EditorialReport as inadecuate

Author: Jonathan Darby and David Squires

Source: https://core.ac.uk/


Editorial History can be characterised as the overestimation of what can be accomplished immediately and the underestimation of long term consequences.
(Strassman, 1984) My first encounter with computer-based learning was in 1975 when I trialled packages produced by the Chelsea Science Simulation Project while on teaching practice.
Access to the minicomputer running the packages was via modem and teletype, and response times were measured in minutes rather than seconds.
Three of the four packages were little more than computer-based lookup tables but the fourth, despite the severe limitations of the technology, inspired me to take computers seriously as tools for learning.
The application was a simulation of crossing different strains of fruit fly, a technique beloved of geneticists but impractical for school biology.
I was impressed by the use of a computer to achieve something highly educational that was impractical by any other means. There have been many significant advances in computing since 1975: the advent of the eight-bit microcomputer, hypertext, graphical user interfaces, object technology, CDROMs, the Internet and the World Wide Web.
Prophets of what the latest technological developments will achieve for education have been many, and by and large false.
Progress in the short term has appeared painfully slow.
Pioneers have felt hurt by the failure of their colleagues to embrace the computer-based learning materials they have worked so hard to perfect, but perhaps they failed to recognize the extent to which they had embedded their own idiosyncratic approach to teaching into their products. The Association for Learning Technology was founded by a group who believed that the long-term consequences of technology applied to education would be profound.
They were keen to create a forum for learning technology practitioners as a way of identifying and sharing good practice.
The annual ALT conference has reflected a growing maturity among both technologists and teachers as they gain insight through shared experiences. 2 Aa-J Volume 7 Number I The theme of the fifth ALT conference, Lifelong learning on a connected planet, was a challenge to delegates to think through the implications for education of a connected planet; one where all points on the global Internet are equally accessible to all other points. Five years ago the concept of the online course did not exist.
Now it is coming to be seen as the growth sector for tertiary education.
Many new....


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