Teachers and the internet can make a terrific combination. But using it improperly can cause problems. First and foremost, you must understand that the internet is not a replacement for good teaching. It is not a crutch for bad teaching. It is a resource and an information tool. Teachers should use it mainly for these purposes.
Using the Internet as an Information Tool
Many site are available with teaching strategies, helps, hints, and tips for the classroom. But these must be used only for enhancing your teaching. They are not a replacement for what you have been taught and gleaned from fellow teachers and past experiences. Too many teachers use the internet as a replacement for all other resources, including their own style and imagination. You can find much teaching wisdom, but putting it in practice is something different. Find some good teaching ideas and run them by your teacher colleagues. Incorporate some into your teaching, but always personalize it. The internet for teachers has basically become a replacement for print books and magazines. You will find some good ideas, but all ideas must be put into perspective. For some reason, many teachers have put the internet above all else. Do not fall into this trap. Never use the internet for this purpose during or just before classroom time. You will need duty-free hours to peruse the wealth that is available on the internet. Think of it as a long-term teaching guide and reference.
Using the Internet as a Resource for Quick Teacher Ideas
This is where the internet shines. Teachers no longer need to sort through cabinets and books looking for a worksheet or lesson plan guide. All of these are readily available, and many times free, on the internet. For example, if you need a lesson plan, coloring page, or worksheet on dinosaurs, boom! A quick search will yield plenty. If you need a math worksheet, again, you can find it quick. The internet is the perfect solution to finding lesson plans and other teaching and classroom materials. Over time, you could actually come up with your own folders, filled with material without ever spending a dime in a book store. But there really is no need. Just bookmark your favorite websites and you will never need a cabinet filled with reproducibles again!
To restate the purpose of this article, a teacher should never think that planning, strategies, and classroom teaching can be replaced by the internet. It cannot. One should never have the attitude of, “I do not need to plan, because I have the internet.”