The Internet over the last decade has become an ever-changing, ever-expanding, ever necessary part of life. According to Emarketer, 350 million, roughly 7.4 percent of the population in our world, uses the Internet on a daily basis whether it be at home, at work, or at school. Internet access in the past was only available to government agencies and large corporations. Schools today have increasingly seen the benefits of their students having access to an endless avenue of learning. Colleges with Internet access provide an invaluable source of knowledge to students. By providing the Internet as a way of learning, colleges increase their students’ productivity. Libraries, while still an abounding source of information, are not as easily accessible or as fast a source of information as the Internet is today. Students can spend endless hours in a library doing research to no avail.
If you were trying to write a paper on a current event, such as the recent September 11th tragedy, you would likely have difficulty locating enough information already in print to write on your topic. However, after using an online search engine for five minutes, you could find enough information to write for days on any topic you might choose. A student can access dictionaries, encyclopedias, and atlases from her own computer, which can be a definite advantage. For example, instead of looking for a particular country and simply finding out where the country is in an atlas, students can type in the name of that country, and not only will they find out faster where that country is, but they will obtain more information about that country. The Internet provides information readily and easily on topics ranging from Shakespeare to strawberry Pop-Tarts; whether it be12 a.m. or 12 p.m., the Internet allows flexibility for the busy student.
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Computers and the Internet have expanded the way education can be delivered to students by creating opportunities to engage in distance education through the Internet. Online learning creates a flexible schedule to help fit the needs of the working student, making education accessible wherever and whenever. Not only does the Internet provide an avenue of communication and learning for the conventional and unconventional students alike, but the Internet can also serve as a means of communication between the student and instructor through mediums such as e-mail, forum, and chat. With this new avenue of learning also comes more opportunity for online fun and creativity. A recent study by Greenfield Online showed that fifty percent of today’s student body are now shopping online.
Students making regular visits to entertainment, travel, and shopping sites have become an everyday part of life with over sixty-two percent of students making purchases. Nearly forty percent of these students now design and maintain their own web pages while learning valuable skills that could become very useful. Online dating is the newest rage for single college students. If you can’t find that perfect match, never fear, the cyber world is here. Information that was once limited or hard to find has now become endless and reaches as far as the mind can imagine. Whether it be for research, online learning, or simply just having fun, colleges that provide the Internet on their campuses have opened the door and provided a means for their students to access a vast world of knowledge and information.
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