Computers are now being used as teaching aids to help individuals to learn. They serve to access information for learning, as well as to promote the formation of new ideas.
With the use of new softwares (computer programs), students can be assisted in writing, graphing , idea generating, word processing, and applying managerial principles to problem solving and research.
Computers can now be programmed to be interactive. Learners can proceed at their own pace, skip ahead, or review. For the uneducated, nontraditional and reentry students, computers allow individual learning in an environment where they can avoid embarrassment, track their own progress, and engage in drill and practice until they are competent.
In computer-assisted instruction, student get a variety of responses by way of animation, graphic and audio. Among areas surveyed to be beneficial to instruction are computer learning in mathematics, computational skills, basic reading skills and general education.
Recent researches also show that computer, learning lend itself to positive attitudes toward learning, such as by way of increased motivation and improved self esteem among learners.
On the part of the teacher, technology frees him from routine tasks so that he/she can give more time to the less formal kinds of teaching and counseling.
Specialized peripherals are electronic devises which can be attached to computers in order to expand the computer's use. the use of peripherals has been helpful especially in the eduction of the blind, handicapped and disabled learners.
The light pen, the joystick, the paddle, and the mouse are devices that give options to learners for registering decisions on the screen and participating actively in the learning process.
The LANor local area network is a linking of computers to a base computer making it possible to share software materials. Computers can also link several classes and send messages to everyone in the system.
Large screen projection can produce computer displays, visible to hundreds of students, on a screen or wall.
The videodisc when linked with the computer can allow access to scenes or segments useful to a topic being studied. The videodisc produces full - color pictures and a sound track. Text, graphics, photos, slides and films can also be combined in a single medium.
Today commercially produced videotapes, video compact discs or vcd, dvd or Digital Video Disc can be cheaply purchased. As a portable medium, the learner can bring instructional materials at home or in classrooms. he or she can also sop, interrupt or review the videos as he/she sees fit.
Optional data storage can house huge amounts of data at a relatively low cost. On a computer disk (CD) you can have storage space for 250,000 pages of text, the equivalent of 500 books, instantly searchable and reprintable at one-fiftieth the cost of printing.
Telecommunication is the transmission and reception of messages over long distance. It allows the transfer of the spoken and written word to anyone, anywhere, at any time. With the advent of fiber-optic technology, current transmission capabilities consist in a billion bits of information per second. This is equivalent to sending the Encyclopedia Britannica across the Atlantic ocean some six times a minute.
Televised instruction for distance learning is also afforded by telecommunications. The British Open University enrolls over 10,000 students in television courses. It, however, relies heavily on printed material as well as on the use of mailed assignments and self administered tests to assess student progress.
Telecomputing is the use of the classroom computer to search through data base information sources and to get topic information. This has possibilities for instructional computing. Systems such as videotext and videodata can facilitate the flow of two-way messages by using a video display, local processing and a remote data base that is accessed through the telephone network.
Implication of the new technologies
It is clear that the relatively large expenditures required to purchase some of the more advanced communication technologies may well have the potential of broadening the gap between haves and have-nots in society and throughout the world.
Still, the new technologies have freed many individuals to enjoy their leisure and to work at home in a distraction-free environment. And in the future, most educational services are foreseen to be delivered electronically by teleconferencing, cable and satellite television, computer networks and other means yet to be discovered-provided educators learn how to use the media in congruence with principles of community education.
by: Paz I. Lucido, Ph. D. and Milagros L. Borabo, Ph. D.