ERIC Number: ED253221
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Jun
Reference Count: 0
The Social Context of Using Computers in Schools: It's Not Just a Matter of Good Software.
Becker, Henry Jay
If computers were used ideally in education, each student would have enough computer time, each computer enough student time, and computer-based activities would be chosen well. The move towards using microcomputers in the schools has less to do with any clear and demonstrable instructional advantage of using them, and more to do with general societal-wide interest in applicability of computers. A national survey on students' use of microcomputers in schools found that, although schools have made major investments in microcomputers, very few students get a substantial exposure and benefit from using computers, and the typical computer-using student gets little more than a cursory experience. Given the way schools must operate to provide instruction to hundreds of students, simply grafting microcomputers onto the school (and even providing the best software and best curriculum available), will not result in extensive or effective use. The organizational problems of using a relatively small number of computers in a school setting require centralized placement, supervision of younger students, knowledgeable and enthusiastic teachers, cooperative planning among teachers with divergent interests and goals, and, in elementary schools, strong involvement of the school principal. (LMM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Computer Uses in Education
Note: Paper presented at the Workshop on Computer Literacy (Paris, France, June-July 1984). For reports on the national survey cited see ED 233 111, ED 234 109, ED 242 297, ED 246 886, and IR 011 496.