Web Browser: she knew if you clicked on that you could what was called “surf the net”. The IT woman had a bit of Italian and had told her the Italians said “navigare in rete”, which The Queen liked better, as she silently amended it to an Italo-English pidgin phrase, “navigate in rot”. That’s what she liked to think of the so-called wonders that were available online, a lot of rot.
— from Mrs Queen Takes The Train by William Kuhn
I really do dislike the internet, not quite with the intensity of a thousand white-hot suns, but I do dislike it.
I do download the vast majority of my teaching resources, mostly for free, from various internet sites.
Money saver? Absolutely!
Timesaver? Boo Boo!
An incredible amount of time is wasted looking for a resource that is the perfect fit. ‘Maybe the next website will have something a bit better.’ Yeah … no.
When I only used books, I was more limited. This one, or this one? I also got the job done a lot more quickly.
Then there’s Dory Syndrome (which you will understand if you have seen Finding Nemo).
Just focus on getting the resource you need … oh look, that might come in handy one day … oh, wow! I love the way this is set out … oh, check this one out …
The internet would have to be the world’s biggest tool of procrastination.
Log on to look for that one last resource, or piece of information … three hours later you’ve downloaded all this awesome stuff and found two new websites to subscribe to. But, where is that resource you were originally looking for? Oops.
My daughter procrastinates on the internet all the time. She’s not playing games or using social media. (She doesn’t actually use social media at all … I think … and she lambasts me every time I open my Facebook page.) She is ‘doing research’. Or sometimes she is on Education Perfect or Duo Lingo ‘learning’ something totally irrelevant to her homework task.
Yes, I know I should be pleased she is embracing learning, but embracing her homework first, and not leaving it to the last minute, would be so much better for all of us.
There is also the issue of accuracy.
‘Believe half of what you read …’ I think the saying goes.
Trying to navigate the murky waters of truth and crap is tricky.
Anybody can put anything on the net … like this blog, for example. I type it, click ‘publish’ and swoosh (sorry, that’s the sound it makes on my computer when it publishes) — there it is, online for anyone to read. I am slowly gaining followers too, which, although not the purpose of either of my blogs, is quite pleasing. I’ve seen people in Japan, the U.S., France, Canada, the U.K. and India check out my blogs.
So, the internet is cool in that way — I can write something and the world can access it. But, other less well-intentioned people can also write stuff for the world to see … and that’s scary.
Self-control, tunnel-vision and critical reading skills are the order of the day if you are looking for something specific, and correct, on the internet.
If your intention is to ‘surf the net’, then that’s fine, because it means you have a bit of time up your sleeve and you’re not really looking for anything specific. And, in between all the ‘rot’ there are some absolute jewels, you just need to know where to dig to find them.