Computers are becoming an increasingly common tool in the classroom. This lesson will explain some of the benefits as well as the disadvantages of having computers in the classroom.
Computers in the Classroom
In modern society, you are likely to see at least one classroom computer in every room you teach. A classroom computer can be defined as any electronic device that allows students to access the Internet to research, create, and complete work. This means that a laptop or tablet can also be categorized as a classroom computer.While computers in the classroom certainly come with many benefits, there are also some disadvantages to keep in mind when incorporating this technology into your lessons.
This lesson will detail some of the major benefits and disadvantages of computers in the classroom.
Ms. Smith is a 3rd-grade teacher and a proponent of using computers in the classroom.
She believes that the benefits computers provide outweigh the disadvantages that some might struggle with. She tries to incorporate technology effectively into many of her lessons because she is aware of the positive effects it has on her students. Let’s look at the benefits Ms.
Smith sees in using computers in the classroom.
- Benefit #1: The ability to provide more engaging activities for students
Ms. Smith’s third grade students have grown up with computers, smartphones, and tablets. She realizes that, while they mostly use these devices to play, they can also be used to engage students in learning more deeply.For example, Ms.
Smith uses computers to help her students research and create work. There are a large variety of programs available that can help students create engaging papers, presentations, and graphics. Ms.
Smith takes full advantage of these programs and sees how it benefits her students’ learning.
- Benefit #2: They can be an incredibly effective teaching tool
Before computers were common in the classroom, teachers would have to stand up in front of the room and talk endlessly about a subject. Now, Ms. Smith is able to use computers and projectors to show her students videos, images, and text that are interesting and relevant to what she is teaching.Recently, Ms. Smith was teaching her students about the water cycle. Instead of having students read about the water cycle and lecturing about it for a period, Ms.
Smith was able to show a video of the water cycle in action and work with her class to play an interactive game about the steps in the cycle.
- Benefit #3: Allows creation of a wider variety of individualized and differentiated lessons
Previously, it was difficult to find the time to help students who were either struggling with a topic or far ahead of other students. With computers, Ms.
Smith can provide students with different activities in order to help them learn best.For example, while teaching about the water cycle, several students were not ready to move on and were struggling to master the concept. Using computers, Ms. Smith was able to have those students who had mastered the water cycle extend the concept by creating a video explaining the steps in their own words. While those students were working on their videos, she was able to help the few who were struggling to catch up.
As mentioned, having computers in the classroom comes with a set of disadvantages that teachers must keep in mind. Ms. Smith is keenly aware of these disadvantages and works hard to minimize them in her classroom.
Let’s look at the possible disadvantages when using computers in your classroom.
- Disadvantage #1: Students will need to be taught to use the various tools computers provide
Before you can expect students to use the tools effectively, they will need explicit instruction in using the computer. This can take some time away from traditional subjects but is a crucial part of incorporating computers into your lessons.Ms.
Smith’s students go to technology class once a week where they learn to use the computers. However, she also makes sure that students are able to do the things required for an activity before she assigns the work. For example, if Ms. Smith wanted her students to create a PowerPoint presentation, she would need to be sure that her students knew how to use the program.
- Disadvantage #2: Students might become distracted when using a computer in the classroom
Students are probably used to using computers to play games or do something fun.
They might associate the computer with ‘fun’ instead of ‘work,’ leading them to do less work or poor work.Ms. Smith counters this disadvantage by slowly introducing computers to her students.
Instead of immediately giving them big projects and a lot of work on the computer, she gets them used to using computers as a learning tool by engaging them in small activities. After students learn to effectively work with computers, she then assigns larger projects and more work on the computers.
Let’s review. A classroom computer can be an incredibly effective tool for teaching and learning. There are many benefits that come along with having computers in the classroom such as the ability to provide more engaging activities for students, as well as allowing for the creation of more individualized lessons.
But along with the advantages, there are some disadvantages to watch out for. Students will need to be taught how to use the computers which may take time out from their studies, and teachers have to guard against students getting distracted while using them.
Benefits and Drawbacks of a Classroom Computer
|*Computers can provide more engaging activities for students. *They are effective teaching tools. *Computers help with the creation of a wider variety of individualized and differentiated lessons.||*Students will need to learn how to use the various tools provided by computers.*Students might be distracted by the use of computers.|
After you’ve studied this lesson and memorized its main points, it could be easy for you to list and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of having a computer in the classroom.