ERIC Number: ED241947
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Huck Finn Rides a Microcomputer: Two Approaches to Computer Use in Literature Instruction.
As drill and practice programs in computer assisted instruction (CAI) in English give students a chance to test their understanding and free the teacher from test grading, they seem a legitimate if unexciting use of the computer; but what seems less defensible is that, according to some estimates, 90% of available CAI software is of this drill and practice type. A new form of CAI known as "simulation," however, uses the computer's full capabilities to put students in a simulated environment to discover for themselves how best to handle a situation. One such simulation in literature instruction is the "Huck Finn" program. After reading assigned pages, the students work with a computer simulation of the situation in which they have just left Huck Finn and try to get themselves out of Huck's predicament. Having faced the situation on the screen and thought their way through it, the students will be more eager to see Huck's solution and more able to share his feelings. The students then read more assigned pages and the process is repeated. Students appear to enjoy the program and one formal evaluation showed that it improved both understanding and appreciation of the book. While the program is open to improvement, it at least uses fully the current state of technology and serves as a model for the type of computer program that might be made available for literature instruction. (Examples of three simulations from the Huck Finn program are included.) (HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Huckleberry Finn
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English (73rd, Denver, CO, November 18-23, 1983).