The Impact of Computers on Education
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The Impact of Computers in Education By Miles Parker October 2004 Foundation Degree Computing - Business Communications Somerset College of Arts and Technology University of Plymouth Table of Contents Illustration Reference 3 Introduction 4 Introduction 4 History of Computers in Education 5 Improvements required to use computers in education 7 Teacher Training: 7 Development of Educational Materials: 7 Outside Influences: 8 Becta Report - Evaluating ICT in schools 9 The Future for Computers in Education 11 Conclusion 12 References 12 Illustration Reference FIG 1 THE BBC MICROCOMPUTER B 5 FIG 2 ACORN ELECTRON 5 FIG 3 THE APRICOT F1 6 FIG 4 THE AMSTRAD PC1512 6 FIG 5 HP TABLET PC 11 FIG 6 HP IPAQ 11 FIG 7 CLEVERBOARD 60 WALL INTERACTIVE WHITEBOARD 11 Introduction Computers in one form or another have been used in Education for centuries, from the abacus up to the present day of the dominant Personal Computer, but how has Education changed, and what has been the impact of the computer on Education? Over the past 20 years the school curriculum has evolved, and the use of computers has become a foundation stone in the deliverance of quality tuition. Computers and Information technology is now a core subject at secondary schools. To understand the degree of impact the computer has had on education we first need to establish the history of computers in education. Until the 1980's computers weren't generally used in the classroom, logic tables were the primary source of computation for most pupils. History of Computers in Education Fig 1 The BBC Microcomputer B (Yahoo image search October 2004)
Unless teachers could acquire a basic understanding of how computers work and the possibilities they can present in terms of improving their teaching skills, any attempt to use computers and computer aided learning would fail. A useful approach taken by the French government was to train 10,000 core teachers in the use of computers and they in turn were expected to go out and train other teachers, in a cascading style. Another approach, albeit not so hands on, is to provide videotaped instructions and allow teachers to teach themselves. Development of Educational Materials: Publishers including, Science Research Associates, Hayden Book Company and Creative Computing magazine in 1980 were already producing both computer related and computer aided learning materials, and were soon offering educational packages for the personal computer. Other publishers were soon to join in, as teachers saw that the lack of quality courseware was the most serious obstacle to allow them, in order to use computers to the best of their ability. Outside Influences: During the 1980's a more informal, outside the classroom-learning pattern gained speed, as the price of PC's fell, more people were able to afford their own systems, on which they could play educational games and computer based learning packages. After having a computer at home, it became expected by both pupils and parents that they would have one at school as well. Pressure mounted on schools to purchase and use computers more and more, but many of them were not prepared to do so. As we have seen they lacked the trained staff, which also meant that they lacked the information to make the right decision on which systems to buy.
For input, you can handwrite or type or use voice recognition. The Tablet Pc has handwriting recognition and on-screen writing capability allows you to draw pictures or sketch, annotate documents, write and store information as "digital ink" Fig 5 HP Tablet PC (http://h18000.www1.hp.com/products/tabletpc) October 24th 2004 * Hand Held Pocket Data Stores - allowing pupils to collect emails on the move and search the Internet from access points wherever they are. Fig 6 HP IPAQ (http://www.hp.com) October 24th 2004 * The interactive whiteboard is fast becoming a feature in classrooms around the country, by writing or drawing on the surface; you can electronically capture your lessons in colour as you go. Fig 7 Cleverboard 60 wall interactive whiteboard (http://www.independentproducts.co.uk) October 24th 2004 Conclusion In my opinion from the information presented here, I believe that we have seen an amazing improvement in the use of computers in the last 20 years, their developments has mirrored our developments and vice versa. Without computers and the Internet we would still be forced to examine numbers of books from libraries, and that would be very time consuming, and inefficient. I believe that computers have impacted drastically on the way that we learn and absorb information, more pupils each year are passing their exams, some people say that exams are becoming easier, I believe that it is the tools that are used to gain the knowledge that makes the exams easier, and I'm sure that the future of computers will ensure that we continue to improve our knowledge and understanding of them.
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