Computers In Education Essay

1066 words - 5 pages

Computers In EducationThere is quite a debate on whether or not computers have positively effected education. Some proponents of computers in school argue the fact that computers are vast in the supply of resources as well as the fact that computers dominate society and will continue to do so. Opponents of computers in education take the position of experiencing things actually and not just on a computer screen, a reality versus virtual reality argument ( In addition to this, there is the aspect of time involved with using a computer as opposed to interaction with actual living things.Computers have in many ways enhanced education but it has also weakened other skills taught in school as well.The first skill lost is obvious with the use of word processing programs today. Of course they are convenient for typing papers because of the neatness and uniformity they provide as opposed to handwriting. Computers also make it easy to fix mistakes without using white out or scratching out words. However, it is discouraging children to learn how to spell correctly, use correct grammar, and in some word processing programs use more vibrant and exciting words.With Spell Check students don't need to know how to spell words correctly because the computer will fix the words for them. With Grammar Check students are given the correct ways to fix their grammatical errors without even noticing them for themselves. And in certain programs equipped with the Thesaurus, children's unique thoughts are enhanced without doing it themselves. Whatever happened to the do-it-yourself dictionary, grammar book, and thesaurus, and not to mention proofreading.Some say that computers promote literacy because of all of the text present on web sites and everything else on the computer, which is okay, but what good is reading if students don't know about sentence structure, how to notice errors, or what certain words mean because the computer has done all of this for them already.Computers provide for a vast world of resources which is very helpful in education. Teachers can go onto the Internet to find added information on a topic and find useful fun activities for lessons. The Internet can be used for students to find information and do research for projects and assignments as well. The danger behind this is the fact that students can also find term papers and other assignments on the computer done by other people and use them as their own works without the teacher knowing. This is not only deceitful, but the students learn absolutely nothing.One area where I think computers greatly impact education beneficially is the use of computers as teaching tools by the teacher. Teachers can construct PowerPoint presentations in order to provide their students with necessary information. Teachers can use different software programs to show geography, science, history, and math, among other things, and help their students learn visually. However, the argument presented by Clifford Stoll is one in which he feels that experiencing the real thing is far more beneficial as opposed to being shown on a computer screen (Technology Critic Takes on Computers in Schools).With computers in school there are a couple of problems . Obviously computers can be used as a learning tool with software to aid in learning, but there are some problems with this. In poorer school districts computers cannot be afforded, it is unfair for one school to have a ratio of five students to one computer and then an entire school have only twenty computers for the entire student body. Another problem facing schools is where they are putting these computers. According to Stoll, libraries, art rooms, shop classes, and music rooms have been replaced by computer labs (Technology Critic Takes On Computers in Schools). Computers may be informational, but they cannot teach you how to play an instrument, cut a piece of wood, or give you the supplies to paint a picture. And this human interaction being lost by replacing these experiences is effecting the student's creativity.Another big question when computers are discussed is funding for these tools. Stoll adds "money spent on computers means money not spent on something else," and some schools really push for extra computers, but what about another teacher to lower class size, or new text books, or something else that could be more beneficial (Technology Critic Takes on Computers in Schools). According to "the best teacher has always been a person not a machine." This can be reaffirmed by Stoll "time on the computer inevitably means time taken away form real interaction with teachers and other students" (Technology Critic Takes on Computers in Schools).Computers have been a serious convenience in our lives in many ways. In relation to education they have made it easier to write essays and term papers. Students can make mistakes and correct them easily with their personal computer. However, sometimes these mistakes are corrected without the student using their knowledge. Computers have opened up a new world with the Internet, enabling information and activities to be easily accessible, but it has also done students work for them allowing them to cheat and be lazy. Computer labs have replaced rooms once used for art, music, and shop classes and in some cases even libraries. Computers also have programs available in order to reinforce learning like math games, geography and history games, science games and software to show scientific events like plants growing, but these programs are no replacement for the actual human interaction and discussion provided by a teacher and other students. Computers have impacted education both positively and at the same time negatively, but there is one thing that is for certain: computers should be used as a learning supplement, not a learning substitute.Works CitedMendels, Pamela. (2000, April 5). Technology Critic Takes On Computers in Schools. The New York Times [Online]. Available: 05education.html [2003, March 9]Learning in the Real World [Online]. Available:


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