Back to the Future - Tech Learning

Back to the Future

View the Timeline Mobile Computing "In 1991, each student might travel to and from school with a dynabook — a small, book-size electronic device with a display screen and a small, touch-sensitive typewriter keyboard — which can plug in to a student workstation and be connected to a school-wide and
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Mobile Computing

"In 1991, each student might travel to and from school with a dynabook — a small, book-size electronic device with a display screen and a small, touch-sensitive typewriter keyboard — which can plug in to a student workstation and be connected to a school-wide and national information network." — Ricky Carter, Classroom Computer News, 1981

"In 1998, students can plug their own workstations in to the whole-school network. Or the school might be equipped with a wireless network, much like a cellular phone system." — Tom Greaves, 1990

Hands-On Learning

"In 1997, having attained outstanding visual displays, developers are now focusing on tactile displays as well. For example, mice are available that allow users to 'feel' the things they're 'touching' on the screen. The amount of resistance they feel from the mouse corresponds to the size of the object being moved on the screen. Advances in this arena make a big difference to young children because they learn so kinesthetically." — Alan Kay, 1990


"In 1992, Nintendo not only continues to dominate the home market, it is also having a significant impact on schools. Seymour Papert's work with the company leads to continuing debate about educational versus commercial policies, ethics, appropriate pedagogy, and so on." — Stephen Marcus, 1990


"In 1999, a presidential commission has been established to study the growing inequity in computer allocation. Apparently, most computers are being used to deliver instruction to poor inner-city schools, putting these students at a clear disadvantage. All of the best jobs and places in incoming college classes are going to applicants who were 'fully teacher taught.'" — Tom Snyder, 1990

Virtual Reality

"As a new century begins, students enter the classroom and don virtual reality body suits, cleverly designed computer interfaces that take the place of today's mice and keyboards. The body suits...enable an entire class of students and their teacher to journey back to the American Revolution, out to the farthest limits of the solar system, or into the nucleus of an atom. Student research teams, traveling on their own, send electronic 'hyperpostcards' to their teacher, telling her they wish she were there. It is not always clear, however, where 'there' is, or if there is really a 'there' at all. In the virtual classroom, some students are physically in the room while others attend through two-way interactive computer, voice, and video hook-ups. Electronic 'teachers for a day' (ranging from authors to sports stars to incarcerated prisoners) visit the classroom as computer telepresences and participate in group discussions and lessons. — Fred D'Ignazio, 1990

Global Competition

"In 1991, as the United States steadily loses its worldwide lead in technology, a worried federal government initiates a program of significant funding for school technology support. It is titled the 'National Defense Educational Technology Act' to ensure its passage." — Don Rawitsch, 1990


"Every future scenario for our information society projects a world linked entirely by telecommunications, a world in which teachers and students interact daily with vast amounts of data that circle the globe at the speed of light." — Odvard Egil Dyrli, 1993

Where Now?

For predictions of what "school" will look like in 25 years, stay tuned for Technology & Learning's third special anniversary report, "Envisioning the Future," in November.



Back to the Future.

This was one of those years at ISTE (I have finally stopped calling it NECC) where the most interesting tech was in the hands of attendees, not in the exhibition booths.

Pathways to the Future

Mendocino High is a small school on the rural north coast of California, yet technologically it's very forward-looking and farsighted with an outstanding record of student achievement. For 12 years the Pathways to the Future technology program has been an integral part of the educational process. Pathways, required of

Textbooks of the Future

That students will eventually use computers in place of traditional textbooks is almost certain. Just watch the eight-year-old children at your local elementary school pulling their backpacks (now on wheels). This makes no sense. This year, my son, a high school sophomore, was able to choose between bringing home a

Back to School

Back to School Teachers, here's a great resource for finding new ideas for Back to School. Helpful to both new and veteran teachers alike, its authors provide ideas for getting to know students quickly, behavior management, printable worksheets, help for first-year teachers and substitutes, and much more.

The Back Page(19)

Q&A with Tom Snyder Founder: Tom Snyder Productions in 1980 Hallmarks: Creative and collaborative curriculum products for the one-computer classroom Award Winners: TimeLiner; Fizz & Martina's Math Adventures; Geography Search; Decisions, Decisions; and more. Q: What has been the biggest turning point in education

Back to Basics

Tip: I recently had the opportunity to give 45 minutes of one-to-one training for each of the K-5 elementary teachers at schools where I serve as Curriculum and Technology Specialist. The training was needed to improve use and understanding of a new, standardized OS X set of programs that had been installed on all

The Back Page(7)

Gleanings The Skinny on School Choice Only a small fraction of kids are transferring out of schools that have failed to make Adequate Yearly Progress for two straight years under NCLB, according to a new study from the Center on Education Policy. The report, which revealed 2 percent of eligible students have opted

The Back Page(9)

Gleanings The Young and the Wired A surprising percentage of kids use e-mail as early as kindergarten, according to NetDay. The nonprofit, which recently released the results of its Speak Up Day 2003 study, found 29 percent of grade K-3 students have their own e-mail accounts, compared to 45 percent for grades 4-6