There are a million reasons not
to do a lesson plan unit that involves the Internet. There are so many variables that make it unlikely that the same lesson will work for everyone. Many people and many classrooms do not have Internet access. The classrooms that do have Internet access are not all the same. Some have one computer. Some have twenty-five. Some schools have computer labs and some schools do not.
That made it really hard to write this unit. We decided to give it a try because Internet access is growing and it can be a great resource and wonderful tool for teaching.
These lesson plans focus on one part of the Internet: e-mail. Most of the activities here are designed for a computer lab setting where each student has his or her own computer. If that is not your set-up, you will probably have to make some adjustments to make these activities work for your class.
If your students are novices on the computer, you will have to spend a little time practicing things like clicking the mouse and hitting the return button.
If You Don't Have Internet Access:
If you don't have Internet Access in your classroom, here are a few ideas to try:
- You can print out Web pages and share them with your class. This is probably best for sharing the information on the page, not for teaching people how to use the Internet.
- Send your students to the library. Most public library systems have computers with Internet access available for public use. Check out the branch closest to your classroom. They might let you do a class visit.
- Explore other options. Internet access is expensive. You have to pay for computers. You have to have a phone line or some other even more expensive line. You have to pay for that line every month. You need an Internet service provider. It might not be possible, but if you are creative some of those obstacles might have solutions:
- Get computers donated from businesses that are upgrading; their old stuff might be still usable.
- Find out about free Internet Service Providers.
- Find out what kind of phone system your institution has. Extra lines might be there and not cost anything.
- Look into laptops. Laptops can give you Internet access if you don't have a phone line going into your classroom. They aren't cheap, but they can be used by many different classes in several locations.
In this unit, students will get an e-mail account, and practice reading and writing e-mails to people they know as well as to new places and people. There are also many dangers of which you can make your students aware. The benefits as well as the caveats are addressed in this unit.
Computer with Internet access.
- Practice using computers
- Increase knowledge of the Internet
- Practice reading and filling out forms
- Practice writing letters, e-mails, and journal entries