Science & Technology [Archives:2000/12/Science & Technology]

March 20 2000
Internet and Education: How Can Yemeni Educators Benefit?

Helmi Noman,
Director of the American 
Internet Information Center
The Internet provides an excellent environment for improving education. There are literally millions of documents, information resources, and databases, which offer the opportunity to deliver and acquire huge amount of information.
The Internet resources available are for all of the different levels including high schools, undergraduate, and graduate education. There are also resources for distance learners. This article discusses some of the educational values of the Internet and provides some educational resources which are useful to educators, education administrators, parents and lifelong learners. In this article, I assume a familiarity with basic Internet tools and services.
Why the Internet?
In addition to the fact the Internet has become an essential part of life, the Internet provides abundance of
information and has the following educational values:
Experiential Learning
The Internet helps people learn by doing things themselves. They become the creators not just the receivers of education and knowledge. Learners develop thinking skills and self explore educational delivery tools. With email for example, students work harder to express themselves before sending messages. They choose vocabulary carefully and pay more attention to clarity.
Time and Space Disappear
Obstacles of time and space do not exit on the Internet. Information from online libraries are as close as one’s keyboard. Educators can provide consultations remotely and create classes without walls.
Learners choose the time and place of learning on the Internet. They also learn at their own pace to serve their special circumstances and needs. The Internet also teaches learners educational independence.
The Internet provides excellent engaging environment for learners. The rich and dynamic environment makes the students gravitate to the Internet more than the traditional learning tools. The variety of activities available online offers learners an increasingly motivational learning tool.
Methods of Communications
The Internet provides a number of methods of communications for learners and instructors to improve the quality of learning. Educators can choose and customize the methods which best serve any particular educational value. Here are examples:
Email, Internet Relay Chat (IRC): Person to person
Newsgroups, Listserv: Person to many people
Newsgoups, Email: Many people to many people
WWW, Gopher, Telnet: Person to computer
WWW, Gopher: Person to many computers
Customized Information Services: Computer to person
Search Spiders, Net Monitoring: Computer to computer
Internet Information Resources on Education
One of the many myths about the Internet is that there are no free full text books on the Internet. That is simply not true. Educators should learn advance search skills to help them locate full text books and articles in a short time especially because the cost of accessing the Internet in Yemen is very high. Educators should also familiarize themselves with the various free electronic libraries. The following are some examples:
Surf it on: