Technology for ESL

How Has Technology Changed Schools?
By:Chris Rowling

As we live in technology-dependent age, it is becoming even more important that our children learn about how to use technology in schools. This is not a controversial idea but has faced resistance as it is very expensive. The explosion of technology in schools and the teaching of technology has greatly accelerated over the years and is producing the next generation of technology-literate pupils.

Many have claimed the computer is the single greatest invention of the last century, and there are now more and more computers making it into the classroom. This is of great importance to children as there are very few jobs left anymore where a computer is not required. This includes computer classes where children learn how to operate computer programs and fix basic technical problems as well as other classes where computer programs are used as an alternative to standard teaching.

The presence of computers in classrooms has not only given children the chance to learn how to operate computers but has also allowed for a major change in the way educators teach students.

The Internet is a great resource for children as it offers information that they can use to learn away from the classroom and to research for projects at school. Being able to use the Internet quickly and efficiently is a very useful skill to have as many aspects of the world, such as shopping and banking, are becoming increasingly online based.

The Internet is also an incredibly useful tool in terms of research, both for students and teachers. It has made it easier for children to learn away from the classroom, being able to access information, tutorials and guides on how to understand and complete many things they are asked to do at school. This wealth of online information can also reduce the need for textbooks as guides, and teachers can make lesson plans available via the Internet.

Studying Technology
Learning about technology itself is also a vital part of education, as this is the generation that will design, build and operate the new machines and devices in the years ahead. Computers have played a large role in this through animations where the operations of machines are explained in a visual way, which allows students to better understand the different elements of modern machines. Computer programs also allow students to create and run simulations on design packages, which means they can make more complex designs without the need to build a physical working model.

Problems with Technology
There has been some opposition to ideas such as computers in schools as parents are worried that children will no longer interact with each other and will be able to access inappropriate materials online. This is certainly true and is an area teachers and parents should be rightly worried about. Although technology is a major part of our lives, it is also important to ensure children understand the difference between interacting with a machine that will do what it is told and other children.

Access to computers in schools is only restricted by the number of students per computer, but Internet access itself is strictly limited with huge numbers of sites that contain objectionable material or viewpoints blocked. The use of computers can be limited to class time only, ensuring students gain a balance between using computers and normal social interaction.

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