Pulse of Canada

Internet in the classroom: Valuable tool or persistent distraction?

Pulse of Canada
A student uses the computer at Prince Street School, where 25 per cent of the students are newcomers.
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A student uses the computer at Prince Street School, where 25 per cent of the students are newcomers …

There's been a lot of debate lately on the value of increased portable technology in the classroom.

For some, it's an invaluable tool. The Internet gives students access to the world's biggest library, where data and information about subjects they're studying is easily available.

For others, it's a persistent distraction. Instant access to friends, family and social media like Facebook and Twitter can prove to be endless time-killers that distract students from their studies.

While some universities have embraced portable technology - going so far as to offer courses and class materials online - others have taken the opposite approach. Wyoming Catholic College, for example, not only bans personal cellphones, but also bans televisions and access to most websites in dorm rooms. Administrators allow limited Internet access for research purposes only.

[ Related: No cellphones allowed: Some colleges ban modern-day gadgets ]

“We are so tech savvy these days,” says WCC student Erin Milligan. “But something that is really prevalent is our inability to genuinely communicate at a human-to-human, face-to-face level.”

So as students head back to the classrooms today, we ask you: What's the role of technology in schools? Should student have unfettered access, or focus on face-to-face learning instead?

Have your say in the comments area below.

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