The Internet encompasses a number of facilities including the world wide web, electronic mail (e-mail),
newsgroups and mailing lists. It is both a useful source of information on many topics and a means of
interacting with the wider community. It provides schools with opportunities to communicate with
people in other places and to work co-operatively with students in other schools.
b Specific skills are required to access information on the Internet and more importantly to critically
evaluate and validate such information.
b The Internet may provide students with access to a wide array of information, either directly
through the world wide web, or indirectly by leading them to other information that may be
available in hard copy, eg books, journals, videos and brochures. Equally, the Internet may allow
students to communicate directly with ‘experts’ and to seek feedback about their own activities.
b As a source of different media, the Internet allows users to access written texts, sound, graphic and
video resources. Equally, it is possible for students to send a message, document, picture, movie or
sound file to other people in various places.
b The Internet can provide a means of communication that is culturally, physically and gender anonymous.
b The Internet provides an excellent source of information about all types of developments across the globe.
1. Ensure that software and hardware (computer, modem) are maintained in good working order.
2. Ensure that all students are given equal opportunities to use the computer.
3. Where appropriate, incorporate computer sessions as part of planned learning experiences. Be
aware that computers can be time-consuming and may require additional teacher support at
4. Consider methods of troubleshooting, eg having students with computer expertise designated as
5. The world wide web is one source of information. Design activities that provide the opportunity for
students to access, compare and evaluate information from different sources.
6. Check protocols, procedures and policies of your school and system regarding the use of the Internet.
1. It is likely that students will have varying degrees of expertise in searching for information and
navigating the Internet. Students will also have varying experiences and familiarity with the way
texts are presented on the world wide web.
2. Ensure that all students have the opportunity to explore and familiarise themselves with the
technologies, navigation tools, e-mail facilities and texts on the Internet.
3. Ensure that all students have an understanding of how to access the Internet and how to perform
basic functions, eg searching, sending and receiving e-mail.
4. As well as planning lessons to instruct students in these skills, pairing students, and peer tutoring
on the computer can enable more experienced students to assist other students.
5. Students with more experience in using the Internet may have information that will benefit the
whole class. Provide opportunities for students to share their experiences, interests, information
6. When working on the Internet, students must make judgements about the validity and safety of
information. When working with information taken form the world wide web, students must
consider the purpose of the text, identify bias, consider the validity of arguments presented and the
nature and quality of the evidence provided.
Ensure that students critically analyse information gathered on the Internet just as they would for
any other text. They should be aware that material posted on the world wide web is not necessarily
subject to the conventional editorial checks and processes generally applied to print-based
publications. When evaluating information students might consider:
– the intended audience of the site
– bias in the presentation of information, or in the information itself including commercial or
– accuracy of information
– balanced points of view
– currency of information, including publishing dates
– authority of source or author
– ownership of the website (corporate, small business, government authority, academic
institution, private individual)
– cultural or gender stereotyping.
8. Students can download large quantities of information from the world wide web. By itself this
information provides very little evidence of student effort or student achievement.
9. When assessing student work that includes material drawn from the Internet, it is important to
recognise how students have accessed the particular information, what value they place on it and
how they have used it. It is useful to look for evidence of critical evaluation, and the development of
students’ capacities to access, manipulate, create, restore and retrieve information