Back to the Future: Technology & Learning Revisits Predictions from Past Issues

Article excerpt

Mobile Computing

"In 1991, each student might travel to and from school with a dynabook--a small, book-size electronic device with a display screen and a small, touch-sensitive typewriter keyboard--which can plug in to a student workstation and be connected to a school-wide and national information network."--Ricky Carter, Classroom Computer News, 1981

"In 1998, students can plug their own workstations in to the whole-school network. Or the school might be equipped with a wireless network, much like a cellular phone system."--Tom Greaves, 1990

Hands-On Learning

"In 1997, having attained outstanding visual displays, developers are now focusing on tactile displays as well. For example, mice are available that allow users to 'feel' the things they're 'touching' on the screen. The amount of resistance they feel from the mouse corresponds to the size of the object being moved on the screen. Advances in this arena make a big difference to young children because they learn so kinesthetically."--Alan Kay, 1990

Games

"In 1992, Nintendo not only continues to dominate the home market, it is also having a significant impact on schools. Seymour Papert's work with the company leads to continuing debate about educational versus commercial policies, ethics, appropriate pedagogy, and so on."--Stephen Marcus, 1990

Equity

"In 1999, a presidential commission has been established to study the growing inequity in computer allocation. Apparently, most computers are being used to deliver instruction to poor inner-city schools, putting these students at a clear disadvantage. All of the best jobs and places in incoming college classes are going to applicants who were 'fully teacher taught.'"--Tom Snyder, 1990

Virtual Reality

"As a new century begins, students enter the classroom and don virtual reality body suits, cleverly designed computer interfaces that take the place of today's mice and keyboards. …