Super history teaching on the Superhighway: the Internet for beginners


By Isobel Jenkins and Mike Turpin, published 11th November 1998

Isobel Jenkins and Mike Turpin answer some of those basic questions which many history teachers are afraid to ask, like ‘What exactly is it anyway?' and ‘Is this really worth my valuable time?' They outline the internet's value as a means of improving information access and as a way of communicating with a wider audience. They also alert teachers to dangers and pitfalls. The Internet needs management. Pupils need to be taught how to make choices. Like Ben Walsh's warning about ‘Encarta Syndrome', their message is that we should remember that the potential for uncritical downloading is even greater than with CD-ROM. If part of a vague ‘project', unstructured and unfocused, many pupils will simply waste their time. This piece thus complements others in this edition. Isobel Jenkins and Mike Turpin set out the huge and exciting potential. Ben Walsh picks up and develops their point that large information resources are wasted if they are not used as part of a careful plan to develop pupils' skill in critical evaluation and selection. Dave Martin illustrates in some depth how one small stage in that training process might be carried out.

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