The Computer?s Positive Impact on Education

The Computer?s Positive Impact on Education
Once upon a time there was a teacher and a classroom full of bright and ambitious
students. One day a bit of brand new technology was introduced into the classroom. This new technological tool was designed to enable teachers to save time and better instruct groups of students. Students would also be able to utilize this new tool for practicing math problems and spelling words. This new tool is also proven to be very easy to use to compose and edit information on it. In spite of all these wonderful qualities this new advanced technology can bring to the classroom, it was approached with much skepticism. In the early 1900?s, people were concerned and worried about the kinds of problems ?the chalkboard? would bring to education! A century later, teacher across the country teachers and students are still successfully utilizing chalkboards in the classroom for teaching and learning. This little story is true and significantly compares to computers entering the education turf. I?m going to take this opportunity to expand on the positive contributions computers have and will make in the education field.Computers are having a positive affect on education in many ways. Some of the optimism about computers in education is due to the fact that computers offer diverse collections of resources, variations of media type, increased communications, as well as provision of a records management tool for teachers.

The diversity of resources teachers and students have access to through the use of computers is phenomenal. Basically, software and the Internet are the methods used to obtain access to overwhelming amounts of data. The information may be in the form of written material, audio material, games, user-interaction, animation and many more. The Teacher Resource Center (trc) in Indiana maintains an updated website of teacher resources at ?www-ed.fnal.gov/programs/ed_mat_trc.html?.

Software provides age-appropriate instructional design in the math and science disciplines, as well as in language arts and social studies. Many of these are interactive and/or re-create models of items ranging from complex graphs, historical events, to science experiment labs.

Reference libraries are also available on software. There are complete electronic encyclopedia software with color graphics and audio. Information can be printed out, which is convenient for students who are conducting research.

Another software area relating to the educational field is pre-school software. Pre-schoolers use computers for ?coloring/painting?, playing memory games and learning basic letters, numbers, shapes etc. Daycare centers, Headstart, and various four-year old programs use computers in the classroom.

The resources available through the Internet are infinite. There are numerous websites for teachers providing tips about curriculum, lesson planning, lesson ideas, craft ideas, children?s literature, education news, and the list goes on. Teacher workshops are available via the Internet, as well as certain online college courses. Teachers can even take their class on an Internet Fieldtrip, such as a visit to a zoo.

Some teachers send their students on an Internet Treasure Hunt. Information from a website may be downloaded and saved for later use, such as a Treasure Hunt. The teacher prepares a list of questions to be answered and/or images to be gathered by the students while exploring the website. This activity can be offered at more advanced levels and can be done in groups or individually.

A school website is another exciting possibility as a project for students. It provides the possibility for students to share their work with parents, friends, and the community. Most schools present basic school information, which may include a photo of the school, events calendar, contact information, etc. Some include fun facts about local history or geography. A few even display some of the students work that typically decorates the school?s hallway. A website called Web66 provided by the University of Minnesota includes a registry of school websites form around the world and tips for teachers to set up their own site. Creators of school websites should never include personal information or individual photographs of students due to Internet crime.

The computer in classrooms has great potential as a writing tool for language arts. In the past, teachers and students mostly used computers for publishing purposes. Today, there is more emphasis on composing works right on the computer. Easy editing techniques simplify this process.

Computers have also made more math options available to students. Younger students may now experiment with interesting types of applied math such as graphing and geometry.

Another great way to utilize computers in a manner that optimistically contributes to education is class communication through the Internet. This is a type of ?Pen Pal? concept. Students can share and collaborate on projects with their peers in other towns, states, or countries on a regular basis. This activity incorporates valuable cross-cultural perspectives and real world problem solving or accomplishments as opposed to artificial problems.

Computers provide teachers with a classroom management tool. Teachers may compose lesson plans; create worksheets, word puzzles, tests, and spelling word lists; keep attendance records, personal notes, grade records, and parent correspondence by using a computer.

Creative teachers can create computer applications in all disciplines. Computers offer a desirable ?hands-on? feeling that aids in the students? individual learning processes. They can be useful for independent or co-operative group projects. Computers offer refreshing flexibility and variety to our children?s? classrooms and like the chalkboard, they are going to be around for awhile.

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