ERIC Number: ED227484
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Nov
Reference Count: 0
PLATO and the English Curriculum.
Macgregor, William B.
PLATO differs from other computer assisted instruction in that it is truly a system, employing a powerful mainframe computer and connecting its users to each other and to the people running it. The earliest PLATO materials in English were drill and practice programs, an improvement over written texts, but a small one. Unfortunately, game lessons, entertaining drill and practice lessons that take advantage of PLATO's graphics, are mostly intended for young children and have been poorly adapted for deficient college students. Tutorial lessons that attempt to simulate human interaction are much more effective, but also much more rare. An advanced tutorial program (often referred to as a "problem solving design" or dialogue system) already on PLATO indicates just how much PLATO could do. This program helps students generate and organize ideas and explains mistakes "intelligently." But since current technology cannot produce a genuinely intelligent computer, another approach using a version of Peter Elbow's heuristics and the strengths of the PLATO system requires the computer to assume a stance as a nonjudgmental medium, a neutral manipulator of information--a tool that students can use to help them learn to use language on their own. The idea of teacher as arbiter is itself probably the source of the emphasis on computer as arbiter; both should be replaced by the idea of teaching as assistance, helping the student write for a real audience, his or her peers. (JL)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the combined Annual Meeting of the Hawaii Council of Teachers of Engilsh and the Hawaii State Council for the Social Studies Conferece (12th, Honolulu, HI, November 6-7, 1982).