By Henry Francis, eHow Contributor
The argument over the benefits and negatives of using computers in classroom is a hot point of debate. While there are clear benefits, including helping special needs students and teaching students valuable life skills that they will need in the workplace, there are also several negatives, such as issues with safety on the Internet and long-term health problems.
Exposes Students To Harmful Websites
oAlthough many schools apply Internet filters to their computers, it is still possible for students to use proxy servers to access unsuitable resources such as gaming, social media networks and pornographic material. In particular, browsing social media websites and chat rooms exposes students to the risks of potentially dangerous child predators who seek to deceive students. A further problem stemming from the use of Internet filters is that, when they are in place, educators assume their students are safe and do not provide a high level of supervision, assuming their students are unable to visit undesirable websites. Provides a Distraction
oUsing computers in the classroom often leads to students becoming distracted. Regardless of Internet filters, students are still able to access social media, gaming and potentially harmful websites, all of which serves to distract them from the primary focus of the lesson. Although there are tools that educators can use to combat distraction, such as supervision of all computer use or turning off monitors from their own computer, this results in stoppages to classes which makes teaching difficult.
Filters Can Limit and Frustrate Students
oNearly all computers in schools have Internet filters applied. These filters are often crude in the websites they prohibit students from viewing, with the intention of ensuring students cannot visit harmful or obscene websites. However, this occasionally means that students are unable to access genuinely useful and insightful resources, so cannot read around a subject. This can lead to frustration and limit the depth of knowledge a student is able to gain. Potential For Humiliation
oStudents that do not have computers at home may be unfamiliar and unable to use computers, while most students will already have a good working knowledge. This can lead to students being singled out as they slow classes down and require special attention and additional training from the educator. This also highlights the fact that students do not own their own computer, which suggests their parents/guardians cannot afford to invest in technology and potentially leads to further embarrassment. Long-term Impact
oMany students already spend lengthy amounts of time on their computers outside of the classroom, and using computers in schools can lead to long-term social and health issues. The overuse of computers can make prevent children from developing well-rounded personalities, with students preferring to interact through electronic means rather than face-to-face conversations. Furthermore, the Mass General Hospital for Children suggests that improper use and overuse of computers can lead to health problems such as headaches, fatigue and repetitive strain injuries in the eyes, back, neck, shoulders, arms and hands.
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