Use Of Computers In Education – Advantages & Disadvantages
In the past centuries, people embraced the use of computers but definitely not as much as it is today, in the 21st century computers have become that part of life that people cannot do without. Computers are very useful to all sectors of life but the number one sector that has really benefited from using computers is the education sector. In education there are so many ways that in which computers are being used as we shall be elaborating below in this particular article. Before it was the students that majored in research and computer studies that used computers most of the time however these machines have now surpassed to all subjects and all other fields of education. Considering how easy computers make learning some colleges and schools have even adapted to providing free computers for students to use for various learning purposes, that is how deep the impact is. Here is what has made people join this movement of using computers in education……..
ADVANTAGES OF COMPUTERS IN EDUCATION
- Storage of information
One of the main advantages of computers in education is information storage, students keep lots and lots of their scholarly information on computers. On computers they find it easier to arrange their notes and access files with instead of having to look through so many piles of paper and books. When information is saved on a computer it is much safer unlike when it is on paper where it can easily be torn, destroyed by liquids or swept away by the wind. Furthermore, computers have large storage capacity so they allow you to save loads of data for future use and reference at any time. This reliable storage and retrieval of data makes studying a lot simpler and enjoyable for students at all levels as well as their teachers.
- Allow access to internet
With computers it is extremely easy to connect to the internet where students can access a lot of information that is very important in their education. The internet provides necessary information for all subjects which teachers use to tutor their students and students use this information to educate themselves more than what has been provided to them by the teachers. The internet also provides so many other activities that those in the education sector can benefit from such as giving of online tests, learning how to set exams and co-curricular activities that make education fun.
- Creates a broader learning platform
Because the use of computers has widespread all over the world, one doesn’t to sit in a classroom in order to learn or study. Everyone deserves to gain the knowledge and all other benefits that come from a good education and there is absolutely no better way to make the best education accessible other than using computers. Computers have made it very easy for people to engage in E-learning and this includes students and professional teachers. Professional lecturers don’t really need to get to class to teach when they can teach through the internet using their computers. On the other hand students too can now stay home and not miss anything about what they were supposed to learn.
- Long distance learning
The use of computers has enabled people to get educated via long distances for example you can attend online courses in some of the greatest universities such as Harvard University, University of London plus many others and without necessarily staying the countries where these universities are located. Today, the world doesn’t seem that broad reason being people can access educational services from any part of the world and without even travelling there. Computers and the internet have greatly helped in creating close connections among people all around the globe. For example you could be staying in South Africa but your teacher stays all the way in the US but still communicates and learns very effectively.
- Better presentation of data
During lessons and lectures computers help to improve presentation of data. Computers deliver both visual and audio presentation of information which gets everyone’s attention and thus makes students learn faster since the lectures are much more interesting that way. Computers are installed with excellent presentation software such as Power point which arranges data perfectly for presentation for it to be easier to understand. Gone are the days of using chalk and boards, today the use of computers gets students more excited about learning because learning with computers is actually fun. Even subjects that seem extremely difficult are explained when presented with a computer.
- Make learning interesting
With lots of soft ware and programs on computers learning in this era is a lot more interesting than it used to be in the past years. These devices offer so many creative ways through which students can work on their assignments and finish them up before deadline. Because they are versatile they can be used for complex calculations by students that major in sciences and at the same time be used by those that major Arts. Learning with computers gives students and teachers the chance to become really creative.
- Allow quick and reliable communication
Like I said before, computers allow quick connection to the internet and as well all know the internet is a very important communication platform. Computers make it super for people to access the communication medias provides by the internet such email, Face book and twitter. With computers important messages are sent out in time, received and answered in time which aids to improve the education sector.
- Reduction in paper work
Computers might be expensive but they save you from the unending expense of buying papers and pen every other time so they help you to save all that money. Most of the paperwork and documents such as application forms, documents of administration can now be done on the internet so that all of that expenditure is cut off.
- Provide accuracy
Computers have grammar and spelling corrections so those who type their work with computers will provide work that is completely free of errors. And the same applies to calculations, calculations done with computers always turn out error free.
DISADVANTAGES OF COMPUTERS IN EDUCATION
Despites the many advantages or uses that computers have in education, they can also turn out dangerous. In education it is really important to set restrictions on how students as well as the teachers use computers. With that said, let us now look at some bad impacts of computers in education.
- Loss of spelling and handwriting skills: as people concentrate on gaining typing skills, it has come at the expense of losing spelling and handwriting skills. Research shows that people tend to learn spellings of words faster when they write them down by hand rather than type them. Computers even suggest and automatically correct wrong spellings and grammar allowing students to depend more on the computer rather than their own brains. Both young and adult learners get to exercise their brains when they use their own hands to write down information especially in those difficult subjects like chemistry, physics and mathematics. There is absolutely no way one can gain great handwriting skills without practicing and this all comes about as a result of use of computers in education.
- Technical troubles: most of the learning done with computers is done through the internet and when there are technical problems with the internet network then it becomes really difficult to study. In other cases where a student’s computer may have been stolen or when it crashes/ break down, it means that they will have to miss out on discussions that are ongoing during the times when the computer has technical problems. For some online study sites one has to fill in their details to subscribe to a particular study programs however the bad news is that reports have revealed that this information is sometimes hacked into by internet criminals which causes information insecurity.
- Extremely easy to cheat/academic dishonesty: when young people study with computers there are very high chances that will use the opportunity to participate into cheating and examinational malpractice. In an article published in July 2010, it was reported that cheating with computers is number one disadvantage of using computers in universities and colleges. Computers give students the liberty to look online for answers to exams and tests because of the really huge amount of information availed on the internet. And through emails, students still send each other answers during tests when they are using computers. All of these activities are referred to as academic dishonesty.
- Affordability: not every student has the ability to afford a computer and this prevents them from joining in with a community where everyone uses a computer. Using a computer requires some basic skills so for someone who cannot afford a computer at the university it is very likely that they will obviously not have any idea about how to use it or will have very little skill so they will not be able to fit in a class where only computers are used to study. Computers don’t come at a very cheap price so depending on one’s income status, it might not be that easy to own a computer.
- Technological dependency: use of computers has developed into technological dependency where by students don’t want to rely on their creativity and I.Q to solve even the simple problems because they are too used to getting everything off a computer. Sometimes it is actually very important for students to put their brains to use and with the excessive use of computers this has almost become impossible. They depend on the computer for each and every single problem.
- Reduction in personal interactions: the use of computers has also brought about the loss in personal interactions as everyone is always busy on their machines. There are so many distractions on the computer such as games and music and these have caused students to spend all of their time on computers without sparing even a single minute of their time to interact with friends and share new ideas. This has great impact on people’s social skills and creates an unfriendly environment for students to learn from.
- Exposure to crime: with so much criminal activity going on the internet such as cyber bullying, identity theft and internet predators, the use of computers exposes students all these kinds of crimes. The rate of crime has continued to increase reason being teachers don’t have a lot of time to keep supervising how students use the internet. Using computers in education today might be quite unavoidable however it is very important for colleges and universities to put up strict laws against how the internet is used.
- Difference in computer literacy: computers have made teacher’s job even more difficult reason being they will deal with students with different experience and skill in using computers. This means that they will first of all have to identify those with weaknesses and provide stronger support to them as compared to those who are already skilled.
TYPES OF COMPUTERS:
There are very many types of computers but not all of them are meant for use in education. Let us look at the four major types of computers.
- Super computers: these are the most outstanding type of computers when it comes to data processing and performance. They are task specific and highly specialized so they are mostly used in very big organizations.
- Main frame computers; they come next to super computers even though they don’t have as much strength as the super computers. They process and store huge loads so they are also mostly used in business for proper running of operations.
- Mini computers; these are the kind that are found in smaller firms, their size is compact enough to fit on a desk and they process and store data but not as much and fast as the super and main frame computers do.
- Micro computers; these are the mostly commonly used computers among people. They include, laptops, desktops, tablets, smart phones and so much more.