Today, we have access to the most remarkable modes of communications. The Internet is one such mode that functions as a powerful and compelling technology. With the advent of the Internet, more people are educated. We turn to the Internet to communicate ideas and learn about current events; the information is literally at our fingertips. The online world may be reshaping our brains and affecting our critical thinking process. Critical thinking is defined as “the capacity to reflect, reason, and draw conclusions based on our experiences, knowledge, and insights” (Taylor). The Internet is a tool that is built on the capabilities of the people who are using it. Thus, the Internet is developing society’s ability to think clearly and rationally, as more and more people are communicating ideas, understanding connections, and evaluating arguments. The access to the information is advancing society. Ever since our origins of the cave, new technology has resulted in panic. We must accept that any major technological advancements will result in social and cognitive changes. The influence of the Internet will continue rising and our new abilities “cannot be put back in the box” (Bavelier et all). Thus, harnessing and understanding the benefits of the Internet is important to the development of society. By channeling learning and communication around the world, the Internet poses beneficial impacts on educational and social aspects of society.
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Since the Internet allows instant and uncontrollable transmission of information, many scholars and critics claim that the Internet is a destructive force that is dumbing us down. Our world is strongly influenced by digital media. With the rising influence of the Internet, the news industry is pressured to constantly produce news. Therefore, some claim that the Internet is leading to false reporting. In addition, critics claim that false rumors spread through social networking sites, including Twitter and Facebook. However, the aforementioned claims are not legitimate enough to undermine the positive impacts of the Internet. Although experts in this field, such as Nicholas Carr, argue that access to technology is making our generation less intelligent, we must take into account the changing, fast-paced world that we live in. Psychologists argue that “around 1900, there was a similar fashion for hysterical warnings of “nervous disorders” and the weakening of the brain supposedly triggered by technological advances” (Schmundt). As a result, the first intelligence test was developed in 1905. The current methods of the academe must adapt to modern technological innovation, such as the Internet because there is no turning back; the Internet is developing new ways of thinking and interacting. “Current practices of our educational institutions–and workplaces–are a mismatch between the age we live in and the institutions we have built over the last 100-plus years” (Davidson). We must start to think differently about human capacity and intelligence. It is important to take into the account that “as with food, the effects of technology will depend on what type of technology is consumed, how much and for how long” (Bavelier et all). The internet is helpful, but like any form of technology, excessive use of it creates reliance and dependency that prevents us from improving ourselves. Everyday, a countless number of people throughout the world benefit from using the Internet, whether for work or pleasure. The positive impacts of the Internet overpower the negative effects. The Internet is a developmental force in society that provides us a means to communicate, entertain, and collaborate with people all around the world.
The Internet is a driving force in creating a new idea of intelligence. Using a search engine, we can type in our search query and the search engine delivers relevant information within seconds.”Web browsing also requires additional types of mental processing – evaluating hyperlinks to make navigational decisions and filtering photos, videos and menus” (Bavelier et all). While using these resources on the Internet, we activate more areas of our brain than we do while reading text (Bavelier et all). In files that contain tremendous amounts of content, the Internet allows us to focus and analyze the bits of information for their usefulness and relevance. “The more pieces of information we can ‘access’ and the faster we can extract their gist, the more productive we become as thinkers.” Historians and scientists suggest that technology does not change the “brain’s fundamental abilities” (Bavelier et all). In fact, psychologists explain that technological developments have not changed the foundations of brain structure and organization. In other words, the advent of the Internet has not resulted in new brain structures. However, the Internet does affect the connections in the human mind by manipulating the flexible cognitive behavior of the brain. “The brains [are] learning, benefiting from practice and experience” (Bavelier et all). Children’s immediate environment determines the kind of attention that they develop (Taylor). A global trend that is widely recognized is that IQ levels are rising. “From one generation to the next, children are performing better on IQ tests” (Schmundt). The Internet is transforming culture and creating new knowledge. In addition, it fosters creative opportunities for individuals and collaborating groups. For example, Wikipedia serves as a source of creativity and knowledge that bridges the gap between experts in particular fields and ordinary individuals. The Internet puts us in touch with limitless resources across the world, providing us with fresh perspectives. The new technologies stimulate children to thrive on their imaginations and ideas. The Internet is not making us dumber. To say the least, it is leading us to imagine a new concept of intelligence.
The importance of the Internet in education is undeniable. Access to the Internet allows for deeper understanding and greater knowledge of a subject. Thinking is “plastic” and adapts to the environment (Schmundt). The Internet is not creating a less intelligent generation; the generations are just learning in new ways, as they are constantly being exposed to technological resources, such as the Internet. Sociologists refer to those who identify the Internet as a serious societal worry and source of addiction as moral panics (Szalavitz). Young people are simply adapting to a world that is faster-paced and influenced by the online world and digital media. The fact that students use the Internet as their main source of information demonstrates that the way students think, learn, and process information is changing (Hall). Children today live in one of the most distracting, and at the same time, stimulating environments yet, constantly being exposed to new technologies. They should not be penalized for finding new technology more interesting than what is taught in the classrooms. In order to provide today’s generation with the skills to contribute to society, we must reflect on the changing face of corporate America, which calls for educational practices to be revolutionized. The Internet is revolutionizing education. Encyclopedia Britannica, the world’s encyclopedia, serves as a source of free, accessible information. Documents are searchable online, instead of looking up table of contents or indexes in books. “Research that once required days in the stacks or periodical rooms of libraries can now be done in minutes” (Carr). The Internet serves as an effective, useful, accessible storage of information. The plethora of educational resources, available with the click of a button, allow students to immerse themselves in knowledge. “The Web has unlocked the keys to a worldwide virtual school, potentially leveling the playing field for students around the world” (Myers). We must incorporate different types of technological resources, such as the Internet, into the curriculum for it is not wise, nor beneficial to use systems and standards from the past as a basis for the future, with regards to education. The Internet is a source of education that is changing and developing the academe in order to make it all-encompassing and on par with today’s society, economic aspects, and cultural standards of society.
Universities and corporate America consists, largely, of “digital natives” (Hall). In other words, young people are being raised in a society that is inundated by the immediate access to vast amounts of information on the Internet. The increasing use of the Internet has led to educational concerns, focusing on the danger of brains being shaped differently. However, a study demonstrated that the online world is actually conducive to learning and communicating idea effectively. Through the use of new technologies, students network their learning in remarkable ways, such as creating learning applications for their iPods. The current methods of the academe are not beneficial to all children; we must start to think differently about human capacity: the idea that “smart people” are academically successful is feeding the “production line mentality” of society. Standardized testing and streamline education is not taking advantage of potential geniuses. Instead, these public education techniques are impeding the development of amazing divergent thinkers. Incorporating the Internet and other technological resources into the curriculum will help today’s children be on par with the heightening standards and technological demands of society. A professor teaching a class based on learning and the Internet assigned students a term paper and a blog response. He found that the students’ online responses were better than the ideas in their papers. “Functional magnetic resonance imaging studies show that Internet searches activate a larger network of brain areas than does simple text reading” (Bavelier et all). Encouraging thinking and collaborating online was demonstrated to maximize brain activity. While some argue that Internet dumbs people down, the blogs did not contain the “jargon, stilted diction, poor word choice, and rambling thoughts” that the traditional papers exhibited (Davidson). On the contrary, the blogs depicted less plagiarism and more concrete, genuine responses. Clearly, the Internet allows students to express their ideas elegantly, unpretentiously, and effectively. In order to prevent personal similarities from interfering with the cultivation of innovations, online chats, blogging, and teleconferencing are critical to an institution’s success. Groups of people, including professors and students, can actively collaborate via multiple channels, fostering more dynamic team interaction.
Blogging websites, online discussion forums, and social networking sites are rising platforms for expression and communication. Through social networking sites, the Internet helps bring people together in vast numbers and provides a conduit for expression. Educational systems have been quite constant over the years, hardly adapting to new, modern times. However, recently, professors and students have began using social networking sites to collaborate, reinforce, and teach curriculum. Blogs provide channels for people to communicate ideas and evaluate arguments. Analysis and response to world events allow people to share their their opinions and thoughts, often leading to debate. In addition, social networking sites allow people who share mutual goals to create clubs and organizations. In order to prevent personal similarities from interfering with the cultivation of innovations, online chats and teleconferencing are critical to an organization’s success. Sociologists, who study the social forces, such as the Internet, that structure society and influence behavior claim that the “shifting culture” calls for technology and the Internet to play an increasingly essential role in society (Albison). Critics should analyze sociological factors, such as the fast-paced world that we live in before deeming the Internet a destructive or developmental force.
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Politics could be described as the study of the exercise of power. The Internet and social has led to empowerment and civic participation. To say the least, individuals and groups are empowered in an era of digital media. “The new tools of social media have reinvented social activism” (Gladwell). Social media is creating a new style of revolution, where the “traditional relationship between political authority and popular will has been upended, making it easier for the powerless to collaborate, coordinate, and give voice to their concerns” (Gladwell). Although critics argue that bloggers may replace “traditional news organizations”, bloggers do not possess the skills required for investigative reporting (Rogers). The free flow of information and ideas, which the Internet allows, is necessary for progressive societies. At the same time, the Internet allows us to connect with people throughout the world. For those who are suppressed, the Internet presents means to circumvent government restrictions. In fact, the 2009 Moldova revolution was called the Twitter Revolution because of the crucial role of Twitter in organizing the groups. Blogs allow people to openly share their perspectives and respond to others’ views on conflicts, whether it be gun violence in America or tension in the Middle East. Movements originating on Facebook or Twitter may often lead to people making a difference in society.
By channeling communication around the world, the Internet serves as a developmental force, as it poses beneficial impacts on educational and social aspects of society. The Internet has been able to open so many different channels of information that are accessible to us, as a populus. This benefit definitely outweighs the potential harm that people think it could cause. Online platforms of expression and communication, such as blogs, allow people to openly share their perspectives and receive responses from others. This results in people analyzing their perspectives and thought process. Groups of people, including professors and students, can actively collaborate via multiple channels, fostering more dynamic team interaction. The online world is bridging the gap that once existed between experts and ordinary individuals. More people are able to achieve deeper understanding and greater knowledge of a subject, with access to the Internet. While analyzing sources on the Internet for their validity and relevance to the topic or issue at hand, we use more regions of our brain than we do while reading text. The current methods of the academe and workplace must change in response to major technological advances, such as the Internet, for “digital natives” are entering universities and corporate America. The Internet allows for unified communities and shared knowledge, which without we as a society would not have achieved technological and sociological advancements present today. We should harness and develop the new concept of intelligence in order to advance society, for the advantages that the Internet poses on our world definitely outweigh the disadvantages.
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