Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Technology Has Changed Human Lives

"The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do." - B. F. Skinner, an American psychologist, author, inventor and social philosopher. The way technology has impacted our lives is evident in every walk of life. Human mind has achieved everything by the power of imagination. Man has ushered in an age dominated by revolutionary technological developments.

Albert Einstein once quoted, "Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world." From the day of landing on moon to a trip to Mars, from the introduction of Microsoft Windows to the inception of 3G and 4G technologies, from tape-recorders to Apple iPods, from landline phones to latest smart phones, from the origin of World Wide Web to Web 2.0*and Web 3.0 technologies, from Internet Search Engines to addictive social networking websites, from blogging to internet shopping, computer technological developments have impacted our lives in a way that it is almost impossible to imagine this world, without their presence!

Depending on the way of usage, is technology beneficial or harmful to society? We need to analyze it keeping in view how has technological developments shaped our lives over the decades. It is the question where you need to look at both aspects of development in technology. While it has made our lives amazingly simpler and easier with anything at just a mouse click away, it has created several negative health impacts, psychological problems and stress in daily life.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Education Technology Integration - Computer Microscopes Are Enhancing the Science Classroom

Computer microscopes are changing the way science is taught in the elementary and middle school classroom. Traditional methods involved setting up bulky equipment along with making flawless slides for getting a clear picture of the object to be studied. Students would many times struggle to locate the critical elements of the prepared slide. With the computer microscope it has become easier for the teacher to concentrate on content rather than setting up the equipment. Images can be projected on a large screen for the entire class to view.

Hand-held digital microscopes such as the SmartScope are one of the best science tools for use in the classroom. Firstly, it can be easily set up by simply connecting to a computer through the USB port. This simple feature has eliminated the need for the teacher to explain details of the instrument, as in the case of the light microscope. Secondly, the hand-held digital microscope has a flexible lens which is capable of achieving a range of magnifications.

Viewing prepared glass slides of common specimens of animals, insects, plants, amphibians and frogs, is as easy as setting the tip on the slide and adjusting the light level and focus dials. Many students struggle with making their own slides, for instance when the slides develop air bubbles. The computer microscope allows teachers to project a single slide for every student to see allowing them to discuss important features using only one slide. Students can even work individually, eliminating the need for constant attention of the teacher.

With the help of the computer microscope teachers can now encourage self study, as the instrument is easy to operate. Students can study in groups since the device can be connected to the computer using the USB port and images can be studied on the computer monitor. This method allows a more interactive learning experience, as students can discuss different ideas and new things with each other. Students can work in groups to import images and make PowerPoint presentations.

In addition to everyone being able to view the samples, many computer microscopes feature the ability to record video and time-lapse videos which can be used to study different stages of a particular process such as cell multiplication or a chemical reaction.

Computer microscope software often allows the students to take still images of the sample being studied. The advantage is that students can take the images over a period of time as well as at the exact time when a process takes place, thus providing them accurate picture of the process under observation.