An Essay on Education and the Role of Computers

It is a common notion that a horseless carriage would never reach anywhere. New ideas always undergo severe scrutiny, but sometimes they survive the cynical blows and begin a new road of innovations. People should weigh the value of technology because it is not always as advantageous as it seems. As the overuse of computers hampers proper development of child’s mind.

Shasta County Office of Education: Computer Acceptable Use Standard

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Computers have already proved themselves as forward moving and beneficial, but their use in the classroom should be reconsidered. Rather than alternative of formal education, the computer should be used as an aid to strengthen the process of education. “We would not have an inferior education if it were the nineteenth century. Students, raised in an age of invention and innovation, surround themselves with technology and computers. The educational system evolved with society by adding computers to the classroom. The following questions have been raised: are computers misused; are teachers allowing computers to become surrogate teachers; and who is teaching students basic skills – the teacher or the computer? These questions are just a sample of the concern expressed by parents today. Elementary-aged students need to develop the ability to spell and do arithmetic without dependence on a spell-check or auto-calculation program. We need to carefully evaluate what programs children can access to prevent handicapping them later in life. For instance, some principals’ feel drilling addition and subtraction in an age of calculators is a waste of time. The people are encouraging children to become dependent on technology instead of using their intellect. Another concern is that computers are used as baby-sitters instead of as an aide to teaching. Children are taught to take as many short-cuts as possible and surround themselves with “passivity and consumption.”

Although abuses of computer technology in the classroom are prevalent, proper use can be extremely beneficial. The focus of the computer should be to maximize education through computer-aided programs that help students to learn without giving away all the answers. Before taking the help of computers students should focus on fundamentals. For example, after a student learns a concept, whether it be spelling or math, computers can assist in a tutorial or quizzing of what has already been learned. Entire class can also benefit from them when used to “help make science tangible or teach neglected topic like art and music”. In science, computers can show molecules joining others and splitting in the blink of an eye. On-screen questions about art and music can help the student think through the message that the artist is trying to convey.


These computer programs do not take away from the skills that a student already knows but enables the student to practice them. In an age where information technology is the main driver of the economy, people are convinced that computers and the internet are the answers to all of our problems. Our school systems must continually review the basic and fundamentals of education. These basics include reading, writing, mathematics, and learning to think individually as well as socially. Computers must not take the place of any of these fundamentals, but rather aid students in learning these fundamentals.

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