Free «Technology in Learning» Essay Sample

The increasing use of the internet by a large majority of the American learning teens has prompted the need to incorporate online courses in the school curriculum due to its flexibility, availability and adaptability. This response essay illustrates the increasing adoption of virtual classes, its advantages and the trends in the American school curriculum. The article (Online classes can increase learning. The Education Innovator newsletter: Office of Innovation and Improvement: The U.S. Department of Education. 2009).It speaks on how the trend of virtual schooling is being embraced by the schooling population and speaks volumes on the advantages of online courses. The author of this article brings to light the role that the internet plays in the American education sector in regard to teens.

A large percentage of the American youths use the internet in their day to day lives, both at school and at home. A survey carried out by a PEW Internet & American Life Project survey in 2006, showed that 93% of the American teens are regularly online, while nine out of ten teens between the ages of 12 and 17 are using the internet regularly. They interact within themselves using the various forums that the internet has to offer, including exchanging of ideas, content and information. This means that a large proportion of their time is spent on the internet and hence they can easily do their school work conveniently.

The flexibility and adaptability of online courses offers the students a wider scope of choices regarding their courses, a privilege which would otherwise, not have been accorded by the traditional school based programmes. For example, students taking online courses can; take specialized courses not offered in their schools, get access to a wide range of resources from the vast database of information from the internet, take more than one course at a time, and accord students from rural areas a great forum to pursue their education. Students facing some personal problems are able to continue with their education “virtually”, even in the face of personal or other forms of conflicts because they can school at the comfort of their homes or any other place of their convenience.

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Research and surveys conducted in America have indicated that there are a growing number of students who have taken online classes or are willing to take the classes. It has been noted that the American online learning, teens are one of the fastest growing online users, and the number is increasing by the day. The article reveals that about 9% of the public schools have enrolled for the technology based distance learning courses.

The article talks highly on the online courses for the students, and by all means it portrays the positive side of the virtual classes. It talks at length on how the American system is adopting the online way of education in its school curriculum. However, there is a flip side to the online courses which the article has not comprehensively explored. Apart from the educational materials, the internet offers a horde of other exciting information and programmes which can capture the attention of many, a student.

In my opinion, I think that, the high usage of the internet by a large population of the American learning teens is prone to misuse by the same teens who are supposed to be getting their education via the internet. The internet offers a wide range of interesting products that can easily capture the interest of the teens. For example, it is a known fact that many teenagers spend a lot of their time looking at “exciting “pictures from you tube, pornographic materials, playing online games and chatting on social media, at the expense of schooling time.This greatly undermines the internet as a forum for learning, as students waste a lot of time engaging in useless, and often harmful engagements on the internet.

Although online courses provide flexibility to the students in the learning process, it also has the potential of misuse by the same students. Some students who are not very keen on their academic work can engage in activities which do not compliment their academics due to the loophole accorded by the usage of the internet. For example, there is a likelihood of high plagiarism rates by the students taking online courses due to the high volumes of information offered in the internet. This kills creativity and originality by the students, bringing forth, “half-baked” graduates, who have perfected the art of merely passing their exams, but with little practical skills. This clearly undermines the very reason of the students going to school, because, at the end of the day, they will not have really acquired knowledge, although they will have passed their exams.

The increasing number of American schools adopting the online way of learning has the potential of rendering the teachers and other school administrative staff obsolete. For example, a school that offers 100% of its courses online would have no need for staff like secretaries, grounds men, and other supportive rendering many staff jobless and denying them a source of livelihood. The number of teachers would have to reduced, even if it’s by by a small margin, because few teachers can handle many virtual students at once. . The internet is also prone to sabotage, fluctuations in connectivity and availability of power supply. Should any or more of the listed events occur, then there would be no schooling for the students.

In conclusion, I do agree on the role that the internet has to play in the education sector, especially in this era of an ever increasing techno savvy student population. The internet is surely a crucial technology that can be used in the dispensation of education, but other factors, such as the accruing disadvantages should be studied in more detail, and solutions offered. The transition to virtual education should be approached very carefully, by putting checks and balances, so to ensure that the technology is not misused by the students. The technology should be carefully incorporated into the system gradually, without fully doing away with the traditional teacher, student interaction, which has a human touch to it.


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