The use of computers in school classrooms has evolved throughout the years, and has become revolutionary in changing the way we teach and learn. Our classrooms should no longer be confined to four walls and a few teachers who are considered to be experts in knowledge. Our classrooms need to keep up with a changing society and a new world that is dependent on technology. As students graduate, they need the technological skills needed to thrive in a world in which technology sets the pace. Society expects the school system to produce functional citizens who have the skills to gain profitable employment, and not be a drain on the system.
Computers have been in the schools since the 1960s, ...view middle of the document...
They help students become better problem-solvers instead of just rote learners.
By the time a student is in middle school he or she should be able to use software tools such as word processing , data bases, spreadsheets, and telecommunications. But the computer can be used for so much more. The computer can be used as a tutor or for research on any topic. As a tutor, the computer presents subject material, then evaluates reponses and determines what to present next. This is excellent reinforcement for instruction because it can supplement prior teaching, or it can be used by the student to learn what the student chooses to learn in a student-centered learning environment.
The most common use of computers has been drill and practice, but if it is programmed it can do a lot of other things beneficial to learning. For instance, it can be used as a calculator in math, a map-making tool in geography, or as a text editor. It can put students in situations in which they must write, and search, or communicate with people far away. In addition to writing documents, computers can be used to make presentations. Desktop publishing was first designed for business use, but is now being designed for use in the classroom. This software makes presentations and documents look professional and motivates students to perform and learn more.
In teaching social studies, telecommunications can make the entire world accessible. Students can learn about other countries by communicating directly with the people who live there. This enables the students to focus on cross-cultural comparisons of social customs, governments, educational systems and career patterns. For example, it would be very interesting to communicate with a Japanese student and compare the work force in Japan to the work force of America. I think students would be very surprised and interested in learning that there are major differences between these two cultures. Computers can also be used to access information such as polling data, population characteristics, voting records, economic data and many other things. The use of the computer increases teaching resources and stimulates students by offering a variety of instruction.
For a long time, computers were only used in computer labs at the schools. A lab has some advantages because all the students are supervised and are coordinated with the same curriculum. The computer teacher is trained in the use of computers and teaches the students how to use them. But this method has draw backs because computers should be placed where they can be integrated with learning. They need to be accessible quickly and used as they are needed, not a lot of time later. Students need daily access to receive the computer’s full benefits. The computer needs to be viewed as an educational tool and not as a machine for another class. Students need to be familiar with computers in their own work stations. A problem with this is that most classrooms only...