Introduction: the Internet – why bother?
Many people would be a little more sceptical than the world’s foremost software entrepreneur concerning the educational implications of the Internet. It is certainly true, however, that information technology will have a deep and continuing impact upon the world of learning, as upon many other aspects of life; and, as a student, you will ﬁnd that the Internet inevitably plays a large part in your studies. The increasing presence of computers and of Internet access in homes and workplaces has been matched by their prevalence in Higher Education. Computer technology has become a basic aspect of provision for staﬀ and students in universities and the use of the Internet for research and teaching is now common. The purpose of this book is to provide a guide as to how you might best and most eﬀectively make use of the Internet in your studies. First, however, and since this is a book designed speciﬁcally for politics students, it is appropriate to provide some sense of the politics of the Internet – of how it is used politically and what the political impact of this new medium might be. Equally, an awareness of the politics of the Internet may equip you to ask some critical questions about the medium that will prove important when you are actually using it.