|Issue Number 3||
In the United States, the
first “mass production” of computers
began in 1951. The UNIVAC I gained fame when it was used to forecast
the 1952 presidential results based on the early returns coming in
during the evening of Election Day.
By the early 1960s, quite a few precollege and college students were gaining access to computers. While the students’ initial focus was on computer programming, computer games soon arrived on the scene.
Timeshared computing beginning in the 1960s and microcomputers beginning in the mid 1970s led to a huge growth in student uses of computers. Computers became academically and intellectually useful to more and more students.
In May of 1974, David Moursund started a periodical named the Oregon Computing Teacher. This eventually became The Computing Teacher and then Learning and Leading with Technology. Moursund wrote over 170 editorial messages for these publications. They give good insight into the history of computers in education, and they are all available free at http://iae-pedia.org/David_Moursund_Editorials.
are living in a time of
very rapid technological change. Our educational system attempts to
prepare students for their possible near and longer-term futures. Thus,
all educators and students can benefit by having insights into current
and possible future developments in technology.
Here is an important example of a forecast for just a few years from now.
Nystedt, Dan (9/4/08). One Laptop Per Child to launch touchscreen XO-2 laptop in Q1 2010. NetworkWorld. Retrieved 9/23/08: http://www.networkworld.com/news/2008/090408-olpc-to-launch-touchscreen-xo-2.html?hpg1=bn.
Quoting from the article:
The XO-2, an update to the original XO laptop that's designed for low-cost computing for kids in developing nations, will carry two 16-inch by 9-inch touchscreens and eschew a keyboard. It opens like a book and can either be held vertically for reading, or horizontal for laptop computing. When used horizontally, the bottom touchscreen displays a keyboard for typing.
The XO currently costs around US$203 or $204 to make, said Keller, while the XO-2 will likely cost around $80.
Notice the forecasted price! At the current time, it is still unusual for every student in a precollege school to have a laptop. In a modest number of years, it may be unusual to find students in a school who do not have a laptop computer. This forecast of the future strongly supports the idea of thoroughly integrating routine use of ICT throughout the curriculum.