Learning from Cyber-Savvy Students
How Internet-Age Kids Impact Classroom Teaching

Paper: 978 1 57922 031 0 / $27.50
Published: December 2000  

Publisher: Stylus Publishing
228 pp., 6" x 9"
As the Internet has become a common household utility, more and more students are coming to school with Internet experience.

How do students' and teachers' roles, and schools as institutions, change when these Internet-Age kids enter classrooms that are fully equipped with networked computers?

This book offers a unique analysis of the issues and challenges teachers face as their classrooms become fully connected to the Internet.

Anne Hird spent six months observing a class in a school with fully connected classrooms. She presents a vivid and insightful account–often reported through the students' own words--of how young teens use computers in and out of school; how they perceive the world shaped by the Internet; and how these factors shape their expectations for classroom learning.

She observes and reflects on the paradox which confronts teachers in this environment. They are expected to guide students in learning with a cognitive tool that was not part of the teachers' experience as students, while students' familiarity with the Internet calls into question the authority of the teacher on which the traditional teacher-student relationship is based. She offers a strategy for professional development which recognizes and builds on this inevitable shift in the teacher-student relationship.

This is an absorbing, thought-provoking and practical book for all educators--individual teachers and administrators alike–concerned about the integration of computer technology into elementary and secondary school classrooms.

Reviews & Endorsements:
"For six months [the author] interviewed [eighth-grade] students and teachers regarding their Internet use at school and at home. The school was highly progressive in providing the most current technologies to its teachers and students. She was surprised to discover the students' feelings about their teachers knowledge of the Internet. The students did not believe their teachers were qualified to provide the knowledge and guidance they needed. Hird makes a compelling argument for serious changes in teachers professional development. She writes that until teachers become fluent online learners alongside their students, schools run the risk of becoming increasingly irrelevant to students growing up in the Internet age."
- American School Board Journal
"...Hird's practical recommendations will help to alleviate the apprehension of many teachers and administrators. An extensive bibliography and an appendix articulating a thoughtful Internet use policy round out the text. Highly recommended."
- Library Journal