Educational Computing Comes Home

This is an article snipped from a 1985 article from Ziff Davis’s Family Computing Magazine.

BY SALLY REED

Michael Bernstein was not always a morning person.  How many 12-year-olds are? 

Now he’s the early riser in the family, popping out of bed and perching before the computer well before breakfast.  Michael devotes some mornings to his science-fiction writing, or to one of his own fantasy games in progress. Other days, he creates original tunes using a music-composition package.   Depending on the day of the week, he may review his spelling lists, studying words he’s not yet mastered as they flash on screen.  He polishes school reports using a word processor.  Last spring, he spent several morning hours putting the finishing touches on his Bar Mitzvah speech.

“Michael’s whole attitude toward homework has changed.” reports his mother, Carol Bernstein.  “He’s more willing to do it, correct it, and check his spelling because it’s all much easier with the computer. His teachers are pleased because his work is more legible and his homework grades have actually improved.”

Like kids across the country, from elementary to high school age, Michael has learned how to make the educational most of his computer. These kids and their families are pioneers, following new paths to learning in the home.

TODAY’S TRAILBLAZERS

Like any trailblazers, the Bemsteins have encountered obstacles. Confusing, misleading information; an absence of coherent studies that point to the one or two most obvious benefits of learning at home with the computer; and uncertainty about their own combined roles as parents and teachers: these are just a few of the roadblocks that make computer-age parenting tough. But with perseverance and a little guidance from people who know, parents have been able to make good educational use of the computer.  Whether it’s making noticeable Improvement in writing and spelling, plunging into new worlds, exploring science, solving problems and puzzles, fiddling with circuits and logic gates, exploring new. creative horizons, gaining confidence in school, growing used to the computer as an invaluable productive tool, or a combination of all the above, kids of all ages have found the machine to be an Invaluable educational companion.

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