Celebrating 25 Years of Milestones 1980-2005

9/15/2005 5:15:00 AM


Start. In September 1980, Classroom Computer News is launched. Issues of the day include grants and funding, computer literacy, programming languages, and teacher-created software.

An article discussing the word processor proclaims, "It's more than an intelligent typewriter."


All About Logo. Two years after MIT professor Seymour Papert's Logo programming language hits the market, CCN devotes an entire special issue to it. Noting the near cult-like "logomania," Editor Peter Kelman writes, "Logo seems to have exceeded its founders' wildest hope." But Papert himself is measured, saying it would be "stupidly complacent to think the computer has come and that it's going to solve our problems in education."


Beware the Dancing Elephants. CCN becomes Classroom Computer Learning. In an interview, controversial behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner waxes adamant against computer "frills" such as color, sound, and animation that "distract from learning." Steve Jobs rolls out the Macintosh but still targets schools with the Apple II line.


The Promise of Interactive Video. We report on the exciting possibilities for learning when videodisc technology is coupled with computers to expand its functions. "Photographs, video sequences, and recorded voice and other sound" combined with "random access capabilities" can offer users such immersive experiences as self-guided tours of historical sites or learning with an interactive training manual.


Consolidation Time. In the fourth annual Awards of Excellence showcase, Editor Holly Brady flags the trends of vendor consolidation and less risk taking in software development. Plus: Bush and Dukakis spar over the role of technology in schools.


Hyperactive. Hypertext-based programs, such as Apple's HyperCard, define a new genre of software that lets users develop and present information nonsequentially. Roger Wagner's HyperStudio proves to be a favorite authoring tool for multimedia projects.


Predictions. The magazine updates its name to Technology & Learning. Executives from IBM, Discovery, Jostens, MECC, Commodore, Encyclopedia Britannica, Optical Data, and other companies predict the future of ed tech. Highlights: technology will close the gap between haves and have-nots, teachers will become managers, and computers will be as common as calculators. Lack of funding for technology remains a problem.


Enter the Network. T&L bills local area networks as the best of both multiuser and personal computing, giving users the ability to connect "to a wide range of mainframe-based information resources." The challenge of strategic planning for technology is described as "turning a large supertanker in a small harbor."


Don't Copy That Floppy. T&L addresses the unexplored frontier of digital copyright and how it applies to schools, as well as advances in speech synthesis and voice recognition. "Once [students] have experienced multimedia music and realistic sound effects, it will be hard to return to beeps and boings."


Nothing but Net. Messaging, e-mail, discussion groups, newsgroups, remote log-in, and file exchange enter the lexicon. Editor Judy Salpeter asks, "How mainstream will the Information Superhighway really be by the turn of the century?" Her prediction: It won't be too long before schools can't remember a world without such connectivity.


Reconsidering Fun. Edutainment's dirty word rap gets a scrubbing as Senior Editor Susan McLester takes another look at offerings that blur the line between education and entertainment. Noted are the instructional and motivational power of features that help kids learn through a variety of senses.


Girl Power. T&L explores the disturbing trend of girls dropping out of the digital world around the middle school years, noting the practice accelerates as females move into high school, college, and careers.


The New Millennium. Nearly 100 contributors offer suggestions, stories, and quotations for a special turn-of-the-century issue. Hot topics of the year include Internet safety, preparing new teachers, enterprise computing, high-stakes testing, mobile computing, and the Y2K bug.


Technorati Training. In an age in which the Web looks a lot like the Wild West, educating students to be media literate is essential. Anytime, anywhere professional development heralds a new era of flexibility.


One to One. Pioneering schools give students their own laptops and see improvements in attendance, dropout rates, and learner engagement. A by-product is teachers learning to think in different, more creative ways about instruction.


Pocket Computing. Power, portability, and price merge to make the time right for handheld devices in schools. Author Jean Shields and Executive Editor Amy Poftak describe them as "more powerful than the first Macintosh or Windows computers...more functionally agile than a graphing calculator and less expensive than a laptop but offering the same one-to-one ratio."


NCLB. A range of new challenges for education leadership emerges as a down economy, drastic budget cuts, No Child Left Behind accountability requirements, and more stringent teacher certification standards converge.


Goodbye One Size. In an age of accountability and measurement, focused, structured, and organized are the watchwords for a successful technology plan. District leaders learn the art of customization.


Data-Driven Mania. Data becomes the defining term of the new millennium's early years as education struggles to implement business analysis practices. T&L takes stock of ed tech's past, present, and future in three special anniversary reports.

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