Teaching Teachers about Computers Peter Wright To cite this article: Peter Wright (1993) Teaching Teachers about Computers, Journal of Information Technology for Teacher Education, 2:1, 37-52, DOI: 10.1080/0962029930020103 To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/0962029930020103
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Journal of In formation Technology for Teacher Education, Vol. 2, No. 1, 1993
Teaching Teachers about Computers PETER WRIGHT University of Alberta, Canada
ABSTRACT The inevitability of computers in society presents all educators with enormous challenge and opportunity. The challenge is to educate for a future in a technology centred information age - the opportunity is to apply technology to revolutionize the process of education. In North America, and Canada in particular, two very important places to address both the challenge and the opportunity are the universities and colleges where the teachers of the young are prepared. But what should the prospective teacher know about computers (and related technologies)? How should this knowing be brought about? And when should it begin? This presentation will explore current thinking about the nature, content and delivery of computer education for teachers from a North American perspective. The presentation will go on to describe related experiences at the University of Alberta where all education undergraduates are required to include a course on computers in their programs. Emerging trends and issues will also be discussed.
Introduction As far as teachers are concerned, the computer might just as well have been invented in the mid-1970s. Prior to that time, attempts to exploit its instructional potential were largely impractical and unsuccessful. The development of the microcomputer, however, placed an entirely different complexion on things; powerful and affordable computers were suddenly available to schools. As schools in the early eighties began to fill up with microcomputers, proponents worried a great deal about where the money would come from to buy even more computers and they counted them often; it seemed they were so preoccupied with the proliferation of microcomputers that they were not planning for the future use of technology in general
(Wright, 1983). This point was affirmed more recently by Sheingold (1991) who remarked that "computer-based technology has been brought into schools during the past decade largely because the technology was seen as important in and of itself. Early evangelism surrounding the importance of microcomputers evoked the fear among many parents that their children would be educationally disadvantaged if they did not have access to them in schools - some sought advice on which computer to buy while others considered moving their children to schools with computers - educators were made to feel anywhere from uninformed to professionally impotent if they were not on-side. Over the course of time, parental concern regarding access to computers has abated; teachers' fears that the computer might either replace them or de-skill their profession (World Confederation of Organisations of the Teaching Profession, 1987), however, prevail. This notion is supported by Doyle (1992) who states that "in their bones educators know that technology will replace people. It always has and it always will. About this matter, educators' hunches and fears are justified"; he goes on to seemingly temper this belief by saying that "but what few recognize is that as technology eliminates labor - as technology substitutes physical capital for human capital - it also creates demands for more human capital". While educators were still trying to figure out what to do with computers, lobby groups formed to advocate the use of particular types of computer; in Alberta, early interest revolved around the relative merits of Apple and Commodore computers. Vigorous campaign-like initiatives were mounted to make everyone computer literate even though there was little agreement on what that really meant Recognizing that commercially produced courseware was either non-existent or of dubious quality, teachers were encouraged to learn how to program in BASIC; in the early post-microcomputer era, this is where many luminaries expected the quality educational courseware to come from. By the time it was realized that teaching all teachers how to program was not the thing to do, better general-purpose software had become available, most notably, the productivity tools and Logo. Problem-solving subcultures emerged. Word processors became available which did not necessitate special add-on hardware in the computer, which would display all eighty characters on a line and which did not require a vivid imagination (or even a printer) to understand what the finished product would look like. Amid emerging equity issues regarding student to computer ratios in the schools, efforts began to focus on the use of productivity tools spawned in large part by the miracle of integrated software (such as AppleWorks). Word processors, databases and spreadsheets surged into prominence in the 1980s; much of the time saved through the efficiency of the word processor was re-invested in visual aesthetics ('fanatical font fiddling'). Hot on the heels of the word processor came desktop publishers which offered the 38
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capability to pour words into columns, to surround pictures with text and, of course, to invest even more time in visual aesthetics. Although relatively unsuccessful in the past, the authoring system has re-emerged with a vengeance breathing new life into proponents of Computer Based Instruction (CBI) who may be on the verge of encouraging teachers to put all their lessons into the computer (again)! Despite the fact that a great deal of computer in-servicing has taken place, there remains an acknowledged shortage of computer literate teachers. What has been done about it? Increasingly, universities and teacher training colleges have offered computer literacy courses for teachers. In the United States, teacher preparation programs of the early 1980s reflected a strong emphasis on computer programming and on the use of BASIC in particular (Kull & Archambault, 1984); at this time, it was accurately predicted that within four or five years most teachers would not need programming skills (Friedman, 1983). A 1985 survey of computer education courses in Canadian faculties of education (Collis & Muir, 1986) revealed that while there was a move afoot to require computer education for pre-service teachers, there was no national pattern or scope for such training. There is little doubt that computer and communications technologies afford the potential to change radically the face of education. Such visions have existed for a decade and a half (since the advent of the microcomputer at least) - many acknowledge that progress towards enacting them has been disappointing and that mistakes have been made (e.g. Bozeman & House, 1988); educators are certainly on shaky ground if they compare themselves with counterparts in business. The business world seems to know what it is doing with computers - it knows how to measure its progress and, above all else, it knows how to tell whether it succeeded. The exploitation of computers in education, however, is significantly more challenging. Time and technological evolution have led to a renewed understanding of the educational potential of computer and communications technologies and as evangelism gives way to enthusiasm and advocacy, there can be greater relevance in computer education for teachers. But what does the prospective teacher need to know about computers (and related technologies)? How should this knowing be brought about? And when should it begin? The Meaning of Computer Literacy Before discussing the nature and content of computer education for teachers, the concept of computer literacy is worth examining; as with most other things to do with computers, this topic has been hotly debated. Luhermann (Luhermann & Peckham, 1983), who is described as having originally coined the expression 'computer literacy', associated this 39
term with the ability to take control of computers. He clearly believed computer programming to be the way to accomplish this objective. While many experts will not challenge the notion of exercising control over the computer as being an important measure of computer literacy, they would be highly likely to challenge the focus on programming as a means of achieving it Bork (1987) spoke strongly in favour of hands-on experience in noting that in all cases, "literacy implies the ability to do something vocabulary is not enough". Bitter & Camuse (1988) acknowledged the emergence of two related terms, notably computer awareness and computer literacy. These authors defined computer awareness as "the development of a recognition of computers and their uses in society and a relative degree of comfort in working with computers". According to them, "computer awareness frees people from unfounded fears and prejudices about computers and causes them to become more willing to participate in computer-related activities". In contrast, they stated that computer literacy "begins with computer awareness, but involves a more fully developed understanding of and sensitivity to computers". One of the more eloquent and concise definitions of computer literacy was offered by Kay (1984) as follows: "computer literacy is a contact with the activity of computing deep enough to make the computational equivalent of reading and writing fluent and enjoyable". Kay went on to qualify the definition by adding: "As in all the arts, a romance with the material must be well under way. If we value the lifelong learning of arts and letters as a springboard for personal and societal growth, should any less effort be spent to make computing a part of our lives?" Design Maxims for the Development of Training At the International Society for Technology in Education's 1987 National Educational Computing Conference, a project was spawned to define the outline of a single computing-in-education course for inclusion in pre-service teacher training programs. A number of experts from across the United States contributed insights to the project through the development of position papers. Taylor (1988a), director of the project, identified five recurring maxims in these papers which he. advocates should be kept in the forefront during the design of teacher training. These maxims are: • make sure the analogic leap required of the trainees is of a type and size they are capable of making; • don't give up on teaching programming just because so far it has not worked too well; • train trainees as you want them in their turn to train their students; • use technology in a myriad of ways in the training course; • capitalize on the opportunity technology presents to make changes where appropriate in the curriculum. 40
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In recommending a course of action for teacher training, Taylor (1988b) recommended striking a balance between what he defines as the priestly (formal, traditional) and prophetic visions for the use of technology. The Goals of Computer Literacy Education The broad goals of computer literacy education have been elaborated by Bitter & Yohe (1989) who assert that a teacher's knowledge about technology must go beyond the hands-on experiences to an understanding of the conceptual. These authors correctly note that concepts change less rapidly than technical knowledge and they identify the following as desirable outcomes for a pre-service teacher preparation program: • teachers must be proficient, critical users of current educational technologies, including recognition of their limitations and future possibilities; • teachers need a broad education in order to determine the applications of changes and innovations in technology from more than one perspective; • teachers must be competent designers of instructional systems which will enable them to assist their students to become critical thinkers. Bitter & Yohe strongly believe these goals to be more consistent with pre-service rather than in-service education. They see the colleges and universities as having "the resources to reinforce each goal at different levels of instruction thereby enabling the student to observe and use educational technology from various facets". The importance of including computer literacy education within teacher preparation programs is by no means unique to North America. For example, in a review of the use of information technology in pre-service teacher preparation in the United Kingdom, Davis (1992) relates four key recommendations of a government sponsored working group which have been incorporated within the criteria for teacher accreditation. Stated in the form of the outcomes of teacher training, these four are that students should be able to: • make confident use of a range of software packages and information technology devices appropriate to their subject specialism and age range; • review critically the relevance of software packages and information technology devices appropriate to their subject specialism and age range and judge the potential value of these in the classroom; • make constructive use of information technology in their teaching and in particular prepare and put into effect schemes of work incorporating appropriate uses of information technology; • evaluate the ways in which the use of information technology changes the nature of teaching and learning.
The Content of Computer Literacy Education A wide spectrum of opinion still exists on this topic and thus several perspectives are presented. In discussing the role and responsibility of universities, Gooler (1989) notes that a fundamental question of what should be taught in teacher education programs - technology as content or technology as instructional tools - remains unresolved and suggests that "as long as the university remains the primary gatekeeper for preparing new teachers, the content of the preparation programs for teachers will largely be determined, for better or worse, by professors who teach teachers". Bork (1987) suggests the following as central elements in the development of computer literacy: learning theory background; types of computer uses in education; development of computer-based learning material; structured thinking (problem solving); programming. Consistent with the opinions of many others, he stresses a hands-on approach and one which utilizes the computer in the delivery of instruction. In attempting to define the specifics of computer literacy education, Troyer (1988) studied forty-three sources containing recommendations for the content of computer education for teachers in a search for commonalities. The six most frequently mentioned topics were: computer operation and structure; educational applications of computers; software/courseware evaluation; impact of computers on society and education; applications packages (word processor, database and spreadsheet); elements of programming (reading and writing simple programs). In light of the evolving importance of access to information in society, there is growing support for the inclusion of a component on telecommunications in computer literacy training for teachers. Spielvogel (1988) recommends consideration of the following topics: telecommunications hardware and software; use of electronic mail; use of computer conferencing; ability to execute file transfers; access to on-line information sources; overcoming of logistical problems in school settings; understanding of the ethical issues within telecommunications.
TEACHING TEACHERS ABOUT COMPUTERS
The Programming/Problem-solving Corollary There has always been a great debate about whether computer programming should be a component of computer literacy education and if so, why, to what extent and which language should be used. This issue is by no means a simple one. There are those such as Luhermann & Peckham (1983) to whom programming represents the most effective way of exercising control over the computer. There are others to whom programming represents a method of fostering the development of problem solving ability - a notion which spawned language based problem-solving sub-cultures. And then, of course, there are those who will draw upon any rationale to justify the teaching of programming because after all, that is what computer literacy used to be in the good old days. This topic is sufficiently vibrant to warrant further discussion. To determine the general merit of teaching computer programming, Thompson & Friske (1988) compared two approaches to computer literacy training for teachers. One of these approaches focussed strongly on programming in BASIC (90% or more of class time); the other approach committed about one third of class time to programming in BASIC and two thirds to various other computer literacy related activities. These authors reported that "the significant finding for total affect indicates that an overall positive attitude concerning educational computing is enhanced by computer literacy training in a variety of categories (programming plus several others)". Thompson & Friske's study suggested that spending less time on programming also seemed more conducive to cognitive computer literacy outcomes. On the intrinsic value of teaching of programming, much of the debate has centred on whether to teach the BASIC language. Bork (1987) is representative of a school of thought which, while advocating the learning of programming, contends that the teaching of BASIC does a significant disservice to the learner even in the short run. His objections are substantially rooted in the belief that "BASIC, because it does not lead easily to structured programming, tends to de'velop poor programming habits", to which he adds, "We have not done students a service if we teach them fundamental ideas and ingrained ways of working which they later must destroy particularly if they are the first ideas that they encounter in the area". While the advocacy of computer programming for most teachers is slowly but surely on the wane, this topic will remain both relevant and important to those who will focus on computer science and its teaching in the high schools. On the programming/problem-solving issue, the debate has centred on whether to use the Logo language or BASIC. On this topic Maddux (1989), who describes himself as having become a "cautious Logo advocate", fears 43
for the future of Logo in light of what he considers to be the extravagant and unsubstantiated claims of many Logo extremists many of whom, in his opinion , "are at that point where they view themselves as participating in a movement", some of whom "are beginning to suggest that the scientific method is not appropriate for testing Logo benefits". The wagons, he notes, "have been drawn into a circle and cloistering is clearly evident"; he concludes that such extremists have "contributed to a backlash against educational computing in general and Logo in the schools in particular". On the general value of computer programming, Salomon & Perkins (1987) studied the transfer of cognitive skills from this activity and concluded that "recent findings have justified the conjectures of a number of thinkers that programming might sometimes foster the development of cognitive skills". The Delivery of Computer Literacy Education There is widespread concurrence in the literature that teacher education colleges and universities should play a key role in the computer literacy education of teachers. Heidt & Poirot (1988) stress that pre-service training must occur at the university level. While in-service education has traditionally offered the opportunity to reach practising teachers, Bork (1987) is pessimistic about its value as a vehicle for promoting computer literacy as evidenced by his perception that "typically, the way of solving problems with teacher training is with in-service and summer programs. Thus many of the new curriculum developments in the 1960s led to workshops for teachers. But the prognosis for this approach, given past experience, is very poor". He notes that in the past, "major curriculum developments failed because the teacher training activities were completely inadequate" and suggests that "bold new approaches to aiding our teachers are needed to solve the problem of computer literacy for teachers". Fulton (1989) refers to the need for both training and education distinguishing between the two in the following way: "training gives teachers the necessary skills to work the technology, and education provides a vision of how to work with it". Heidt & Poirot recommend that computer courses for teachers be taught by those who are appropriately qualified. In the case of the computing science teacher, appropriate qualification implies pre-college teaching experience. In the case of education faculty staff, formal work in computer education and demonstrated experience with the use of the computer as an educational tool are suggested. These authors suggest that the level at which educational computing courses should be offered depends on a number of factors including the university environment (e.g. program, faculty staff experience) and students' background and experience. Not surprisingly, most experts favour a hands-on approach to the achievement of computer literacy. Watt (1988) captures this sentiment in 44
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citing the ancient wisdom: "I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand". Perspectives from the Province of Alberta The Context for Teacher Education -Microcomputers Schools
Although specific uses of computers vary greatly among schools in the Province, these uses include at least the following: • computer literacy; • problem solving/discovery learning; • writing development; • personal productivity (including desktop publishing); • various forms of computer based instruction; • computer processing (e.g. computer science, business education); • information management and telecommunications; • entertainment/leisure time activities. School principals have identified a very strong need for additional teacher training in the use of computers. In particular, there is a need for training in the integration of computers into the teaching/learning environment (specifically, the curriculum) and in the use of productivity tools (e.g. the word processor, database and spreadsheet). Computer Education for Teachers at the University of Alberta With approximately 25,000 students, the University of Alberta is Canada's second largest university. At any point in time, there are about 4000 students registered in its Faculty of Education. The development of computer education for the university's pre-service teachers has been both vibrant and rapid since the availability of the microcomputer; and although a number of specialized course offerings are currently available to students, one particular course, 'Introduction to Microcomputers in Education' (IME) is of particular significance. More than 3200 students have taken this course since its introduction in 1980. In 1986, the University of Alberta acknowledged the importance of computers to education by requiring all future graduates from its Bachelor of Education program to include at least one three credit computer course (36 hours of instruction not including laboratory component) in their programs; IME, offered by the Faculty of Education, is one of the two courses through which this requirement is typically met (the other being offered by the Faculty of Science). The course offered by the Faculty of Education is at the introductory level, is hands-on/practically oriented, reflects applications (rather than program45
ming) and features two types of computer. The overriding objective is that students have a positive and successful first experience with the computer being able to do something with the computer is a primary outcome. Specific topics addressed by this (36 hours of lectures plus 36 hours of laboratory work) course include the following: • computers in Alberta schools; • educational applications of computers; • what a computer system is; • the operating system - what it is and what it does; • historical development of the computer; • evaluation of courseware; • morals and ethics of computer use; • computer applications I - computer as a tool (problem solving/productivity); • computer applications II - other applications (including CBI); • access to information and telecommunications. As a very powerful tool, computer technology has relevance to the entire spectrum of educational endeavours - all teachers have a vested interest in its application and a concomitant responsibility to seek out and exploit its potential within their disciplines. In light of this, IME is best viewed as a foundation for further study of subject/age related applications. The University of Alberta's Faculty of Education provides a number of such opportunities to students among which are: a mathematics education course in which student teachers focus on the use of Logo from a problem solving perspective; a language arts education course in which students evaluate software and explore ways to integrate it into classroom learning; business education applications; and a sequel to IME in which students explore the application of sophisticated authoring tools. In addition to the (curriculum and instruction) courses just mentioned, the Faculty offers courses in the application of computers in educational administration as well as educational foundations courses which focus more on the philosophical aspects of computer use. With a degree of flexibility, students are afforded the opportunity to pursue a collective of courses which constitute a minor area of specialization in computer education. In addition to the undergraduate minor in computers, more than one department offers after-degree diplomas with specialization in computers; furthermore, the Faculty's Department of Adult, Career and Technology Education offers a Masters Degree in Instructional Technology Systems. Two aspects associated with the delivery of the IME course are worthy of particular attention, notably, student evaluation and role modeling. Student Evaluation. The firm commitment to the 'being able to do something with the computer' principle is carried over into the student evaluation process. The evaluation of student performance is based on three 46
TEACHING TEACHERS ABOUT COMPUTERS
equally weighted examinations two of which test the students' practical knowledge and skill with the use of the computer in a hands-on mode (lab exams). There are a number of pros and cons to the use of lab exams. From the instructor's point of view, the administrative and technical overhead associated with lab exams is very high; particular attention needs to be placed on exam security and scheduling. At the University of Alberta, both of these problems are amplified by the fact that the laboratory environment consists of approximately 22 networked computers to serve a typical course enrollment of 140. Students sit the examinations in groups of 20 at different times throughout a one-week period; this implies the need for seven parallel exams. From the students' point of view, practical exams are unusual and for some, quite stressful; computers continue to be uncompromisingly logical in that, unless you are 100% correct, they tend to treat you as though you are 100% wrong. In addition, when writing traditional examinations, words hardly ever disappear from the page; with computers this can and does happen - whether by the student's own hand or by technical gremlins. The introductory course encourages students to acknowledge the vulnerabilities (realities) of working in a computer environment while continually stressing the need for safe working habits. This has minimized lab exam trauma both for students and the instructor. The benefits of practical examinations substantially outweigh their disadvantages; in a course which places a two • thirds emphasis on using the computer, it seems much more appropriate to provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate what they can do with them than to have them explain what they think they can do. Role Modeling. The delivery of 'Introduction to Microcomputers in Education' strongly reflects the philosophy that faculty staff involved with the delivery of computer education should role model the effective use of the technology. Role modeling and advocacy of computer use can be broken into the professional and personal domains and while the fact that the use of computers in personal life is in itself a strong indicator of advocacy, only professional role modeling is addressed here. Some of the ways in which the instructor can role model the use of computers and related technologies are shown in Figure 1. The introductory level course is supported by instructor developed curriculum materials; these curriculum materials, including tutorials, audiovisuals and demonstrations, were developed by exploiting the same hardware and software that the students learn about in the course and which are prevalent in the schools (specifically, the Macintosh and Microsoft Works). Instructor research publications have been produced in the same way. Figure 1 is actually a template for a simple yet fairly aesthetic overhead transparency which was easily produced by exploiting the potential of an inexpensive integrated software package. Instructor uses of the computer for problem solving and instructional support abound but the development of 47
spreadsheet alternatives which (among other things) automatically assign stanine grades for the course without the use of logical 'and/or' functions provides an interesting example. Simply exploring reasonable ways to exploit general purpose software can facilitate the development and honing of problem solving skills. A good illustration of non-electronic communication with students is the merging of detailed performance indicators (such as might result from project work in higher level courses) from databases into customized reports.
V:, R'o,J«t v (Professional • • • • • • • •
Curriculum deveCopment/pu6Cication Audiovisual support materials Demonstrations/simulations (ProSCem solving Communications Instruction Instructional support (Personal productivity
FIGURE 1. Role modeling of computer use by the course instructor. Discussion and Comment
A prominent and recurring issue has been that of faculty staff preparedness for computer education. In particular, many observers and researchers question the ability of staff to act as role models. Gooler (1989), for example, conjectures that very little role modeling in the use of technology goes on in the university and states that "as a general rule, teacher preparation classes tend to be taught quite free of instructional technologies, particularly the emerging information technology systems students may be urged to learn about". He observes that the curricular location of the technology training component says a lot about the institutions' perspectives on the area and goes on to remark that in many cases "professors identified as instructional technologists in a school of education have little involvement in (and no discernible influence on) pre-service teacher preparation programs". This issue is related to 'turfdom'. Who should teach educational computing and what should be taught will continue to be contentious; at the root of this issue is whether educational computing, particularly if applications oriented, is a discipline or not Resources can pose a significant problem. Gooler makes the very important point that "intuitively, it seems obvious that teachers will use 48
TEACHING TEACHERS ABOUT COMPUTERS
technologies only to the extent that they are familiar and comfortable with the technologies". While noting that teachers are usually involved with ongoing professional education, he also states that "the initial mindsets and comfort level of the new teacher are formed during the undergraduate experience and may be carried over to the professional life of the teacher". This being the case, it is extremely important that the pre-service experience with computers is a positive and successful one. The general importance of role modeling in teacher education was recently reaffirmed by Davis (1992) who notes that "when information technology is used to enhance teaching and learning in other aspects of the students' course it provides a good model of practice" and in another sense by Kennedy (1991) who states that "teachers are highly likely to teach in the way they themselves were taught". The success of computer education for teachers has also been questioned by Fulton (1989) who points to differences in the perceived effectiveness of computer education initiatives. This researcher cites results from a recent survey conducted by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education in which secondary education faculty staff and students in 90 member institutions were asked to evaluate the effectiveness of their teacher education programs in preparing classroom teachers. Preparation for using technology in the classroom was among 2 items out of 12 which were perceived as not working. This item also evidenced the largest difference in perception between staff and students. Fifty per cent of faculty staff felt that students were prepared to teach with computers - this perception was shared by only 29% of the students. Fulton associates this disparity with the fact that, for the most part, faculty staff do not role model the use of computers in their classes. Troyer (1988) has noted a related concern which pervades the literature, notably, "whether what is learned in teacher computer education is actually implemented in the classroom". The level and content of computer education are inextricably linked as a function of time. Since 1980 at the University of Alberta, the introductory course on computers has gone from the '400 level' (normally associated with the fourth and final year of the undergraduate program) to its current status at the '200 level'; very soon, this course is expected to be reclassified at the '100 level' suggesting its suitability for inclusion within the first year of the program. As the level of the course has changed with time, so has its content; at the '400 level' in 1980, the course focussed almost exclusively on computer programming. At least two important points are conveyed by the offering of computer courses at a lower level; first that computer knowledge is of wide ranging importance and second, that such knowledge should be acquired early in a student's program. Wright (1992) states two important reasons why prospective teachers should acquire experience with the use of computers in the first year of their pre-service program notably: • the earlier that a student learns about the technology, the sooner s/he can personally reap the benefits; 49
• the greater the number of positive/beneficial interactions that the student has with computers, the more likely s/he is to both advocate and role model their effective application. This paper has presented an Alberta (and thus Canadian) perspective on the computer education of pre-service teachers. In the Province of Alberta, a Bachelor of Education degree is currently a requirement for teaching in the public school system (through which the vast majority of students are served) and thus Gooler's (1989) comment regarding the university's role as gatekeeper for the computer literacy education of pre-service teachers certainly holds a measure of truth. There are of course other models through which teachers can acquire computer education. In-service training represents one option for the practising teacher though this method is much more viable for larger, well resourced districts which can employ full-time consultants and offer a programmatic approach. A good example of this is Edmonton Public Schools, which has offered a comprehensive mentoring program to develop highly trained computer resource teachers for its schools. Davis (1992) identifies three alternatives through which the computer education of the pre-service teacher can be developed/enhanced, notably through student teaching which involves responsibility related to computer use; short visitations to schools which involve observing or teaching small groups of students; and bringing children to the teacher training institutions. The specific content of computer education for teachers will always need to be closely monitored as observed by James (1989), for example, who states that "the dynamic nature of technology in general, and computing in particular, requires constant evaluation of units given to future teachers". Regardless of the' curricular content of computer education for teachers (hypermedia systems featuring prominently on today's leading edge) or of its model of delivery, integration and role modeling will be keys to the successful implementation of information technology in schools. Correspondence Peter Wright, Department of Adult Career and Technology Education, Faculty of Education, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2G5, Canada. Fax (403) 492 0236. References Bork, A. (1987) Learning with Personal Computers. New York: Harper & Row. Bitter, G. G. & Camuse, R. A. (1988) Using Computers in the Classroom. New Jersey: Prentice Hall. Bitter, G. G. & Yohe, R. L. (1989) Preparing teachers for the information age, Educational Technology, 29 (3), pp. 22-25. 50
TEACHING TEACHERS ABOUT COMPUTERS Bozeman, W. C. & House, J. E. (1988) Microcomputers in education: the second decade, Technological Horizons in Education, 15 (6), pp. 82-86. Collis, B. & Muir, W. (1986) A survey of computer education courses in Canadian Faculties of Education, Canadian Journal of Higher Education, 16, pp. 61-71. Davis, N. (1992) Information technology in United Kingdom initial teacher education, 1982-92, Journal of Information Technology for Teacher Education, 1, pp. 7-21. Doyle, D. P. (1992) The challenge, the opportunity, Phi Delta Kappan, 73, pp. 512-520. Friedman, D. (1983) The impact of educational computing on teacher education, Journal of Teacher Education, 34, pp. 14-18. Fulton, K. (1989) Technology training for teachers: a federal perspective, Educational Technology, 29 (3), pp. 12-17. Gooler, D. (1989) Preparing teachers to use technologies: can universities meet the challenge?, Educational Technology, 29 (3), pp. 18-21. Heidt, D. & Ppirot, P. (1988) Implementing a university level computer education course for pre-service teachers, SIGCUE Outlook: Association for Computing Machinery, 20 (1), pp. 141-145. James, J. S. (1989) Opinion: training primary teachers in computing, Educational Training and Technology International, 26 (3), pp. 239-240. Kay, A. (1984) Computer software, Scientific American, 251 (3), pp. 53-59. Kennedy, M. M. (1991) Policy issues in teacher education, Phi Delta Kappan, 72, pp. 659-665. Kull, J. A. & Archambault, F. X. (1984) A survey of teacher preparation in computer education, Journal of Teacher Education, 35, pp. 16-19. Luhermann, A. & Peckham, H. (1983) Computer Literacy: a hands-on approach. New York: McGraw-Hill. Maddux, C. D. (1989) Logo: scientific dedication or religious fanaticism in the 1990s, Educational Technology, 29 (2), pp. 18-23. Petruk, M. W. (1986) Microcomputers in Alberta Schools. Edmonton, Alberta: Alberta Education. Salomon, G. & Perkins, D. N. (1987) Transfer of cognitive skills from programming, Educational Computing Research, 3, pp. 149-169. Sheingold, K. (1991) Restructuring for learning with technology: the potential for synergy, Phi Delta Kappan, 73, pp. 17-27. Spielvogel, R. A. (1988) The role of telecommunications in pre-service training in educational computing: content and process, SIGCUE Outlook. Association for Computing Machinery, 20 (1), pp. 75-80. Taylor, R. P. (1988a) Computing in education; a single course for pre-service teachers, SIGCUE Outlook. Association for Computing Machinery, 20 (1), pp. 3-5.
PETER WRIGHT Taylor, R. P. (1988b) Visions of education and implementation of technology, SIGCUE Outlook. Association for Computing Machinery, 20 (1), p. 6-9. Thompson, C. J. & Friske, J. S. (1988) Programming: impact on computer literacy training for teachers, Journal of Research on Computing in Education, 20, pp. 367-374. Troyer, M. (1988) Issues and problems in teacher computer literacy, Journal of Research on Computing in Education, 21, pp. 141-154. Watt, M. (1988) Experiential learning: elements to consider in designing a pre-service course in educational computing, SIGCUE Outlook. Association for Computing Machinery, (20) 1, pp. 25-31. World Confederation of Organisations of the Teaching Profession (1986) New Technologies and the Training of Teachers. Strasbourg: Council for Cultural Cooperation, Council of Europe. Wright, P. W. (1983) Managing Micromania and Beyond, Proceedings of the Association for Educational Data Systems 21st International Convention, Portland. Wright, P. W. (1992) What the First Year Education Student Should Know About Computers, Proceedings of the International Conference on the First year Experience, Victoria.