The Internet and Education
The Internet has many uses in today’s society and as we travel through the “net” we leave footprints wherever we go. While watching Nicholas Negroponte’s TED Talk, one question he had resonated with me. “Can learning happen where there are no schools?” (TED, 2014) I love this question/quote because I personally have witnessed this! School is not the only place where people learn, I have seen kids learning to add while bowling, geometry is learned on the pool table, and reading is learned in a parent’s lap. A school does not hold the monopoly on learning, especially with the development of the Internet. I learned how to safely cut down a tree using YouTube!
While earning my degree, my “classroom” is wherever my laptop or iPad has internet access. I have not set foot in Beaumont, TX where Lamar University is located, yet I will earn a Master of Education in August. I believe and have observed that learning occurs where a person has a need to know more. In my position at a Technology Integration Specialist, I don’t have a set classroom or school hours, many of the teachers I help access the resources I share with them at home in their limited spare time. I am grateful that learning is not limited to schools.
I “googled” myself and I’m fortunate to have taken classes on Social Media while I was a Premier Designs Independent Jeweler, therefore, I am very aware of the importance of a positive digital footprint. I found many positive results, but I was surprised at first to find my address until I remembered that it is the location of my business, therefore, it will be listed. I was a little surprised to see one of my tweets from when I attended a summer PD session 2 years ago, but it was a positive post about education. I am on many different social media accounts since I am working on branding myself. I have accounts with Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Periscope, YouTube, Wix, Vimeo, Marco Polo, Google+ (even though it’s only for educators now), and Slack.
Net neutrality and the Internet affect education and learning. Net neutrality keeps Internet Providers from “throttling” or charging more for special services to their customers. In education this keeps YouTube or Kahn Academy streaming at the same speed as Discovery Education. Without net neutrality, schools may be charged more to be able to stream these services or the speed may be reduced causing a delay in the viewing of the videos. Keeping the internet at a steady speed allows schools to use all resources on the internet without being limited to the “free” services offered by the internet service providers (ISP) or blocking the free services and forcing them to purchase content. (Long, 2015)