The ability to share ideas via the Internet is providing users an unrivaled vehicle for creative expression. No longer dependent upon publishers, mass media, and other traditional distribution channels, thousands of writers, poets, scientists, musicians, students, and others are making their work available to others around the globe. The existing latent creative talent surfacing in the exchanges of the Internet confirms that as individuals we have not yet become nearly as passive or simple-minded as critics of our society, and our education system, would lead us to believe. On the contrary, given this vehicle for being heard, individuals of all ages are engaging in complex, educational, and highly creative interchanges.
In order to prepare themselves for these interchanges, students at all skill levels are demonstrating an increased interest in reading and writing. Students who believe their work will be read by a truly interested audience excel in writing above their individual past performance levels; they learn quickly that in order to be understood, they must express themselves clearly and rise to the challenge. Similarly, students receiving information they have requested or specifically searched for often read above their past skill level with great determination; these students care about the information before them and find purpose and reward in working hard to comprehend even difficult materials.
Teachers and students exploring the Internet together are developing skills for questioning, researching, analyzing, discussing, hypothesizing, and proposing. These capabilities are gradually replacing the traditionally valued skills of objectification and memorization. As students and teachers together learn to become more creative, the Internet provides them a mechanism through which they can share their enthusiasm and discoveries with others. In this scenario, the networked classroom becomes a place where information is viewed as a starting point, critical thinking is essential, and creative application of information is the key to learning.