Science Teachers Using the Internet: Issue and Opportunities for Teaching and Learning
According to a 1995 report from the Office of Technology Assessment, U.S schools overall have about one computer for every nine students, and 35% of schools now have access to some kind of computer network. While computer experts and other "connected" groups may see this as cause for great joy, a sign that education is ready to take dramatically new and exciting roads to sciece literacy and career preparation, those implementing teacher education and curriculum development programs with electronic linkages often note that we may be going too fast on the famous infornation superhighway. For example, only 3% of actual classrooms have access to the internet, and access is limited mainly by school infrastructure. Most teachers, asked what technology they want most in their classrooms, respond that a telephone would be wonderful! There are, however, classrooms that are linking to each other, to the environment, to scientists, and to science databases through other exciting technologies. The range of possibilities for electronic learning in science includes environmental data collection and international sharing, with data monitored by scientists; CD-ROMs delivering interdisciplinary Earth systems data for classroom use; and teacher education progrmas to assist teachers as they prepare for the opportunities ahead.