AED/200 Contemporary Issues in American Education
October 26, 2012
School Education’s Integration of Computer Technology
Since Apple’s invention of the IBM computer in the 1980’s computers have been the way of the future. Educators understood the importance of teaching computer literacy within the school doors and began to integrate computer literacy into the school’s curriculum through computer labs. However, as education has moved increasingly towards instructional technology the question has raised, should computer labs be phased out? Computer labs do support a certain amount of computer education, taught by an instructor fluent within computer technology. However, students are not able to form strong computer concepts in the allotted amount of time spent in computer labs. Students are able to form stronger computer and subject based concepts through the use of classroom computer instruction. One of the more difficult and complex decisions about education is choosing the most effective and cost efficient curriculum. According to Dupuis,” curriculum is anything and everything which supports student learning” (Dupuis, 2008, pg.423). Before considering a curriculum educators must first establish two things; what the students are expected to learn and the instructional material available. The Federal No Child Left Behind Act has set mandated benchmarks which the majority of students within schools are expected to achieve based on the Bloom taxonomy standards. The federal government has set a benchmark “requiring all students to be technologically literate by the end of the eighth” (Owen, n.d.). School districts are faced with the decision of how to integrate computer literacy within school curriculum. There are basically two ways in which to achieve this goal; traditional teaching curriculum with computer labs and classroom computer based instruction. Curriculum based on traditional teaching with computer labs does support some computer literacy but how much of it is multi beneficial to both the student and teacher must be considered. Each traditional classroom has twenty to thirty students with only one teacher. Teachers using this type of curriculum use the district approved text books and other tangible instructional material as their main source of instructional aids. How much individual instruction each student has available to them is a crucial part of how much assess they have to the curriculum. The more access a student has to curriculum, the stronger concepts he or she will form on the material being taught. Today’s educational budget cuts are forcing teacher and students to face overcrowded classrooms which provide less individual attention. Teachers and students are also facing No Child Left Behind standards of raised benchmarks for mandated standardized test achievements over the next few years. The message being sent to teachers and students is to achieve more with less. How can we charge teachers who are already over worked and underpaid to work harder, achieve more with little to no instructional material provided to help them and their student achieve the goals set before them? Computer based curriculum provides more individual attention than when compared to traditional teaching curriculum with computer labs. Teachers are able to use technology as a tool within their instruction. Which computer based curriculum used must still be approved on the state level, to ensure Federal mandated benchmarks are still with the realm of the curriculum. As part of the curriculum, computers based curriculum allows teacher to track their students’ progress in a vast number of ways traditional curriculum does not. Teachers are also able to develop specialized individual lesson plans for those students who may learn differently or just need more instruction. Thus computer based curriculum is able to adapt to...