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Computers and Education

There was no doubt that computers would change the world when they first came

into existence. One of the major areas to be changed would be education, especially at

the college level. Computers provide students with numerous benefits. They allow

students to research classroom topics and can help improve classroom performance.

However, they have negatively affected education and will continue if there are further

advancements. It is important that education not lose the concept of personal touch

between the teacher and the student. Thus far, the advancements computer technology

have made in education have been beneficial for the most part; however, further

advancement could be detrimental.

It is very convenient for a student to be able to look up information on the

computer. No matter what field of study a student is involved in, they would be able to

use their computer as a source of information. One way of accessing this information is

through the multiple uses of the Internet. Search engines and online libraries are two

useful ways of gaining information. The amount of information a student can gather on

the computer is endless. For example, if a student needed to do research on dementia, the

computer would be a great source of information. By simply typing in the word dementia

into the search engine box, the student can find endless facts and information on

dementia. This is such an easier task compared to searching for hours through numerous


Computers also help develop more interaction between the teacher and the

student, an aspect of education that is very significant. It is helpful for students to be able

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to e-mail their teacher if they are having problems in class. At the college level, students

may only see their teacher or professor one or two days a week. Students may not be able

to meet with their teacher during their office hours due to the conflicts in each

individual?s schedule. These types of students are now able to e-mail their teacher with

their questions. A computer is more helpful than a telephone in certain situations. For

example, a student may want a teacher to look his or her paper the night before it is due.

Unfortunately, the student is unable to meet the teacher in person. In a situation such as

this, the student could e-mail his or her paper to the teacher, including any questions he or

she might have concerning it. The teacher could easily e-mail the paper back, including

suggestions as well as answers to the students questions. In this situation the computer is

helping the student get the help he or she needs before class the next day. This type of

benefit helps improve classroom performance.

Contrary to the advantages computers offer to an individual?s education,

computers present problems that are equal to or greater than the advantages. Plagiarism

is one of the many problems computers present. Students are able to look up numerous

essays from the Internet. They can easily retype these essays and turn them in as their own

work. Since the amount of information on the Internet is endless, there is usually no way

for the teacher to know this or prove it. Students have a great temptation to do this.

Another problem associated with information gained by computers is obtaining

invalid information. One should always question the credibility of a source from the

Internet. It is true that the amount of information a student can find about a subject is

endless, but sometimes there is no way of knowing the validity of the source. Sometimes

the type of people passing information on the Internet are not experts in that particular

area. Yet students are not aware of that fact. Many times students may think they are

reading an article written by an expert, but often times they are not. On the Internet,

people often try to pass on information as though it is fact when it is really just the

Jacobs 3

writer?s opinion. Students could easily write a paper full of invalid information because

of this problem.

Many students simply cannot afford the cost and upkeep of a computer. The lack

of cost efficient computers proves to be a major disadvantage to students who are already

paying for their college education. It is almost impossible for students to perform well in

a class when they do not have access to a computer. For example, many teachers post

homework assignments, notes, and important due dates on their own web page off of the

Internet. In some classes, the computer is the only way a student is able to access this

type of information. In this type of class, a student would be at a major disadvantage

without access to a computer. If computers are going to be such a substantial part of

education, they should easily be available to everyone.

If computer technology continues to rise, there will extreme damage to education

at the college level. Even bigger problems than plagiarism and false information will

arise. A descent in student?s thinking abilities would be a direct result of a rise in

interaction with computers and education. It is important that students not depend solely

on computers to prevent a loss in organized thinking skills and personal creativity. It is

important that a student feel like they can think and problem solve on their own without

depending on a computer.

Computer advancement will try and make it as easy and possible on students

when it comes to doing tasks around campus. A direct result of students relying too

heavily on their computer would be confinement. An advancement in computer

technology such as this only promotes laziness. Students should not be able to access on

the computer things that are already conveniently located on campus. For example, if a

student needs to get something from the store, talk to a friend, or get library information,

they should not depend on a computer to do it for them.

Most importantly, a rise in computers might have an affect on the personal touch

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between the teacher and the student. For a student to be able to interact with their teacher

is priceless. A computer will never be able to take the place of a human teacher. Part of

the learning process is for students to be able to discuss ideas in class with their teacher

and classmates. It is important that they feed off of each others ideas. It is impossible to

do this with a computer. A computer can only provide information. A teacher actually

takes this information and teaches the students how to integrate it into their lives. A

computer cannot talk back to the student or understand how the student is feeling. Only a

teacher can do that. A computer is not able to inspire a student to excel or show them

what steps need to be taken in order to improve. A teacher is the only source that can

truly educate.

Thus far, the advancements technology has made in education have been

beneficial; however, further advancement will be harmful to students? education.

Computers have influenced education in a positive way by providing information as well

as a way to communicate with teachers outside the classroom. But, these information and

communication capabilities can cause more difficulty than positive influence. There are

already many problems with mixing computers and education. A lack in a students

thinking ability and a loss in a teacher?s personal touch will only be a few of the problems

that will occur if there is a rise in computer technology.

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