The choices given on your recent poll about what Internet tools teachers use for instruction [Web-only reader poll, August 23-30, 2006] left out important choices: Webquests, Internet scavenger hunts, research, etc. The only choices your poll gave were “Wikis,” “Blogs,” “Podcasts,” and “None.” Given that many school systems do not allow students to post on the Internet (due to security restraints), but do allow students to access and read approved sites, the teachers in these systems can only use “None” to respond to your poll. This poll fails to reflect the actual truth that teachers would use these tools if they were allowed.
I believe this poll gives an inaccurate impression that teachers are not using the Internet in the classroom or that they would not use other interactive tools if they could.
In fact, many teachers are using the Internet in their instruction! I would have preferred different wording, such as, “If you are/were allowed to use them, which of these Internet tools would you use in instruction?” Or, better yet, the poll could include other Internet activities in the choices—activities such as Webquests, in which students access information but do not post or upload information.
Sharon Elin, NBCT
Instructional Technology Integrator
Chesterfield County Public Schools
A version of this article appeared in the October 01, 2006 edition of Teacher as Poll-Axed