Essay On Computer A Boon Or A Curse

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In my opinion computer is a boon to the mankind.

Dear friends can you imagine the world without computers. It would be like the life a 100 years back. Would you accept that life? Today we enjoy such a comfortable life, don’t we owe this to computers.

Look at the way the computers have a role to play in our life. Today when we get up in the morning and want to read the newspaper, internet permits us to read the latest news of any newspaper in the world. Before going to office we can check the mails and also reply them instantly. There is no need for physical mail, paperwork and delays. In the office computers help us to connect with the various locations and discuss with them any problem at a time through videoconferencing.

Earlier to deposit or withdraw money one had to go to bank and stand in a queue, but today we can do this online through wire transfer or ATM. Not only that but we can purchase anything from the shops through Credit or Debit Cards. No need to carry physical cash.

Look at the railway or flight reservations. No more agonizing pain of standing in queues for hours. Today you can book any ticket of any flight in the world at the click of a button. Even hotels booking can be done online.

In the field of education computers have simplified the learning process, we have CD’s of reputed faculty, additionally, internet allows browsing any book or tutoring from the experts in the field. You can even solve any query you have.

In the field of medicine, computers help doctors in operations, accuracy and clear diagnosis of a disease. Computers also help in data logging, data backup and easy data transfer. Complicated mathematical and statistical problems can be solved in few seconds.

Thus there is no field untouched by computers today. Computers thus have saved our precious time, energy, space and improved the living standards and life of mankind.

So Computer is a boon to mankind

It will be a tragedy if your article influences other schools not to invest in technology. While other countries are investing in laptops for their students, the United States is in danger of moving backward.

We live in an information age, and it is time for the United States to infuse computing and technology into every aspect of learning.

It will be an even bigger tragedy if developing nations are influenced by our bad example, because these countries have no libraries, books are too expensive and teachers are scarce.

We need children to participate actively in their own learning. Connected, low-cost, rugged laptops are one way to do it.

Nicholas Negroponte
Cambridge, Mass., May 4, 2007
The writer, the founding director of the M.I.T. Media Laboratory, is the founder and chairman of One Laptop Per Child.

To the Editor:

It’s too bad that students have to take the rap for old-style teachers who are still not comfortable with the computer as an educational tool. Computer-based learning initiatives are not going to take off until teachers are just as excited about them as their students.

Thus, the teachers must be from a very recent generation, those who have grown up with a computer on their laps from early grade school. That time may still be a few years away.

The disappointing increase in reported breakdown of equipment could be related to the type of laptops used at the schools. The freeze/crash/fatal error scenarios common to all Windows-based PCs are almost unheard of with Apple computers and their operating system.

Mark Peck
Newton, Mass., May 6, 2007
The writer is a 10th-grade student at Cambridge School of Weston.

To the Editor:

It should come as no surprise that the Liverpool, N.Y., school board president concluded that after seven years “there was literally no evidence” that computers “had any impact on student achievement.”

The good news is that the personal laptops issued by the school didn’t negatively affect student achievement. The bad news is that taxpayers wasted a whole lot of education money providing students with laptops.

There’s a lesson here: Schools and parents must get back to teaching our children the basics instead of resorting to technology to revive our failing education system. We need to teach theory, facts, rules, thought processes and critical thinking first. Only then will students be able to use computers for anything other than entertainment and socialization.

But this requires hard work and discipline by students and parents. You simply can’t substitute easy and fun “stuff” like computers and phonics for the real thing.

The rest of the world’s kids and parents are now busy doing the hard work ... just as we used to do.

Peter J. Hellermann
Huntington, N.Y., May 4, 2007

To the Editor:

Saying that a one-to-one laptop program has no “impact on student achievement” and shows no “measurable effect on grades and test scores” misses the point. These programs were not set up to improve test scores; they were set up to make sure students were comfortable with the ever growing use of technology.

The standardized tests that are being used to measure achievement are not testing computing skills. Most are still given with paper and pencil. I, however, feel that my ability to touch type (keyboard) made me a far more productive student and later professional.

If the test scores are all that matter, yes, get rid of the laptops and spend the money on bringing in a test prep company. If the goal is educating students to be more than test takers, then there might be some value.

John Hutzler
New York, May 4, 2007
The writer is director of technology at the Abraham Joshua Heschel School.

To the Editor:

I serve as coordinator of online learning at Iona College. My job is not to teach technology but to help my colleagues make their teaching more effective as they migrate from the traditional lecture to teaching strategies that use online activities.

So when I read in “Seeing No Progress, Some Schools Drop Laptops” that politicians and philanthropists supply computers to schools without also supplying the means to use them in pedagogically productive ways, I understood why educators are “flummoxed about how best to integrate the new gadgets into curriculums.”

At all levels of education we need to shift our focus from technology to pedagogy to ensure that teachers and students are able to use computers and the Internet in educationally effective ways.

The true digital divide is no longer between those who have computers and those who don’t, but between those who can use them effectively and those who can’t.

Politicians and philanthropists who pay for expensive online technology can help bridge this gap by supporting the development of methods for using this technology to enhance teaching and learning. Then they will get what they pay for.

James E. Giles
New Rochelle, N.Y., May 4, 2007

To the Editor:

I am sure that your reporter wrote and edited her article using a computer (a laptop?), kept in touch with her co-workers and editor through e-mail, and published her article online for New York Times readers all over the world.

Shouldn’t our students be afforded the same important technological tools if they decide that they, too, want to grow up to be a reporter?

Alice Owen
Irving, Tex., May 6, 2007

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