Advantages of using computers in high education
To any society, new technologies can greatly improve the standard of people’s lives. In human’s long history we have learned that two important technologies, the printing press and the steam engine, resulted in life changing advances in the seventeenth century. With no doubt, advancement in technology improved people’s lives. In the past century, due to using new technologies, such as automobiles, airplanes, TVs, cell-phones, as well as computers, the standard of humans’ lives have been greatly improved in many different fields, which eventually led to globalization. Today, with the popularity of using the Internet through computers, computers and the Internet are becoming the two most important technologies in our everyday lives. We use computers for study, work, communication, business and many other things. In the United States, there are estimated 165 million Internet users with 25 millions of those users being age 12-17 (Reimer). The average teen chooses to spend an average of 16.7 hours a week reading and writing online (Goldwasser 39). Due to these surprising statistics, some people condemn that so many people are spending too much time on computers and this has brought about negative impacts on their lives, especially on young people. I think that computers are the necessary tool for young people because they have to rely on them to learn new knowledge, to practice living skills, and to use for their employment. Computers undoubtedly provide visible advantages and benefits for young people in education.
Today, young students prefer utilizing computers to do their homework. A computer is a great thing for a student to have, mainly because of word processing application such as Microsoft Word. They frequently use computers for their homework assignment because it is an efficient way to do so. The point is that they now do not need to complete their assignments in the traditional ways by using pens and papers to repeatedly write or copy their work, which requires spending more time and materials. Because the prices of computers are becoming affordable, a computer today is just like a cell-phone in the young people’s everyday lives. With their computers, they can easily move the words, sentences, as well as the whole paragraphs from the different parts of their drafts, and this only needs several seconds to complete. Obviously, computers have become essential tools that offer young students an easy way to get their work done. Another advantage of computer is providing Web-based systems that allow students to do their homework online such as Blackboard, WebCT (www.webct.com), Homework Service (http://hw.utexas. edu/bur/overview.html), and WebWorK are becoming more widely used in higher education. Some advantages of homework-assistance systems are immediate feedback to students and automatic grading and recording of grades for instructors. Automatic grading saves time for teachers who would like to grade all of their students' paper-and-pencil homework carefully by hand but do not have time. In turn, this can prompt students to take homework more seriously because they know it will be graded and the grade will be recorded (Mendicino 2) With these systems, students can often get immediate feedback on their answers and work and sometimes help toward solving problems.
The example of positive results for using Web-based homework assistance instead of traditional paper-and-pencil homework is Mastering-Physics, a Web-based physics homework tutor developed at MIT. This website uses mastery learning, the term they use to help students to solve physics homework problems. Students can ask for hints on problems and receive feedback on common student errors. Some hints will ask the student a question that behaves like a "scaffolding question" in the ASSISTment system. Warnakulasooriya & Pritchard (2005) found that twice as many students could complete a set of problems in a...
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