The World-Wide-Web has great otential as human resource development tools. Many institutions and government departments are experimenting with a variety of methods and models for admlnlsterlng this powerful new medium. For some Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, the Internet plays an important role in their education. Paul Smith teaches courses in computer studies at Menlhek Integrated High School In Labrador City and Is enroled In a doctoral program In Computers In Education at The program requires that Smith complete courses and a thesis. He works on the course requirements at his home in Labrador City via the Internet.
During the winter 1996 term he worked on two courses, Research Methodology and Learning Theory. Classes are held in an ‘electronic classroom’. At the scheduled time, Smith and his classmates sit in front of their computers and log on to the Internet. They connect to Nova Southeastern and participate in the class. The professor has control over the top two-thirds of the screen while the students are given an opportunity, at various times in the class session, to type questions and comments in the bottom one-third of the screen. ‘It’s an interesting way to go to class,’ says Smith. The professor presents material on the top two- hirds of the screen. When I finish reading it, I press the escape key which lets him know that I’ve completed that screen. Using the keyboard I can electronically raises my hand. A question mark appears by my name on the class list on the professor’s monitor and I’m given control of the bottom one-third of the screen. ‘ The scope of the class enrolment is impressive. Some of Smith’s classmates attend class with him in front of their share ideas with their professors and each other, ask questions and submit assignments via email.
Smith, who completed the requirements for a Masters degree at Nova Southeastern using this method, is pleased to be able to have this opportunity. ‘Being there is the preference,’ says Smith. ‘But if I couldn’t work on the program this way, I simply wouldn’t be able to do my degree. ‘ Memorial University is also experimenting with delivering courses over the Internet. Michael Collins of Memorial University’s Biology Department is offering the non-laboratory biology course, Modern Biology and Human Society l, through the WWW for the first time during the spring semester of 1996.
The course examines the implications of modern biological research on human beings nd explores topics such as cancer, diet and nutrition and associated diseases, immunity, genetic engineering, and reproductive engineering. The course is organized into 12 weekly self-contained units. Students complete a computer- administered multiple-choice test at the end of each unit and submit their responses via the Internet. They also write mid-term and final examinations. The text for the course and on the WWW. Future offerings of the course will be enhanced by animation and video clips on various course topics.
Collins also hopes to use the vast resources of the WWW by providing links to Web sites that offer more nformation on the topics covered. He hopes this will encourage students to dwell further into the topics presented. The students will be encouraged to ask questions, share comments, and participate in class discussions via email. Collins is pleased with the students’ response to the idea. The twenty-five places available for the spring offering filled quickly and ten students are on a waiting Libraries are rapidly coming on to the Internet.
For instance, if an internet user who was going to the University of Maryland and needed to access some information for his research paper he could do it through the web. All e would need to do is access the web page address and point and click. That is Just one of the Web’s many features. Around two years ago the leading World-Wide-Web company Netscape, which is the leading web browser of all online users at a 57 percent usage rate began experimenting with actual sound on clips of your favorite musical artist, sometimes before they even come out.
Also, if a musician has a webpage which most do, you can find the lyrics to your favorite song, when his next album will be out, or even his favorite flavor of icecream. It’s all on the web. How about Movies? Yes, movies are even making use of he web. There Just is not much you can show on T. V. in 30 seconds. So, now using your web browser, and Real Audio technology ( An animation technology created in late 95 )you can view movie clips right off the web. This is a great way for movies to advertise for less money, and at the same time give you the viewer a better idea of Just what to expect when you pay to see this movie.
The web also opens up the Advertising market for new business’s. If you have Just started a business in most cases you cant afford to advertise on the television. The web on the other hand can be used to advertise at a cheap affordable rate. On the web you could probably advertise for about an average rate of twenty U. S dollars. This really gives new business’s the exposure to the public that they need to get started. Considering the average webpage gets be customers. Even the stock market is online. Curious if Microsoft rose another point?
Interested in researching some stock your not sure about buying? It can all be accomplished. The prices on stocks are displayed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Not to mention Just about every stock on the market has a webpage informing you about what they are about, how much it costs to buy a share, and the good points hat would make you want to invest in their company. Tired of having to run out to shop? If you take around 5 minutes of your time, you can do it from the web. You can just about find everything for sale on the web. Is your Sam Goodies music store out of your favorite cd.
Surf on down to Music Boulevard and order it for a fair but modest price. One week later it arrives at your doorstep in the same condition you would buy it from the store. You can even make plane reservations off the web with the use of your credit card. Wanna make reservations on Delta for a roundtrip to California? It’s as easy as apple pie. You will soon be able to pay your bills by use of the Web as well. AT and Sprint are working on a sytem with monetary units called E-CASH( Electronic Cash) which will be money. Newspapers have even put themselves on the web.
You can go and read the new USA Today online. What if you missed an important story from a few days back? No big deal, most newspapers have a few back issues from days past online as well. Magazines have used the web to give readers, and people who are thinking about subscribing to the magazine a little showing of what they are buying into. If you were interested n subcribing to guitarworld you could go to their webpage and read some of the articles from the current issue. Even more popular magazines like Rolling Stone are online now. You can read most of the issue without even buying it.
Wonder who got interviewed this month? What band is #1 on the charts? Its all there on the Rolling Stone Webpage. The web is also a great way to communicate with other online web pages. Web pages are very easy to design, so easy in fact that someone with no knowledge of any computer programming, could design a fairly decent page. This is good because it gives internet users a chance to design pages, hich contains information about themselves, pictures, and desires. An important feature of the web is that no matter how big the World-Wide-Web is, its very easy to find your way around.
With the use of search engines, such as Infoseek, Altavista, or Yahoo you can find your way to the topic you need to locate. For instance, lets say you wanted to find out about the state of Florida. All you would do is transfer over to your search engine. Type in the word Florida, and then although its hard to beleive, you may find up to millions of matches. The next day there could be even more. The best feature of the web though has got to be that the possabilities are limitless. With the current intergrating of Java into the Web, users can now interact with The web. Java was developed by Netscape corp ). In the next few years many people predict the web will become intergrated even more into our life, to the point where every single United States household will have a connection to the WWW. Another important feature of the internet is Electronic Mail. It works very much like the postal service. You compose a letter to someone using their email adress. It only takes a short time for the email to get to the aster then the postal service itself. It serves very useful to communicate with someone who lives far away.
Calling that person on the phone would make your phone bill very high. Just one of the many ways the Internet makes your life easier and more affordable. Another part of the E-Mail system is something called a mailing list. Mailing lists are a group of online people who are discussing a topic. For instance, the Van Halen mailing list is a group of Van Halen fans discussing their thoughts about the current happenings of the group. Their are many mailing lists such as music, movies, Business, Etc. In some cases you could receive up to one-thousand E-Mails a day.
You could respond to all one-thousand or Just the one’s that catch your eye. Its completely up to the user. Internet relay chat is another feature of the internet. This feature gives you direct communication to other users online. Discussions are held in channels relating to the topic. For instance, if you wanted to talk about sports your best bet would probably be #sports. There are thousands and thousands of channels. Something for everyone, no matter what your interests might be. They have a channel where all games, there is a channel for games.
Millions of people use irc each day. At times you may not even be able to get on its so busy. The best part about this feature is that like E-mail if your talkin to someone far away your telephone bill will not suffer the consequences. Although with E-mail your not talking directly to the person, your communicating with his E-mail address. While in IRC your message is being sent directly to the user at a much quicker faster rate. The internet phone is one of the newest addons to the internet. In order to use this function your computer must have a soundblater card and a microphone.