scIence and TECHnology 2006

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advantages and disadvantages of technology in education and military December 28, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — itech06 @ 9:10 am

I. Benefits of Technology
A. Education
1. Reduced Labor
2. Easier Labor
3. Greater Understanding of Diverse Cultures
Technology, especially through video-conferencing, promotes greater understanding of other cultures.
In another study, Hertel (2003) describes an intercultural e-mail exchange at the college level where U.S. students in a beginning Spanish class and Mexican students in an intermediate English as a Second Language class corresponded weekly for one semester. Survey results revealed this student-centered endeavor had the potential to change cultural attitudes, increase knowledge and awareness of other cultures, foster language acquisition, as well as boost student interest and motivation in language and cultural studies.
Technology has also created a great way to communicate with people in different cultures. For instance, the Internet offers a worldwide learning environment that makes distance communication fast and affordable. By using the Internet, cross-cultural cooperative groups can be built up.
4. Enhances Education- More Resources, Presentation
Modeling software promotes the understanding of science and math concepts; database and spreadsheet programs promote organizational skills; CD-ROMs and the Internet promote inquiry skills.
An emphasis on engaged learning does not mean that schools should totally abandon technologies that support acquisition of basic skills. These technologies still have value, especially if they deliver instruction to students who are in need of extra practice. What’s important is ensuring that all students also have opportunities to use technologies for in-depth learning projects so that they can participate in complex, authentic tasks within a collaborative context and develop higher-order thinking skills. Technologies that are used for engaged learning and that support a challenging curriculum result in improved teaching and learning, increased student motivation to learn, and higher levels of student achievement.
The Internet, as well as some simulation software, provides a stage for the real world where students observe, think, question, organize and test their ideas. Unlike libraries, the Internet is a living medium that offers updated information — enriched by graphics and animations — to help students solve real-life problems.
5. Access and Availability
Access to the Internet and distance learning opportunities promote relevant learning experiences irrespective of geographic restrictions and improve student and teacher access to information.
6. Promotes Communication and Language
For example, word processing and e-mail promote communication skills.
Web-based writing instruction has proved to be an important factor in enhancing the writing quality of low-ability English as a foreign language (EFL) students. In a study designed to examine the effectiveness of Web-based instruction in the writing of freshman EFL students, Al-Jarf (2004) found that the use of Web-based lessons as a supplement to traditional in-class writing instruction was significantly more effective than teaching which depended on the textbook alone. The experimental group of students received online instruction in which they posted their own threads, short paragraphs, stories and p’ems on a discussion board. They also located information from the Internet, as well as wrote paragraphs and checked their own spelling using Microsoft Word.
First, the advantages of using new technology in language classrooms can be interpreted in light of the changing goals of language education and the shifting conditions in our postindustrial society (Warschauer and Meskill 2000). New technology was part of the social fabric at the turn of the century. So while we taught foreign language students to write essays and read magazines a generation ago, we must now teach them to write e-mail and conduct online research. Thus, integrating technology into language classrooms is inevitable. Second, technology integration in foreign language teaching demonstrates the shift in educational paradigms from a behavioral to a constructivist learning approach. Language is a living thing, so the best way to learn a language is in interactive, authentic environments. Computer technologies and the Internet are powerful tools for assisting these approaches to language teaching.
Parents were especially pleased with the ability to access homework assignments, testing dates, and obtain review material. Moreover, parents found it convenient to access the website to retrieve make-up work, therefore, avoiding calling the school for missed assignments. Participants also responded positively to the posting of project due dates. Many felt that because these projects required more time and research it was important to know about them in advance. Another respondent praised the helpfulness of the website for his or her child who had ADD/ADHD. Because the student had trouble focusing in class, having the assignments and upcoming due dates available for home access helped the parents keep the child on track.

B. Military
1. Security
Our defense science and technology investment enables us to counter military threats and to overcome any advantages that adversaries may seek. It also expands the military options available to policymakers, including options other than warfare in pursuing the objectives of promoting stability and preventing conflict. Science and technology help to counter special threats such as terrorism that cannot be met by conventional warfighting forces, and they underpin the intelligence capabilities necessary to assess the dangers our nation faces.
Information technology and sensors have the potential to dramatically improve all aspects of future military capabilities, while modeling and simulation have already made major contributions to training, readiness, weapons design, and acquisition management. Together, these technologies can significantly reduce combat losses in lives and equipment.
2. Better Surveillance
Information technologies have changed the battlefield. They enable better performance of current platforms, weapons, sensors, and people. Today, electronics and software add capability to almost every complex system. Information technologies are the basis for continual improvements in communications; intelligence gathering, analysis, and distribution; precision strike capability; platform control; sensor data processing; and human performance. Our troops depend on accurate and timely battlefield information. The ability to collect, integrate, analyze, and deliver this information efficiently and rapidly is critical to battlefield advantage. And because of the amount of tactical information available, a principal challenge is processing the data into meaningful forms for battlefield decisionmaking.
Military forces need 24-hour all-weather surveillance. They need the ability to see through foliage and camouflage, under water, and through the earth’s surface. They need the ability to track difficult targets such as cruise, antiship, and ballistic missiles as well as quiet submarines. They need the means to positively distinguish friend from foe in combat. The military also needs to know if and where weapons of mass destruction are being produced and in what quantity.
Our investment in sensor technologies is focused on providing these capabilities. The sensor technology program is broadly based. The United States invests in radar sensors that can detect ground targets concealed by foliage and camouflage; advanced acoustic, magnetic, and laser sensors to detect and locate submarines and mines in shallow water; and sensor technologies that might support detection of buried structures and mines.
Advances in information technologies contribute a growing array of strategic capabilities for our forces. New information technologies can provide high-resolution data about terrain, environmental, and tactical conditions that can be communicated to troops and their command instantaneously. One example of the application of these technologies is battlefield digitization. Digitization allows the warfighter to communicate vital battlefield information instantly, rather than through slow voice radio and even slower liaison efforts.
3. Better Service- Relief Operations
The U.S. military also relies on science and technology to make our advanced military systems more affordable through their entire life cycle. And by maintaining a close dialogue with the warfighters, the defense S&T community not only remains sensitive to user needs but also sensitizes the user to the possibilities that technology offers for responding to evolving threats.

II. Undesirable Effects of Technology
A. Education
1. Technological Unemployment
2. Socialization and Development of Critical Thinking Skills
Spending too much time on computers is considered harmful to a child’s development of relationships and social skills (Roblyer 2003). The American Academy of Pediatricians calls for limiting children’s use of media to only one to two hours per day.
3. Dependence on Technology
Teachers should always remember that technology is just a tool, and students’ learning achievement relies on appropriate and creative instruction.
Although the majority of responses dealing with email communication were positive, parents indicated drawbacks, such as, lack of personal communication and the lag in email response time.
4. Cost
Startup costs, which include hardware, software, staffing and training, are expensive. Warschauer and Meskill (2000) indicate that intelligent use of new technologies usually involves allocations of about a third each for hardware, software, and staff support and training. It is often the case in poorly funded language programs that the hardware itself comes in via a one-time grant (or through hand-me-downs from science departments), with little funding left for staff training, maintenance or software.
Initial hardware, software, and online connection costs can be high.
5. Plagiarism
A few common pitfalls of Internet use include objectionable materials, predators, copyright violations and plagiarism, viruses and hacking, netiquette behavior, and privacy issues. Teachers must be prepared to deal with these issues as they use technology in their classrooms.

B. Military
1. The Depletion of Natural Resources
Fuels such as oil and coal are found in geographically distinct areas. Building an energy system on such fuels may be perceived as more viable if there are military capacities to control sources of fuel.
Also important for social defence is the capacity for a community to survive attacks on vital systems including energy, agriculture, water supply, health and transport. Communities with decentralised and self-reliant systems for food, water, energy and other necessities are far harder for an aggressor to subdue.
2. Nuclear and Biological Warfare
3. Weapons of Mass Destruction
If the U.S. armed forces could not count on safe, assured access to overseas bases they would need to change radically the way they do business. It would no longer be practical to rely on large land armies or lots of short-range combat aircraft operating out of vulnerable forward bases supplied by equally vulnerable cargo ships, trucks, and aircraft. The U.S. Army might be forced to rely on small numbers of commandos supported by long-range aircraft and missiles—as it did in Afghanistan. The Navy might have to depend more on submarines and the Air Force on stealth aircraft. All the services might have to make greater use of unmanned vehicles. The battlefield, which has been becoming less crowded for centuries, might empty out even further as small units try to conceal themselves from ubiquitous sensor networks, emerging only briefly to launch lightning strikes before they go back into hiding.
More advanced technologies, from handheld missiles to chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, give even a small group of insurgents the ability or potential ability to mete out far more destruction than entire armies could unleash just a century ago.
4. Dependence on Military Power
Taken together, the changes in military power wrought by the information revolution are still in their early stages, and they still have serious limitations. Even the best surveillance systems can be stymied by simple countermeasures like camouflage, smoke, and decoys, by bad weather, or by terrain like the deep sea, mountains, or jungles. Sensors have limited ability to penetrate solid objects, so that they cannot tell what is happening in underground bunkers such as those that North Korea and Iran likely use to hide their nuclear weapons programs.
America’s growing reliance on high-tech systems creates new vulnerabilities of its own: Future enemies have strong incentives to attack U.S. computer and communication nodes. Strikes on military information networks could blind or paralyze the armed forces, while strikes on civilian infrastructure, such as banking or air control systems, could cause chaos on the home front.
5. Fear Instilled
September 11 showed the terrifying possibilities of such unconventional warfare. It is easy to imagine that in the future super-terrorists will be able to kill hundreds of thousands, even millions, with effective weapons of mass destruction. All of the materials, as well as the know-how needed to craft such devices, are all too readily available.


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11 Responses to “advantages and disadvantages of technology in education and military”

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  11. […] advantages and disadvantages of technology in education … – Dec 28, 2006 · March 10, 2011 at 2:10 pm […] 6.advantages and disadvantages of technology in education and military « advantages and disadvantages of technology …… […]

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