In both education and training, teachers are faced with many and varied problems relating to their teaching and their students’ learning. Educational technology, in its widest sense, provides teachers with methods and tools which, if properly used, can alleviate some of these problems. The computer is one such tool, offering, within certain limitations, some possible solutions.
Originally published in 1979, this book describes the use of the computer as a resource and as a manager in education and training. It discusses the use, potential and limitations of this technology in helping the teacher and trainer.
Beginning with a consideration of the role of the computer as a mediator in the flow of information between the student and his learning environment, the book goes on to look at Computer Assisted Learning from an educational viewpoint, the strength and weaknesses of a number of different media, and the problems of managing modular courses and course structures and handling information on students’ performance and progress.
A chapter on informatics and education addresses the problem of what both teachers and students should know about computers, while the final chapter examines the practical problems of prompting and organising the appropriate use of this technology.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements. Preface. 1. Introduction 2. Computer Assisted Learning 3. Using Computer Assisted Learning 4. Computer Managed Learning 5. Informatics and Education 6. Technological Aspects 7. Managing the CAL Innovation. Bibliography. Glossary. Index.
From the author 2019:
The use of information and communications technologies has moved on significantly since this book was published in 1979 – forty years ago – at a time when none of our current generation of learners and many of their teachers were yet born. The technology now is smaller, cheaper and more pervasive, and one of the consequences is that we see and use it in a very different context. So, at first sight, references to specific equipment (for example, graphics terminals) seem very antiquated. Fortunately, there are no images of the equipment used in the 1970s to astound the reader of the 21st century!
Yet, re-reading the book, I am reminded that many of the issues that faced the technology-based learning community then still face us now. Human evolution progresses slowly and the psychology of how we learn has not changed in the last forty years, although we may have a better understanding of the underpinning theory. Similarly, we seem little better at bringing about change in education and training systems: despite well publicised successes the long-awaited revolution that would automate our classrooms is still tantalizingly beyond our grasp. Indeed, there is still an unacceptable number of people worldwide who have little or no access to education – with or without technology.
We can trace the antecedents of educational computing far further back than the 1970s and there is no doubt that its development – under whatever name we chose to give it – will stretch far into the future. So, consider this book as a snapshot of the state of the art in 1979 and ponder on the changes that have happened since.