The Future of Computers in Education: Learning 10 Lessons from the Past

Elliot Soloway, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Cathie Norris, University of North Texas, Denton, TX

To a first order approximation, technology - be it computers, radio, or TV - has had zero impact on education. As computing technologies become ever more consumer priced, and as parents, teachers and administrators continue to allocate funds for these technologies, there is an opportunity to make good on the all those promises of impact due to technology. But, can we learn from the past? We will provide a Top 10 list of mistakes, dead-end strategies, and myths - from "all kids need to program" to "computers can provide individualized instruction" to "just hook the kids to the Internet"- that have guided us in the past, with an eye to learning from them so that in the future, we won't at least, repeat those particular mis-steps!

Elliot Soloway is a Professor in the College of Engineering, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, a Professor in the School of Education, and a Professor in the School of Information, at the University of Michigan. Previously, Soloway was an Associate Professor in the Computer Science Department at Yale University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in 1978.

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