computers in education

1244 Words5 Pages
It is now about fifteen years since microcomputers and therefore educational computing began to appear in schools. Since that time there has been much excitement with regard to the role that these machines would have on education in our schools. During that fifteen years, we have seen many examples of uses of computers in school. Teachers experimented with this technology in their teaching. These teachers spent many hours of their own time coming to grips with this technology and setting up activities.
As time has progessed, so has the emphasis placed on educational computing. These changes of emphasis are the result of many changes in computers like, increased power and capabilities of hardware and software, increased availability of the technology in schools, advances in other technologies such as communications technologies.
The introduction of computers into schools has not significantly changed the way teachers teach. Some possible reasons for this would include: High school students using computers as part of their studies began in the early - mid 1970's. In most cases this took the form of students and teachers accessing remotely and centrally located mainframe computers indirectly (through specially marked cards sent in via post). The students took elementary computer programming exercises in a language like Fortran to run on the machine.. Generally there was no direct access to a computer in their school.
The role of the traditional teacher in these circumstances was hardly affected. At the same time teachers in at least one state could request printouts of randomly generated sets of arithmetic problems, together with answers. These were then duplicated for the class to work through. Other types of activities like mazes and spelling games such as jumbled words and wordmazes were also available. Teachers from both primary and secondary schools availed themselves of this service. The role of the teacher continued to be one of selecting the resources required for use within their teaching just as it would have been had computers not been around.
Towards the end of the 1970's, microcomputers began to appear on the market. Machines like the Apple II, Tandy TRS-80 and Commodore PET and BBC Model B began to gain popularity. Education Department had purchased some computers which were loaned to schools for short periods of time. The beginning of the 1980's saw the first awakenings that computers may well have a place within schools themselves. Suddenly there was available a relatively low cost, small, yet powerful computer which did not need the progamming skills of the computers of earlier.

More about computers in education

Open Document