Table of Contents:
Advantages and Disadvantages of
Technology in Education
The first all-electronic computer was
built in 1943 and was run by vacuum tubes.
By the late 1950's, semiconductors were in
use and by the 1960's, computers were found
at major universities. Home computers
became common in the 1980's and
1990's, when laptops became popular among
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Computer technology revolutionized the
calculation of formulas in mathematics and
physics as well as brought about the space
race. Computer technology is now used in
theoretical modeling and medical research.
While computer technology changes by
the minute, the past 50 years are considered
to be the modern age of computing. The
first mechanical calculator, the abacus, was
invented around 3000 B.C.
Computer technology allows for
processing of information faster than the
human brain can calculate. However, such
technology is prone to errors and is at the
mercy of mechanical components which can
wear out and software which can become
corrupted by computer viruses.
Nearly everything in our modern world
is influenced by computer technology.
Timing of traffic
signals, telecommunications, and even time
keeping are controlled by advanced
computer technology. In our everyday
lives, a simple trip to the grocery can result
in multiple interfaces with computer
The benefits of computer technology
include scientific discovery, advanced
communications, and the speed of
Different Kinds of Computer Viruses
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Resident viruses are the type of viruses
that hang out in the RAM (random access
memory) and steal valuable space, reducing
the performance of your computer. This type
of virus has the ability to infect any
operation conducted by the
system, corrupting files and programs.
Direct Action Viruses
Direct action viruses are more malicious
in that the intent is to infect a
computer, replicate and then execute when
activated. This type of virus activates when
specific conditions are met and go to work
infecting specific file folders and
systems, rendering the PC useless in most
cases. This type of virus is always located in
the root directory and goes to work when
the computer is booted.
Overwrite viruses do just what the name
implies. The virus infects files, deleting or
overwriting specific information and
rendering the file useless to the computer.
Files can be "cleaned" by deleting them and
reloading or re-creating them, but this is
costly and time consuming.
Boot viruses reside on the boot sector or
a hard drive, where the files necessary for
the computer to boot and run reside. Boot
viruses interrupt the computer's ability to
boot, rendering the entire PC useless. Boot
viruses are generally passed by the use of
Macro viruses hide in the macros of
certain files. A list of instructions can be
programmed into a macro virus and
executed as one action, making them
particularly nasty viruses.
Directory viruses are the ones most
commonly activated when a user opens an
email attachment with an .exe or .com
extension. The virus has the unique ability
to relocate the virus files after
activation, making cleaning impossible.
Polymorphic viruses have the ability to
change their encryption every time they are
activated, making them invisible to virus
scan software, giving them free reign to
replicate at will.
Companion viruses look much like resident
viruses or direct action viruses. They are known
as companion viruses because once they get
into the system, they "accompany" the other
files that already exist. In other words, to carry
out their infection routines, companion viruses
can wait in memory until a program is run
(resident viruses) or act immediately by
making copies of themselves (direct action
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The technology available today has
made a wealth of knowledge available to
students, which offers great potential for the
speed and style of learning. Information is
presented in so many ways that any type
learner, whether gifted or disabled, can find
and use the necessary material. This fact
relates not only to the Internet, but to all the
many technological improvements in
learning, from smart boards to handheld
Disadvantage: Loss of Skills
With this increased access to knowledge
also comes a probable loss of
communication skills and interactive
abilities between students and teacher, and
students to peers. These skills are not as
necessary in a classroom of
computers, where individuality is a
component of learning and is encouraged.
Aside from learning, conflict resolution and
socialization used to be two prominent
reasons children came to school. The
emphasis now has shifted away from these
Advantage: Access to all
Education is no longer the elitist
privilege it once was. The information on
the Internet is there for all who have
access, without discrimination. People of all
social strata are able to use technological
advances, which is a fairly new academic
development in America.
Disadvantage: Poor remain poor
While general access is not denied, some
children may not be exposed to computers and
other technology because of socio-economic
status. A child may live in a home without a
computer, and chances are he will attend a poor
school district with limited numbers of computers
available. A student may get to use a computer for
a short time, or only as a once-a-week activity
instead of a regular class period. This puts these
children at a disadvantage in learning
technological functions. Poor districts are also
most likely not to be the recipients of other
technological modes of learning.
Advantages vs. Disadvantages
The computer age is here; this cannot be
debated. Is it better for children to have
access to computers with all their data at the
loss of interpersonal skills? Is it acceptable
that a student can talk to someone halfway
around the world via instant messaging but
not be able to get along with the student
sitting next to her in a classroom?
Technology can enhance traditional
methods of learning but cannot replace the