Wednesday, September 24, 2014

End of the "long history of optimism" about computers in education? From 1960s CAI to MOOCs, Badges, & iPhones today.

Excerpt about 1965-1975!

"Computer-assisted instruction (CA1) and the use of courseware has a long history of optimism associated with it even though much of what was first put into computers as CAI was just programmed instruction material that had been repackaged. In 1966, a fully developed CA1 was seen as only being a few years away. Charles E. Silverman, a senior editor of Fortune magazine, viewed the computer as offering 'a technology by which, for the first time, instruction really can be geared to the specific abilities, needs, and progress of each individual,' and went on to say, 'this quest for ways to individualize instruction is emerging as the most important single force for innovation and reform.' Patrick Suppes of Stanford University stated at the same time, 'One can predict that in a few more years millions of school children will have access to what Philip of Macedon's son Alexander enjoyed as a royal prerogative: the personal services of a tutor as well-informed and responsive as Aristotle. '56

"However, by the l970s, both Silverman and Suppes had a different assessment of the impact of the computer in the classroom. Silverman in his 1970 report for the Carnegie Corporation criticized the 'advocates and prophets' of computer-assisted instruction for having made 'extravagant predictions of wonder to come.'57 In 1974, in reviewing the research on the effectiveness of computer learning, Suppes and his associates acknowledged that findings of ‘no significant differences’ dominate the research literature in this area, but that 'it may be useful in small doses as a supplement to regular instruction with regard to elementary skill-drill practices.'58"

Above excerpted from: 

The Evolution of American Educational Technology (Google eBook), by Paul Saettler, IAP, Jan 1, 2004, p. 404
Quoting from "The Uses of Computers in Education.", by Patrick Suppes in  Scientific American, v215 n3 p206-20 Sep 1966.

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