Internet Exploration: The K-12 Curriculum

A common thread throughout most educators use of the Net is that their students' interests largely determine which Web sites are selected to be used within the classroom. For example, World Geography can be taught through use of the "Lycos Road Map" Web site ("www.lycos.com/roadmap.html"), while the U.S. Census Bureau "Gazetter" site ("www.cencus.gov/cgi-bin/gazetter") can be used to secure detailed maps and demographic data on virtually every city in the United States.

History lessons can be made to come alive by examining the historical events that occurred on a student's birthday (e.g., the "History Channel Time Machine" site at "www.historychannel.com/today"). U.S. History can grab students attention through an examination of the Declaration of Independence (e.g., the "Historical Documents" site at "lcweb2.loc.gov/const/mdquery.html").

Social Studies can become more pertinent to students through an examination of "music" and "culture" (e.g., the "American Studies Web Site" at "www.georgetown.edu/crossroads/asw/"). The behind the scenes progress of the legislative process can be examined as it happens (e.g., the "Thomas" site at "thomas.loc.gov" & "CNN- All Politics" site at "allpolitics.com"), rather than simply reviewing past events.

Science classes can follow the progress of deep space probes (e.g., the NASA Homepage" site at "www.nasa.gov", participate in slightly weird experiments, query scientists (e.g., the "Science Guy's site at "nyelabs.kcts.org"), or follow changing weather patterns in an effort to predict the future (e.g., "Yahoo Weather" site at "weather.yahoo.com/regional/US.html"). Younger students can participate in a World wide "show-n-tell" (e.g., "Global Show-n-Tell Museum" site at "www.telenaut.com/gst"), or simply ask "Why" things happen in nature (e.g., "The Why Files: Science Behind the News" site at "whyfiles.news.wisc.edu").

Math can become an interactive sport through collaborative competitions with other students throughout the world (e.g., the "Math Magic" site at "forum.swarthmore.edu/mathmagic", while reading options can be expanded from the library down the hall to the world's best literature (e.g., the "Project Gutenberg" site at "www.promo.net/pg" and "The Children's Literature Web Guide" site at "www.ucalgary.ca/~dkbrown/index.html". Writing tasks can be altered from something to be avoided, to a purposeful and fun tool that can be used to communicate with friends around the globe (e.g., the "Kidlink" site at "www.kidlink.org/english/index.html".

The list of potentially useful educational Internet sites is endless. Unfortunately, all of the Internet resources in the world will be of no use, if teachers do not receive sufficient support in their exploration and use of the Net.