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Technology-and-Chainsaws.docx - Name Ka’niyah Frison Date...

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Name Ka’niyah FrisonEducation Technology andChainsawsThe chainsaw is a powerful tool. With it, people can cut down treesfaster and more efficiently than they can with an old-fashioned saw.Should the chainsaw be misused, however, the person operating itjust might find him or herself missing a finger—or worse. Like achainsaw, the computer is also a powerful tool. With it, teacherscan enhance the classroom experience in a variety of ways, fromshowing PowerPoint presentations to initiating international pen palprograms for their students via email. But while misuse of thecomputer will probably not result in lost limbs, there are otherdangers that must be considered when computers are brought intoa classroom.To investigate the way technology is currently being used in our school district, I recently spoke withJeanine Lowell, who teaches social studies at Lake Town Middle School. Mrs. Lowell informed methat computers, which were introduced into her classroom six years ago, have helped to increasestudent motivation and prepare her students for life in a technological society. "These kids areprobably going to be using some kind of computer system when they graduate from high school,"Lowell noted. "It’s important that we provide a proper introduction to them in the classroom." Lowellalso observed that the computers have made it easier to promote interdisciplinary learning, so thatstudents can work on a project or topic that relates to more than one subject.For example, last month Mrs. Lowell worked with Lake Town Middle School’s math teacher, StuartJudson, to develop a project on the global population. Each day, students checked the U.S.Census Bureau's "pop clock" website, which constantly monitors and posts the changingpopulation of the United States and the world. Using this resource, students in Mr. Judson’s classmade three different kinds of graphs showing the rapid rate of change. In Mrs. Lowell’s class,students discussed the implications of rapid population growth on world politics and the globaleconomy. "Next year," Mrs. Lowell said, "We’re also going to work with Ms. Bickford, who teachesearth science. She’s got some fantastic ideas for projects involving the growing population’simpact on the environment."With all of these benefits, however, come a few drawbacks. Although Mrs. Lowell has nearlywallpapered her room with warnings that state: "The computer is NOT A TOY," not everyone in theclass agrees with this idea. Mrs. Lowell informed me that students get easily distracted by the manytemptations of the internet, and that many students are quite adept at making it look as if they aredoing work when they are really checking their email or watching videos—what Mrs. Lowell referred

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