The Computer as Tool - Discussion

Computers: New Fad or Facet of Education?

One of the greatest strengths of CLP and the Kids Network is their ability to foster student interest and understanding in physical science and the scientific method itself. But there are those who argue that software such as CLP and Kids Net is only a slick, high-tech substitute to real-world science learning. Students are not attracted to learning science - so the assumption goes - they are attracted to using the computers, and as computers become a more mundane aspect of school curricula, students will lose interest. Therefore, more emphasis should be placed on teaching science well instead of using electronic gadgets for tasks which could be accomplished by competent teachers.

In response to this skeptical view of computer assisted instruction, it can be argued that computers are not an educational fad and their usefulness will not wear off over time. Educational software allows teachers to instruct more students more effectively and with more personalized assistance. Excellent teaching ability may be as or more effective than CAI, but CAI is easier to implement on a wider scale. CAI may also act as a catalyst for further study and interest in the subject, as was the case with the Acid Rain project. Do computers compete with teachers, or do they complement them?

Show me another example of using the computer as an educational tool.
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