ERIC Number: ED262748
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Mar
The President's Report, 1983-84.
The 1983-84 annual report of the President of Harvard University to members of the Board of Overseers addresses the advantages and disadvantages of the utilization of new technologies by a university, comments on the instructional uses of computers (including computer assisted instruction (CAI)) and video technology, and cites specific examples in which Harvard has adopted such instructional methods. Examples include simulated environments in the Medical, Law, and Business Schools, use of CAI instruction in bookkeeping and accounting classes in the Business School, and use of closed circuit television to link the Medical School to teaching hospitals and other Boston institutions. Also discussed are possible future uses of technology at Harvard such as videodisc applications for art history and links betweeen student microcomputers and the library's online catalog. Some objections to the new technology are also discussed, including speculation on the computer's inability to contribute much to the "open-ended" fields of moral philosophy, religion, historical interpretation, literary criticism, or social theory, and its failure to inspire students or serve as a role model. It is argued that humanistic learning has suffered from "ill-considered" efforts to ape the scientists by concentrating on what is quantifiable, verifiable, and value free. More attention to the process by which students learn is called for, and the possibility that technology may inadvertently assist that endeavor is noted. New technologies are welcomed with "cautious enthusiasm," and it is suggested that the new machines may be a catalyst to hasten the development of new insights into human cognition and new ways of helping students to learn. (JB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A