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Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Importance of Computer Learning and the Role of Teachers

With more advanced computer learning programs, teachers are no longer needed. This statement confronts the issue concerning the role of teachers. Although there are advantages to computer and television learning, this kind of learning is considered supplementary to teachers in the classroom.

Computer learning is an engaging tool allowing children to experiment with creative programs at their own pace without additional pressure. Children can work exclusively from their own worlds without a teacher telling them what to do. Therefore, computer learning is excellent for children's motivation and allows them to question deeply their subject matter. Also, the computer offers a creative variety of programs on different levels and so, computer learning is not entirely boring. From the moment children flick on the computer screen, they can learning Math by working out the answers through a competition match with the computer. This method of learning can be a lot more motivating and challenging than children doing Math exercises in the classroom and for homework.
Also, with computer learning, there are no outside pressures or influences. The teacher does not make personal judgments or evaluation. Computer learning allows for the evaluation to be on the process and not on the person or on the product. By not being evaluated or criticized, children engage their minds and advance at their own pace without the teacher saying, "That's not good enough" or "You could have done better on that Math test. You know the material."
Computer learning is suitable for all levels and ages. It is an organized and well structured learning tool. With the rapid pace of technological development, a computer is also a sophisticated learning tool. There are computers with touch-tone screens, computer that talk and sing, computers with three dimensional graphics, and so on. More and more emphasis is being placed on computer knowledge as a prerequisite for many jobs. Some jobs simply require a simple understanding of how a computer works but children can and should have some computer exposure at an early age to prepare for their future.
However, teachers possess fundamental and important qualities, which computers do not possess, and are essential for a child's learning process. one primary and necessary quality is personal interaction. When children cannot computer a certain math problem or they don't feel well, the teacher feels it. The teacher has the ability to attempt to help them. Although the computer has been built and programmed by human beings, a computer is still not human. A computer cannot ask why a child cannot do a Math problem and offer advice on how to tackle the problem. This basic fact still explains why teachers are still needed in the classroom.
After all, human beings are smarter than a computer they are the ones who designed it. All the computer knows has been programmed and cannot think and sort problems out emotionally and intellectually. Children still need the classroom environment because of the student-teacher interaction and the relationships with other children. Therefore, it can be concluded that computer learning is user friendly yet supplementary, and impersonal.
Teachers may not be as technologically sophisticated as computers, but they certainly can be creative within a group framework. They don't necessarily have to ask close-ended questions and bore the class to fulfill their roles as teachers. Teachers can and should allow learning to be enjoyable and stimulating like the excitement children feel when they flick on a computer. For example, a teacher has the option unlike the computer, to organize a project using several groups to ask true and false questions about the environment using the Internet to search for information. The winning team with the most points receives a prize. Not only do the children enjoy these types of mini-type research projects, but they are also benefited with knowledge about the environment as well. unlike the computer, the teacher, by working with the groups, allows for elements such as humor and teamwork together with the feeling of accomplishment and self-satisfaction to seep into the children's learning.
Although computer learning can be stimulating, fun and accessible to children of all ages, levels and interests, it is not a substitute for teachers. Teachers permit and allow for personal interaction which is essential for a child. Also, teachers can be just as creative by organizing fun learning projects for the class. Learning should be an enjoyable and enriching process and cannot be completed alone without the presence of a teacher. Computer then, are only secondary to the learning process.
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Dorit Sasson is a freelance writer, speaker, educator and founder of the New Teacher Resource Center.


Steve Ballmer said...

That's not a Mac!

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