Introducing Computers in Ontario’s Classrooms

Provincial Ambitions, Teacher Preparation, and Technological Change in the 1980s

In late 2017 and early 2018, I researched how Ontario teachers shared information in preparation for the wide-scale introduction of standardized educational computers in the 1980s and early 1990s.

To do this, I analysed historical issues of the Educational Computing Organization of Ontario’s newsletter—ECOO is an organization set up in the late 70s to share information between teachers and other professionals about educational computing.

Trying to understand the effects of technological change is essential. It’s hardly a certain thing—we rarely realize the full degree of change, and definitely not in advance. But after the fact, we can look at how others prepared for such change—from it, we might learn some lessons for today. This is a particularly interesting case for me, because these newsletters demonstrate just how key the role of individuals is in pushing organizational change. Making explicit the role that individuals play in preparing for change interests me a lot.

As part of my documentation, I’m publishing relevant notes, findings, and thoughts from the research process. I’m slowly adding to this section, transferring previously local documents to this site. Consider this an incomplete record of my research process and the evolution of my thinking, with some parts better noted than others. Do not consider it as revised, reviewed, or published work.