History, the History of Computers, and the History of Computers in Education
1780 – Early public schools adopt the teacher/manager model with the teacher as the primary manger of instruction and assessment in a single classroom.
1946 – First vacuum tube-based computers developed; universities help in computer development effort; technology used in war effort.
1951 – Little technology used in schools, primarily TV; baby boom begins with resulting increases in class size; first-generation Univac computer delivered to the US census bureau.
1954 – General Electric is the first business to order a computer. Early rock and roll music, based on the rhythm and blues tradition, gains a little in popularity.
1955 – IBM’s first commercial computer is sold; the cold war results in use of technology in aircraft design and in weapons control. Russia developing the technology for the first spacecraft.
1956 – Eisenhower elected president; Elvis Presley records “Hound Dog”; school overcrowding growing; school dropout rate rapidly declining toward zero; schools still based on the teacher/manager model in individual teacher-controlled classrooms; the cold war continues with technology playing an important role and is intensified when Russia sends up their Sputnik space vehicle to demonstrate their lead in technology.
1958 – As cold war continues, National Defense Education Act brings some new money and some new technology into schools, but primarily in vocational education. Mainframe host computers are not widely accepted in schools that are still using the si ngle classroom, teacher/manager method of delivering information to students.
1959 – Transistor-based computers in use; the cold war continues with public support for the development of technology needed for space exploration.
1960 – COBOL business-oriented, high-level programming language created; Kennedy elected president with campaign promises to put more money into education; crime rate doubles in one decade; Gary Powers shot down in hi-tech spy airplane; 70,000 invo lved in civil-rights sit-ins.
1962 – Airlines begin to use a computerized reservation system. President Kennedy diverts more money into education. The cold war continues and results in a confrontation with Russia as hi-tech spy planes discover missiles in Cuba; George Wallace campaigns for governor of Georgia pledging segregation forever.
1963 – Vocational Education Act passes with new money supporting the use of technology in schools; however, the mainframe and minicomputers in use at this time are using batch processing methods that do not fit well with the single teacher-as-manag er-of-learning methods in use in most schools; BASIC, a simple high-level programming language is developed, mostly for use in universities to train programmers; IBM 360 family of computers is developed; most computers still using host methods with punche d cards as the primary input device; line printers are still the primary output device; the cold war and the competitive space exploration effort continues with President Kennedy’s call for the science to be developed that could put a man on the moon.
1964 – Johnson elected president; the Beatles rapidly rise to stardom; Bob Dylan writes songs that give voice to the protest movement; the Gulf of Tonkin incident results in the first confrontation between the US and the government of North Vietnam ; the civil rights movement grows including a one-day civil-right protest absence of 464,000 students in New York; China explodes a test Atomic bomb.
1965 – Elementary and Secondary Education Act brings new money into schools for technology. mainframes and minicomputers are put into place in some schools, but most are used for administration or for school counseling (databases for information a bout and for students); the cold war continues as President Johnson expands the war, with 125,000 American troops in Vietnam; ; hi-tech weapons are used in bombings of North Vietnam; 50,000 Americans killed in traffic accidents.
1967 – High-level programming languages such as Fortran are being taught are in universities. School vocational training programs begin to include computer maintenance; Stokely Carmichael declares a need for SNCC to move from civil rights to black power; Mohammed Ali refuses army induction for religious reasons bringing national attention to both the black power movement and the anti-Vietnam movement; student strikes on many campuses related to protest over both civil rights and the policy in Viet nam; acid rock and protest rock grow in popularity; centers of dissidence like Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco develop; anti-war protests grow, especially on college campuses; 380,000 US troops in Vietnam.
1968 – Nixon elected president; riots in many cities break out over civil rights issues; the cold war continues with a rapid expansion of the war in Vietnam 9,419 dead in Vietnam; some programs designed to bring money for technology into schools ar e canceled; host computers are not widely adopted in schools because they are seen as appropriate for use with the teacher/manager model of learning (they don’t fit into the single classroom, but instead are accessed remotely by sending batches of data).
1969 – Neil Armstrong arrives on the moon; the Woodstock rock concert in upstate New York draws hundreds of thousands; the cold war and the war in Vietnam continues; many students, religious leaders, civil rights leaders, and ordinary citizens begi n to speak out against the war in Vietnam.
1970 – Pascal created; the US bombs Cambodia; Kent State antiwar students killed by Army reserve troops; mainframes and minicomputers in use in some schools, but very little use in the delivery of instruction.
1971 – Intel’s first microprocessor developed; the first microcomputers (PCs) are developed; mainframes and minicomputers are in wide use in business; a few software companies begin to develop mainframe and minicomputer- based instructional program s; 18-year old given the vote.
1972 – Five men working for President Nixon’s re-election caught in the Democratic party’s headquarters in the Watergate hotel complex; Nixon re-elected president and orders the bombing of North Vietnam.
1974 – President Nixon resigns and is given a full pardon by his successor, President Ford; a gasoline embargo creates lines at gas stations; Patty Hurst kidnapped; Hank Aaron breaks Babe Ruth’s lifetime home run record; Apple I computer is sold in kit form.
1975 – Some Apple 1 PCs are donated to schools; some schools have adopted mainframes and minicomputers and refuse to consider PCs; four Nixon administration official convicted in Watergate cover up; The war in Vietnam ends and the government of Nor th Vietnam invades and takes over South Vietnam.
1976 – Carter elected president; the cold war continues; Iraq holds hostages, rampant inflation; the Apple I computer gains popularity in small business.
1979 – 15 Million PCs estimated to be in use worldwide; PC-based spreadsheets developed, mainframes and minicomputers still in wide use.
1980 – Reagon elected President, the cold war continues with Reagon declaring Russia to be the “evil empire”; the TI 99 which uses a television screen as the monitor is the world’s most popular PC.
1981 – IBM is the first mainframe manufacturer to develop a PC; drill and practice CAI gains acceptance in schools; the cold war continues. The first educational drill and practice programs are developed for personal computers.
1983 – IBM PC clones proliferate; Sperry Corporation is the second mainframe manufacturer to develop a PC (actually developed by Mitsubishi in Japan); the Apple II computer finds widespread acceptance in education because PCs better fit the teacher /manager model of instructional delivery (PCs can be used to “support” the ongoing teaching in the single classroom). Simple simulation programs are developed for personal computers.
1984 – Reagon re-elected; 31 states use 13,000 PCs for career guidance, but there are still relatively few computers in classrooms; the Apple Macintosh computer is developed; computer-based tutorials and learning games are developed by commercial software manufacturers.
1986 – 25 % of high schools use PCs for college and career guidance, K-8 schools buying mostly Apple II and Macintosh computers, high schools buying mostly DOS-based clones.
1988 – Bush elected President; 60 % of all workers in the US use computers, laptops are developed; Gorbachoff proposes an end to the cold war;.
1990 – Multimedia PCs are developed; schools are using videodiscs; object-oriented multimedia authoring tools are in wide use; Simulations, educational databases and other types of CAI programs are being delivered on CD-ROM disks, many with animati on and sound; the US crime increases dramatically; the cold war ends.
1992 – Clinton elected President; for the first time, police and prison budgets begin to surpass education budgets; schools are using Gopher servers to provide students with on-line information.
1994 – Digital video, virtual reality, and 3-D systems capture the attention of many, but fewer multimedia PCs than basic business PCs are sold; object-oriented authoring systems such as HyperCard, Hyperstudio, and Authorware grow in popularity in schools; most US classrooms now have at least one PC available for instructional delivery, but not all teachers have access to a computer for instructional preparation.
1995 – The Internet and the world wide web began to catch on as businesses, schools, and individuals create web pages; most CAI is delivered on CD-ROM disks and is growing in popularity.
1996 – The Internet is widely discussed as businesses begin to provide services and advertising using web pages. New graphics and multimedia tools are developed for the delivery of information and instruction using the Internet; many schools are rewiring for Internet access; a few schools install web servers and provide faculty with a way to create instructional web pages.
1997-2007 – The growth of the internet expands far faster than most predicted. It soon becomes the world’s largest database of information, graphics, and streaming video making it an invaluable resource for educators; but marketing-oriented web pages, computer viruses hidden within downloadable programs and/or graphics, and spam (widely disseminated email-based sales pitches) threaten it’s usefullness. Search engines such as Google and Yahoo constantly develop new ways to find information within the ever-growing number of web pages. Web sites that offer individuals a place to put personal information become popular, as does internet-based publishing and discussion forums. Voice recognition slowly enters the computing mainstream, but it’s development is slowed by an unacceptable frequency of errors. Some computers incorporate TV input, but it is not as common as many predicted. Educational software becomes more useful and interesting to students as graphics and video are incorporated. Larger computer storage capacity and the growing prevalence of CD-ROM and DVD drives in personal computers make it easier for educators to store large graphic and video and sound files for educational applications.