25 Years to Ago

11th April 1997 at 01:00
With the success of last week's AV72 exhibition at Jordanhill College ofeducation, it looks as if Scotland should be able to support a large-scale display of audio-visual media as an annual or at least biennial event. Exhibitors seem to have been impressed by the intelligent interest taken in their products by more than 2,000 visitors, as well as the substantial orders placed by the more influential of them.

Educational technology has perhaps come of age: its practitioners no longer need to behave like prophets, firing the apathetic with enthusiasm and condemning the doubters for lack of faith. Now they can afford to suggest that some developments should be ignored for the present and to admit that not all teachers can be expected to cope with the existing media, let alone produce materials for them.

Obviously some balance must be found between a state of affairs where no equipment is available until a determined teacher produces a detailed plan for using it, and on the other hand the automatic provision of every aid in every class.

* Mr B.T. Bellis, headmaster of Daniel Stewart's College, Edinburgh, told the conference of the Mathematical Association that the contribution which computers could make to general education had to be assessed.

He mentioned administration and the need for data processing, the day-to-day running of a school, timetabling and computer-managed instruction . . .

A committee which he had chaired recommended that elementary computing be provided for most pupils, that computer centres be set up to provide access, and that two periods a week of school time be given to computer appreciation and usage.

Mr W.T. Beveridge, Moray House, suggested that computer use be taught as part of mathematics, computer appreciation being part of a modern studies course.

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