The truth that electronics aid humanity may be a subject for debate. However, it must be noted that nothing else may beat your doubt on electronics but the fact that we can derive from others' experiences that the technological advances in electronics really assist man in sustaining his life and surviving from the weaknesses of our physical body. More so, we may derive such information from our relatives and friends who may have experienced recovering from diseases with the aid of advanced biomedic machines. or, you can also ask this question to yourself to provide a view on how effective do you really believe can technology that is applied in electronics help, assist, and aid humanity -- "Would you rather go for the old method and practices of medicine than how medicine is practice these days?"
Technology in Electronics - Aiding Other Defects of Humanity
If the advances in electronics lead the physical body to a longer life, there is another significant advantage that technology and electronics provide. This is especially apparent and true to those who are not considered terminally-ill physically but may be psychologically and mentally ill for the rest of their lives.
The diverse technologies applied in electronics provide assistance to different disabilities of many people. Perhaps, one of the most common areas where advanced electronics play a critical role is in the learning environment for disabled/impaired individuals. There have been a great number of learning machines that allow impaired individuals to manage the process of gaining knowledge and skills. Though such individuals may need to undergo longer amount of time to achieve the goal of learning, electronic machines such as computers help in a way that they provide more convenient delivery of the learning process. Thus, reducing the barriers that may have hindered disabled individuals to carry on a "normal" life. According to an article written by Juan Gutierrez, technology is a means for empowering disabled children. Further, from an article written by Anna-Liisa Salminen, on the importance of a computer augmented communication (CAC), Salminen and her colleagues suggest that the CAC devices became important tools for school work and leisure activities. The children and youngsters themselves perceived these additional facilities of the devices as meaningful as, or even most important than those for communication. Even if they were critical and disappointed with the CAC devices, they still saw the value of them and most of children wanted to keep going despite of the effort required.
The electronic form of learning, or what people presently calls "e-learning" has evolved in different methods, all of which allows assisted programs to users in which the speed of teaching can be adjusted to the speed of learning of the learner. This characteristic of e-learning is found to be the most common feature of assisted programs and utilities because their basic and general objective is to provide convenient learning especially to individuals with physical and mental impairments. Such electronic learning programs, especially those that were developed for impaired individuals, are designed specifically to provide the same opportunities to the disabled. According to Salminen and her colleagues,
Children with severe physical disability and speech impairment, such as those with cerebral palsy, usually understand other people's speech well, but are unable to express themselves through spoken language because they have difficulty in controlling their speech organs in order to articulate the sounds intelligibly. They may also have a language disfunction.
In such problem mentioned, there are many electronic devices that are available to those with impairments. Some examples are computer learning programs such as softwares for speech improvement, as well as electronic devices that provide treatment and therapy to physical disabilities such as specialized exercise-machines for physically disabled individuals. If the Braille was developed for the blind, wherein blind persons use their sense of touch to read information from brailles that are similar to ordinary books except that the text are designed as special symbols that are raised on paper to allow "touch of information" for the visually impaired, there now exists a more advanced form that was made possible by technology and electronics. One example was indicated by Juan Gutierrez in his article Technology Empowers Disabled Students.
With the help of specialized laser printers that accommodate large prints, Braille transaction software and TextAloud software that provides one-step production of MP3 Audio files, students that are blind, visually impaired or have a reading disability have additional resources at their disposal.
The more potential of e-learning can still be discovered through time, as developments in technology continuously grows. The accessibility of electronic devices that assists users, especially the disabled people, can provide better experiences to everyone and can promote equal opportunity to all. However, it is important that e-learning should not only be able to serve that advanced purposes that it was made to do. There must also be considerations for the developers of e-learning to include the needs of other users such as the disabled individuals. Jessica Jarvis (2005), from her study Opening Doors to Learning suggests that the potential of e-learning can only be realised if e-learning is well designed and the needs of disabled learners are carefully thought through. And this seems to be the main stumbling block. Although, e-learning has rapidly increased in use in recent years, it already has its own demons to confront. Minimal and often disappointing experiences of e-learning have frequently been reported. It therefore seems that before e-learning can be touted as' the solution' to providing accessible learning, some fundamental challenges connected to the effective design and development of e-learning need to be addressed."
The effectiveness of electronics brought in the learning process of students was indicated by Jeff Lintz (2004) in his study CNC Technology Brings Out Hidden Talents in Disabled Children. Lintz indicates that the fact that they can use the machine's capabilities to build beautiful and functional objects without help from another person enhances both their enthusiasm and their self-esteem. In one of the most dramatic examples I've witnessed, a student with cerebral palsy built a C02-powered car for the Dragster Design Challenge and has gone on to do very well in the graphics program at Miami Lakes-Educational Center.
The amazing capabilities of electronics applied with advanced technology have indeed allowed great number of improvements in the lives of many people. Advanced electronics is playing very critical role in many areas, including the biomedical engineering and learning environment. The many potential of electronics in these areas provide great number of advantages and if we are to think if the current generation can survive if technology and electronics will be taken away from us, the answer perhaps would be a big "No." This is because in almost everything we do, we can see that we are generally dependent on the technology of electronics.
Electronics and Biomedical Engineering. http://www.city.ac.uk/sems/undergraduate/elecbiomed/
Taylor, John. "Serving Blind Readers in Digital Age."
American Libraries, 35.11 (2005): 49-51.
Jarvis, Jessica. "Opening Doors to Learning."
Training Magazine, (2005): 16.
Lintz, Jeff. "CNC Technology Brings Out Hidden Talents in Disable Children."
Tech Directions, 64.4 (2004): 19-21.
Robitaille, Suzanne. "How VoIP Can Connect the Disabled."
Business Week Online, (2004).
Salminen, Anna-Liisa. "Impact of Computer Augmented Communication on Daily Lives of Speech-Impaired Children."