The History of Computers in Education

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The History of Computers in Education

Computers were first introduced into schools in the late 1950, however, at that time they were only used by large universities for clerical work such as accounting, payroll, and for storing student records. Computers began to emerge more and more in the 1950, but it was still uncommon to see computers in schools. Today, one will find that quite the opposite exists. Since 1977 there has been a rapid growth in the use of computers throughout schools. Today the average public elementary school has 110 computers and 98% of these schools have access to the Internet. The ratio of students to computers, as of the year 2000 is less than five students per computer (Kafer np). Since their first appearance they have greatly changed education and have proved to be useful, valuable resources both in and out of the classroom.

In the mid 1960 through the early 1970 the cost of computers decreased, while the availability of the machines increased. This allowed more schools and colleges to buy and use computers. With this new technology, teachers, administrators, and other school personnel could complete required tasks in less amount of time. One main benefit of computers in schools was that they saved the time and the energy of those who operated them.

When computers were first introduced into schools they were largely used for secretarial tasks and administrative purposes. Records of the school students and faculty could all be stored on a computer. Also, inventory control and accounting could be done with a computer now. Computers allowed schools to keep and produce accurate records, which helped avoid financial disputes. Grades and attendance could now be stored on a computer drive, which also prevented disputes over miscalculations that might have occurred if records were kept by hand. Another administrative convenience introduced with computers was the ability to process and print student schedules. School resources, such as library books could now be managed through a computer system, monitoring what books were on loan and what was available. Having computer access in schools was extremely beneficial for administrative purposes.

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