Computers and the internet are two important parts in the everyday life of people. It is important because it helps people to perform activities that could be too difficult or impossible. The communication among people has improved due to computers and the internet. For example, Skype is used for daily real time communication. Information has been availed easily from the internet. Lewis Thomas(2000) researched on computers, and how they changed life’s, he contends ''they can beat most of us at chess,memorize whole telephone books at a glance, compose music of a certain kind and write obscure poetry, diagnose heart ailments, send a personal invitation to vast parties, even go transiently crazy'' (1). In other words, computers could do things that humans cannot do. Computers are important in our lives but, do they help to improve education? Some people argue that adding computers in primary and secondary schools doesn’t help to improve education because they think children would use computers in a bad way. However, computers can help primary and secondary schools in improving their writing and reading and by improving some personal skills.
Using computers, and the internet would help primary and secondary students to improve in reading and writing. In the article "The Use of Computers in Teaching Approach to Improve Reading Skills among Primary School Pupils" the author mentions that people could use a computer software that would contain a certain learning skills to improve students writing and reading. He said '' These strategies relied on principally on graphic on graphic organizers'' (Hector and Mayer p.p. 820). Simply, we could create software programs that would help students to improve their reading and writing. These programs would works on the computers that are being provided for the students. Computers would help students to see example of essays and articles that are not provided in text books. For an example, when studying in the English language center, in Denver University last year, students were asked to read some online magazines and articles online by use of their computers or our laptops. As a result of that they discovered new ways to write essays. They were also able to read faster than before. Auzar (2013) in his article found that using computers would help student to improve their reading and writing skills. He pointed that students do not like to learn how to read their first language but using computers to help the listen while they read would be helpful (244). This method was used before to improve my reading and writing. Not only computers and the internet would help primary and secondary schools, student in reading and writing only but also in other areas.
Patricia J. McAlexader (2000) discusses how she makes the students begin to think critically about the grammar checker. She spends the first part of the semester going over common grammar errors with the students. Then she has the students test the grammar checker by having them input sentences with grammar errors to see what (or if) the grammar checker finds. They then must see if the advice the grammar checker gives is correct based on what they had learned previously and give her a report pp. 124-129. This improves the grammar and the performance of the students in the end.
Mervyn J. Wighting (2006, pp. 377) found that using computers as an instructional device in secondary and primary schools creates a sense of a classroom community. This is very crucial in the development of the children, and it boasts their learning. This finding upholds the theory that, a social support and a sense of belonging are distinct aspects of the concept of community held by adolescents. This because in the process of reading and writing, the students interact in a easier way leading to the peculiar sense of belonging.
In the use of computers in learning in both secondary and primary schools, message boards and online reflections like blogs give them a chance to participate actively in the class regardless of their rates of participation. The computer platform helps the low participating students to increase their collaboration in learning. This ensures that not only the active students who are fully engaged in the classroom activities, but also the weak students too. Therefore, the learners’ output remains all time high since each of the students or pupil can learn at their own pace. This individualization is increased by the fact that computers can replay the classroom instructions later without the teacher’s presence. Therefore, computers are of great help on weak and average students (Goldberg, Amie, Michael Russell, and Abigail Cook., 2003).
Since there are incidences of high student teacher ratio, the use of computers helps the teacher to response conveniently among all the students. This shall mean that the students gain maximally from the lessons and hence improve their overall performances. It is important to note that, teacher’s responses are very critical in the learning process and thus the integration of computers in the classroom has boosted this and consequently the overall learning processes Hawisher, Gail E. and Selfe, Cynthia L, 1991, pp. 55-65.
Computers in schools have also closed the gap that previously existed. Using computers, instructions can be sending to remote areas at ease. This increases the levels of student-teacher interaction and the overall performances for the students. The students are at the same time are able to carry out research independently and respond. This scenario cannot take place without the use of computers and the internet.
While students are using computers to share information in the process of learning, an improvement in the way they interact is achieved. This increases cross-cultural awareness. This leads to better interactions among the students. It also reduces chances of occurrences of misunderstanding among the students or pupils. Research shows that the telecollabborative learning has positive impacts on the student’s personal awareness and appreciation of the other students (R. W. Burnside, 2001).
The teachers are capable of giving reports to both the students and the parents conveniently. It has been proved that learners can access results online from the school websites. This is because the internet connections allow such information to be accessed from a remote area as indicted earlier. The parents can keep track of the students’ performance without many problems as is with manual report cards. This reduces the chances of students and pupils cheating on their parents on their progress.
The advent of computers has also led to performances of certain activities that could otherwise difficult or impossible in real-life situations. Simulations of dangerous maneuvers in air travel related fields have been made possible due to use of computer softwares. Dangerous experiments are also simulates using computer models and results analyzed without taking the actual risks. The use of the computers also allows for maximum use of trial and error because certain processes can be repeated as many times as possible without any damage or wastage of resources An, Y. J., & Reigeluth, C. (2011).
Using technology, students get instant answers to their online tests. There are many online tests available today online for almost all the subjects learnt. Such access of data with immediate responses for the tests could not be possible without computers and the internet. It is who noting that the use of the internet saves a lot of time for both the teachers and the learners. The method of retrieving information from a computer or online though internet connection saves a lot of time compared to manual records as books, journals and personal notes. The reduced usage of online flat forms in leaning does not only ease the learning environment in the class but save the environment. The reduced use of books while taking notes using laptops and storing them in the computer memory reduces the need to use books that are made from trees. This leads to leaser tress been cut to manufacture the papers and hence saving the environment (Shurville, S., Browne, T., & Whitaker, M. 2009, pp. 201-231).
There are several disadvantages associated with the introduction of computers in secondary and primary schools. These include and not limited to; the fact that internet information is not censored may disadvantage some students. Some of the information found online is misleading. There are chances that the students may use the internet connections for other reasons other than learning like, excessive use of social networks, pornography among others (Hawisher, Gail E. and Selfe, Cynthia L, 1991, pp. 55-65).
In conclusion, the use of computers and internet in education benefits the students in very many ways and also encourages them to explore the new area related to their study. As articulated above, the benefits out way all possible negative effects that could come alongside the use of computers and internet in secondary and primary schools. Nevertheless, care has to be excised so as to ensure that the students use the computers, and the internet provided gainfully.
Thomas, Lewis. "Computers."Literary Cavalcade, 52.7 (2000): 8.
Auzar, . "The Use of Computers in Teaching Approach to Improve Reading Skills Among Primary School Pupils." Asian Social Science, 9.12 (2013): 244.
Ponce, Hector, Richard Mayer, and Mario Lopez. "A Computer-based Spatial Learning Strategy Approach That Improves Reading Comprehension and Writing."Educational Technology Research and Development, 61.5 (2013): 819-840.
Goldberg, Amie, Michael Russell, and Abigail Cook. “The Effect of Computers on Student Writing: A Meta-analysis of Studies from 1992 to 2002.” The Journal of Technology, Learning, and Assessment 2.1 (2003).
Hawisher, Gail E. and Selfe, Cynthia L. “The Rhetoric of Technology and the Electronic Writing Class.” College Composition and Communication 24.1 (1991): 55–65.
McAlexander, Patricia. “Checking the Grammar Checker: Integrating Grammar Instruction With Writing.” Journal of Basic Writing 19.2 (2000): 124–139.
Adapted from information provided by R. W. Burnside WorLD Professional Development Coordinator, April 2001. Also see Burnside and Monk
An, Y. J., & Reigeluth, C. Creating Technology-Enhanced, Learner-Centered Classrooms: K–12 Teachers’ Beliefs, Perceptions, Barriers, and Support Needs. (2011). Journal of Digital Learning in Teacher Education, 28(2), 54-62.
Shurville, S., Browne, T., & Whitaker, M. Accommodating the newfound strategic importance of educational technologists within higher education: A critical literature review. (2009). Campus-Wide Information Systems, 26 (3), 201-231.