Web-Based Teaching, Just Another Fad?

Jerry Squire, a twenty-year veteran science teacher in a midwestern urban high school, was sitting in the audience at a staff development conference listening to a speaker from a science education research and development center present ideas about the benefits of online or Web-based teaching and learning. The speaker, a very well-known science educator, indicated that the Web was one of the keys to reforming science education and that schools needed to move toward creating more online opportunities for students. In the question-and-answer session following the presentation, Jerry stood and addressed the speaker: “For the past twenty years we have tried to integrate computers into the classroom, and with little effect. We’ve used them in our science department with mixed success. Why do you think Web-based teaching and the use of online resources are going to be any different than our experiences using technology in the past? The record is dismal. Please show me how it can be better. What do you think about the potential of the Web in science teaching? Is this teacher relying too much on his own experience and thereby not listening to the results of this science educator’s experience with the Web? Click on “leave a comment” and share your ideas.

About Jack Hassard

Jack Hassard is a writer, a former high school teacher, and Professor Emeritus of Science Education, Georgia State University.