Fernando Leigh
English Composition and Rhetoric
Research Paper

Technology is Changing Education

The best method for improving educational standards is to utilize every tool
available, including state-of-the-art technology. Computers and the Internet have
expanded the way in which education can be delivered to the students of today.
Today’s networking technologies provide a valuable opportunity to the practice of
learning techniques. Educators are discovering that computers and multi-based
educational tools are facilitating learning and enhancing social interaction. Computer
based telecommunications can offer enormous instructional opportunities, but
educators will need to adapt current lesson plan to incorporate this new medium into
all the classrooms. The only problem is that some of today’s schools are hindered by
an under-powered technology based curriculum and, in order to stay competitive, the
American educational system must do a better job of integrating.
Computers have made a fundamental change in most industries, providing a
competitive advantage that has come to be essential to stay in business. Therefore,
education must also use technology to improve the educational process instead of
simply applying it to existing structures. School systems often consider acquiring an
enterprise computer network, but justify its purchase by applying it to routine
administrative tasks, or take period by period attendance. Although these tasks are
important, they only represent a small part of what technology can do for an
educational institution. Technology must go beyond just keeping attendance, it must
focus on keeping students interested and productive. "Curriculum improvement is the
best strategy to prevent dropouts; technology is especially useful in this regard"
(Kinnaman 78). Technology can provide a unique and compelling curriculum
resource, that challenges every student.
The Clinton administration has taken steps towards improving educational
standards via its "Goals 2000: Educate America Act of 1994" (Thornburg 23).
However, several interpretations of the Act never mention the use of technology.
Advocates of the Act need to realize that Internet linked computers can provide more
current information than what is found in today’s "exciting" textbooks. For example,
science textbooks and history textbooks are notoriously out of date. In contrast, the
Internet offers students a vast pool of current scientific data. Most of the time the
Internet makes learning fun, unlike the plain fashion of the "almighty" textbook.
Computers and other technology can also heighten the learning process by actively
engaging students in the task of exploring data. Some students may be tempted to
simply download information from the Internet that does not have anything to do with a
particular subject that they were asked to research. This shows that the Internet may
have a greater impact to education than to learn that information from a typical
textbook.
Since computers and the Internet have expanded the way with which education
can be delivered to students, it is currently possible to engage in distance education on
specialized subject and fields through the Internet. Distance education involves audio-
video linkage of teachers to many students and even in remote areas. Video
conferencing allows groups to communicate with each other. Desktop video
conferencing promises to bring student together from geographic and cultural distances
face to face via computer. Students in New York City will be able to learn about a
Chinese culture, not only through books, but also from Chinese students. Not only will
the teacher talk to the students but the students will be able to interact with each other.
This will make the students more interested and fascinated with learning about another
culture.
Not only does the Internet, and video conferencing help education, also
Microsoft has created new programs for designed for educational purposes, Some of
these are "Encarta World Atlas" and "Encarta Encyclopedia." "These two particular
programs make learning easier and more enjoyable, all because of the use of the CD-
ROM device" (Keen 100). Instead of looking for a particular country and simply
finding out where it is in a regular atlas, students can type in the name of that country,
and not only will they find out where it is faster, but they will obtain more information
about that particular country. Instead of having volumes and volumes of heavy
encyclopedias, Microsoft has place all of these massive books into one light CD. This
CD is much simpler than the unpleasant job of flipping page by page just to read about
an uninteresting topic, such as