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Why Computers Are Good For Schools
Does a calculator vastly improve your maths?
Computers, the tools to make our lives better. They’ll help us keep in touch, carry out business and learn more. So if that’s the case then how come some people aren’t so sure about computers benefits in education? Some people feel that programs putting computers into the hands of school children are just a waste of money that could be better spent elsewhere. But I think that these people aren’t seeing computers the same way.
Sure, the best experience I’ve had with programs such as those giving laptops to all the children and teacher in an area has been in the news, my school is using computers in a positive way. We have can get data for coursework off the school’s website, there are interactive whiteboards which allow for teachers to use technology more in lessons. Our registration system for the 6th Form is now done completely on computer. We have have monitors round the school with Powerpoint presentations giving us important notices. It is this use of technology that’s benefiting people.
There are two big complaints with spending huge amounts of money on computers for education. One is that they will be abused by children, who will use them for entertainment purposes such as games and the other is that they don’t improve test scores. Well, let me put this to those people… if you were to give a class of children a pack of paper and a pen for use with school work, how many of those kids would use all that paper for school work? Next to none. Some will doodle on the paper, some will make paper aeroplanes. The fact is that you can’t stop kids playing. And I’m not talking about like 10 and 11 year olds. I’m almost 18 and yet people round my school do the same sort of things.
And then you have the test score argument. Does a calculator vastly improve your maths? Not really. It still allows for error, it merely speeds up the process. What about using a pen and paper instead of a block of stone and a chisel? Again, it doesn’t improve your grades, but it makes it a lot faster and easier to do. Yet these two tools are used widely in education with next to no complaints. Computers are different to these two tools. While they don’t improve test scores they do educate people. Take a computer such as an iBook. Sure it won’t help you much in an exam, but with a package such as iLife you can make movies and music which allows people to expand their creativity. It teaches them how to use a computer, which in todays world is an increasingly sought after skill. And it can also help them keep in touch or even make new friends on the internet.
Are these of any use in tests? No. Are these valuable skills that will help teach people more? Yes. Perhaps then, we shouldn’t be thinking about whether computers help in a test mad world, but whether those test need updating to take into account a technology based world.