The traditional four year university is no longer appealing. Yes, that is the route that many will take. For some, this is for no reason other than necessity. They simply don’t see another choice to pursue their career choice.
Many universities are holding onto the lecture model as the standard
This isn’t to say that universities aren’t exploring and implementing other ways of presenting educational materials. The Internet swiftly entered the life of the humankind in the 20th century. It took us less than ten years to face the fact of its spreading all over the world, including the developing countries. It has become not only the hugest information resource in the world, but – what is even more important – the most rapid means of communication.
People from different countries have got an opportunity to communicate with each other in quite a short time. In comparison with a snail-mail or even airmail, e-mail gets over distance and time, frontiers of the states with a lightning speed. Thus, people get closer to each other. They have got a chance to know each other better, to become aware of what is common among nations and can unite them and what is different, what peculiarities of culture and religion should be taken into account to achieve mutual understanding.
They gradually come to realize the fact that we all are inhabitants of one planet – the Earth – and have to live together depending on each other, helping each other. But, the Internet is only one of the means to understand this and does not guarantee the comprehension of the people only by the technological and information opportunities that it provides. Everything depends on the people themselves, their mentality, their will and intellect. On the other hand, people in different countries, not only in the cultural and scientific centers, are able to get education in famous universities. Disabled children, invalids can learn at schools, colleges and universities by distance.
So, the opportunities, which the Internet can offer in the sphere of education, are really unique. But we should keep in mind one simple idea that the Internet was invented especially for education. Very few technical aids were designed and produced particularly for the educational purposes. Educators have always had to investigate the didactic opportunities of this or that invention, to define how it can be successfully used in the sphere of education that is to define its didactic functions. It is very important neither to overestimate the role of the Internet in education nor to underestimate it, to define this role and place in the educational process.
Thus, for effective education a mere access to Internet information resources is not enough. It is necessary to prepare the students beforehand to work with information or to provide those who use the distance form of education with special tasks destined to develop intellectual skills of critical thinking, working with verbal texts, multimedia environment, to create all kinds of so-called secondary texts (abstracts, summaries, essays, etc.), to be able to work with information. It means in other words to develop their critical thinking. This must be the goal of every education system. So, this is the first factor, which influences the efficiency of the Internet in education. Besides, we should keep in mind that reading electronic texts in the net is not like reading printed texts.
Article by: Busayo Tomoh