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Essay/Term paper: Technology is changing education

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Education

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Fernando Leigh
English Composition and Rhetoric
Research Paper

Technology is Changing Education

The best method for improving educational standards is to utilize every tool
available, including state-of-the-art technology. Computers and the Internet have
expanded the way in which education can be delivered to the students of today.
Today"s networking technologies provide a valuable opportunity to the practice of
learning techniques. Educators are discovering that computers and multi-based
educational tools are facilitating learning and enhancing social interaction. Computer
based telecommunications can offer enormous instructional opportunities, but
educators will need to adapt current lesson plan to incorporate this new medium into
all the classrooms. The only problem is that some of today"s schools are hindered by
an under-powered technology based curriculum and, in order to stay competitive, the
American educational system must do a better job of integrating.
Computers have made a fundamental change in most industries, providing a
competitive advantage that has come to be essential to stay in business. Therefore,
education must also use technology to improve the educational process instead of
simply applying it to existing structures. School systems often consider acquiring an
enterprise computer network, but justify its purchase by applying it to routine
administrative tasks, or take period by period attendance. Although these tasks are
important, they only represent a small part of what technology can do for an
educational institution. Technology must go beyond just keeping attendance, it must
focus on keeping students interested and productive. "Curriculum improvement is the
best strategy to prevent dropouts; technology is especially useful in this regard"
(Kinnaman 78). Technology can provide a unique and compelling curriculum
resource, that challenges every student.
The Clinton administration has taken steps towards improving educational
standards via its "Goals 2000: Educate America Act of 1994" (Thornburg 23).
However, several interpretations of the Act never mention the use of technology.
Advocates of the Act need to realize that Internet linked computers can provide more
current information than what is found in today"s "exciting" textbooks. For example,
science textbooks and history textbooks are notoriously out of date. In contrast, the
Internet offers students a vast pool of current scientific data. Most of the time the
Internet makes learning fun, unlike the plain fashion of the "almighty" textbook.
Computers and other technology can also heighten the learning process by actively
engaging students in the task of exploring data. Some students may be tempted to
simply download information from the Internet that does not have anything to do with a
particular subject that they were asked to research. This shows that the Internet may
have a greater impact to education than to learn that information from a typical
textbook.
Since computers and the Internet have expanded the way with which education
can be delivered to students, it is currently possible to engage in distance education on
specialized subject and fields through the Internet. Distance education involves audio-
video linkage of teachers to many students and even in remote areas. Video
conferencing allows groups to communicate with each other. Desktop video
conferencing promises to bring student together from geographic and cultural distances
face to face via computer. Students in New York City will be able to learn about a
Chinese culture, not only through books, but also from Chinese students. Not only will
the teacher talk to the students but the students will be able to interact with each other.
This will make the students more interested and fascinated with learning about another
culture.
Not only does the Internet, and video conferencing help education, also
Microsoft has created new programs for designed for educational purposes, Some of
these are "Encarta World Atlas" and "Encarta Encyclopedia." "These two particular
programs make learning easier and more enjoyable, all because of the use of the CD-
ROM device" (Keen 100). Instead of looking for a particular country and simply
finding out where it is in a regular atlas, students can type in the name of that country,
and not only will they find out where it is faster, but they will obtain more information
about that particular country. Instead of having volumes and volumes of heavy
encyclopedias, Microsoft has place all of these massive books into one light CD. This
CD is much simpler than the unpleasant job of flipping page by page just to read about
an uninteresting topic, such as history. But, with the use of this CD, not only do you
receive regular information, but you may also view videos about certain people and
battles. This makes education an enjoyable task. With "Microsoft Works" student
will be able to cut and paste their way to make interesting multimedia research
documents. Writing reports on a type-writer was a displeasing way to write term
papers especially if that student runs out of white-out. This computer program offers a
spell-check, thesaurus, and other helpful features which make writing that term paper
easier. These particular programs by Microsoft are only a few of the educational
programs available to students.
"The successful use of technology in a few classrooms is not enough, because
developing a successful technology using school requires careful planning and must be
a school wide priority with broad support from the community" (Dyril & Kinnaman
48). The traditional top-down, uniform distribution approach is almost never the best
way because it limits innovation and development fails to provide equity and does not
reflect the characteristics of the school community. Most educational boards should be
open to any new idea that technology has to offer. It would not be fair for a student in
a particular city to get a better education than another student in a another city.
Technology is not meant to replace teachers, it is there only to serve students to make
tedious tasks easier. Therefore, this technology should be offered to every student
trying to get ahead of the competition. In doing this, it not only needs the support of
teachers, but it also requires support from communities. If technology in schools
receives the support from entire communities, students in any area would be able to
keep up with the competition.
Some of today"s schools are hindered by an under-powered technology based
curriculum and, in order to stay competitive, the American educational system must do
a better job of integrating. Teachers must take a leadership position in designing and
implementing a technology powered classroom curriculum, investing time and energy
to become familiar with available resources. The faculty at most schools should create
a set of individual goals, including developing basic skills, defining core content and
thinking creatively and clearly. Technology enriches curriculum by increasing the
value and power of traditional classroom techniques within the boundaries of school
structure and schedules. Technology can also improve writing with the use of new
word processing programs that provide easy to use tools that are not normally available
in the classroom. Technology is able to help students in a variety of ways. By making
learning more enjoyable and less tedious, student will want to learn and will not see
education as such a difficult responsibility.























Works Cited




Dyril, Odvard. "Technology in Education: Getting the Upper Hand." Technology

& Leaning. January 1995. Vol. 15, pp. 38-46


Holzberg, Carol. "Technology in Special Education." Technology & Learning.

February 1995. Vol. 15, pp.18-23

Keen, Peter. "Network Computers: Do it for the Children." Computerworld.

16 December 1996. Vol.30, pp. 100

Kinnaman, Daniel. "Taking Attendance is not the Goal." Technology & Learning.

October 1995. Vol. 16, pp. 78

Mehlinger, Howard. "Technology Takeover Attenuated" Education Digest. May 1996.

Vol. 61, pp. 25-29

Thornburg, David. "An Active Agreement." Electronic Learning. October 1994. Vol.14,

Vol. 14, pp. 22-24

Leigh 1



 

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