The Computer A Boon Or A Bane To Students
I think the computer is the greatest invention on earth especially for students. In fact, students and teachers are encouraged to use Information and Communication Technology to keep abreast with the fast moving world.
Indeed, the computer is a boon to students. Fort and foremost, the Microsoft Word program, enables the students to do their assignments neatly and legibly. The various fonts and designs help the students display their assignments impressively. In fact, they can type letters, essays as well as timetables via this program. To further accentuate the authentically of their assignments, they can insert colorful graphs and diagrams. In addition, with the spelling checker, they can edit their work for spelling mistakes and grammar errors. This is a boon for students who are not very competent in the English Language. Also, they can look for antonyms and synonyms of words to add variety and to spice up their assignments and projects.
As a matter of fact, Print Shop which is another popular computer program enables students to insert attractive borders and relevant pictures for their projects and assignments. Not only that, they can use this program to make personalized cards for all occasions including birthdays and greeting cards. Furthermore, they can design personalized invitation cards to send to their friends and families with the advancement of technology. Pictures taken from mobile phones and digital cameras can be printed and inserted eloquently to make the projects and assignments look like masterpiece.
If students are required to present their data or findings, they can do it rather amicably through the Power Point Program. Here, students can prepare slideshows using slides with animation and sound effects. They can also insert graphs and tables to fortify their presentation. Indeed, this manner of impressive presentation is definitely a boon to students. Besides, this computer program facilitates students creativity as they mix and match various animation and sound effects.
The Excel Program is also a boon to students as they can use this program to categorize and rank their data and...
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It will be a tragedy if your article influences other schools not to invest in technology. While other countries are investing in laptops for their students, the United States is in danger of moving backward.
We live in an information age, and it is time for the United States to infuse computing and technology into every aspect of learning.
It will be an even bigger tragedy if developing nations are influenced by our bad example, because these countries have no libraries, books are too expensive and teachers are scarce.
We need children to participate actively in their own learning. Connected, low-cost, rugged laptops are one way to do it.
Cambridge, Mass., May 4, 2007
The writer, the founding director of the M.I.T. Media Laboratory, is the founder and chairman of One Laptop Per Child.
To the Editor:
It’s too bad that students have to take the rap for old-style teachers who are still not comfortable with the computer as an educational tool. Computer-based learning initiatives are not going to take off until teachers are just as excited about them as their students.
Thus, the teachers must be from a very recent generation, those who have grown up with a computer on their laps from early grade school. That time may still be a few years away.
The disappointing increase in reported breakdown of equipment could be related to the type of laptops used at the schools. The freeze/crash/fatal error scenarios common to all Windows-based PCs are almost unheard of with Apple computers and their operating system.
Newton, Mass., May 6, 2007
The writer is a 10th-grade student at Cambridge School of Weston.
To the Editor:
It should come as no surprise that the Liverpool, N.Y., school board president concluded that after seven years “there was literally no evidence” that computers “had any impact on student achievement.”
The good news is that the personal laptops issued by the school didn’t negatively affect student achievement. The bad news is that taxpayers wasted a whole lot of education money providing students with laptops.
There’s a lesson here: Schools and parents must get back to teaching our children the basics instead of resorting to technology to revive our failing education system. We need to teach theory, facts, rules, thought processes and critical thinking first. Only then will students be able to use computers for anything other than entertainment and socialization.
But this requires hard work and discipline by students and parents. You simply can’t substitute easy and fun “stuff” like computers and phonics for the real thing.
The rest of the world’s kids and parents are now busy doing the hard work ... just as we used to do.
Peter J. Hellermann
Huntington, N.Y., May 4, 2007
To the Editor:
Saying that a one-to-one laptop program has no “impact on student achievement” and shows no “measurable effect on grades and test scores” misses the point. These programs were not set up to improve test scores; they were set up to make sure students were comfortable with the ever growing use of technology.
The standardized tests that are being used to measure achievement are not testing computing skills. Most are still given with paper and pencil. I, however, feel that my ability to touch type (keyboard) made me a far more productive student and later professional.
If the test scores are all that matter, yes, get rid of the laptops and spend the money on bringing in a test prep company. If the goal is educating students to be more than test takers, then there might be some value.
New York, May 4, 2007
The writer is director of technology at the Abraham Joshua Heschel School.
To the Editor:
I serve as coordinator of online learning at Iona College. My job is not to teach technology but to help my colleagues make their teaching more effective as they migrate from the traditional lecture to teaching strategies that use online activities.
So when I read in “Seeing No Progress, Some Schools Drop Laptops” that politicians and philanthropists supply computers to schools without also supplying the means to use them in pedagogically productive ways, I understood why educators are “flummoxed about how best to integrate the new gadgets into curriculums.”
At all levels of education we need to shift our focus from technology to pedagogy to ensure that teachers and students are able to use computers and the Internet in educationally effective ways.
The true digital divide is no longer between those who have computers and those who don’t, but between those who can use them effectively and those who can’t.
Politicians and philanthropists who pay for expensive online technology can help bridge this gap by supporting the development of methods for using this technology to enhance teaching and learning. Then they will get what they pay for.
James E. Giles
New Rochelle, N.Y., May 4, 2007
To the Editor:
I am sure that your reporter wrote and edited her article using a computer (a laptop?), kept in touch with her co-workers and editor through e-mail, and published her article online for New York Times readers all over the world.
Shouldn’t our students be afforded the same important technological tools if they decide that they, too, want to grow up to be a reporter?
Irving, Tex., May 6, 2007