Considering the gift of computers Bill Gates bestowed upon libraries for students, I’m sure his intentions were for the students to excel and keep abreast of the ever changing world of technology, not to replace reading with surfing the web. I agree with Judith Levine when she stated, “It’s important for students to read books, magazines, newspapers, history, poetry, politics and listen to people who know what they’re talking about.” Reading books and other literature teaches students the past, present and future, not only for things happening in the world today but facts about things past. Dating myself, I think back to the days of the sixties and seventies when reading was fundamental to education. Literacy was important and the only choice we had was to read a book because there were no computers. Teachers took us to the library weekly, and we were required to check out at least one book and read it. There was also time set aside during class for us to stand up and read a portion of your book aloud. Most of our books had no pictures to stimulate the imagination, so you felt a sense of accomplishment when the book was finished.
Teachers took education very serious, and they knew reading was essential to be successful in life; therefore, they made sure we took it serious as well. When we read a story for a writing assignment, our first resource was the encyclopedia, which was neatly stacked inside the bookcase in almost every home. There were no short cuts to obtaining information. Reading is more empowering than one-click learning; you develop increased discernibility and critical thinking skills. Computers are a great tool. I use one every day for my online college courses and I know how important it is to question everything I retrieve on the internet. Computers, however, have made students slack and lazy. From a very young age children have developed the attitude of not liking to read and with computers supplying all the answers for them, they don’t have to. As I sit and look at my blank computer screen, and time is ticking away until my essay is due, I read my story once again. I also head for the web, but only to get ideas and something to assist me with my starting point. Nothing takes the place of old fashioned reading.
I know my subject is education and my story is talking about computers, so I google education using computers. One site – Using Technology: Ways to use Computers/Education.com – catches my eye, but after accessing the site I soon find this is not the site or the data that’s going to help me prepare a creditable paper. So I reread my story and the instructions, put my critical thinking cap on and choose not to one stop shop for my assignment. I begin writing everything I can think of and soon the ideas surface. This is unlike inexperienced users, like our children and grandchildren, who rely heavily on data they retrieve from the internet without considering how much weight the site is going to hold, and what kind of argument the data will present to their readers who may feel they did not provide enough information about the topic. Our students have become accustom to presenting data found on the web as fact, giving no thought to how bias the information might be.
Some even portray the data as their own, without verifying its validity. Parents need to share some of the responsibility, because we are not teaching our children the difference between working hard and hardly working. From a Biblical perspective Deuteronomy 6: 4-9 states: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates”. This command from God explains why education is important, and why it is our responsibility as parents to educate our children, both academic and Biblically.
My eighty-three year old Uncle Mike was a prime example of why getting an education is important. He only had about an eighth grade education and virtually no Biblical knowledge. Because of his limitations, he was never able to make a decent living throughout his life. He also had no knowledge of who God was and expressed no desire to be saved. His soul was doomed to hell; however, I never gave up on Uncle Mike. I knew it was God’s will that everyone be saved, and on July 28th, 2013, his eyes were opened, and his heart soften as he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior two days before he passed away. In conclusion, computer use has caused us to no longer read books or utilize our critical thinking skills. Our students have become slack and lazy and collect unreliable data to present as facts. We must guide and teach them how to surf the web and to become better readers, which in turn, will make them better writers.
Levine, J, “I Surf, Therefore I Am”, in To the Point, Reading and Writing Short Arguments, 2nd, 222-224. Pearson Education, Inc. 2009 MacArthur Study Bible NKJV (1997) Word Publishing, a division of Thomas Nelson Inc.
Narrative Argument about Education Thesis/Outline
Topic: Education and Computers
Thesis Statement: The everyday use of computers has caused us to become slack and lazy. We no longer read or utilize our critical thinking skills. The inexperienced user collects unreliable data, and presents them as fact. Outline:
Reading vs Computers
II. Body Paragraphs
A. Author argument
B. Education Importance
C. Alternative to Computers
D. Biblical Perspective.
Computer use has caused us to no longer read or utilize of critical thinking skills.