Computers In Daily Life
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There is a need for more computers in everyday life, in homes, schools and on the job. The advancement of computer technology today in all facets of the world, and life are growing to the point that everyone will need a computer to carry out their everyday life. Computer technology today is at the threshold of making life easier for everyone in the world.
Computers are helping students get better grades in school, from help with homework over the internet to doing research for an essay at the local library. According to Rother (2004), "Technology has become ingrained in the educational process. It increases teacher productivity in a daily basis, enhanced student performance on key subjects, and improves student results in standardized tests."
Computers today are becoming more of a The Increasing Role of Computers
fixture in everyday life then ever before, from housewives planning meals, to checking bank balances and paying bills, to looking up recipes. Children have the ability to do their homework, playing games and chatting to a friend on the internet. Business executives carrying PDA's, [personal digital assistants] with the ability to do their everyday business duties, from anywhere in the world that they may be at any time of the day or night.
The internet is getting bigger and faster everyday, an individual can log on to the internet and buy sell or trade anything, the world wide web can bring the world into your home where anything can be looked up to learn or to amuse. Computer chips are being put in a wide range of things today, from appliances to cell phones to automobiles; an owner can now have their automobile checked for any problems while they are driving down the road via a satellite and find out if they should go in to have it repaired.
Computers are now being used to help the blind with a voice synthesizer that tells them what they are typing or what they are trying to see on the screen. According to Palmer (1999),"CCS builds and sells complete handicapped accessible packages, as well as individual products like speech synthesizes voice cards and screen enlargement software. The screen enlargement programs increase type size to aid people who are partially impaired. Those with total blindness use synthesizers both hardware and software versions that read what's on the screen. They work by translating ASCI symbols, the series of code each letter and graphic is assigned into voice transmissions.
In the future, life will be even easier with the help of new computer-controlled appliances that will shut off automatically when there isn't anyone at home, or will turn themselves on at a specified time so that dinner will be ready upon arrival home from work, or when the security system is armed upon leaving home. According to Microsoft Home spokespeople (2000), "people will be able to monitor and control the status of every connected device from nearly anywhere. Using PCs, televisions, wall-mounted room controllers, portable tablets and even vocal commands, family members will be able to adjust their home environment, including heating, cooling, lighting and security. They will also be able to adjust all entertainment media and communications, including computers, telephones, televisions, music, videos, photos, games, email and the Web. Without leaving their house, people will also be able to check on other locations, such as their vacation cottage or the home of an elderly relative who needs care."
Computers in law enforcement, today computers are being used in law enforcement to check records of people who are arrested for all types of crime, and to make sure that they are who they say they are. According to Fitzgerald (2004), "BIOMETRICS, the science of using measurable physical characteristics to identify people, has added new weapons to the arsenals of law enforcement agencies, and as some of these new tools are connected to high-speed wireless communications they could become widely available to officers in the field, not just those back at headquarters. Hand-held devices that can be used to digitally scan fingerprints and match the results against large databases are being tested by several law enforcement agencies nationwide, with officials at some saying that the benefits of biometrics are already clear."
Computers in the entertainment industry, movies today are using more and more computer generated animation to do what stunt people did before. According to Malaysian Business (2001), "Computer games are making it big time on the silver screen. The explosive release of Tomb Raider and Final Fantasy's mysterious surroundings will provide a good fight to be the year's most profitable movie. Whatever the pull factor for the movie may be, it can't be denied that computers today play a key role in ensuring the success of the entertainment endeavor. While movies in the seventy and eighties had to rely on real stunts and recreation of original events, today, with help from superior performance computers, most of the difficult scenes like explosions, air crashes, lifelike dinosaurs, and mid-air chases on spitfires, are done using computers."
But on the other side of the coin a lot of people say that computers are not all that great, that computers don't help children learn in school, that computers are making life more complicated and that the World Wide Web is just a farce. According to Stoll (1995), "Baloney. Do our computer pundits lack all common sense? The truth is no on-line database will replace your daily newspaper, no CD-ROM can take the place of a competent teacher and no computer network will change the way government works. Consider today's online world. The Usenet, a worldwide bulletin board, allows anyone to post messages across the nation. Your word gets out, leapfrogging editors and publishers. Every voice can be heard cheaply and instantly. Then there are those pushing computers into schools. We're told that multimedia will make schoolwork easy and fun. Students will happily learn from animated characters while taught by expertly tailored software. Who needs teachers when you've got computer-aided education? Bah. These expensive toys are difficult to use in classrooms and require extensive teacher training. Sure, kids love videogamesbut think of your own experience: can you recall even one educational filmstrip of decades past? I'll bet you remember the two or three great teachers who made a difference in your life."
Computers are not teaching students all they need to know, teachers are still needed to teach basic skills like reading, writing, and math skills. According to Gelernter (1994), "Take multimedia. The idea of multimedia is to combine text, sound and pictures in a single package that you browse in screen. You don't just read Shakespeare; you watch actors performing, listen to songs, view Elizabethan buildings. What's wrong with that? By offering children candy-coated books, multimedia in guaranteed to sour them on unsweetened reading. It makes the printed page look even more boring than it used to look. Sure, books will be available in the classroom, toobut they'll have all the appeal of a dusty piano to a teen who has a Walkman handy. So what if the little nippers don't read? If they're watching Olivier instead, what do they lose? The text, the written word along with all of its attendant pleasures. Besides, a book is more portable than a computer, has a higher-resolution display, can be written on and dogeared and is comparatively dirt cheap."
Computers today are so interwoven in to the world, which it would be very hard to not see that they can make a vast improvement in your life. With all the new programs that one can buy to help children learn, there is no way that anyone can say that computers are not helping teach students and improving grades in school. As for making life better and easier look at all the things that are so much easier today, change is always a hard thing to get used to but the world goes around and around, and technology improves by leaps and bounds everyday so it would be hard to stop all that is improving day by day. I think that computers are a great help and that so many things will only get better as time goes on and all things improve.
Fitzgerald, T. (2004, September 23). Fingerprints on File, Right From the Patrol Car. New York Times. p. G7.
Gelernter, D. (1994, September 19&26). Computers Cannot Teach Children Basic Skills. New Republic.
Malaysian Business. (2001, July 16). Why we need E-Village. Business Source Premier.
Microsoft. (2004, October 26). Microsoft's Concept Home Demonstrates How People Will Benefit From the Conveniences Made Possible by New Technologies. Microsoft Web Site.
Palmer, J. (1999, August 2). Leading the blind. Des Moines Business Record. Vol. 15 Issue 31 p. 13, 1p
Business Wire. (2004, June 22). National Education Computing Conference. Business Wire, Inc.
Stoll, C. (1995, February 27) The Internet? Bah!. Newsweek.