Using the Internet as a communication tool to develop primary school students' social awareness

Publication Type:
Journal Article
The Social Educator, 2010, 28 (2), pp. 12 - 19
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Unti! recently, learning about cultures in primary schools has been taught mostly through the use of secondary resources such as books and movies. The advent of the Internet as a communication tool allows students to interact directly with students of other cultures so that they can learn WIth and from each other. There has been little research that examines how the Internet can be utilised in the primary school classrooms to support students' understanding of their own and other students' cultures. This article, using a constructivist framework, reports on a qualitative case study conducted with a grade five Australian primary school class in suburban Sydney where students interacted with a rural Australian class and a rural class in the United States of America via email. The benefits of interactions mediated by the Internet to develop students' cultural awareness, both of their own and others are discussed. The information, communication and technology (ICT) skills students gained from participating in the project are also highlighted.
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