An important question many Christian schools are trying to answer is "How can we fit computers into the educational process? " To answer this question we must know that computers can have at least three roles in education: Tool, Teacher or Tutor. Teachers use computers in many different ways. They use computers as tools for production purposes. Word processors, presentation software, spreadsheets, scanners, quality printers, and more combine to allow the production of the documents that help our society function.
They produce web pages that make our ideas and business available to the world. They also produce school brochures, leaflets, tracks and yearbooks that rival professionally designed products. Teachers also use computers for storage and to retrieve information. Financial software, databases, spreadsheets, administrative software, grading programs, and schedulers all produce a measure of organization and efficiency that has greatly improved our educational capabilities.
As a communication tool, the computer has revolutionized the world. Teachers also use computers as tools to access the seemingly infinite information resources on the Internet. As a tool, the computer"s capabilities are bound only by ou! Christian schools can also use the computer as a teacher. In the field of education, the computer has not come entirely into its own. For most Christian schools, the funds are not available to set up programs of instruction that are computercentric.
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For us to fully use the computer"s capabilities, we would need entire classrooms wired and networked with enough stations to teach every student correctly and efficiently. Visual aids, videos, textbooks, remarks and instructions could be made available to each student by the cilck of a button. Teachers, computers, and students could then work together for truly interactive and individualized instructions. Tests and quizzes could be given and scored right on the screen and the grades automatically registered in the teacher"s master station.
Most Christian schools cannot afford more than a computer lab in which they the basics of word processing. Instead of using computers as teachers, most schools are using them as tutors. The distinction is small but important. The word "teacher" connotes classroom instruction, while "tutor" connotes individual instruction. Using this method, individual students are tutored by means of educational games or fun instructional programs. This is a grea tidea, and these are a multitude of excellent programs for just this purpose. However, these are some logistical problems.
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