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The Internet provides several opportunities for the academia. It is a mechanism for information dissemination and a medium for collaborative interaction between individuals and their computers without regard for geographic limitation of space (Leiner et al., 2000; Singh,2002). The word Internet is derived from two words: “international” and “network”. The Internet therefore can be defined as an international computer network of information available to the public through modem links (Bassey, 2003).
According to Lagos (2003), the Internet is a worldwide system of linked computers networks. The Internet is the world’s largest and most widely used network. It is an international network of networks that is a collection of hundreds of thousands of private and public networks all over the world. There are rich and varied learning experiences available on the Internet that would have been inconceivable just a short while ago.
The Internet has a range of capabilities that organizations are using to exchange information internally or to communicate externally with other organizations. The primary infrastructure for e-commerce, e-banking, e-business, e-learning and virtual library is provided by the Internet technology. The Internet provides several opportunities for all academia, business organizations, the employed and the unemployed, the young and the old. The Internet is a“live” constantly“moving”, theoretically borderless, potentially infinite space for the production and circulation of information. The Internet might thus be described as a“sea of information”, containing texts which are not housed between library or bookshop walls and subject areas span across all fields of knowledge. The Internet can be used for other things besides email. One can listen to international radio station on research and educations on the Internet, read national dailies of other countries, and speak to friends around the global, read books and other materials on the Internet. The list of things that can be done on the Internet is a very long one. The Internet contains more information than the world’s largest libraries (Emeagwali, 2000). With access to the Internet one can retrieve information from the world’s largest information database.
Internet is defined as “a dynamic electronic network that permits computers connected anywhere on that network to exchange information” (Brook et al., 2001, p.13). Internet is a shared global computing network. It is a network based on standards including Internet Protocol (IP), Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) and the Domain Name System (DNS), which enables global communications between all connected computing devices. The development of the graphical browser Mosaic by Marc Andreessen in 1993, allowed for the transmission of images and the internet. In 1995, commercial services like AOL (Amercan online) and CompuServe began offering internet access to the masses and the new internet, the World Wide Web, became what it is today. Internet use has impact in many areas including the higher education system.
Internet enhances the development and implementation of new and innovative teaching strategies in higher education institutions. As a result, integrating the Internet into teaching and learning in both developed and developing countries has gained attention of educators and practitioners alike. Educators who advocate technology integration in the learning process believe that internet improves learning and prepares students to effectively participate in the 21st century workplace. Internet use has become a way of life for the majority of higher education students all around the world. For most college students, the Internet is a functional tool, one that has greatly changed the way they interact with others and use it to accomplish a wide range of academic tasks (Suhail, and Bargees, 2006).
Many students prepare course assignments; make study notes; tutor themselves with specialized multimedia; and process data for research projects. Most exchange emails with faculty, peers, and remote experts. They keep up to-date in their fields on the Internet, accessing newsgroups, bulletin boards, and web sites posted by professional organizations. Most access library catalogs, bibliographic databases, and other academic resources in text, graphics, and imagery on the World Wide Web (Asan and Koca, 2006). Barab et al. (2001) and Usun (2003) argue that Internet appealing to higher education for a number of reasons: it reduces the time lag between the production and utilization ofknowledge; it promotes co-operation and exchange of opinions; it furthers the sharing of information; and it promotes multidisciplinary research.
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