In our online AP Gov class, we learn, share and communicate via the internet. The internet is the newest electronic source of news. In 2000, over half of American households had at least one computer, and today, over half of Americans have a personal computer, playing a big role in our daily lives. The internet plays a big role not only in our class, but also in politics.
In our class, the internet serves as an invaluable tool for sharing our ideas with one another for projects and for researching current events for both internal and public blogging projects. Without the internet, our class would not be possible. Using the internet as a virtual classroom has allowed for this class to be made possible. With classmates in Hawaii, California, Tennessee, Washington, Connecticut and other states, my peers and I are able to share our diverse opinions with each other without boundaries. We abide by a rule of courtesy when we share and respond to one another. The discussions we have online serve as learning experiences on how to communicate with people via the internet. In the future, most of our careers will deal with the internet, and this class prepares us for the increasingly technologically advanced world that continues to grow.
The political news that is found online ranges from summaries of stories from newspapers and magazines to political rumors. The internet is acts as a “free market” in political news where there are few regulations or controls to the facts, opinions and nonsense that are publicly posted. While some people read their newspaper online, others scan blogs for political viewpoints that offer liberal, conservative and libertarian perspectives.
Because the internet has no centralized governance or policies for access and usage, many people express themselves freely. This expression can be both helpful and destructive. Today, every candidate running for an important office has a web site. In 2004, Howard Dean ran for the Democratic presidential nomination and raised most of his money from internet appeals. However, the internet can also prove to be destructive as a major source of criticism. For example, when John Kerry was campaigning, the internet blogs served as a source of discussion and criticism of Kerry by former Vietnam war veterans.
The internet, therefore, is global system of interconnected computer networks that serves billions of people worldwide. The internet can influence people’s opinions, destroy reputations, and deliver invaluable information at incredible speed. The commercialization of the internet resulted in the internet’s incorporation into virtually every aspect of modern life. As of 2011, more than 2.2 billion people use the Internet for the various services that it provides. This global system will hopefully soon expand to include even more online opportunities for learning.