Beforenet and Afternet

Copyright 1995 by Jamie McKenzie

This an introductory excerpt from the May/June, 1995 issue of Multimedia Schools, Online Ic., 462 Danbury Road, Wilton, CT 06897-2126. Telephone (203) 761-1466.


What happens BEFORENET and AFTERNET?

With millions of new users jumping into Cyberspace and thousands of schools hopping on this latest educational bandwagon, the question is whether on not all the sound and fury signifies meaning. Does "surfing" the Net lead to insight, truth and value, or is the Internet experience more akin to "Trivial Pursuit?" Does the typical user skim along the surface collecting trinkets and entertaining pictures, or does the Internet serve a deeper and more valuable purpose?

Driving onto the electronic highway is the easy part. Collecting hundreds of pages of information is also easy. The important - and often ignored - issue< facing school leaders, teachers and library media specialists is the Importance of information problem-solving Skills.

Effective use of the Internet depends upon the possession of strategic questioning, planning, searching and information-compacting skills. The researching student defines a set of initial questions, plans a visit to the Net, visits appropriate sites, collects promising material, signs off, reviews and culls the first "catch" and then plans yet another visit and another. The visits are repeated in cycles of planning, gathering and sifting.

The RESEARCH CYCLE (McKenzie, 1995)