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Searching for Educational Content in the For-Profit Internet: Case Study and Analysis

American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting,


This case study investigates the commercialized nature of Internet content and the ways educators and students negotiate and talk about such content. In factoring in the economic and historical context of educational Internet content, this case study also addresses educators' evolving attitudes towards commercialism in the classroom. A survey was distributed to numerous teachers at Hillup Elementary, Homer Junior High and Walnutville High School (Iowa) in the Fall of 2000. According to the survey, the Internet's main function in the classroom was as a kind of library substitute. Other types of projects, such as telecommunication exchanges or Web page design, were a significant minority to projects asking students to do individual research-surf the Web for information about a chose topic. The Walnutville data correspond with a national study conducted in 2001 that found 94% of youth ages 12-17 who have Internet access said they used the Internet for school research. Sixty-one percent of all the teachers answering surveys in this study assigned in-class projects that involved individual research in a school computer lab, with every student working on his or her own computer. More than any other Web-based activity, then, Walnutville students were surfing the Web in pursuit of information on a topic they usually chose themselves, and writing up research papers or some kind of presentation using that information. (AEF)


Fabos, B. (2002). Searching for Educational Content in the For-Profit Internet: Case Study and Analysis. Presented at American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting 2002. Retrieved February 29, 2020 from .

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