What are some critical perspectives on use of the Internet in schools?
One criticism of the use of the Net in schools is that it will distract from or replace the teaching of basic skills like literacy and mathematics. Some warn that in the rush to wire up classrooms, school districts may divert money away from other, perhaps more valuable purposes, such as buying textbooks. Others caution that the educational value of the Internet just hasn't been proven yet.
Still other critics complain of the possibility of student access to inappropriate and distracting information, such as pornography or online games. While most schools use filtering systems to keep out inappropriate materials, none are perfect -- many sometimes block sites that are useful and allow sites that are harmful.
Careful planning and supervision should address these critiques to some extent. Teachers should be sure they know why they are using the Internet for a given lesson. They should carefully supervise their students using the Net and make sure that an Acceptable Use Policy
1 has been put in place and is being complied with. The AUP should set down the "rules of the road" for school use of the Internet and require students to follow them.