This website is a guide for teachers to integrate the Internet into their classroom. Topics include Internet basics, social and ethical issues, productive tools, communication tools, research tools and problem solving tools. This website has six chapters, with each chapter reflecting a unit of National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) Project. At the end of each chapter, there are activities or links to sources of information on the given topic.
Major learning goals include - understanding the Internet basics - understanding Netiquette - understanding productivity tools - understanding communication tools - understanding research tools - understanding problem solving tools
Target Student Population:
This site can be used by any type of educator who is not familiar with the Internet as a tool for teaching. It could be also useful for novices willing to know how to use Internet as a learning tool. The level is very basic.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
None, but an introductory level of information technologies can be useful.
Type of Material:
This is a tutorial to help instruct students regarding the potential of the Internet. It contains also numerous useful links to reference material.
Individual. It is self-contained and the solution of the assignments are given.
Standard browser and internet access. For some demonstrations, the plug-in QuickTime is required.
Evaluation and Observation
Overall, this is a useful site for educators willing to incorporate new technologies into their class methodology. The guide is well structured and incorporates several examples and some assignments to illustrate the concepts. The solutions of these assignments are provided. In addition, it contains a large number of reference and multimedia resources.
The main concern is that the material is not comprehensive enough. It just gives a very simple overview of the subject. There is a lack of technical depth covering the Internet for IS community.
Additionally, there are two dead links: Chapter 4, GifBuilder (www.mac.org/gifbuilder) and Chapter 6, WebQuest Page at San Diego State University (edweb.sdsu.edu/WebQuest/Webquest.html).
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The strength of this guide is that is easy to follow and understand and has activities and links to other resources..
It might be too basic for most teachers. It is informative as a stand alone piece, but probably not as useful in practice.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The module is user friendly and well-structured. It is easy to navigate and follow. The language is simple and appropriate for novices in the field.
The tutorial is not interactive and difficult to navigate. Navigation buttons are located at the end of each page. On the last page, the NEXT navigation button is not working properly. Although the site is last updated in February 2004, it did not use frame to ease the browsing problem.
Other Issues and Comments:
The targeted audience of this tutorial is teachers which is not the same as the audience of MERLOT/Business/IS site. IS teachers/students may need to find other sources if they are interested in more in depth information.