Use of the Internet in Educative Informal Contexts. Implication for Formal Education




Learning systems, formal learning, informal learning, personal learning environment ICT, teaching, individual differences, personality


Media use plays an important role in the social, emotional, and cognitive development of young individuals and accounts for a large portion of their time. For this reason it is important to understand the variables that contribute to improve the use of the Internet as a source of information and knowledge in formal and informal contexts. How is it possible to exploit the huge potential of this tool to help people learn? What are the cognitive and social characteristics that help individuals experience the Internet without being overwhelmed by its negative effects? What skills are needed to select and manage information and communication? What type of Internet use creates new relationships and ways of learning? A sample of 191 subjects was examined to determine certain characteristic differences between subjects with high and low levels of Internet use. The results show that individuals with high levels of Internet use have higher extroversion and openness scores. The research analyses the use of the Internet in informal contexts to determine the benefits that may result from Internet use in education which may include the development of the skill set necessary to evaluate information critically and analytically and build independent attitudes..