Education: Portents of Future Learning

New computers, a new magazine and a new kind of literacy

For years, computers have been ballyhooed as a miraculous wave of the future in elementary education. The miracle never arrived. In the 1970s manufacturers spent millions of dollars to develop computers for use in schools, but most of the systems received dismal grades on teacher report cards. The machines were too expensive, their performance unreliable, their programs academically inadequate. But lately, with the advent of the more sophisticated microcomputers, prices have fallen and performance has vastly improved.

Literacy once meant the ability to...

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