The Best of Creative Computing Volume 2 (published 1977)

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Computers In Secondary Schools-1975 (NSF study on use of computers in secondary education, statistics)

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beginning statistics which also introduces business students to basic computing.

"The goal in my course is to teach students enough about computing so that they
will be able to communicate with specialists as they will be doing throughout
their careers," Dr. Stutz says.

The Graduate School of Library Science is employing the computer to prepare
students for their careers as professional librarians in a field which is
becoming increasingly computerized.

"Our students are mostly inexperienced with the computer," says Dr. Ron Wyllys,
assistant professor of library science, "but we are confident that the
experience they gain here, both in computer basics and the actual use of
computers as they are used in libraries, prepares them for their careers."

Computers are being used now in courses and subject areas that once were thought
to be impossible to translate into terms that could be used by computers.

Dr. Susan Wittig, assistant professor of English, uses the computer to teach
freshman English.

The computer cannot make subjective judgments about the quality of a student's
work, but many freshmen are deficient in the basic skills of writing and
communicating. In Dr. Wittig's classes the computer is used to teach and
reinforce the basic mechanics of English grammar.

Dr. Culp says that the possibilities of instructional computing are just
beginning to be realized.

"With the addition of the DEC-1O we have increased the services the Computation
Center can offer to the faculty who wish to use computer-aided instruction," he
points out.

"Among the features of the DEC-10 are the ability of the user to switch to a
calculation mode during an instruction program," he explains. "That is important
in many types of applications that we could not handle before."

Another advantage of the DEC-10 is its record-keeping capability. The instructor
can find out immediately such information as how many students have completed a
lesson or look at the performance record of an individual student. Another
advantage is the upper case/lower case printer which has made classroom material
more readable as well as providing a means to add emphasis on terminal output.

"Many of our users have requested the capabilities we now have," says Ms. Pat
Caroom, manager of the DEC-10 and NOVA systems for the Computation Center, "and
we are ready to help potential users develop any special programs they might

Dr. Culp points out the Computation Center is mainly a service facility,
designed to help researchers and teachers use the computer to its full capacity.

Under the direction of Dr. Charles Warlick, the UT Computation Center is among
the most diverse and modern academic centers in the country.

This spring the center is conducting a series of seminars to familiarize users
and potential users with the capabilities of the DEC-10.

"We encourage everyone, whether they have any knowledge or prior experience with
the computer, to call on our staff any time they have questions or ideas," Dr.
Culp says, "and we will do our best to meet their specific needs for
instructional computing use."

If the growth of computing in the recent past is any indication of future
trends, instructional computing will have a large impact on higher education,
and the UT Computation Center will play a large role in creating that future.


"The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas."

Linus Pauling



A second study funded by the NSF on the use of computers in secondary education
was completed in the fall of 1975 by the American Institutes for Research (The
first study was done by the AIR in 1970). Principal investigators were William
Bukoshi and Arthur Korotkin. The sample consisted of 25% of U.S. School
Districts; about 65% of these responded.

Major conclusions of the study were as follows:

- Since 1970 computing in secondary education has steadily increased with 58.2
percent of the schools that responded to the survey indicating they are
currently using a computer for administrative and/or instructional purposes
(34.4. percent in 1970).

- The trend is toward more fully using the computer. Of schools using computers,
only those using them for both administrative and instructional uses increased
from 1970 to 1975 (26.2 percent to 37.5 percent). The percentage of schools
using computers for only administrative or only instructional purposes dropped
from 1970 to 1975 (62.5 percent to 54.1 percent for administration; 11.3 percent
to 8.4 percent for instructional).

- Given the findings concerning the growth of secondary school computing for the
last five years (1970-1975), and with the assumption that the current rate of
adoption of computer technology in the schools (4.8 percent/year) will continue,
it can be projected that within the next decade every secondary school in the
country will have access to a computer system for some type of administrative
and/or instructional application.

- Respondents indicated that using the computer as a "problem-solving tool" and
as a subject area for "computer science" courses were the most frequently
utilized instructional applications in secondary education.

- In schools using computers CAI has increased from 8.4 percent in 1970 to 13.8
percent in 1975.

- The predominant instructional use of computers in 1975 is still for

- With regard to administration the most frequent uses of the computer are for
student accounting and resource management.

- The BASIC language has become the predominant computer language for
instructional computing.

- Schools using computers tended to be larger than nonuser schools (median
number of students 1000 versus 400). The size of the user schools, however, is
smaller than in 1970, when the median number of students was 1347.

- The current survey indicates that over 90 percent of the funding for
educational computing at the secondary school level comes from local and state

- Despite the growth in computing activities, there was virtually no change
since 1970 in the relative amount of the operating budget spent for
instructional computing ($O.18 per $100 of school expenditures in 1975 versus
$0.17 in 1970).

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