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Is the use of Internet in classrooms helping kids?

        Tech | Tech for Kids

The Internet puts endless reference materials at students' fingertips but also opens up the classroom to new distractions.
The Internet puts endless reference materials at students' fingertips but also opens up the classroom to new distractions.
©iStockphoto.com/morganl

When 2 year olds can operate computers like they're rattles, you know we're on a technology path that only goes forward. The Web has put the entire world at the fingertips of anyone with an Internet connection, and it's only natural the information technologies empowering homes, businesses and universities would ultimately make the jump to school-age classrooms.

In the last several years, sufficiently funded schools all over the country (and the world) have added Internet access to their arsenal of K-12 classroom tools. Many experts think it's been a long time coming -- that it provides tremendous benefits to the learning process. Others, however, see some downsides that can't be ignored.

Is it helping or hurting? What exactly does the Internet contribute to the classroom experience -- and to education in general? Do the benefits outweigh any drawbacks?

It depends who you ask. For most professional educators, the benefits of having Internet in the classroom are undeniable ...