Technology in Education
Computers open up a world of exciting and creative learning for children. Our children start using computers from UKG, for a half hour period daily. In the 1st standard classroom, there are 15 systems networked to a server, and 45 minutes a day is spent by the children on math and English CDs. In 2nd to 5th standards, computers are used for Maths, English, Science and languages, both Hindi and Tamil. An average of one and a half hours is spent on computer daily by these children. Computers are also used in art classes once a week, where they learn the basics of Corel Draw painting and design.Computer science is taught from the 5th standard onwards, including Power Point, Excel and typing skills. Primrose has more than one hundred computer systems throughout the school, as well as supervised Internet facilities for students in the library.
Films and science documentaries are also regularly screened in our projector room to the delight of our children.
Our experience so far with our initial standards has been that children rapidly acquire the necessary skills and improve dramatically in science and English within six months, if computer is used as an instrument of education, under direct supervision of the teacher. What computers can do for children is summarized below:
1. Thinking processes: Computer-based technologies provide support for thinking processes. Technology provides opportunities for acquiring problem-solving skills -- either through instructional software designed to teach problem solving or through the many requirements for solving problems that naturally emerge when one is trying to use computer tools to accomplish a task.
2. Self-esteem: Technology stimulates motivation and self-esteem. Technology is the ultimate carrot for students. It is something they want to master. Learning to use computers enhances the childrens self-esteem and makes them excited about coming to school.
3. Preparation for future: Technology prepares students for the future. Both higher education and the world of work will be infused with technology in future. Schools have a responsibility to give students the confidence and skills in using such technology that they will need after graduation.
4. Skill development: Students gain a sense of empowerment from learning to control the computer and to use it in ways they associate with the real world. Students, even at the elementary school level, are able to acquire an impressive level of skill with a broad range of computer software. They can handle more complex assignments and do more with higher-order skills because of the supports and capabilities provided by technology.
5. Value of work: Technology is highly valued within the Indian culture. It is something that costs money and that bestows the power to add value. By giving students technology tools, we will implicitly give weight and importance to their school activities. Students are very sensitive to this message that they, and their work, are important.
6. Collaboration: Collaboration is fostered for obvious reasons when students are assigned to work in pairs or small groups on joint projects. Students who have mastered specific computer skills generally derive pride and enjoyment from helping others.
7. Concentration: Since all students are given their own computer right at their desk, there is the maximum exposure and concentration on the lessons being taught on the computer, without any distraction.
8. Equality: All students having their own computer enhances self-esteem and takes away the pressure of ranking and competition.
9. Multimedia: Subjects like science and English become alive with multimedia presentations, 3D modelling and literature presented in video format, making primary education exciting, stimulating and creative.
With computers, learning is an absolute joy!
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