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Int'l Herald Tribune

The Internet As Education’s “Big Evil”

It could be that the real debate will not be books versus the Internet but how to build an Internet counterculture that will better attract people to serious learning” (The Medium Is The Medium, Mr. David Brooks).

The commentary, “The Medium Is The Medium” (July 10, 2010): Mr. David Brooks makes the excellent point that the Internet has become a convenient scapegoat for underperforming and distracted students. Many educators have blindly labelled the aforementioned as the “Big Evil”, pointing to the proliferation of online plagiarism, and the plethora of entertainment options that pull youths away from their responsibilities in their schools; resulting in declining productivity and standards.

Individuals who readily reject the Internet because of its purported perils should evaluate the status quo: the key is not to discourage complete access to it, but to encourage appropriate and judicious usage. The problem is not with the channel per se, but in the methodologies and pedagogies directed for its proper adaptability and accessibility. Information communication technology (ICT) has grown to be increasingly important in the global education system, and has helped teachers and students break the traditional boundaries of books and literature, and expose them to a wondrous world of knowledge and interactivity. By treading cautiously to minimise Internet’s distractions and weaknesses, technology itself can serve as the perfect complement for education. For instance, the diversity of information empowers the student to be more selective and well-informed in his searches; and reach out to an assortment of web audience in his project, research or advocacy endeavours.

The Internet culture and the literary culture are not mutually exclusive mediums: when used in tandem and in harmony, the results generated for the users would be tremendously beneficial. Students would become better conversationalists, and equally competent students. Pedantic rejection of the Internet would only deprive youths the takeaways from a flexible and potentially constructive platform.

About guanyinmiao

A man of knowledge lives by acting, not by thinking about acting. Carlos Castaneda.

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