A Brief History of Computers in Education
Prior to the 1990s, computers in the classroom and educational settings were almost unheard of. Today there are computers in nearly every school and classroom. Educators are changing their methodologies for teaching because of the advent of computers in education. While the surge of increasing computer technology in schools began in the 90′s, technology in the classroom began in the 1950s.
In 1958 the National Defense Education Act was created as a result of the launch of Sputnik by the Soviet Union. The goal of the Act was promoting science, technology, and math within education. While the Act did provide support and money for technology advancements, the focus was placed mainly in vocational education.
1963 saw the advent of the Vocational Education Act. This program gave money to individual states to help the creation of new technology in schools. The computers that were being used during this time did not lend themselves well to inclusion within schools. At this time teachers were considered to be the leaders of student education and computers were not part of this educational model.
Mainframes and minicomputers were sent to some schools in 1965 via the Elementary and Secondary Education Act; however they were mainly used as administrative tools.
In 1967 educational programs were put into place to educate students on computer programming and repair, and programming languages were being taught at a university level.
The Apple computer was introduced to schools in 1975, and in the 80′s PCs became used in schools because they fit well with the practice and drill methodology used in schools.
By the 1990s, education was using multimedia computers as part of the classroom experience. The Internet also launched the use of these types of multimedia learning situations. In 1996 the Internet was introduced into the classrooms as many educational institutes began to install Internet access.