The internet is one of the most important inventions of the twentieth century and can be a very useful and productive tool. On the other hand the internet is also designed with entertainment in mind and can be a tremendous waster of time. College Students as a group have greater access to high speed internet connections than any other group. Therefore the use or misuse of the internet can be a very important issue in the education of a college student.
Never before has a person had access to as much information as you have with the internet. A person has the ability to research without going to the library, as almost every library has a website which you can use to research. In addition to the websites of libraries search engines make it easy to find web pages on whatever topic you need information on. Many news organizations also have websites which you can use to view current events and current issues of the newspapers and also archived issues of the newspaper.
The internet has also become and important and vital part of education. Three of the four classes that I am taking this quarter use the internet as an integral part of the course. In my physics class all the homework is done on an internet system called webassign. You submit the homework on the internet and it gives you your grade immediately and also tells you all the problems you got wrong and all the problems you got right. Another course that makes use of the internet is my computer science class.
You use the internet to do the labs for the class and can also get notes for the class on the computer science site. My calculus teacher also uses the internet and has a website that she uses extensively during class. She posts the answers to the homework questions on her website and during class she uses the projector hooked up to her computer to view the website. She also posts grades on the site and you can download practice tests and quizzes. Also at the beginning of all my classes this quarter the teacher gave out his or her e-mail address.
As with all things in life there is also a downside to the internet. College students in particular can be affected by the negative aspects of the internet. Some students can become addicted to the internet and to internet based applications like instant messaging and chat rooms. This can become a problem when the time a student spends online starts to interfere with his or her schoolwork and grades. I know from personal experience how time consuming the internet can be. I regularly spend a few hours a day viewing web pages or using internet based applications on my computer. Another aspect of the internet that can be a tremendous waster of time is computer games that use the internet. I know that this is an issue for many people here at R.I.T. My R.A. told all the people on my floor of stories about people who actually flunked out in their first year because they neglected their work to play computer games.
Never before have college students had such a powerful tool to aid them in research and in their overall education. The internet is also a breakthrough in communication and entertainment and can be used in a way that hinders your education. In conclusion the positive aspects of the internet in my opinion far outweigh the negatives.