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Essay/Term paper: Technology is changing education

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Education

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Technology is Changing Education


Fernando Leigh
English Composition and Rhetoric
Research Paper

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


 

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