Using computers for teaching subjects


Using computers today at school is becoming a necessity given the current technological evolution of our society. Computer science, to speak only of it, penetrates all the trades: which secretary is not asked for a careful layout, with columns, tables, various typographies…; in industry, manufacturing is becoming more robotic, and the role of the skilled worker is increasingly to manage a production process with the help of computer technology…

The school cannot remain outside this evolution.  The presence of computers in schools leads to a questioning: what uses? For which objectives? How to reach them? Clearly, teachers cannot refuse this evolution and the reflection that goes with it. This is a social as well as an educational requirement. A dialectic has developed between the technical capabilities of the equipment and the pedagogical possibilities offered. It is up to us to develop it.


In the act, the relationship established between the child and the teacher is an important factor in successful learning. The computer will never replace it.

In addition, we now know that in order to avoid lowering school requirements by adapting them to our heterogeneous classes, we must offer students differentiated itineraries. These learning paths are built on the observation of students; it is necessary to identify what facilitates and can hinder the learning of a particular student, to know the “false ideas” he has about the subject, his ways of proceeding, his pace… It is obvious that, no matter how much progress can still be made, computers will never be able to capture and process all this information, in short, to “replace” the teacher.

On the other hand, the computer becomes a valuable aid to help the teacher differentiate his methods. It is an additional resource. The teacher chooses the computer tool whenever it provides an advantage over other teaching tools. This point of view guided our reflection and led us to develop the typology presented below.


The purpose of the following fact sheets is to show the flexibility and variety of educational uses of computers. They are not to be taken as a rigorous classification, but rather as a basis for imagining the relevant, effective use that is appropriate when building a learning sequence. They come in response to the question:

Computer technology will provide an effective aid for the circulation of information between groups, the “posters” or products can be modified, will be clean and readable (computer display scalable). In this chapter, a repertoire of many examples will allow students to understand a particular phenomenon or concept (active encyclopedia computer). The computer will also be able to free up calculations or data representations and will allow us to focus on the key concept (computer dynamic lab tool).

In the situation where several groups of students work in parallel, each at their own pace, on the same or different subjects, the computer will be able to assist the teacher in the correction tasks (instant evaluation computer). It is also possible, with a specific objective of support or further study identified in class, to advise students to work on computers, in self-service or during class time (tireless repeater computer or interactive tutor computer).

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