The internet is by far the greatest communication device ever invented, and it works awesomely as long as it is not overly abused. Unfortunately, we know all too well the challenges with human integrity and abuse don’t we, and, that really goes for pretty much anything. Further, we probably don’t need to look much farther than a US Congressman “tweeting” an unacceptable picture online to realize the validity of my claim in that regard.
Now then, when it comes to important educational topics online, many of our students use the Internet to help them locate valuable information. Perhaps they are doing their homework, or trying to make sense of a new type of math they are learning. I know this is true because one of the Starbucks I happen to frequent quite often always has teenagers inside doing their homework. They often sit in a far corner in a study group. They do this because there is Wi-Fi, and probably because they love the Frappachinos, and that caffeine and sugar mix.
Being able to go online tends to serve them better than merely using a textbook, especially when it comes to mathematics because often the textbooks are ambiguous, and far more logical than their teenage formatted brains. Of course, these teenagers also have the attention span of a gnat, and they want the information as fast as the search engine can possibly deliver it.
Not long ago, I read an article online having to do with Math Tutoring, and it had an absolutely brilliant title something like “How to Mathematically Figure Out the Total Area of a Trapezoid” or something similar to that anyway. The title was indeed brilliant because this is the type of things which teenagers often search. However, after I read the article I was left scratching my head. You see, personally I know quite well how to figure out the area on a 2 dimensional plane of just about anything.
It’s really not that difficult, but rather the author of that particular article was busy attempting to sell his online tutoring services, rather than just giving the appropriate formulas to solve the problem of figuring out the area of a trapezoid. I found this to be quite unfair to anyone searching online, and completely problematic as it is filling the search engine up with junk. After all, anyone searching online to figure out the area of the trapezoid is searching for that exact information.
They are not searching online to be suckered into buying Tutoring CD-ROMs, sold by an Internet marketer who is merely an affiliate marketer for someone else’s products, and doesn’t know a thing about mathematics. Perhaps you are beginning to see the problem, and perhaps this is why Google has been busy altering its search algorithms, so people get what they want when they search online. After all “the Google Business Model” depends on giving people the information they seek in an accurate fashion.
Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it. If you have any comments or concerns, perhaps case studies please send them my way so we might discuss them.