Technophobia: The Psychological Impact of Information Technology

By Mark J. Brosnan | Go to book overview
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Chapter 6

Technophobia In education

Is technophobia becoming increasingly widespread?

One of the most relevant issues in classrooms today is the incorporation of technology, specifically computers, into classroom instruction.

(Larner and Timberlake, 1995)


INTRODUCTION

The above quote illustrates the rapidly increasing significance of computer-based technology within education at all levels. Using computers now forms a major component of the National Curriculum and teaching with the aid of computers is now common practice. The potential to demonstrate concepts graphically (for example) has led to the suggestion that computers are preferable to traditional teaching for the learning of traditionally complicated principles such as Newtonian mechanics (Valente and Neto, 1992). Specialized computer software has also been recommended for the support of students with dyslexia (Hellier, 1994). Davidson (1988) too advocates that word processors are essential for the teaching of English, especially for children with language learning difficulties.

Utilizing computers within education, however, can increase the levels of negative attitudes and computer anxiety associated with technophobia at an earlier age within these individuals than if they had not been exposed to computers during their education. Research has suggested that technophobia may affect millions of students (DeLoughry, 1993).

The notion of computer anxiety representing a transitory phenomenon, limited to the older generation who missed out on computers within their education, is proving a misperception (Marcoulides, 1988; Rosen et al., 1987). Another misperception

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