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The Internet has opened up innumerable chances to learn whatever you want. While your students might not take the time to really think about this power, it’s all around them and they undoubtedly know about it. The average school child can go online with a level of ease their parents should respect, and within an hour or so become virtual experts on their topic of choice. You can use this to your advantage in teaching them.
Part of the fun of going online is being able to learn through searching for things and finding other things. The entire process of the Web involves getting caught up in things, which can inspire a great classroom discussion of a student’s search pattern. It’srare that a search instantly finds everything. You can find basic facts like that, but trying to uncover anything really significant will naturally involve more than just a quick jaunt to the nearest search engine. Research is always going to involve some degree of thought, no matter how much technology automates the process.
When young children become involved in their educations beyond merely sitting there and being talked at, the process becomes a lot more effective for everyone. While some conspiracy theorists would think there’s an Orwellian motive behind the flaws in the educational system, it isn’t really in the world’s best interests to keep people dumb. You can contribute to making your students smarter by encouraging them to think independently, and use the vast power of the Internet to bring fresh insights and interesting perspectives into your discussions. Just don’t fall into the trap of thinking kids aren’t smart enough.