Education by Computer - a Better Way
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While researching articles written about the use of computer in education, I discovered different views and approaches upon this question. The first thing that needs to be mentioned is that articles written in various time periods have diverse topical points. Those, published in 1980’s and at the beginning of 1990’s, just predicted forms of influence of computers on the educational process, whereas modern articles are already analyzing ways of study by means of software programs and Internet, and their benefits and drawbacks. My goal in this paper is to compare articles with different time period, show the role and place of computer in school curriculum and highlight all pros and cons of such education.
To achieve this goal, I have organized my research paper into two major parts. In the first section, I have examined two articles which were published almost 30 years ago as well as discovered predictions of the authors about the role of computers in educational process and its influence on children. The second part of my research is based on analyzing the influence and importance of computer in modern study.
In the middle of 1980’s, the use of computers at schools started to increase and the question about its usefulness became a crucial subject for researchers. Many researchers based their works on various experiments and recent statistics. It was mentioned that “during the next decade school will gradually shift from a teaching/learning model” based on human instruction “to a new approach that combines human and machine” (Dede 22). Most of researches tended to the thought that “computer are fast becoming an important factor in school teaching” (Kulik et al. 59) “as the information technologies continue to increase in power while dropping in cost” (Dede 22). In his article, Dede indicates that during this decade “developments in the speed, memory, power and price of the informational technologies will create a wide range of new educational modalities” (22). In spite of all benefits from computer education, Dede does not agree with the fact that informational technologies are better at instruction than skilled human teachers. On the other hand, research conducted by Kulik et al. shows that the classes conducted by means of computer programs were more efficient and revealed better examination scores than those conventional classes conducted by human teachers (68).
Nowadays, the role of computer in education takes a very important place. Computer technologies have a huge impact on the education field. Modern students do not imagine their study without computers. Thanks to new technology, the educational process becomes easier and even more interesting. According to Tondeur et al., there are three types of using computer in modern education: “basic computer skills” – school subject that teaches pupils to use computer, “computer as an information tool” and “computer as a learning tool” represent educational uses of computer (14). Although to my mind, computer education is not limited by those three types. There are much more branches provided by intellectual technologies. One more thing about use of the computer is the ability to use distance learning. Now, in our busy world, we may receive proper education in front of our laptop at any comfortable for us time. This is a step to self-improvement, a way to achieve better qualification and widespread your overview. Physical distance is no longer a barrier and your educational process is no more limited to visiting classes. You may afford not attending lectures as there is a huge variety of online courses. All you need is to choose a proper subject and receive the material. There you will find only those things that you are interested in and nothing unimportant. For sure, results are in your hands, but as for me it is better to learn from the comfort of your own home anytime you like. This is not the only advantage of using computer with aim to learn subjects.
Computer also may create positive impressions from the class or lecture. Nowadays, it is very popular to use different presentation software like PowerPoint at lectures, classes and seminars. Such method catches student’s eye, and make lesson interesting and interactive. It is a well-known fact that the Internet plays one of the key roles in modern study. This is an endless source of information. You may find there everything you need. Students claim that it is more comfortable to look for the information on the Internet rather than to look through thick books. Computer is a good device for storing a large amount of data and different sources. It may save a huge amount of data and at the same time occupy very less space. Students as well as teachers benefit from using computer during educational process. It helps them a lot, saves their time, makes study more interesting and provides opportunity of distant learning.
The other side of the coin is, however, that computer education deprives you of social communication. First of all it refers to distant learning. You have no possibilities to spend time with your group mates, friends and teachers. Another disadvantage of active use of your laptop is a credible threat to your health. It is true that the screen of the computer badly affects your vision. And, probably the worth thing about computer, it is a fact that it will replace books in the near future and next generations will stop reading paper sources at all.
The introduction of the computer technology to the educational sphere brings more positive effects than negative ones. Computer became an essential part of study and without this device our life is unimaginable. Everybody benefits from using intellectual technologies. They make our life easier and provide us with comfort of educational process. As we can see, computer technologies are developing day by day, so the future researches will be continuing to work at this field.