A Buddy Computer in the Home: Five-Year Progress Report

By Hansen, Arthur G. | T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education), April 1992 | Go to article overview

A Buddy Computer in the Home: Five-Year Progress Report


Hansen, Arthur G., T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)


A 1987 luncheon meeting between Kent Wall, president of an Indianapolis consulting firm, Technology Management, Inc., and H. Dean Evans, Indian's superintendent of public instruction, resulted in a "crazy idea." Discussing what might be done to improve Indiana's educational scoreboard, which put the state at 46th in years of schooling for adults--a full 30% of whom did not have a high school diploma--the issue came down to: "What approach might better prepare young people to live in the so-called Information Age, and also help adults improve their skills and knowledge?" Both men were cautious in simply adopting technology-delivered education in the classroom. Far too many experiments had proved to be less than satisfactory. Furthermore, how did such an approach help adults?

Then came a crazy idea. Why not give every student a "buddy" computer to use at home, with a companion computer at school? If young students' learning could be improved with this, maybe it would also open the door for parents and other adults to improve their competencies to keep pace with an ever-changing work place.

A computer in the home would give students time to become proficient in keyboarding, to learn software that could be used creatively, plus offer them a tool they found to be exciting. Further, if teachers assigned homework to be done on the computers, time-on-task could be extended and in-class instruction enhanced. Finally, if parents became involved, two more benefits were possible. First, if the parents became interested in their child's computer and its link to the school, the educational impact on the student could be significant. Second, parents might easily acquire computer skills of their own that would be valuable in the job market.

At this point in the discussion, another vista opened. If home computers were furnished with modems, communication between students, teachers and parents could take place. Moreover, a world of information could be brought directly into the home for families to access. Homes and schools could be linked to public and private information providers, and, in time, statewide networks might grow from lessons learned in a pilot project.

It would have been easy to look at all it would take to implement such an idea and conclude that it was, indeed, "crazy." Who would furnish computers? If schools could somehow provide them, would they be safe and properly cared for? What would teachers be asked to do? And even if teachers were willing, who would train them in how to use the machines, learn software and apply computers to fulfill course requirements? What about maintenance or repairs? Who would answer questions when a parent or teacher got stuck? How would communication links be established effectively and inexpensively with more than one phone company involved? Who would pay for and provide commercial information services?

Wall and Evans were undaunted by these questions, however, and left their luncheon believing their idea was worth the effort to plow ahead.

Early Years

In the months that followed, others came to believe in what is now called The Buddy System Project. Executives from Indiana Bell Telephone, GTE, the Indiana Corporation for Science & Technology, Apple Computer and IBM quickly came onboard, making the project a true public-private partnership. Lilly Endowment provided the first in a series of grants that established initial funding for a fourth- and fifth-grade project in five pilot schools. Private sector participants supplied funds, project management, expertise and equipment.

Year one had its share of problems--many of those previously anticipated came to pass. Yet at the end of that first year, results were encouraging. Buddy students and parents were reacting positively. Groups of teachers were claiming a new feeling of excitement about teaching. The signals were promising enough to continue. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

A Buddy Computer in the Home: Five-Year Progress Report
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.