Parent Guide to the Internet

What is the Internet?

The Internet is a worldwide system of connected computers, each of which may be connected to another network of computers. For this reason, it is sometimes called a network of networks. The Internet allows people in all corners of the world to communicate electronically, and to send and access information electronically in a matter of minutes.

What is the World Wide Web?

The World Wide Web is the main source of content that is accessible via the Internet. It is like a library of books, only the pages are stored on lots of different computers around the world. The unique thing about the World Wide Web is that anyone can make information accessible on the Web.

What are the advantages of Internet access?

The Internet allows people to access a vast information resource, talk to each other by email, and join electronic news, discussion and special mailing groups. Educationally speaking, it can open up a whole new vista for the user as well as provide access to information resources at one's fingertips and provide a creative outlet for those who wish to create web pages.

What are the disadvantages of Internet access?

The Internet is a powerful learning tool, but it should not be used indiscriminately or without supervision. While your daughter is at school, the school will make every effort to ensure that this resource is used appropriately. As parents, it is your responsibility to monitor this resource at home, not unlike the manner in which you monitor use of television, video games, or the telephone. It is not advisable for students to engage in hours of unsupervised time on-line. Check their emails, know who they are chatting to on-line, and scrutinise the websites visited. Keep in mind that while your child is on-line, your telephone bill is getting larger.

What use is the Internet likely to be in the classroom?

The Internet has the potential to provide access from the classroom to educational resources within Ireland or from many parts of the world. A large variety of source materials, information, images and computer software can be accessed rapidly. It is possible to facilitate individual or group projects, collaboration and idea sharing between geographically dispersed students, teachers and schools.

Through the Internet it is possible to make contact with people all over the world, whether fellow students, educators or experts in specialist fields. Prominent public figures occasionally make themselves available for on-line question-and-answer sessions also.

Through developing a website of its own, a school can contribute to the sum of available knowledge on the Internet, publicise its own activities or encourage collaboration through educational projects.