A Computer is only as Smart as its User

By Paul Sillicomputer1.gif

Do software programs improve learning for today’s youth? Uh, Yeah! Of course the software usage depends on the teachers instructional goals. A teacher should ask: “What am I trying to teach my learners? How will I measure my success?” Using the ADDIE model http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ADDIE is a great tool to see if a learning outcome has been achieved.

Computers can be very beneficial in the classroom. I have been using reading programs such as TimeForLearning for many years. Student’s who normally don’t like to read (and often have reading problems), enjoy reading “eBook” stories. Computers do not replace a teacher’s direct instruction; rather, they offer an alternative resource. Simply put, they give teachers more tools to get students interested in learning.   

For example, a review of research literature published in 2004 by the British Educational and Communications Technology Agency (BECTA), found the use of simulations and modeling (Computer illustrations), in the natural sciences resulted in increased learning.  

Of course technology can enhance learning. A better question to ask: “How are teachers using computers in class, and are they properly trained?” Unfortunately, many teachers in the K-12 field do not know how to use essential learning software programs. Therefore, they are limited in what they can teach. I think there should be more workshops offered to teachers so that they can improve their skills in using technology in the classroom. Sadly, if you have a computer, but don’t know how to use it, you will find it’s worthless as an instructional tool. 

Tech Tips  

Visit the link below “Works4Me,” for some tips on using technology in class. http://www.nea.org/tips/tech/techclas.html

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5 Responses to “A Computer is only as Smart as its User”

  1. kimmy Says:

    Interesting story. I can’t believe anyone would think computers or software would not help students learn. How silly. Good to show the other side, Paul. Oh, I have used Time4Learning as well. It is an nice program to use.

  2. gatorball Says:

    Thanks for the comment. Yeah, it was a dumb story to even write. How sad to think technology, as an instructional tool, doesn’t help learners. The person who wrote the article is not a teacher!

  3. MediaQu Tips Says:

    Your article is very good. I am interested in the article that you created. Hopefully you can post articles like this again. Permission to bookmarks

  4. Deepthraot Says:

    Lets not forget about one important thing here. Yes, computers are an amazing thing as well as technology when it comes to the study of all things technical, software to help kids better understand concepts etc. etc. But there is one detrimental thing that can weigh heavily on a kids intellectual health and that is the DEPENDENCY on such technology. I have witnessed an extreme decline in kids having an even more difficult time these days retaining useful information and being able to apply it to their everyday lives for the fact that “a computer can do it all for them at the click of a mouse”. The so-called “learning disabilities” in kids today are not disabilities, just laziness (there, I said it). Trust me, they ALL have the potential, just not the WANT and y’know what? Too bad. Learning is not supposed to be “fun, happy, colorful and musically entertaining”. This is why our future generations are getting a hell of a lot more stupid at alarming rates. Parents will fail to see this because “My child is the smartest! He/She’s handsome/beautiful and they are perfect in every way”. Maternal instincts are killing the application for better learning from these parents and from empathetically over-zealous teachers that contribute to this downfall. Expectations are lower and their “lack of interest” for an education is coddled with a proverbial pillow and milk. Technology can be a great tool for many many things, but in the classroom? Okay, sure. But in severe moderation. Not to be taken over completely by standard teaching with an “autopilot button”.


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