Teaching Secondary Science: Constructing Meaning and Developing Understanding

By Keith Ross; Liz Lakin et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 11
Harnessing the Power of
Computers and the Web

Chapter overview

The web provides an enormous resource for teachers and their students as a source
of information and reference, but when the Internet is used interactively it becomes
an extension of the classroom and a powerful new way of learning. Although we
have made references to computers and the Internet throughout this book this
chapter puts them into focus, with a special mention of the flipped classroom, com-
plemented by online software such as ‘Twiducate’ – where students have access to
the teaching materials, and the teacher, before (and after) the lesson and where the
Internet is used to enable communication outside normal classroom hours. This
provides the possibility of 24/7/365 learning by the students. We can extend the
word computers to cover tablets and smartphones which also have Internet access.


Introduction

You will notice that in the overview above we spoke of the (World Wide) web as a resource but the Internet as a means of communication. See Box 11.1 to learn more of this distinction – many people do not understand the difference.


Computers in education

Computers have been around in schools since the early 1980s. Throughout the 1990s there was an increase in the growth of multimedia tools for computers, which, by the use of animation and sound, brought understanding to the different types of learner. In the late 1990s, the Internet was expanding much faster than predicted and had become the largest database of information, enabling, for example, the flipped classroom to evolve (see later). For computers themselves we saw data loggers and the interactive whiteboard enter the science classroom.

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