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Whose Computer is it, Anyway?: Schools Embrace Computers Without Knowing Why

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Title: Whose Computer is it, Anyway?: Schools Embrace Computers Without Knowing Why
Author(s): Michaels, Sarah; Cazden, Courtney; Bruce, Bertram C.
Subject(s): Microcomputers Inequality Social justice
Abstract: Despite the questionable assumptions being made about why computers should be in schools there may well be considerable benefits to having them there. Computers can in principle be used to make educational resources more widely available (e.g., through network access to data bases and library resources), to facilitate more active student involvement in and control of learning (e.g., through the use of computer tools such as text editors and programming languages), and to partially address the needs of students who are victims of educational neglect. Unfortunately, the progressive potential of the computer is all too often unrealized. Intentionally or unintentionally, computer use is more apt to reinforce existing patterns than to change them. In many ways the introduction of computers appears to be increasing rather than reducing inequalities in education. These inequalities were not caused by computers, but they may well be reproduced and even accentuated by their use. We examine here three areas in which these problems arise: hardware, software, and classroom use. We present more examples on the third area because it is more apt to be overlooked in discussions of equity in computer use, and because the process by which inequalities are produced is more subtle.
Issue Date: 1985-11
Publisher: Science for the People
Citation Info: Michaels, Sarah, Cazden, Courtney, and Bruce, Bertram C. (1985). Whose computer is it anyway? Science for the People, 17, 36, 43-44.
Genre: Article
Type: Text
Language: English
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/13419
Publication Status: published or submitted for publication
Peer Reviewed: is peer reviewed
Date Available in IDEALS: 2009-08-06
 

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