ERIC Number: ED244593
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1984-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
Computers in Schools. I: Potential & Limitations. II: The Software Problem. Educational Brief.
Walker, Decker F.
Some ways in which microcomputers can contribute to the quality of instruction are outlined and problems that limit their usefulness, particularly the scarcity of good software, are discussed. The advantages of using microcomputers as instructional tools are identified as more active learning, more varied sensory and conceptual modes, learning with less mental drudgery, learning nearer the speed of thought, individually tailored learning, more independent learning, and better aids to abstraction. The following seven problems of using microcomputers are also outlined: (1) the fact that microcomputers can supplement but not substitute for conventional education; (2) difficulties in their use; (3) rapid change and lack of standardization in the microcomputer marketplace; (4) the scarcity of good software; (5) the lack of knowledge on optimum methods of educational computing; (6) the fact that computers favor formalism over judgment; and (7) the inability of computers to solve social and other problems in education. Software development time and cost, machine incompatibility, software piracy, difficulties in software location and review, home market competition, and the difficulty of integrating software into other classroom activities are identified as factors contributing to the software shortage problem. Suggestions for overcoming the software problem are also briefly reviewed, such as the use of tool-type, modifiable, and electronic blackboard programs. (ESR)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Far West Lab. for Educational Research and Development, San Francisco, CA.