The Use Of Computers In Education

1899 words - 8 pages

Throughout history, humans have proved that with each new wave of technology comes a new opportunity to create a better method of educating. With the invention of the radio came the creation of educational audiotapes, some of which were designed to ?teach? a person during sleep. As the television and VCR were incorporated into millions of peoples? homes, educational TV programs and videos also began popping up, promising things such as to ?teach your child to speak French fluently in only 30 days.? As the computer became more and more of a commodity in homes as well as classrooms, instructive software programs such as ?Reader Rabbit? and ?Math Blaster? became ordinary in school computer labs. Now, with the Internet being the latest major wave of technology, most schools and universities in America give students direct access to the World Wide Web. Some offer courses that are taught completely online. In Michigan, a virtual high school is available to all students in the state. ?The school offers core and elective courses, including foreign language, and twelve Advanced Placement courses? (Bennett 2). Statistics taken have shown that the students who take classes online do just as well as students who go to an actual high school. The computer, when used correctly, will change the way we view educational development and learning, and revamp American education; in some cases, it already has.One reason why computers are important for young education is that they provide an interesting learning environment that attracts both infants and young students. Seymour Papert writes that ?across the world there is a passionate love affair between children and computers? (Papert 1). Watching pictures, videos, and sounds on a computer is very appealing to both children. The student will learn more by interacting with the computer then listening to a teacher?s lectures because it is simply more fascinating. Papert also says that ?one of the big contributions of the computer is the opportunity for children to experience the thrill of chasing after knowledge they really want? (Papert 19). The visual and audio stimuli offered by computers would not only increase a child?s attention to the subject at hand, but would also increase retention. Todd Oppenheimer writes that ?computers improve both teaching and student achievement? (Oppenheimer 45). When a child is physically interacting with the computer software, the child?s full attention becomes focused onto the computer. This can be called a ?video game effect.? When a child is playing a video game, the child gains a sense of completely dominating the machine. This feeling is very stimulating, and makes the computer even more intriguing to the adolescent, while teaching educational material at the same time.However, some argue against the attractiveness of the computer to children. Neil Postman says: ?What attracts the child or adolescent is not the beauty or interest of the contents being learned, but cosmetic and...

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