eFor hinder, how we gather information from the



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eFor a class called ‘Theory of Knowledge.’As I walked into my younger brothers elementary school one day to pick him up, I was confronted with a flurry of sounds; it was nothing new, this was just the first time that I noticed it. All I heard was the buzzing of computers, the ringing or phones and the humming of printers. The same at my school, my parents workplaces, and nearly every other public place, as well as some private places.

Then I began to wonder if all of these technological advances really help, or rather hinder, how we gather information from the world around us. Do these smaller and faster computers, these increasingly tiny cellular phones, or any of these other recent technological inventions really expand the acquisition of knowledge? Or are we just moving backwards?First of all, I think that we need to define technology. My definition, as well as the definition that I will use to determine whether something is technology, is any device that makes life easier for the people who possess and use it. One of the most obvious ways is that now it is a lot easier to access knowledge. You can research any topic and access statistics and primary documents. You have got the world at your fingertips.

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I, as an International Baccalaureate student, cannot imagine writing papers or researching any issue without access to the Internet. Another example of technology that helps most people is the calculator. I cannot even imagine trying to do Calculus homework without its help.

With the aid of the calculator, you need not look up or calculate by hand values such as logarithm, sine or cosineit is just beyond me how they did complicated math like that before everyone had calculators. Another advantage is that, if you have Internet access at home, you have access to seemingly endless information twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week; anytime you want to learn something about any theme, you can. Even devices such as overhead projectors and loudspeakers make access to knowledge easier. Also, as technology progresses, computers get more affordable, along with other learning tools, thus they become available to more people. There is also more information. Examples include movies, photos, audio devices and other entertainment that was not available before. There is also more scientific equipment that allows us to collect more information about the world such as the transition electron microscope, which allows us to examine the inside of cells, and the technology that allows us to carbon date fossils and such.

Technology also makes learning a lot more fun. Computer programs such as Word Muncher and Number Muncher help children with vocabulary and math skills, telling them a certain kind or word to eat or gives them a word such as prime and they must find and eat all prime numbers before they get eaten by these little monsters. I learned a lot from these programs, and I see my little brother, who is in second grade, doing the same. He also likes to play a game called Pre-Kindergarten which gives him a colorful certificate if he does well. A program provides visually stimulating colors and rousing sounds that flashcards and textbooks cannot. They allow children to learn things about a variety to topics while captivating them, which can be hard to do. I, personally, have seen my brother greatly benefit from these programs.

He also loves to watch movies and television programs that show Barney and Thomas the Train solving the math problem or inserting the missing letter into words. He plays those games and watches those programs for hours on end. I way I know these effects through perception and emotion.

I perceive the way that my brother has benefited from using technology; he is learning without knowing it and while having fun. I am pleased that I have access to computers and other technological devices that have helped me through school and through life.However, on the other hand, technology can sometimes limit the acquisition of knowledge. Einstein once said, It has become increasingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity. Because of technology there is, for