Computers have revolutionized much of modern life, either directly or indirectly, and learning how to use them in school is extremely important. Children learn the ins and outs of computers at an early age. Although there are a few disadvantages that computers provide, the numerous advantages to having computers in schools outweigh these few concerns.
Access to Information
One of the most important features of a computer is the access to information it provides. Because the Internet acts as a virtual library, students can have access to nearly any piece of information imaginable. This can be highly advantageous in the classroom as it can enhance the information on any classroom subject. The downside is that sometimes students will stumble across unreliable information online.
Computers also save time in many ways. Not only can computers access millions of pages of information on the Internet, but they can do this in an incredibly fast time. What once might have taken hours of library research might now only take a few minutes on the computer. In addition to the Internet, tools such as word processors, presentation software, and spreadsheets have added efficiency. They eliminate much of the time that traditional writing, presentations, and creating tables and forms once required.
For teachers dealing with large classrooms, there is not always enough time to spend with individual students, so computers can serve as a tutor for the students. Many educational websites are designed to tutor students, providing everything from step-by-step explanations to interactive problems.
Many online tools can be used by teachers to make learning more fun, interesting, and easy to understand. Teachers can add flavor to any lesson, whether with additional pictures and videos of a concept she is teaching, or with 3-D programs, animations, and other educational tools. Classroom-oriented games can be found at sites such as ClassTools.net and FunBrain.
Another benefit of having access to the Internet in schools is for teachers to access plagiarism checkers, which usually only require a simple copy-and-paste action by the teacher. Online checkers include free sites such as Dupli Checker (see Resources).
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