Brian T. Johnstone

my little space here on the web

Computers in Education

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I find I’m always playing both sides of the fence.  Some educators are so lost in the euphoria of techno-gadgetry they loose site of pedagogy… “Computers are changing the way we learn” I recently read.  Oh really?  How?  Maybe the way we access resources and interface with one another is different but I don’t think the underlying cognitive processes are really all that different.

Still I find others who are so convinced they need to force their students to look for materials they way we did in college… in paper… in the library… because that’s the real way to do research.  Really? And I find myself struggling to remain patient as I explain the difference between published (not print or paper) sources and unpublished sources, between scholarly and non-scholarly sources.  I hope I can at least clue the students in.

And then there is the transcript below (unedited) where a student is interacting with me the librarian through an instant messaging service asking for help finding materials to support their thesis that “technology and computers are not beneficial to students.”   You’re kidding, right?  So I got a little snarky at the end of the chat… but I think the student drifted off.  Maybe they aren’t really passionate about their topic.

[08:54] meeboguest729558: Hi i am trying to find a few articles on why technology and computers are not beneficial for students
[08:55] meeboguest729558: I went to ebscohost but nothing seems to pop up
[08:57] meeboguest729558: ?
[08:57] infobc3: What search terms are you trying?
[08:57] meeboguest729558: what does that mean
[08:58] infobc3: what words are you typing into the search box in EBSCOhost?
[08:58] meeboguest729558: My thesis is that Computers in a classroom are not benefical for students
[08:58] meeboguest729558: i typed in computers bad for children
[08:58] infobc3: The idea is to take your thesis and break it down into just words not phrases
[08:59] infobc3: And, with EBSCO
[08:59] infobc3: it’s best to put a different idea
[08:59] infobc3: on each line
[08:59] infobc3: somehting like education in the first box
[08:59] infobc3: children in the next
[08:59] infobc3: technology in the next
[09:00] infobc3: and maybe disadvantage
[09:00] infobc3: or some other combination of words that
[09:00] infobc3: get at the heart of your thesis
[09:05] meeboguest729558: ok thank you but i feel like nothing is coming up that is useful
[09:06] infobc3: try just a few words… technology and disadvantage for example
[09:06] infobc3: skip the children and school bit and see what comes up
[09:06] infobc3: also
[09:06] infobc3: try Opposing viewpoints
[09:07] infobc3: computers and education brings up some thing in Opposing Viewpoints
[09:07] infobc3: e.g.: Educational Software May Not Increase Learning
[09:08] infobc3: The Internet Can Disrupt Learning
[09:08] infobc3: Computers in Classrooms May Not Increase Learning
[09:08] infobc3: Computer-Assisted Education May Not Enhance Learning
[09:09] infobc3: there are also articles with the opposite view (touting benefits of computers in education)
[09:09] infobc3: like this little chat you and I are having… via computer network… to hopefully help you find some articles ;)


One thought on “Computers in Education

  1. Pingback: Computers in Education « Brian T. Johnstone |

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