Mid-project review

Narrative note: At this point, I’d read ~290 articles from Output, compiling data about them in a database. I’d done some preliminary analysis, but wanted to review my steps and thinking to date before moving on.

Original thinking

  • Role of teachers versus the Ministry
    • The Ministry was funding ICON and training
    • Teachers were adapting “on the ground”
    • Conscious adaptation theme
  • Effort to put microcomputers in schools (ICON)
  • Ideas vs expectations/hopes (why were people willing to dedicate their time) versus reality

Data collection thinking

  • From high hopes for CAI (not mere drill or practical skills e.g. word processing) as potential for individualization and distance learning, to their fizzling out
    • Connect newsletter to broader conversations regarding CAI
    • Is CAI still discussed today? Where are we now?
    • Turn from the individualized computer classroom (whether in a school, a home, a library, etc) to the traditional classroom doing some things via computer, e.g. teaching word processing or doing research

Post data collection thinking

  • Studying the change in the topics discussed
  • The increasing professionalization (but also stagnancy/decline?) of ECOO
  • Specific question: ECOO Output as the period under study; topics discussed (including the change therein); the people involved; perspective of the Ministry versus the grassroots (shifting relationship because of cuts to GEMS funding)
    • What do discussions in Output reveal about the attitude of Ontario teachers toward educational computing in the 1980s and 90s? (misses ICON and Ministry references, but maybe not required)
  • General question: how consciously people prepare for the introduction of tech, where that preparation originates (in the grassroots versus from the top, or a combination)
    • Fitting the Ontario case to some general cycle
    • Supporting ECOO material with Ministry documents
    • What issues people foresaw, how dreams differed from reality

Pre analysis meeting notes

  • Alison Prentice on the introduction of blackboards in the 19th century
    • Blackboards represented a shift toward teacher as the central figure (versus the individualized learning offered from slate-based work)
    • Teacher control via the blackboard
  • General question: technology in the classroom, social adaptation
  • Use Ayers as a closing note, on the broader implications: Are we really transforming?