The computer itself is called a tool, tutor, and tutee. Hunt and Shelley believe that the computer can ease the load of administrative duties, leaving the teacher more time to concentrate on teaching. Scales and Snieder emphasized that modern experimental science would be impossible without computers. The key technologies inculcate the Internet and the applications enable the network, such as audio conference, videoconference, e-mail, and collaborative software. Activities such as writing, literature searching, information management, idea management, and data analysis are the main functions of the computers.
According to Saunders and Thagard computers are unusual machines in being not only tools but also tools for making tools. The computer has its key metaphor of a carpenter's workshop (wood-working), which is similar to building a machine capable of designing furniture, and then building the product. When we want to make things with wood, we are allowed to use the brace and bit for drilling holes, and the handsaw for cutting. The manufacturers of Apple Macintosh computers stated that the ability to produce and the time taken were limited to the power of the tools and our energy in operating them. Now we use an electric drill, power sander, and circular saw, enabling us to make many more things in less time, with greater precision, and using much less energy. Similarly, computer software could be used as an efficient tool in problem solving for affluent outcome. Computers can be used as research tools to carry out various tasks. The use of software and the Internet deserve special mention here. The Internet is the newest innovation in the world of educational computing and it is being promoted by many as the most powerful tool for learning ever invented.
UNESCO opines that the computer is evolving into a tool to facilitate learning of most of the educational properties of older technologies (books, radio, film strips, phonograph records, television) with at least equal if not greater convenience of use plus communication capabilities. Computers can also be very accommodating - they can reach students at different study levels, any time of the day or night. Additionally, the sense of independence and accomplishment a computer offers children helps fuel their self-confidence. Alden has expressed that relying on a computer as a tool may be one of the most effective ways to build both a child's learning skills and self-esteem.
Spender appraises that as we move from book culture to digital culture, we are on the brink of being able to rethink the entire process of teaching and learning. Adler strongly believes that the challenge is in helping children learn to use a home computer to bring out their imagination and curiosity - and learn when to turn it off in favor of more traditional playthings.
Computers are tools, not slave-masters, are inert, unresponsive, incapable of thought, but we can accomplish much through and with them. Wilson says, that if you are a creative writer, you'll make the best use of whatever is the current writing tool - and that is now the word-processor. In much the same way that a word-processor does not directly help a writer create a better story, the computer is a tool enabling the writer to do some things better, such as moving text around, easy deletion, and inserting text in the middle of sentences.
Sally Bowman Alden, the Executive Director of the Computer Learning Foundation, has identified six key areas that all children should be exposed to in using computers and software as tools - tools for learning, creativity, productivity, research, communications, and entertainment.
1. As a learning tool, computers can help develop memory skills, offer after-school study or tutoring sessions, allow children to experiment, and investigate abstract science and math concepts through simulations.
2. As a creativity tool, computers provide access to an infinite color palette and a fine-tuned keyboard keeps children busy creating art and music.
3. As a research tool, computers offer children access to information that wasn't available at their school or local library.
4. As a communications tool, computers and software can enable children to share experiences with their next door neighbor or with other children as far away as Europe or China, all electronically.
5. As a productivity tool, computers and software programs such as word processing, databases, and spreadsheets can also help children work more efficiently.
6. And, as an entertainment tool, computers and various game software keep children involved for hours; and just like Monopoly, many entertainment programs help children develop important skills.
Saunders and Thagard speculated that computers often do unexpected things, but rarely in a way that leads to new discoveries. According to Boden, creativity is just an unpredictable combination of ideas. If so, computer modeling of creativity could be simple, and could combine ideas at random until something creative emerged. If not, we must find a more adequate theory of creativity before computer creativity is possible.
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Although nobody gets a parenting manual or bible in the delivery room, it is our duty as parents to try to make our kids as well rounded, happy and confident as possible. It is a lot easier to bring up great kids than it is to try and fix problems caused by bad parenting, when our kids have become adults. Our children are all individuals - they are not our property but people in their own right.