schools and classrooms in an urban school district, offer technical and collegial support to teachers' efforts to use the Internet in curricular activities the teachers had devised, institutionalize the use of the Internet in district classrooms, and investigate the results of these efforts. In discussing the results of this project, we focus on the problems and challenges of using the Internet in the context of the existing social organization of schools, traditional classroom structures and modes of functioning, and long-standing expectations regarding teachers' and students' classroom behavior. We also explore the problems that contrasts between the traditions and missions of those who have the Internet and those who influenced the development of the public schools created for educators who wished to use the Internet as a catalyst for change. How well educators and the school district we studied met this varied array of problems and challenges shaped the way the Internet was used in . . .

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