In the 21st century, it is better to give a child a computer than a book

By Felister Gabriel, of Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. Felister, 16, is a form two student at the Kilakala Girls High School. Please read her article and leave your thoughts and comments below.

In the world of globalization, it is obvious that expansion of science and technology has affected various aspects of life including education. The quality of education has been improved compared to the other centuries, since science and technology expansion has affected at large the whole process of education provision, because education provision has been simplified by the use of the products of science, technology computer being one of them. Computer is simply an electronic device that is capable of accepting, processing, storing and retrieving information. Due to this, it has been seen that in both developed and developing countries the use of computer has facilitated the process of learning.  Although the use of computer is useful in simplifying the learning process, its application is not so much advanced in developing countries especially at the low levels mainly due to high cost of computers and lack of enough knowledge or skills relating to their use.

Due to increased demand of education improvement and due to many inventions and changes that are taking place in the field of education, for the 21st century books are not more efficient in learning compared to computers, and thus providing computers to the child is better than giving him/her a book because of various reasons as explained below.

Computer is multipurpose. The children of the 21st century think in a wide manner compared to those before. Because of this, a child will always like to do many things and learn more things than the ones that can be learnt from the books. Although children at different education carriers need specific curriculum for their respective studies, learning extra materials from different sources are important to increase and improve their knowledge. Books alone cannot satisfy each and everything needed to cover all aspects of education that a child (pupil or a student) goes through during his/her learning period. Therefore giving a child a book will not make him or her competent in various studies and other issues since he/she need to learn as many things as possible and only computers are capable of providing the sources of learning different things.

Makes a child capable of living and interacting well in the world of science and technology expansion. Since science and technology is expanding with time, the use of computers for children makes them capable of interacting well with the expanding science and technology. Exposing children to the environment of interacting well with the science and technology make them think in a wide manner thereby increasing the possibility of getting youths who can do important activities in the society including application of knowledge in discovering new things as well as solving various problems arising in the society.

Computer improves the information provision to the children. An updated information including various articles that plays important role in learning can be obtained through computers. The information or materials useful in the academic field needs to be updated since always various issues in academics cannot remain unchanged. Although the curricula for various subjects keeps on changing and new books are introduced after a certain period of time, the books cannot be as important as computers since new costs are incurred for purchasing new books. Also, most of the books provided do not directly relate to the formulated curricula, thus some basic deficits can be experienced as a result of using books. Thus, providing computers to the child is better than providing him or her a book.

Simplifies knowledge and skills acquisition. The use of computers simplifies the process of providing knowledge and skills acquisition to the child. This is because the various information obtained from the use of computers provide children with a chance of learning a number of issues thereby increasing their knowledge and skills. Using books also provide children with chances of getting knowledge and skills but at a lesser extent compared to computers. Due to this argument, the use of computers to children becomes better than provision of books.

Computer make a child act globally. Computers are global in coverage. No one cannot support the statement that computers are found in all countries worldwide although they differ in form or structure as well as being manufactured in different areas and by different companies. Although they are of different types but still their uses are not restricted to some areas. The opposite is that, many books can only cover or only useful for a certain place, example a country or state. Due to this, some of the books cannot be used globally since they are specific for the intended area and purpose. A computer makes a child who can even think locally act globally since the uses of computers are global in coverage and thus making a child be in the same side or speak the same language of knowledge with other children globally. Hence it is better to provide a child with a computer than a book.

Computers make a child capable of surviving well in the world of competition. Take this essay competition as an example. It is obvious that this competition could have been absolutely impossible or, even if possible, but it could have been very difficult for the NUHA Foundation to disseminate it to the whole world and also for the people to respond to it. The use of computers makes children capable of entering into the world of competition since they can communicate or network globally and get information from any place in the world. Since they can get information from all angles of the world, they become competitive to their fellows even to other people who are of higher age than them. Being competitive as a result of using computer makes me argue that giving a child is better than giving him or her a book for the 21st century.

From the explanations given above, it can be concluded that for the 21st century, giving a child a computer is better than giving him or her a book. This is basically because of the changes and expansion of science and technology. Although computers are important in various aspects of the life of children, if they are not used well and carefully, they will significantly affect their life and behaviours since we are in the world of globalization whereby the world has been made like a small village. Even though computers are very useful to children, books remain useful since they can easily be afforded and they have been familiar to millions of children in the world. Where necessary to change, we must accept changes. Rossane Cash said that “The key to change is to let go of fear” So, for the countries which are capable of interacting well with the prevailing science and technology change, let the children use computers more than books.


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