The use of computers help the students make mistakes without directly facing the teachers and this reduces their tension. This also helps other students who vary in learning style, and the computers help the teacher present the material in different styles. (Improving Student Performance by Reducing Anxiety)
One of the simplest technologies that can be used is through Email, which supplies individual written answers to questions and replies from the teachers to the students. The replies received from the students can then be built into different files for the students, though this will require applying some high level Email software. Again the Email from the students can be made more sophisticated by asking the students to reply to questions finally forming a web page. This helps the students become more focused in their studies. The responses to the form sent out can be collected by the teacher in a file on the server, but this requires higher technology. This method helps the computer itself analyze and evaluate the responses given by the students. This can be used with multiple choice answers which can reply the results directly to the students. In case, the multiple choice use is not feasible, then short answers can be collected for evaluation by the teacher or the teaching assistant. These sorts of quizzes help the student evaluate themselves, and decide whether they are ready for a particular course. Sometimes, the quizzes let the students decide whether they are ready for a particular course or not. This can be combined with checking the databases of the students by the teachers and this may give indications to the teacher that the student is not well prepared, and this may help the teachers take some other decisions. (Improving Assessment with Technology)
Another school where the exercise has been carried out is the Christopher Columbus Intermediate School. And the results have been astounding. The students of the school have led the area in terms of the proportion of students who have passed the practice administrations of New Jersey's Early Warning Test. There have also been other indications through the proportion of students who passed for the ninth grade honors program when compared to the students from any other city school. The school ended up having the best attendance record for both the students and the faculty. The change was noted by the students and this resulted in the school having the highest number of students coming in and the lowest numbers going out over the period of 1993 to 1995. The entire project was sponsored by the state of Indiana as also the Lilly Endowment and Ameritech. The scheme supplied the participating students with computers at home and access to the school through modems. (Technology's Impact)
The schools under this program were compared with others who were not involved on the project. This was at the classroom level and took into account seven classrooms under the project and three outside the project. The classes under the project showed a great improvement in all writing, a great improvement in their understanding of mathematics as also being able to execute it, an improvement in their skills with the computer, an improvement in their ability to teach other students, a better skill at solving of problems and thinking critically. This led to them having more of self-confidence and esteem. The scores were standardized and the results were spread over all classes and schools as also subjects that the students were involved with. Obviously, the effect was higher for students who had been with the program for a longer period.
The impact on the schools were also studied and of the nine schools involved with the project, none expressed any dissatisfaction. Five out of the nine participating schools were planning to increase the level of their participation in the program. As many as nine other schools were planning to participate in the program. At this stage it is important to remember that technology used is only a part of the activity for instructing students, and the evaluation of the effect of the technology is really an evaluation of the teaching that has been carried out. Thus the results are as dependent on the quality of teaching as on the technological methods used to pass it on to the students. (Technology's Impact) One of the main sources for preparation of teaching materials is www.visionlearning.comand this can be easily adapted for most subjects. (Designing Effective Instructional Web Pages)
Any technology in education cannot be effective in itself as there are many important social contexts connected with the process of education. This means that great attention has to be paid to the strategies used in teaching involving both the software as also the using of the software by the students of the particular class. This is also affected by the situation that the classroom and the students themselves are confined in. If software is not well used by the students, then the software will fail, and this has been seen many times. Badly designed software also can lead to great improvements among the students regarding their education as long as the software is properly used by the students. This makes it essential that efforts are made to measure outcomes of the process of education beyond the achievement of the students.
This is because the results achieved by the students also depends on the mental feeling of the students about themselves, their feelings about the schools that they study in, the different activities that go on in the school, as also their overall attitude to learning. The effect of technology is covered up with all these questions, and cannot be judged without considering the effects of the other factors. These can be considered as the effects on the students learning and motivation, dynamics within the classroom and that involves the relationship between the students, teachers and technological improvement; as also the effect of the school as an organization. (Technology's Impact)
The important aspect is that the researchers have to be flexible in the application of their methodology, and change the methods continuously so that they can gain a better knowledge about the advancement of learning through technology. Experts feel that it is time to stop discounting the changes in teaching practice that has to accompany the usage of technology. Yet, it is important to realize that technology has an impact on both the teachers as well as the students. The effect on the teachers is more permanent as they are more permanent members of the teaching process and their behavior reflects on more generations of students.
Carpi, Anthony. "Designing Effective Instructional Web Pages" Department of Sciences, John Jay College, the City University of New York. Retrieved from www.visionlearning.com/library/x_linker.php?moid=2447Accessed on 28 April, 2005
Chan, Elsie. "Improving Student Performance by Reducing Anxiety" Statistical Analysis in Sociology. Department of Sociology, University of Victoria. Retrieved at http://www.mcmaster.ca/cll/posped/pastissues/volume.1.no.3/reducing.anxiety.htm. Accessed on 28 April, 2005
Chapter 6: Improving Assessment with Technology" (2 December, 1999) Retrieved at http://edtech.clas.pdx.edu/presentations/LLOTA-webbook/Chapter6.htm. Accessed on 28 April, 2005
Coley, Richard. J. (September, 1997) "Technology's Impact" Retrieved at http://www.electronic-school.com/0997f3.html. Accessed on 28 April, 2005
Ideas for Using Technology to Enhance Teaching and Learning" (22 April, 2005)
Retrieved at http://www.indiana.edu/~tltl/projects/ideas.html. Accessed on 28 April, 2005
Just, Pete. (August, 2004) "PDA Handhelds: Improving Student Performance" Media and Methods. Retrieved at http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa4145/is_200408/ai_n9465042Accessed on 28 April, 2005
Using the Computer for Personal Productivity" (2004) Retrieved from www.wviz.org/edsvcs/teacherline/syllabus/tech_300.doc
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