Role of Computers in the Promotion of Environmental Education

Computers have caused a revolution in education, but the tremendous changes seen in the last decade may be surpassed in the next as those computers are connected in a global education network.

Teachers and high school students sample the water in Lake Baikal in Siberia while at other lakes around the world, other teachers and students take similar samples from local lakes and subject them to the same simple water-quality tests. Via their school computers, they exchange their results and their observations about how water pollution problems are the same around the world. They are part of a “global laboratory” project that includes scientists specializing in water pollution.

A similar computer network pins citizen activists, joined with students, teachers and scientists, in “sister watershed” groups throughout the world.

Amateur birdwatchers and biologists pool their rare bird sightings in a North American computer network that is linked with bird researchers in Central America and South America.

The differences between classroom and community education are blurred on the global computer networks. Voluntary organizations, government agencies, students and teachers are all involved in a real that has become, for many, a virtual classroom, without walls, and increasingly without borders.

Already, pilot projects have high school students sharing the methods and results from field studies of environmental quality, using computer telecommunication to leap national boundaries. Elementary school children share their life experiences end visions of the future the same way. Their messages to one another, passed with tremendous speed and shared simultaneously among many classrooms, provide strong, personal lessons in science, geography and human relations.

Environmental education curriculum development, pursued independently and often in isolation by teachers, school districts and universities over the past two decades, is now linked in a global forum that can respond immediately to the ever more complex and urgent environmental problems the world faces. Teachers the world over are connecting with their counterparts to discuss how they can do their jobs better. Co-ordination of international education projects is less burdened by the constraints of time and travel budgets as computer networks provide forums for collaboration.

The technology for this exchange takes advantage of the personal computer’s ability to communicate over standard phone lines using a modem. The simplest networks connect personal computers in a “store-and-forward” system that echoes messages from one to the next, until all have copies. These least-cost networks are linked to larger, faster computers that act as central information storage banks and relay stations. They in turn exchange information with one another and tap the power and data in computer systems at major research and educational institutions.

In many ways this vast new sea of information presents its own challenges, often akin to “drinking water from a fire hose.” The enormous glut of fact and opinion is impossible to take in, and has forced those who would taste its power to devise new ways for organizing and sampling the information flow.

Electronic mail services and computer “conferencing” let students and teachers communicate with each other privately, or publicly as members of large discussion groups. Computer conferences are organized much like those where people meet face-to-face, except that the meeting rooms are inside each participant’s computer. Computer conferences transcend time zones, since participants review and comment on each others’ written postings as their time and interest allows. Everyone gets to read and think about questions or statements posed in a conference, and everyone has a co-equal opportunity to reply.

Computer networking is making classroom walls disappear. Real environmental problems are entering the classroom with immediacy via computer nets, and students are jointly seeking understanding and solutions with scientists, citizen activists, journalists, government officials and community leaders of all kinds. While access to computer networks is still remote for most people on the planet, it is becoming more and more available to the gatekeepers and opinion-leaders who help shape common understanding of the global situation. The increasing abundance of the multiple information sources available via computer networks, if viewed as a well-stocked marketplace, may also stimulate demand for more and better goods by the world’s information consumers.

Citizen participation in the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), for example, has been ccoordinated via computer networks on seven continents, giving NGOs access to complete text of the preparatory committee documents, and providing public forums for news and issue discussion. This availability of information has a dramatic effect on how an event such as UNCED permeates the mass media everywhere.

Underlying the often chaotic view presented by the mass media, structures are developing to channel the new rivers of information to empower this and coming generations to deal with the issues it describes. A variety of efforts at computer networking for environmental education provide some great models. At the root, these efforts are all based on the same notion: that environmental problems must be viewed with a global perspective, but responded to by individuals acting locally, in their own communities or homes.

All of this new technology is not without cost, and the developed countries are clearly ahead in providing computer access for education. But even in the United States, where computer telecommunication is becoming commonplace, profit rather than educational reform is a dominant force in determining who gets access.

The harsh reality has motivated citizen computer networks to band together in the international Association for Progressive Communications (APC) to make computer network access broadly available. The APC hosts several promising educational efforts on its partner computer networks that now extend to more than 90 countries around the globe. These services may be tapped by anyone with a personal computer and modem, often via a local call, at costs roughly equivalent to a newspaper subscription or monthly telephone bill.

The education projects offered on the APC networks are examples of how low-budget computer communication can fit into community programs and classrooms.

How Technology Has Improved Education Levels

The use of technology in learning institutions has increased. According to a recent study by CompTIA, up to 78% of teachers believe the use of technology in schools has positively influenced student’s productivity while 65% of educators believe the use of technology has made students more productive and learning exciting.

Technology is today used in almost all aspects of our day-to-day activities. People have become accustomed to the use of devices developed through technology. Despite a smaller percentage of individuals claiming the use of technology has done as much destruction as good, education is one of the areas where its use has completely transformed the way people study and educational institutions operate. Here are six ways how the use of technology has managed to help improve education standards.

1. Online Resources

You can always research on the internet for any educational information you need. You are always bound to find some help on the web from the broad range of resources available. The use of online resources such as studying tips, free courses, and secure custom support will help improve your grades.

2. Multimedia learning

People learn in different ways. While some individuals learn better visually, others do so using audio. This has made most education institutions and teachers to change their tact. Instead of focusing on lectures and giving notes, most educators and schools have resorted to using of multimedia to help teach their students better. It comprises use of auditory, visual and kinesthetic. With technology, there is always a way you can effectively learn.

3. Use of E-books

Nothing bores a learner like having to lug around a pile of books for a curriculum. You can carry your entire course materials wherever you go in a tablet. You can always open the eBooks and do light studying wherever or whenever you wish like reading. The e-books are also known to cost less compared to the usual paperbacks making them affordable to most students.

4. Worldwide tutoring

The Internet is not just known for having the unlimited amount of information online; it also contains an infinite number of minds! With technology, you are now able to receive help from anywhere irrespective of your location. This is beneficial especially to people who are interested in learning other languages.

5. Online Editing

There are times when you might need a second opinion but might not have a friend around to have a look at it. Reading through your work and making corrections before submission is one thing you can never afford to ignore. You are most likely set to miss on something when you decide to edit all by yourself. Sharing your work with an online editor is one efficient method you can always use to help improve the quality of your paper.

6. Study Groups

Despite preferring to explore alone, there are times when you might be assigned a group project. However, scheduling a meeting with your group students can be impossible. With technology, there are online platforms making group discussions easier. You can easily share notes and other materials and collaborate through video chats. You can also decide to connect with other students doing a similar course even if you are not in the same group.

Technology is here to stay. Instead of opposing the use of technology in education, it is best to embrace it and use it to help improve your education by furthering your studies. Gone are the days when one will have to go through the entire encyclopedia researching for what you can get in seconds with the use of technology.

Importance of Education

The content of education still belong to the past. Education suffers basically from what the report describes as the gap between its contents and living experience of its pupils between the system of values that it preaches and the goals set up by society, between its ancient curricula and the modernity of science. ( Report of the International Education Commission)

The end of knowledge is wisdom

The end of culture is perfection

The end of wisdom is freedom

The end of education is character

Education means an all round drawing out of the best in child and man-body, mind and spirit.

The imperative character of education for individual growth and social development is now accepted by every one. Investment in the education of its youth considered as most vital by all modern nations. Such an investment understandably acquires top priority in developing countries.

The end of all education, all training should be man making. The end and aim of all training is to make the man grow. The training by which the current and expression are brought under control and become fruitful is called education.

Education plays a vital role in giving human beings proper equipment to lead a gracious and harmonious life.

Education is a fundamental means to bring any desired change in society, which is an accepted fact throughout the world. This can be attained only if schools become real centres of learning. Education not only helps in the development of personality of the child but also determines his future. Recent psychological research has shown that favourable attitudes towards life develop in the earliest stages of child growth.

Education gives solutions for any type of problems. Through education we promote values and good habits and awareness towards corruption, terrorism and disease.

Education helps to continue communication with known and unknown persons through technology and mass media.

Education gives strength to the person. They get knowledge and discriminate which is wrong and which is right with the help of education. Through education we inculcate values in the students and readers.

Every year we celebrate International Teachers’ Day on October 5th.

Anecdotal Evidence Into the Benefits of Montessori Education

In her book Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius, Lillard writes “modern research in psychology suggests that the Montessori system is much more suited to how children learn and develop than the traditional system is.” She goes on to explain that although the current public school system is better in terms of management of thousands of students, the assumption that children are empty vessels waiting to be filled with the exact same information by using the exact same methods is flawed and can lead to children being academically left behind. This mixed with a reward and punishment system of teaching is not necessarily the most effective way of educating our youth. One of the core principles of the Montessori philosophy is that children are naturally motivated to be rewarded by their own successes and achievements and will use failure as a platform for improvement instead of as a punishment.

There appeared to be a significantly greater difference in academic and social achievements for students attending Montessori schools in lower socioeconomic area over those attending public schools. Lillard found that the achievement gap lessened as you went up the socioeconomic ladder between the traditional schools and Montessori schools. There was also a correlation found between improved academic achievements and using Montessori methodology for those with physical, attention and mental disorders. These findings are significant in that there is an alternative for low-economic level families and challenged children to receive a quality education that works better for them than what traditional schools can provide.

Interestingly enough, during her research for her book as well as her research with University of Virginia; Lillard was unable to find any major flaws in the Montessori Method of education. That said she realizes there is much work still to be done and that not all Montessori schools are created equal. There are three main schools of thought in the Montessori Method. As stated above there are the purists and those who contextualize the main philosophy to adapt to specific communities. There is also a school that focuses heavily on nature, ecology and the sciences.

A major downfall for the Montessori Method is that there are many Montessori schools who are not accredited. Although there are more than 5,000 Montessori schools in the United States, there has been a delay in creating an all encompassing Montessori Method accreditation system that all schools turn to. At the moment there are a few agencies that do provide accreditation, but centralizing this may be a better option to help bring the Montessori school system to the next level.