In a modern day educational setting, it is more likely that students will be seen working from computers than writing notes from the blackboard. While many may argue that children and teens are losing the art of writing, there are many benefits to using a computer in an educational setting. Here are just a few of the benefits.
Many students with literacy difficulties find writing and note taking difficult. Computers can make the subjects they are studying more accessible. One problem that they may experience is the ability to transfer what is written on the board to paper as it requires repeatedly looking up and down and remembering what needs to be written. Another is spelling. Spell check will resolve this issue. While some argue that doing this will not help students as it will prevent them from improving their spelling, others would argue that incorrect spelling is not the main issue. Often a student has excellent knowledge of the subject area that they are writing about and this is not expressed in their written work or is illegible to the teacher due to the number of spelling errors. This means that they are marked down for work which may actually be factually correct or extremely creative. A further issue that is improved by using computers is the speed of writing. Although it is not the case for all students with literacy difficulties, it often takes them a longer time to complete a task. It may be a task that they are competent at and be graded well for. However, their speed of writing severely limits their capabilities. It is often the case that typing speed can be greater than writing speed for student with learning difficulties.
Some people simply have poor handwriting, for others it is a sign of further difficulties, such as Dyspraxia. The problem with poor handwriting is that it is difficult for a teacher to assess the work and a student may receive lower grades purely because a teacher cannot pick out the correct information that the student has written giving a lesser representation of the student’s academic capabilities. The use of a computer is the perfect solution to this problem.
The introduction of the internet has expanded our research and educational opportunities beyond belief. Many tasks, projects and coursework require students to research various topics. Research is a stand alone skill in itself. Access to the internet in schools has not only expanded the amount of information that can be accessed by students, it has also reduced the amount of time that they must search for this
ICT Skills and Life Skills
ICT skills have become increasingly important in day to day life and using computers from a young age will increase a students capabilities of developing these. There is a much greater need to learn ICT skills than for schoolwork and for playing computer games at home; it is also a skill that will be needed in day to day life and within the workplace. For the former, people increasingly take care of household bills online or take control of their finances through online banking. Also, many people use the internet as a way to socialize. In the case of the latter, not many workplaces do not require the use of ICT skills. Everybody from a doctor to a waitress, a factory worker to a lawyer, will no doubt be expected to use computers at some stage of their working life. The use of computers in an educational setting is preparation for their future life.
As outlined in the previous paragraph, most workplaces require using a computer at some point. When looking for jobs, filling in application forms and going for interviews, it is likely that you will need to state what ICT skills you have that will be of benefit to the job. Using computers in schools prepares students for this process and gives them the tools that they need to ensure that they are in employment later in life.
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