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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
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
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
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
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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