Introduction shows main idea
Computers are now essential in many areas of life – modern banking, retail and information exchange among others. However, this is not true for education. At a simple level some subjects may be better taught using computers, but to explain important concepts a human teacher is still indispensable.
Why computers do well, with examples
There are some subjects in which a computer can be used successfully to teach. Elementary mathematics, elementary language leaning, any area which requires a student to memorize basic facts through repetition is well suited to computer learning. The computer can be programmed to provide an endless number of simple questions, and as the student answers these questions the facts are learned and reinforced.
What computers cannot be, with an example
However, in the learning and practice of more complex ideas, the computer is not adequate. A computer can evaluate an answer as right or wrong, but it cannot determine why. It cannot find out why a student is making mistakes, and then re-present important concepts in a different way so the student will understand. It cannot determine at what stage in a mathematics problem the student has made an error, it can only indicate that the final answer is wrong. Tasks involving reasoning cannot be taught by computers, as there are too many variables for a computer to deal with successfully.
Conclusion re-states main ideas
Thus, while computers may be useful as a tool for practicing simple skills, they are not an essential feature of modern education, because they cannot monitor a student's grasp of concepts, nor evaluate a student's reasoning. Until further developments in computers are made the human teacher will remain indispensable.