Parent's guide to computers in education. (book reviews)
Parent's Guide to Computers in Education, by David moursund, Int'l Council for Computers in Education, 135 Education, Univ. of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403.80 pages, $3.50.
The Parent's Guide is an easy introduction to the use of computers for education in the home. Obviously, it does not replace the school of "hard knocks," i.e., real world experience, but it makes the entry much simpler.
This little 80-page book has seven chapters and two appendices. The first six chapters focus on the "School of the Future," an introduction to the use of computers in education, hardware, software, and other general information.
The first chapter is fascinating: it is David Moursund's view of the School of the Future. He leads his readers through a wonderful, imaginary vision of a classroom of the future, and then asks if his scenario seems like science fiction. You are tempted to say "yes," but David shows how everything in the scenario is possible now using the technology of today.
In the section on history, a couple of dates are off by a few years, but the gist is on target, and one is left with the feeling that we have come a long way, Baby, much further than you might think.
Unfortunately, it is not until the seventh chapter that we get to the really meaty information of how to select and buy a small computer. Nevertheless, the earlier information is very useful, and interested parents will want to bone up on this material.
The final (7th) chapter contains a "Buyer's Plan" containing handy charts for assessing your needs and your implementation (fancy way of saying, the hardware and software you intend to buy).
A sidelight, or perhaps we should say the higlight, of the book, is the boxed righthand eight pages by Merle Marsh titled, "Comes the Dawn." This is a description of the trials and tribulations of a mother of a "Compukid" at the time of the purchase of a first computer for their home.
To our knowledge, there is not other book on the market like this one. If you are an interested parent with a child between 4 and 17, an investment of $3.50 for this book would be well worthwhile. (If your local bookstore doesn't have it, ICCE will send you a copy for just $3.50 postpaid.)
Review Grade: A-