Computer education in schools plays important role in students career development. Computer with the internet is the most powerful device that students can use to learn new skills and more advanced version of current lessons. Schools are around the globe teaching student’s basics of computers and internet.
The uses of computers and internet are growing day by day at high speed. In almost all business, companies, schools using computers for various official operations. New tech tools are coming that helping students to learn better.
Computers help students to draw the creativity on the computer such as by using windows paint program. If students are taking Hindi Classes or poem writing then they can do it by typing in Hindi on computers. If students are taking Mathematical classes they can use Microsoft Excel application to solve and understand questions.
Parents want their kids to be intelligent and creative. They want to see high marks at the end of the year. They don’t want to see their kids don’t know about computers when other knows very well. They want to send their kids to schools where the high level of education and schools have enough IT infrastructures. That’s why especially private schools are leading in education and taking higher fees because of the importance of computers education. But not all parents are able to admit their students in costly schools.
Computers and the internet not only help students to explore creativity and imagination but also help to understand technologies. Students are future leaders for any nation. Current school students are future doctors, engineers, entrepreneurs. So, for the education development, it is really important to teach students in schools about computers, the internet and its benefits.
In schools, computer education is one the most important subject if you compare this is with current technological updates and demands of computer knowledge in various government and private sectors jobs. In schools it is really important for computer teachers to teach students about How to use computers, How to understand, the benefits of using a various application such as Microsoft word, excel, power point, Internet safety etc. I know most of the schools are trying to do this. But they are teaching students in schools about computers more theoretically than practical education.
As you know that many developed countries are providing computer applications and high-quality IT infrastructure for schools. The goal of technological education is to make students better thinkers, creative and confident. That helps them in higher education and in life. Education play very important role in our lifeand career development.
Just think that why developed countries such as America, Japan, China, Russia etc. leading the world in many things such as technologies, sports, employment, nuclear weapons etc.? Just think that why some countries are more powerful and dominating developing nations?
I think because they are providing high-quality technological tools, IT infrastructure in schools and colleges. They are paying the high salary for computer teachers. In Develop countries there is ease of doing business for new people. That’s why there are people who created Google, Facebook, Linked In, YouTube etc. This is because of the level of computer literacy in their society and in people. People in developed countries are taking initiative in almost everything.
If you compare this to India our people here are busier in talking about politics and corruption instead of doing something becoming better than yesterday. The level computer education in India is very low. You can check this: that even high percentage of MCA pass out students doesn’t know about how to create a simple website.
Maybe I am wrong, but the computer education we are providing in colleges and university level such as programming, designing, apps development etc. after graduation that knowledge in developed countries known by schools students. We Indians are creative, intelligent, hardworking, honest and innocent. We are happy in taking what is served to us by developed countries. We are not grouped because of selfish reasons that are why the level of new inventions is very low. We are implementing almost everything from other countries instead of creating something that is for India and developed in India.
Our computer teachers are on strikes most of the time. They are helpless because of policies produce to them by less computer literate people such as politicians. Computer education in schools provided by private companies, CEO and operators are known or linked up with politicians. There is no law and quality testing system of computer education in schools.
Our students in schools are still using Windows XP and CRT monitors. They are learning a more theoretical portion of the computer then practical knowledge of computers and internet. It is because of less IT infrastructure. That’s why the level of computer education and creativity in students towards computers and technologies is very low as you compare it with other countries.
Why is this happening? The simple and most trending answer is corruption. But let it be!
What we need to do is to empower and educate our kids and students. We need to educate them to become more powerful, creative and confident that they can lead India. Let’s first MAKE INDIA then MAKE IN INDIA.
Our government is also trying to improve the education level but not fully focused towards the education and for the development of unemployed youth. Industrialisation is not only one formula or overseas investment we can believe that it can lower down the rate of unemployed educated youth of India. It can help but only for few people who are highly skilled and have enough money to invest to get a job. Yes, there are many skills India kind of programs run by the government of India but the level of education or supply of high-quality individual is lower than the demands.
I saw few videos and programs in which Delhi government is taking high imitative by improving the level of schools education in government schools. Maybe I am right that Delhi government is providing more budget to improve education infrastructure and level of quality education in schools. That’s great! Even I saw they are investigating schools and staff to check and remove the black holes in the education system. That’s the thing that other states of India or education authority should learn. Education is the only way that can remove corruption from our country.
So, that’s why it’s really important that our students don’t feel dominated because of lack of IT education.
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A Short History of Computers and Computing
One of the earliest machines designed to assist people in calculations was the abacus which is still being used some 5000 years after its invention.
In 1642 Blaise Pascal (a famous French mathematician) invented an adding machine based on mechanical gears in which numbers were represented by the cogs on the wheels.
Englishman, Charles Babbage, invented in the 1830's a "Difference Engine" made out of brass and pewter rods and gears, and also designed a further device which he called an "Analytical Engine". His design contained the five key characteristics of modern computers:-
- An input device
- Storage for numbers waiting to be processed
- A processor or number calculator
- A unit to control the task and the sequence of its calculations
- An output device
Augusta Ada Byron (later Countess of Lovelace) was an associate of Babbage who has become known as the first computer programmer.
An American, Herman Hollerith, developed (around 1890) the first electrically driven device. It utilised punched cards and metal rods which passed through the holes to close an electrical circuit and thus cause a counter to advance. This machine was able to complete the calculation of the 1890 U.S. census in 6 weeks compared with 7 1/2 years for the 1880 census which was manually counted.
In 1936 Howard Aiken of Harvard University convinced Thomas Watson of IBM to invest $1 million in the development of an electromechanical version of Babbage's analytical engine. The Harvard Mark 1 was completed in 1944 and was 8 feet high and 55 feet long.
At about the same time (the late 1930's) John Atanasoff of Iowa State University and his assistant Clifford Berry built the first digital computer that worked electronically, the ABC (Atanasoff-Berry Computer). This machine was basically a small calculator.
In 1943, as part of the British war effort, a series of vacuum tube based computers (named Colossus) were developed to crack German secret codes. The Colossus Mark 2 series (pictured) consisted of 2400 vacuum tubes.
|Colossus Mark 2 (photo in public domain - copyright expired)|
John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert of the University of Pennsylvania developed these ideas further by proposing a huge machine consisting of 18,000 vacuum tubes. ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer) was born in 1946. It was a huge machine with a huge power requirement and two major disadvantages. Maintenance was extremely difficult as the tubes broke down regularly and had to be replaced, and also there was a big problem with overheating. The most important limitation, however, was that every time a new task needed to be performed the machine need to be rewired. In other words programming was carried out with a soldering iron.
In the late 1940's John von Neumann (at the time a special consultant to the ENIAC team) developed the EDVAC (Electronic Discrete Variable Automatic Computer) which pioneered the "stored program concept". This allowed programs to be read into the computer and so gave birth to the age of general-purpose computers.
|Tubes from a 1950s comupter (source - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ibm-tube.jpg)|
The Generations of Computers
It used to be quite popular to refer to computers as belonging to one of several "generations" of computer. These generations are:-
The First Generation (1943-1958): This generation is often described as starting with the delivery of the first commercial computer to a business client. This happened in 1951 with the delivery of the UNIVAC to the US Bureau of the Census. This generation lasted until about the end of the 1950's (although some stayed in operation much longer than that). The main defining feature of the first generation of computers was that vacuum tubes were used as internal computer components. Vacuum tubes are generally about 5-10 centimeters in length and the large numbers of them required in computers resulted in huge and extremely expensive machines that often broke down (as tubes failed).
The Second Generation (1959-1964): In the mid-1950's Bell Labs developed the transistor. Transistors were capable of performing many of the same tasks as vacuum tubes but were only a fraction of the size. The first transistor-based computer was produced in 1959. Transistors were not only smaller, enabling computer size to be reduced, but they were faster, more reliable and consumed less electricity.
The other main improvement of this period was the development of computer languages. Assembler languages or symbolic languages allowed programmers to specify instructions in words (albeit very cryptic words) which were then translated into a form that the machines could understand (typically series of 0's and 1's: Binary code). Higher level languages also came into being during this period. Whereas assembler languages had a one-to-one correspondence between their symbols and actual machine functions, higher level language commands often represent complex sequences of machine codes. Two higher-level languages developed during this period (Fortran and Cobol) are still in use today though in a much more developed form.
The Third Generation (1965-1970): In 1965 the first integrated circuit (IC) was developed in which a complete circuit of hundreds of components were able to be placed on a single silicon chip 2 or 3 mm square. Computers using these IC's soon replaced transistor based machines. Again, one of the major advantages was size, with computers becoming more powerful and at the same time much smaller and cheaper. Computers thus became accessible to a much larger audience. An added advantage of smaller size is that electrical signals have much shorter distances to travel and so the speed of computers increased.
Another feature of this period is that computer software became much more powerful and flexible and for the first time more than one program could share the computer's resources at the same time (multi-tasking). The majority of programming languages used today are often referred to as 3GL's (3rd generation languages) even though some of them originated during the 2nd generation.
The Fourth Generation (1971-present): The boundary between the third and fourth generations is not very clear-cut at all. Most of the developments since the mid 1960's can be seen as part of a continuum of gradual miniaturisation. In 1970 large-scale integration was achieved where the equivalent of thousands of integrated circuits were crammed onto a single silicon chip. This development again increased computer performance (especially reliability and speed) whilst reducing computer size and cost. Around this time the first complete general-purpose microprocessor became available on a single chip. In 1975 Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) took the process one step further. Complete computer central processors could now be built into one chip. The microcomputer was born. Such chips are far more powerful than ENIAC and are only about 1cm square whilst ENIAC filled a large building.
During this period Fourth Generation Languages (4GL's) have come into existence. Such languages are a step further removed from the computer hardware in that they use language much like natural language. Many database languages can be described as 4GL's. They are generally much easier to learn than are 3GL's.
The Fifth Generation (the future): The "fifth generation" of computers were defined by the Japanese government in 1980 when they unveiled an optimistic ten-year plan to produce the next generation of computers. This was an interesting plan for two reasons. Firstly, it is not at all really clear what the fourth generation is, or even whether the third generation had finished yet. Secondly, it was an attempt to define a generation of computers before they had come into existence. The main requirements of the 5G machines was that they incorporate the features of Artificial Intelligence, Expert Systems, and Natural Language. The goal was to produce machines that are capable of performing tasks in similar ways to humans, are capable of learning, and are capable of interacting with humans in natural language and preferably using both speech input (speech recognition) and speech output (speech synthesis). Such goals are obviously of interest to linguists and speech scientists as natural language and speech processing are key components of the definition. As you may have guessed, this goal has not yet been fully realised, although significant progress has been made towards various aspects of these goals.
Up until recently most computers were serial computers. Such computers had a single processor chip containing a single processor. Parallel computing is based on the idea that if more than one task can be processed simultaneously on multiple processors then a program would be able to run more rapidly than it could on a single processor. The supercomputers of the 1990s, such as the Cray computers, were extremely expensive to purchase (usually over $1,000,000) and often required cooling by liquid helium so they were also very expensive to run. Clusters of networked computers (eg. a Beowulf culster of PCs running Linux) have been, since 1994, a much cheaper solution to the problem of fast processing of complex computing tasks. By 2008, most new desktop and laptop computers contained more than one processor on a single chip (eg. the Intel "Core 2 Duo" released in 2006 or the Intel "Core 2 Quad" released in 2007). Having multiple processors does not necessarily mean that parallel computing will work automatically. The operating system must be able to distribute programs between the processors (eg. recent versions of Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X can do this). An individual program will only be able to take advantage of multiple processors if the computer language it's written in is able to distribute tasks within a program between multiple processors. For example, OpenMP supports parallel programming in Fortran and C/C++.