Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Change Happens: You Don't Have to Look That Far Back in American Education to See How Far We've Come

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Change Happens: You Don't Have to Look That Far Back in American Education to See How Far We've Come

Article excerpt

THIS SPECIAL December issue of T.H.E. Journal is about looking forward, but today I feel inspired to look beck. Recently, I attended a ceremony for the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) Hall of Fame, honoring people who have made significant lifetime contributions to educational publishing. (The founder of T.H.E. Journal, Ed Warnshuls, was a posthumous inductee in 2007.)

One of this year's honorees is Karen Billings, vice president of the education division of the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), and I want to share with you some of her story.

Karen grew up in rural Iowa, where she attended a one-room schoolhouse with eight other children. The only "technology" she had access to was the horse she rode to school, the chalkboard, pencils, and, of course, books. For the first six years of her schooling she had two teachers, one of whom taught her for four straight years. As Karen said, she was very lucky that both her teachers were excellent and single, because in the late 1950s and early 1960s, married women were not allowed to teach.

Karen went on to become a math teacher. When she started teaching Fortran, her students never actually saw the computer they were programming, which sat on some remote college campus. …

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