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Computers in the Classroom: Benefits & Disadvantages

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  • 0:01 Computers in the Classroom
  • 0:33 Benefits
  • 2:55 Disadvantages
  • 4:35 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Derek Hughes
Computers are becoming an increasingly common tool in the classroom. This lesson will explain some of the benefits as well as the disadvantages of having computers in the classroom.

Computers in the Classroom

In modern society, you are likely to see at least one classroom computer in every room you teach. A classroom computer can be defined as any electronic device that allows students to access the Internet to research, create, and complete work. This means that a laptop or tablet can also be categorized as a classroom computer.

While computers in the classroom certainly come with many benefits, there are also some disadvantages to keep in mind when incorporating this technology into your lessons. This lesson will detail some of the major benefits and disadvantages of computers in the classroom.

The Benefits

Ms. Smith is a 3rd-grade teacher and a proponent of using computers in the classroom. She believes that the benefits computers provide outweigh the disadvantages that some might struggle with. She tries to incorporate technology effectively into many of her lessons because she is aware of the positive effects it has on her students. Let's look at the benefits Ms. Smith sees in using computers in the classroom.

  • Benefit #1: The ability to provide more engaging activities for students

Ms. Smith's third grade students have grown up with computers, smartphones, and tablets. She realizes that, while they mostly use these devices to play, they can also be used to engage students in learning more deeply.

For example, Ms. Smith uses computers to help her students research and create work. There are a large variety of programs available that can help students create engaging papers, presentations, and graphics. Ms. Smith takes full advantage of these programs and sees how it benefits her students' learning.

  • Benefit #2: They can be an incredibly effective teaching tool

Before computers were common in the classroom, teachers would have to stand up in front of the room and talk endlessly about a subject. Now, Ms. Smith is able to use computers and projectors to show her students videos, images, and text that are interesting and relevant to what she is teaching.

Recently, Ms. Smith was teaching her students about the water cycle. Instead of having students read about the water cycle and lecturing about it for a period, Ms. Smith was able to show a video of the water cycle in action and work with her class to play an interactive game about the steps in the cycle.

  • Benefit #3: Allows creation of a wider variety of individualized and differentiated lessons

Previously, it was difficult to find the time to help students who were either struggling with a topic or far ahead of other students. With computers, Ms. Smith can provide students with different activities in order to help them learn best.

For example, while teaching about the water cycle, several students were not ready to move on and were struggling to master the concept. Using computers, Ms. Smith was able to have those students who had mastered the water cycle extend the concept by creating a video explaining the steps in their own words. While those students were working on their videos, she was able to help the few who were struggling to catch up.

Disadvantages

As mentioned, having computers in the classroom comes with a set of disadvantages that teachers must keep in mind. Ms. Smith is keenly aware of these disadvantages and works hard to minimize them in her classroom. Let's look at the possible disadvantages when using computers in your classroom.

  • Disadvantage #1: Students will need to be taught to use the various tools computers provide

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