Negative Effects of Computers in Classrooms
By Jessy Norman
Computers and other related technologies have become an enormous part of our daily lives. They have altered our sense of people, space, and time. From our living rooms, we can now talk to people, and watch ev ents unfold in far-off places. Shopping, banking, and game playing are just a few of the other daily activities that have also changed. So many aspects of the ways we communicate and handle information have been altered by technological development. Cellu l ar phones, answering machines, voice mail, fax machines, cable televisions, computer networks, satellite communications and e-mail are only some recent changes. Other manifestations of this change would be the location of where it is happening. Yes, it is everywhere, including the classrooms for the use of educating children. Technology is now becoming more popular in the presence of classrooms all around the world. Tomorrow's future is in the hands of today's students. So having computer technology in the classroom sounds like a good idea to me. As time goes by, these machines are being produced to compute at a faster rate, for a cheaper cost. These are the known facts. But, who funds these machines going into the classrooms for the children to learn? Are these computers really necessary? Who already has the education to teach others about this subject, and will that just cost more money? Are they efficient, and really worth it? What are some of the causes and effects of these machines? Today, major compa nies are working with educators to support the use of new technology in the classroom. This includes laptops in the rooms for students also. School districts across the country, about seventy of them, are working with The Microsoft Corporation to create w h at they call a "Connected Learning Community". Together, Microsoft and the schools have developed the "Anytime, Anywhere Learning" program whose goal is for all students to have their own portable computer and to use these tools like pencils and paper. According to the program's promoters, the idea is to enable students to produce the work that would be acceptable in classrooms around the world (The Education Digest- pg58). The program also gives teachers access to the Internet, they can talk with other t e achers and put technology into the curriculum anytime, anywhere. Teachers in this program have stated that students are not just learning better and faster: they are also learning and doing things that were impossible without the new technology(59). The program is said to have boosted the students' problem-solving skills and intellectual autonomy. The mechanical processes of typing and retyping have been minimized; it is reported that these students can spend more time now on other things in the classrooms. Wendy Schwartz states three main reasons that computers should be a significant part of a students education (1)computer can make learning all subjects easier, and they are especially valuable in developing students' language and problem-solving skills( 2 ) Students can use computers to reach hundreds of telecommunications networks, these sources provide a huge amount of information that students cannot get from textbook and more traditional learning tools(3) Computer literacy, understanding computers tech n ology, is necessary for most good-paying and interesting careers(60). But there is also a downside, In contrast, the Atlantic Monthly published a cover story on the matter. Todd Oppenheimer stated that, for many decades, technology has challenged the way students are taught. Such influential people as inventor Thomas Edison, educator William Levenson and behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner proclaimed that new technology devices of their era would vastly increase student's interests in learning. In 1922, E dison predicted that the motion picture would replace textbooks in the classroom. In 1945, Levenson, director of the Cleveland public...
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