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A Computer's Teacher Power

A Computer's Teacher Power
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Author(s): Donald N. Bigelow (Washington, D.C., USA)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 2
Source title: Encyclopedia of Distance Learning, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Patricia L. Rogers (Bemidji State University, USA), Gary A. Berg (California State University Channel Islands (Retired), USA), Judith V. Boettcher (Designing for Learning, USA), Caroline Howard (HC Consulting, USA), Lorraine Justice (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong) and Karen D. Schenk (K. D. Schenk and Associates Consulting, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-198-8.ch058


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Just as steam displaced sails on ships; and the automobile, the horse; and just as TV has, to an unknown degree, replaced wholesale dependence on daily newspapers, among other things, so the computer will continue to change the nature of American life. Of more importance: it can help American education. Already, this technology is in many schools, here and there, even if somewhat haphazardly—too often dependent upon the influence of an individual or business company to one degree or another—whose “baby” it really is. Just as the first railroads built different width tracks so that other trains could not run on them, each computer-related program is moving at its own speed, on its own tracks. This prompts the question: How will today’s teachers— more ignorant about and fearful of the computer than is recognized—be prepared to use the computer’s various opportunities that are presently being dreamed of? Many entrepreneurs and investors, some of whom are true visionaries, are hard at work to make the technology the central part of tomorrow’s schools, where it will be viewed as basic equipment. It could be the dynamo that serves all teachers, everywhere. There is the possibility that computers, equipped with new and appropriate software, might be able to provide custommade, individualized instruction for students—so that each individual can learn at his or her own speed. After all, every student is different—in one or more countless ways. Each and every student has some kind of problem requiring special attention which ultimately only the computer can successfully handle since there will never be as many teachers as there are students.

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