The use of computer technology is one of the factors that can help to motivate and prepare students to work in the society of the high developed technologies. This essay tells about the advantages of using the computer technologies in elementary and secondary education. It demonstrates why modern technology should be present in the classrooms. It also shows the opposite point of view of people who consider that the computer technology could have the destructive effect on students.
Keywords: computer technology, education process, classrooms, students, information.
Use of Technology in School
The modern society heavily relies on the use of technology in its everyday life. Nowadays, it is completely impossible to imagine the regular family or business office without a computer. The modern technology has found a way to leak almost into each sphere of human activity. It is not a surprise that technology has become a part of the educational process in elementary and secondary school. The computer technology has become a useful tool that helps teachers and students to present and understand the material better. The educational technology increased the student-to-computer ratio to one unit per student (Glenman & Melmed, 1966). Some can claim that computer technology has a negative impact on children in terms of students’ concentration on a subject. However, the use of technology at elementary and secondary school is a key factor that can help to widely present educational material and prepare children for the era of technology in which the modern society lives.
One of the main reasons why technology should be presented in school is the opportunity of exploration. Technology represents the full access to books and information that relates to the educational process. Computer technology allows students to go far beyond the school material and make an extra research on their own. It is no longer necessary to look up the information in a pile of books. The innovations give the students an opportunity to find necessary information from a variety of sources quickly. Students will be also able to use the technology for the variety of experiments that are almost impossible to conduct without a proper technological equipment (Moe & Chubb, 2012). It presents teachers with the possibility to use the Internet in order to be not limited by presenting the material from a textbook. Teachers can expand not only their knowledge on a particular topic, but also present it in classrooms. They can use visual tools in the form of maps and graphs. Moreover, with the help of technology, they can transform a diagram or a graph in order to make it more understandable for students. Teachers can also prove their point or make a stronger educational effect by showing a latest video or vivid images (Becker, 1999).
The other benefit of technology in the classroom is the ability to prepare the qualified workers of the 21st century. Living in a new century of high developed technologies people are required to have the knowledge of the computer technology software and the ability to apply it on practice. Each sphere of any industry is filled with the use of modern technologies. In order to continue the human development and increase its opportunity to discover new horizons, it is necessary to improve the existing computer technology (O’Dwyer, Russell & Bebell, 2003). It will be much easier for those people who became adjusted to use the computer technology in the learning process from early age. By implementing different science experiments and projects in the technological classroom, a student will be able to develop the essential skills that will help him/her to adopt in the work environment in the future.
The next essential advantage of utilizing technology in the classrooms is the change of student approach to studying. With the use of technology, they will stop to be just passive participants who just listen and absorb the information, proposed by the teacher. The technology gives the students not only the access to current information, but also invites them to the interactive learning and encourages them to take responsibility to adjust the direction of their educational process on their own. Thus, they will be able to group into teams for different projects and be in tough with experts who directly work in the area which they are interested in (O’Dwyer, Russell & Bebell, 2003). When students use the computer technology, they feel motivation and interest to study the particular subject.
Despite of these advantages, some people see harmful effect of using computer technology in the classrooms. They are sure that many students will be using the technology in order to go beyond the learning subject or project. It will distract them from the primary educational activity. A new technology can also make a teacher frustrated and overwhelmed with various information while searching and preparing for class activity. There is also a chance that teachers will be not always using the right and proper materials or impose their own point of view while presenting the data (McNabb, Hawkes, & Rouk 1999). Additionally, the government would have to spend a lot of money in order to provide all schools with new technologies. It is also necessary to spend money on the training programs for teachers that are costly and time-consuming.
On the one hand, some of these claims and arguments can be based on a real basis. However, on the other hand, those points should be considered as minor issues rather than strong disadvantages of the use of computer technologies in the classrooms. Probably, some students could be distracted from the main project or course material. However, there is a teacher who can control the students’ activity in the class. Additionally, there are many software programs that can limit access to the unnecessary materials. As for the cost of equipment and training programs for teachers, people have to understand that in order to start something new it is necessary to make some investment in it. Over time, all of these expenses will bring the fruit and will be returned by the high qualified workers of the 21st century.
In the classrooms with the technological equipment, students will not only get the practical skills of how to use the modern technology, but also develop the ability of critical thinking and workplace skills. They will be able to make the analysis and develop such necessary skills like leadership, motivation, productivity, communication, collaboration and ability to solve problems.