2eme Conference Internationale "INFURMATIDUE et ENSEIGNEMENT" An Interview with J. Hebenstreit, Conference Chairman HEBENSTREIT. We observe that the great majority of papers look at computers as a replacement for current teaching methods. This is valuable in that the methodology of informatics may cause us to re-analyze what teaching and learning is and what it should be. We cannot continue to teach the way we have been and are currently. How can we expect children to continue to memorize in light of the information explosion? The accumulated knowledge of humanity is doubling every 13 years. There is an upper limit to the time an individual can spend in learning and also to the speed of learning. But the amount of knowledge has no upper limit. What then, is the solution? The best approach appears to be to give the individual a model of his environment, or a portion of it; and then train people to extend and build their own models. These models, or simulations are not meant to teach modelbuilding, but rather other subjects. We see a definite trend toward more papers in this area. Computers are being used less in a mechanical sense and more to affect the pedagogy of teaching and learning. I want to emphasize a very important point: the way to use the computer, when to use it, and how to use it is the responsibility of the teacher. Solely. Totally. This is never the responsibility of the computer scientist. QUESTION. What about teacher resistance to computers? HEBENSTREIT. Unfortunately teaching is not only a profession but a bureaucracy. The attitude is, "I've got enough problems. Don't bother me with new things". However, the learning of nearby, non~threatening disciplines introduces interdisciplinary learning and it seems to work. ln other words, "I can use a computer model to illustrate my point nicely, but I'd like to really know how it works (statistics, etc.) and I'd like to be able to modify and extend it (programming, data structure, etc.). QUESTION. What's coming? HEBENSTREIT. Cheap, off-line devices. Telecommunications costs are high and will remain so, hence microprocessors and MOS technology will be the heart of educational computers in the near future (5-10 years). While generally, stand-alone, from time to time these devices may be connected to large computers or data banks. QUESTION. When is the next world Computers in Education Conference? HEBENSTREIT. Probably 1981. As of this time no country or sponsoring organization has been selected. We're seeking volunteers. |t's quite a massive job - this conference had over 1,000 attendees from 50 countries. Conference attendees discuss a report with Arnold Krotokin at the World Computers in Education Conference. Monty Python footnote cont. were outrageously priced at $5.00 each and required waiting in a queue for 15 to 60 minutes just to get in. The "gala evening” was a gala ripoff costing $22.50 per person; this buffet/folkloric festival l) was held in a gravel pit mislabeled a garden, 2) ran out of beef and shellfish but had plenty of thick crusted, soggy pizza, 3) had a display of singing and dancing which could be seen only by those who shoved their way to the front row, 4) had no chairs or place to sit, save on the gravel, and 5) was typical of the local arrangements in general. One must sincerely hope that future conferences would not be organized by sadists, held at a school with no interest in the subject (Faculty of Medicine), in a city with little interest in visitors (Marseilles). Why, Big Apple (Fun City) would even be better *** CONFERENCE REPORTS The official 2-volume (over 1000 pages) IFIP World Computers in Education Conference Proceedings were published by North Holland/American Elsevier, 52 Vanderbilt Ave., New York, NY 10017. Price unknown (probably high). . A computerized data base of authors, subjects and keywords from the papers has been prepared by Phil Barker. A report of this (Report 7504) and an excerpt from the report are available from P. G. Barker, Dept. of Computing, University of Durham, Science Labs, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE. England. Robert Taylor, Alfred Bork, and Arthur Luehrmann discuss an important point at the IFIP 2nd World Computers in Education Conference in Marseilles, France, September 2, 1975.