Nate's First Final Draft

Nathan Gonzalez
Eng. 101
Professor Daniel Spoth

Before class we check the Internet to inform ourselves about the day ahead. During class we browse the Internet for information to assist us on our assignments. After class we use the Internet as a source of entertainment. As we use the Internet frequently, both in and out of class, it’s hard for us to actually realize that it has become a very vital parrot in our daily routine. Many of us would not be able to function without the use of the Internet on a daily basis. Is that a problem? Advancements in technology have made the Internet so accessible and easy to use that it will always be linked to students and the way they study. Although there are some minor disadvantages and flaws to the Internet, overall it is essential in order to maximize a student’s potential and it is necessary for universities to expand this great tool. In this paper, I will argue that even though the Internet provides students with a tool like no other it requires two additional elements: personal responsibility and being accountable for your actions.
It is understandable why people would consider the Internet a distraction in the classroom due to Facebook and many other online activities that are available to students. Teachers do not want their students to be more preoccupied on updating their statuses rather than focuses at the task at hand. Although this is a problem, the Internet should not be solely to blame for not staying on task. Students could just as easily bring a Sudoku book and distract themselves with that. In this case, this is where personal responsibility comes into the equation. When used wisely the Internet can be considered one of the most vital resources for a student. Although if a student is not honest and responsible in using this tool it can be detrimental not only to his or her grade, but to their credibility as well. Many sites offer pre-written papers that can be sold to students. This type is very popular within the student community. Plagiarism is a very serious offense in universities and is something that is not dealt with lightly. This may be the main downfall of this important resource.
Regardless of the students morals and whether or not they decide to use it wisely, the Internet benefits students in so many ways and should be utilized in universities. The Internet provides students with a countless amount of knowledge right at their fingertips. An unknown author once stated, “a journey from a thousand sites begins with one single click.” The Internet has evolved to the point where a student can basically type in any subject on a search engine and in a matter of seconds you will be given numerous amounts of links and websites about the subject. Popular search engines, such as Google and Yahoo, make research much easier than many other resources. On top of these numerous websites full of information, the Internet also provides convenience and ease. Students no longer have to haul themselves to a library to research, but they are able to do their work at the convenience of their own home. When speaking of the Internet, “convenience” is probably the word that will always come to mind. The Internet is so basic that I was amazed to see my 5-year-old cousin surfing the Internet as if it was an everyday affair.
Communication is also a helpful tool that the Internet provides. The Internet allows you to speak to people across the world instantly free of charge, but communication in a university setting is very important. Being able to communicate to professors on a regular basis is very essential in being a successful student. Universities have found ways to set email accounts for all students and faculty. This use of the Internet enables students and their teachers to communicate in the most efficient way possible. Many students are shy to express their feelings out loud, but communication through email assists in this area. According to a study in the American Life Project, researchers wanted to study how much the Internet impacts a student daily. Surveys were randomly distributed to students in both four and two year universities across the United States. “Nearly half reported that email enables them to express ideas to a professor that they would not have expressed in class.” Not only are students able to communicate with their professors, but the Internet also allows the professors to post the assignments online and make any changes if needed. Vanderbilt University has a system called, OAK (Online Access to Knowledge), which posts all courses in which the student is enrolled. On this site a student can download a class syllabus, look into online tutoring, and even look at their grades.
Grading online has truly been an asset in helping a student know where they stand in that particular class. Being able to check your grades instantly on Internet allows the student to be aware of their grade at all times. A high school student is able to fail a course and retake it without a financial consequence. However, a college student may lose thousands of dollars by failing classes. With the grading systems that colleges have implemented, it is very important that a student has some sort of access to the Internet. So as we continue to venture into an atmosphere that is greatly dependent on the Internet, it will be interesting to see the how the advancement of information is going to be taught in the next 5 to 10 years. As technology continues to find new ways to have communication travel faster and easier, I could imagine educatators will be able to implement the latest’s computers and mobile devices to plan and or conduct their assignments via the Internet. The accessibility to the Internet has always been a point of debate when it comes to the “have’s and have not’s”. Most institutions have made the Computer Science area of their colleges and universities a priority not only for their faculty, but also for all their students because of the importance of research and technology when competing to stay ahead of the educational curve. The very fact that we can utilize the Internet with a vast selection of instruments is a major plus for all of us. I do often wonder, “What does happen when the Internet is down”, how do we handle ourselves then. It is so true that we tease our parents for being sort of old fashion when still writing things down of loose leaf notebooks, and not taking a bite out of the Apple (Mac), and see their hesisenty in wanting to become www. inclined. The truth of the fact is that most of them can learn to use the Internet and get pretty good at it, but the next generation of students that were born with nothing but iphone’s and blackberry’s and never learned how to really use basic writing and sentence skills (because of the spell check) will be challenged if the Internet was to have a crash or no IP address. Personally I have been fortunate to have learned to use the Internet as a tool and not as much as the only tool. Yes I am glad I have the use of such a great invention, but it should never replace the fact that Tools are only as good as the one that operate them. (My Dad always said that). The Internet will be a way of life for us and there is no denying that it’s impact has caused us to be much more reliant on it’s availability to our life’s to make it easier less complicated in finding the answers to our questions.

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