Should computers be used in schools? I have gather information from all kinds of different sources and interviewed a few people on their views to this issue. This is what I gathered:
Using computers in school has many advantages. It actually makes learning more interactive. Lessons can now be taught through the LCD, and this will enable students to watch and picture what the teacher is teaching. For example, a physics teacher is teaching about the concept of nuclear fission, but the experiment on it cannot be conducted in the school's science lab, because it's to dangerous. But, with the usage of a computer and a LCD, students will be able to see that experiment done by others, enabling them to understand better.
The usage of computers also match learner' development needs with personal interests. Students are always finding something new to let their brains feed on, as they are born curious. With the usage of computers, it makes learning more real. They are able to picture it three dimensionally.
Computers also have efficient data storage. Data like good articles, exercises and notes can be kept in the computer, and are readily assessable by students and teachers. With the latest introduction of a terabyte storage disk, imagine how many articles, exercises and notes can be stored! And how much students will will benefit from it.
Students who learn using computer will be able to share information among the school community and family members too! This is because they have a much clearer concept on what has been thought by the teachers. Students might also pick up a few new skills, like leaning how to use the computer, and relate that knowledge to his or her family members.
But, every good thing has its cons too. One of the many disadvantages of using computers in school is all teachers and students enter school, most of them are computer literate. When students enter school, most of them are computer illiterate, unless they have gone for classes on learning computers or their parents have thought them. Furthermore, not all teachers are computer literate too. Therefore, a high cost is needed to send the teachers to learn these computer skills required. Teachers would also then need o waste quite some time teaching students how to use the computer, when this time can be used to start teaching the syllabus.
A large sum of money has to be allocated by the school too to pay off the high cost of maintenance of the computer. Computers need to be maintained by buying anti virus programs to protect the computer from computer viruses, and programs needed to use to teach and keep the computers in working condition. Instead of wasting this large amount of money on computer maintenance, why not spend it on something that will benefit the students? For example, more trees can be bought and planted in the school compounds to cool the school down with the money allocated for the maintenance of computers. In this way, students will be able to learn in a much more cooling environment.
The data available needs to be frequently updated too. Everyday, new things are being invented, new theories are being theorized, old concepts are being changed because of new findings... etc. This means the data stored in the computers for the students and teachers must be updated daily to prevent it from becoming stale. This involves great effort and loads of time.
There is also a risk of data loss and corrupted data. Sometimes, when a student doesn't close the program properly or doesn't save the data properly, it migh lead to data loss or corrupted data. This means, someone has to keep a backup for all the data stored in the computer and also monitor and check on the computer after each computer has been used. This job is tedious and not many people would want to hold this responsiblility.
Therefore, there are many advantages and disadvantages of using computers in schools. In the end, it's up to the students and teachers themselves to decide whether the usage of computer benefits them or destorys them.
Reporter of ICT Magazine.
This was my essay for my EST, which helped me get a 90 for it! I was so glad. This is my first time attempting an real EST paper, marked by a EST teacher. =)