Planning a Trip Using the Internet: Project Overview

Having Adult Basic and Literacy Education students utilize a computer and the Internet in the ABLE classroom had both positive and negative consequences. The entire experience was a positive one for both staff and students: however, many lessons for future Internet activities were gleaned from this pilot project. The unit was more complicated than it was originally expected to be as it took a great deal of effort on the part of students and staff to complete this assignment. Part of the problem was the Internet, other situations were student dependent and yet other problems were due to the destracting situation.

The benefits of having students plan a trip on the Internet were numerous. For the students, exploring what the Internet can and cannot do, leaning basic computer skills and parts, utilizing word processing programs, e-mading, writng and telephoning for information were great skills to practice in a familiar setting with a teacher present. Many life skills were utilized while completing this project. Younger students with preoous computer experience were more comfortable with the project am students with little or no previous computer experience.

The computers at Painesville Adult Basic and Literacy Education (ABLE) are situated in the rear of the main classroom. This led to distractions on the part of the teacher, the computer student as well as the classroom students. It is recommended that future Internet training be held at a separate time and/or space to minimize distractions and that the teacher be able to concentrate only on this project and not be interrupted by ABLE students or staff.

The Internet contained flaws that impeded the progress of the students. No one search engine was the best for all activities. Small towns and their hotel/motel or restaurant services that the student wished to visit did not have information on the web. An additional problem was, despite the relative newness of the computers and specifically the modems utilized, the time for the search process to conclude in a positive web site was slow. Mapquest, popular for finding travel routes, does not have alternatives for detours or accidents. This situation led to frustration on the part of the students and poor motivation to continue to project.

Other ideas that were changed in the course of the project was to

Suggestions for future implementation of this project are:

Having ABLE students spend time on the Internet and explore opportunities on the web can be both exciting and frustrating. An activity like this one should be part of every ABLE student's experience, whether it be as a participant, or if really hesitant, just to observe the capabilities of the Internet.

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