“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” - Benjamin Franklin
The internet is a seemingly limitless resource for knowledge. In 2020, there were 1.78 billion websites with 800,000 being created each day.
The web is really easy to access from a computer, tablet, or smartphone. Nearly 90% of British houses have access to a computer so students nowadays are very used to being behind screens. Indeed, they've grown up with them. They’re so used to it that the internet is the first place they go when they need to find something out.
So how can you use the internet to get your homework done?
Here’s our advice.
The Web: A Student’s Best Friend
For a very long time, books were the go-to source for information. You can find them in bookshops and libraries.
Doing research at school was hard work; gathering up books on a given subject and scouring them for a few hours. However, since its proliferation in the early 2000s, the internet has changed how primary and secondary school pupils do their research for projects.
Thanks to the internet, knowledge is within everyone’s reach. However, you need to be sceptical as some information is quantifiable truth, but a lot of things online are just opinions masquerading as fact and every student needs to be able to distinguish the two.
Of course, if you need help with study skills or techniques, a private tutor could help an awful lot. There are also many tools and resources on effective study skills, too.
With the internet being such a big part of every student’s life, they need to learn about it from a young age and how to use it effectively as a tool for education.
When it comes to researching online, students need to:
- Develop skills that they can use in their future careers.
- Learn critical skills to help them distinguish facts from fiction.
- Know how the internet can help be used as a tool for effective communication.
- Use the internet responsibly.
- Keep their knowledge of online practices up-to-date.
Whether it’s at school or home, each student needs to think about the ethics and morality of using the net for their research. They should also be able to do this all independently and unsupervised.
Controlling and Limiting Children’s Access to the Internet
Parents play a major role in how their children see the internet and they need to show them the best practices for using the internet for research.
You can start by controlling how they use the web and guiding them on how to properly use it for research. By the time they’re a capable independent web user, they’ll know which sites and sources provide accurate information, which will ensure that the net is a great educational tool for them. From there, they’ll be able to use the web to do their homework and also fill in any gaps they may have in their knowledge.
A lot of parents are worried about leaving their children to their own devices online; how they use the internet has to be age-appropriate.
Primary school children need more online supervision than older pupils. When doing homework, the parents will play an important role in showing them how to use the internet can be used to find useful information.
You need to see the net as a tool that can be used to help them to learn. It’s like riding a bike; once you’ve shown them how to do it, they won’t need help from you.
If you don’t have the time to do this, you can always get help from a private tutor as a tutor can show your child useful study techniques and how to use the internet for research.
For students who are already familiar with the net, you can still use parental controls and blockers to spare them from the shocking or unsuitable content that can be found online.
You can use these tools to:
- Control which type of content they can access.
- Determine which actions they can complete.
- Regulate how long they spend online.
- Limit their access to social networks and games.
- Authorise or refuse connections to certain websites.
Most students aren’t that fond of homework. They’d rather be doing just about anything else... except chores, probably.
Some children enjoy using the internet to do their homework as there are interactive and engaging resources to inspire them.
The main function of homework is to complement what they’ve been learning in their lessons while also teaching them independent study skills.
At a young age, copying and pasting is generally allowed and accepted when it comes to gathering information. Young pupils are tasked with finding information and showing what they found out about given topics and teachers are aware that none of this is original work from the student.
Of course, as they advance through their education, they won’t be allowed to pass off others’ work as their own, which is the key difference between research and plagiarism.
There are tools that schools, colleges, and universities use to check for plagiarism and there are also services that offer to do homework and schoolwork for students. Essentially, plagiarism is the practice of presenting another person's work as your own.
Some students, especially those who struggle at school, are more than willing to let someone else do their homework for them. Sadly, this won’t help them to improve and will only exacerbate the problem as you learn a lot less if you don’t work out the solution for yourself.
Of course, getting help from a tutor, parent, or classmate isn’t the same as just copying somebody’s work or getting somebody else to do your work for you. There’s nothing wrong with using tools and programs to help you find the answer, but using a service to solve maths problems, for example, is unlikely to teach you anything.
Verifying Sources and Referencing
Once you reach a certain point in your education, you’ll be expected to cite reference. In the UK, plagiarism is covered by copyright law.
When you find the information you want to use in your work, you need to ensure that you use your school, college, or university's preferred referencing style/
Not only is this an essential part of academic research, but also obligatory if you want to avoid plagiarism. It can take some time to get right, but it’s worth doing.
Generally, you’ll need to use referencing when you:
- Refer to another author’s ideas or opinions.
- Use another author’s work, diagrams, photographs, etc.
- Quote another author.
- Rephrase another author’s ideas, research, or conclusions.
As they progress through their schooling, students will be expected to use quality academic sources. When they hand in their homework or projects, they’ll have to correctly reference the sources they’ve used as well the referencing system preferred by the school or university.
Avoiding Distractions Online
The internet is full of information but also distractions so children must use their time online effectively for their homework or schoolwork.
Not only can some websites muddy the waters, but they can also completely distract the student from the task at hand. They can end up on websites that have nothing to do with what they’re supposed to be researching or studying.
Show them useful websites where they can find reliable information and the types of sources whose editorial is held to a high standard. While they’re still learning to use the net, it’s up to you to teach them how to distinguish between different types of sources and which websites are distracting. Keep them away from social networks and make sure they’re focused on their work.
Get in Touch with a Private Tutor
You can now find plenty of experienced and professional academic tutors online.
There are tutors for almost every academic subject as well as extracurricular skills, arts and crafts, and life skills.
Does your child need help with science, maths, or English?
There are plenty of qualified tutors who can help them during the school holidays or on an evening after school. They can also help them with their homework or even teach them how to do their homework effectively on their own and will adapt their lessons to each student to ensure that they get the most out of every minute spent with their tutor.