Are Teaching Machines Good?
More and more new machines are appearing nowadays. People try to use
them everywhere, even in teaching. But there is no definite answer to the question whether
they do good or cause enormous damage. Opinions differ. I would like to express my own
point of view.
What is the result when we use computers, for instance? Children get
knowledge according to their speed of mental development. There are several levels and
they can easily enough be adjusted to a child’s abilities.
A computer can calculate a mark in no time, and one knows for sure that this
mark is the most objective one. Such teaching machines are fair, they have no favourites.
But all we have is a realistic picture of children’s knowledge and their
It’s clear enough that no one can progress in development without
motivation. To be curious and inquisitive – that’s what a child needs. To create
motivation, a child should be encouraged, listened to with understanding and affection.
Every child needs direct praise from a human. Teachers are almost always interested in
children’s accomplishment. As for computers, they, on the contrary, treat all pupils
alike. They are indifferent towards individuals, but when a person feels that he is alone
and isn’t interesting and important to anyone, he becomes spiritless and feels
neglected. Such indifference can cause psychological damage.
And one more thing. At school the process of teaching coincides with
the process of up-bringing. They overlap and interrelate. That is very important. While
learning, children must be taught manners, to be polite and punctual, not to interrupt
conversations, to develop a conscience and so on. Unfortunately, computers lack the
ability to help them.
I think, there’s no use substituting human beings with computers or
other teaching machines. It stands to reason that they must be used, but in small sensible
amounts lest they do some harm. I hope, it would be just so!
By Katya Alexeenkova