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Computer Usage in Schools

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Computer Usage in Schools

A computer is, “a programmable electronic device that can store, retrieve and process data” (Merriam-Webster). This tool once predominately used in homes and offices is making its way into our educational system. Technology is a growing part of our society today. We are beginning to see the use of computers in classrooms more and more. The increase of computer usage in schools, primarily elementary, has enhanced student learning.

The study I looked at recognized the importance of technology in education, but then examined teachers’ educational background and knowledge of technology and its effect on their integration of computers and computer software into classroom curriculum. It also researched the impact and effectiveness of such technologies on student learning. Both Alex Pan and Stuart Carroll, the authors of the study, are professors of elementary and early childhood education at the College of New Jersey in Ewing. Alex’s specialty is in the area of the effectiveness of the use of educational technology. So this study was right up their alley.

They decided to use a combination of surveys and observation to gather their data. They did a study they call The Magic School Bus Project, in which they selected 45 first- to fifth-grade students from an elementary school in an urban district. All had some experience with computers, but none were familiar with the Magic School Bus Software. 22 college sophomores who were enrolled in the Analysis of Teaching class were also chosen. First, the college students examined and evaluated the Magic School Bus CD-ROMs. They used an evaluation form to rate them based on their own observations and perceptions. Some of thes...

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...ne Dictionary. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. 2003. http://www.m-w.com.

Pan, Alex C.; Carroll, Stuart Z. “Preservice Teachers Explore Instructional Software with Children.” The Educational Forum v. 66 no4 (Summer 2002): 371-9.

Sava, Samuel G. “Electronic Genie: Will Computers Serve Schools, or Run Them?” Vital Speeches of the Day v. 6 no2 (Nov. 1997): 55-57.

Sefton-Green, Julian. “Computers, Creativity, and the Curriculum: the Challenge for Schools, Literacy, and Learning.” Journal of Adolescents and Adult Literacy v. 44 no8 (May 2001): 726-8.

Solomon, Gwen. “Digital Equality: It’s not just about access anymore.” Technology and Learning v. 22 no9 (Apr. 2002): 18-26.

Vann, Allan S. “Debunking Five Myths about Computers in Schools.” Principal (Reston, Va.) v.77 (Jan. 1998): 53.

Winans, Dave. “Techno Hype-or Help?” NEA Today v.15 no4 (Nov. 1996): 4-5.
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