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Do not fold then with staple or mutilate this car. The slogan of the computer a University of Illinois radio service presents a series of programs about you and the computer from banks to hospitals and from airlines to music. It's application in this team and these programs will give you a glimpse of these countless applications and what they mean to you. Do not pull. Joins the blackboard and chalk up yesterday's one room schoolhouses. Teachers are starting to work with computers and school systems across the country. Experimental and practical applications of computers are meeting the challenge of a higher level of education. This bell rings not only for elementary and secondary grades but for 3 year olds and Head Start programs in adults returning for education after an absence of several years. More than one quarter of the nation's population is enrolled in regular school and college programs space and teachers are hard pressed to meet this challenge.
A car not only for quantity but for quality. The pace of education is growing. Simple beginning level courses are being transformed into complex instructions in such fields as nuclear physics and space medicine. Engineering students for example are now studying technology that was unknown 30 years ago. New approaches to education to become a necessity. Such concepts as team teaching and non graded classrooms are being introduced. It is hoped that these methods may bring more individual attention to each student and make best use of the facilities available to him. One of the keys to the success of these new ideas may well be the computer. What are some of the areas in which computers do make a difference. Donald a bitter research associate professor at the coordinated Science Laboratory at the University of
Illinois in or about I suggest some answers to this question from the business and administrative uses of computers we find that in most schools today certainly at the upper levels of class scheduling is already done by computers so that students no longer fought all the details on their class schedule but instead the computer tries to match the needs of the students to the space available and teachers available for teaching. First reducing their load and giving the students more freedom and more choices in the long run to what they really would like to have than having a mixed up with some classes overload in others under load. Computers are even used in the design of school systems using to be used to help optimize the use of classroom spaces and the locations of schools and school systems so that the taxpayer will get the most use from the Saudi school system for the dollar invested. And then of course there is the the obvious. Use for computers and that is the use of producing a payroll checks and also
passing grades. There's been a lot of stories about good grades mixed up in class schedules mixed up or the computers haven't done their job exactly as it should as they should have. However for the most part these programs have been tremendously successful at all levels scheduling has become a problem. The maximum number of students should be placed in each class and the minimum number of classrooms should be used. How can this be accomplished. At the University of Illinois. Thirty thousand students may demand space in classrooms. These students gather in the university armory to register during a few days each fall. Computers take charge of this mass class schedule like students he was punched cards for bookkeeping classes medical records and other aspects of registration. That was August the coordinator of student data systems at the University describes how this is done. Well I think one of the most outstanding areas that the computer has been used for in the
last year or two at the University of Illinois has been in the scheduling of students for the various classes. You're probably aware that with the University of Illinois has something like 3500 to 4000 sections which they have to use in assigning students to the various classes. And this creates quite a problem. The computer has been called upon to do this by using information that the students supplies through various channels as the kind of courses that he would desire and taking. Once this information is collected and the computer is updated with this kind of data then the computer goes through all sorts of gymnastics to come out with a schedule for the student. It has various kinds of options and if the student cannot achieve the schedule that he desires the computer will make several checks to see if it can open up a
section that is now closed and place a student in it in order to achieve a schedule for the student. The scheduling process actually works on several levels. First level would be where they would schedule all seats in a particular class up to 70 percent capacity. At this point of a student schedule cannot be completed without this particular class the computer automatically opened it up and it will go to 90 percent of assignable space. This kind of function balances out the various sections of a class automatically and in addition as helps the students achieve the schedules that they have requested. The success of the scheduling process has been quite remarkable in that about 80 percent to schedules they actually request with the other 10 to 15 percent being scheduled with one class shy. Which means a student would have to
pick that up and residual registration later date. But this kind of system is a very useful thing in that it does save staff time student time and administrative headaches such careful class scheduling has another advantage. Mr August comments the record that the computer will maintain over a period of a semester or quarter is one which will permit did ministry to determine the kind of course and roll month to student each student is actually enrolled in and also will indicate to the administrator where this course is at a particular time. This is needed because the student has to be if the student has to be contacted any time we have to be able to locate him in the classroom. The this is done
routinely and updated on a weekly basis so the computer record is always current within a week of what the student is actually taking. Where this course is actually being conducted and the times involved. This again is all used to. Indicate the number of hours a student is taking and the number of students that are full time part time. What colleges have what kind of a student loan what kind of and student load Do we have per instructor and all this information can be accomplished by the computer systems that have been established. Another problem at the university level can be handled by electronic data processing. The fountains of transcripts and letters which arrive each year in the admissions office may not be scanned by computer routine judgments about qualifications can be made with carefully written computer programs. Lewis AKA's adds this application to the growing list of the
capabilities of data processing. Another function that has been recently achieved at the University of Illinois is the admission system which permits students to request admission at the University of Illinois and this student will be completely process and the computer will check to see if the student is actually admissible. This is automatically done by the computer with the information provided to it and as a result the student is actually one who is finds himself either getting a permit to enter or not depending upon the computer decision. This decision is actually reviewed by an administrator and as a result some of the erroneous information which may have gotten into the computer record is checked again and it is checked by a manual method.
However this does they have a great deal of. Time for the staff and the admission office and it does provide students more accurate and more efficient turnaround time. Once the application is received the computer makes the decision of course according to the information it is provided. And this is coded of course but if the student does not possess the necessary types of courses in his high school record that are required for his college work that he's applying for. The computer will automatically state this and the printout will indicate that the student has been denied for this reason and he is given such a reason. At this point a person in the admission office will look at it and verify that this is correct before he and the student is notified that he is not eligible for this kind of a course at the university and for this particular reason.
Then there's the problem of money. Every school system must operate within a budget. Funds may come from state local or federal sources. Expenditures must be justified and planned carefully. There's administrative headache may now be handled by computer programs with rapid results. No longer does an administrator need to set aside two or three months to calculate the budget. You may determine cost and income within a few weeks time. Right now. I want. To get back to work. Dick take your seat please put away your crayons it's time for our
reading lesson. Katie. Pick up those books and put them back on the library table. Donald. The confusion of a crowded classroom is one of the most challenging aspects of education. How can a teacher reach so many students in the midst of such limitations as time space and disciplinary problems. The heart of the matter is instruction. Computers are being assigned to help teachers in this daily task. Computer based system is going to present and real students and subject matter with infinite patience. Each student may proceed at his own speed without retarding class progress. Teachers are then free to assume more creative roles in the classroom. At the co-ordinated Science Laboratory at the University of Illinois in Urbana a teaching system has been developed which allows each student to interact with the computer via television screen and keyboard Research Associate Professor Donald Bedser director of
this Plato project explains how it works. What we have found from the standpoint of the type of hardware necessary to carry out a flexible teaching function by the computer of course is each system needs a computer. We think that a large high speed computer is the best approach to the system problem namely that by buying the largest computer available. No one can get the most computer operations for his dollar invested and produce an economical system. In fact computers are available today which will control or teach up to 4000 student terminals simultaneously. And at a price which from the computer cost standpoint runs at around 10 cents per student contact are certainly a competitive figure. In addition of course to the high speed computer one needs a terminal which is inexpensive and flexible enough to match the needs of the computer. We do not want to use the computer.
In fact we found it not too useful to use a computer simply as a page turner to replace the thumb which everyone has available anyway. So in addition to producing or selecting pictures to show to the students we found that each terminal needs to have the capability of superimposing on top of that picture. What we call computer generated graphics. That is the computer can draw letters numbers and draw figures diagrams whatever's necessary and superimpose that image over the top of the slide image so we can have information which can be thought out in advance stored in the slides and that need not be transmitted from the computer but only selected by the computer and then the unique information for a given student the unique information which he needs which we made out of the even thought of an advance but the computer had a program which would provide for generating information when called upon by the student. This information too can be presented to the student on what we call his electronic blackboard which is superimposed on a slide. Now
we presently do this by using a TV screen. And so each student has in front of him a TV screen on which the computer Amalie slide information or picture information are superimposed. We found that to be absolutely essential. In addition each student has a key set. He sets very electronic he says very much like a typewriter and whenever the student wants to respond to the computer typing an answer or question or pushing a Continue button to move to the next page or reverse button to move back. He pushes this button which is labeled on his key set and this goes to the computer and then the computer responds. One of the goals of the PLATO system Dr. Besser outlines its basic scope. Now let me divide the mean goals that we've had in the Plato project the past eight years into two areas. One I'll refer to as the science of computer based education and the other is the engineering of computer based
education. The main difference between these two being dollars and one case in the science of computer based education. We're really interested in knowing whether it's worthwhile at any price or if it's possible at any price to teach any type of lesson material with a computer. And of course we don't worry about the cost at that point but ultimately we must worry about the engineering of computer based education because the system that's developed must be economically viable. And I like to point out that that means that at the grade school levels that we must be able to provide a terminal and a computer for each student. At around 25 cents per contact hour for the student I. Back to the science aspects. Well over the past eight years as I said we were interested in knowing what was necessary in the way of a computer what was necessary from the standpoint of the student terminal what type of teaching
rules could we develop and what type of lesson material would adapt itself rather late to the use of a computer based system. Essentially what we were interested in doing is making sure that we would adapt the system to the needs of the teacher rather than trying to make the teacher adapt to whatever system might be available off the shelf at that time. Since the inception of Plato we where we started with one student terminal connected to the weather. Yeah. Original. Accessible computers in the country the iliac one of the University of Illinois we've developed now and have been using for the past three years. A complete classroom consisting of 20 student terminals connected to a commercial computer and Control Data Corp. 16 0 4. We have gathered now were 50000 student contact hours of teaching and it's come from a wide variety of areas from library science electrical engineering languages algebra geometry and
arithmetic drill biology computer programming nursing just to mention a fraction of those which we've been teaching. And in addition we've been doing some pure psychology experiments which can be done better under more controlled and better gather data gathering situations by using a system of our of our type teaching this lesson material we've developed essentially well over something over 25 different sets or different methods of teaching. Roughly these can be be divided into two different groups. One which we refer to is the tutorial approach of teaching where we give the students examples and facts so to lead them by the hand and ask them questions. If they have trouble answering a question they can ask for help. Yes. They eventually get the answers to these questions and proceed and go on. But you're sensibly doing what you do in the classroom typically you're lecturing to the student you're tutoring him and giving help when necessary. And then we have this other
type of teaching strategy which we call inquiry teaching strategy. It's really more like life in that instead of somebody asking you well formulated questions. The important thing is to be able to formulate questions yourself or ask the appropriate questions. That's how we got in the inquiry. Almost didn't maybe ask questions for the most part the student is spending his time asking questions of the computer and a well-formulated way so the computer knows what the student is asking is able to give the student data. This way the student gathers data that he is interested in and interprets this data to develop his own skills of data gathering critical thinking and then answer some questions which are not necessarily so well formulated as they would be in the other case. Dr. Besser relates his reaction to the success of Plato. Now as far as results are concerned we found that the students reactions in general been very favorable. Of course we find some students who
think that it's more difficult in the classroom. Others who think that it's less difficult and better than the classroom in the same students are different students taking the same material. Being taught the same way have entirely different reactions depends a lot on the students his background and his method of gathering data. Some students like to be spoon fed. Others think it's boring. Some students like to ask questions and do inquiry. Others think it's too difficult. And so you really need to have several different approaches in the computer at the same time so that you can adapt to the student's needs. We've course in as many cases as possible trying to test the students compare them to a controlled group taught the same material in a normal classroom by normal classroom technique. In the cases where we've done this we found that the students scores well as are better on post exams given over the material interest in a loft the students typically cover the same material on the PLATO system
and one third to one half the time it takes in the classroom. Even though they're able to score as well having been exposed for less than my time. Objective tests taken by students in a variety of subjects are also being handled by computer scoring of these tests as wrapping and a comparison of answers to a particularly difficult task is going to be carefully analyzed by computer whether examinations are factual or psychologically oriented grading is quick and efficient. Counselors may make use of these testing results and of other computer based systems. At the present time many guidance counselors are overburdened and unable to offer detailed advice to students. The limitations of time prevent students from getting a comprehensive look at their
plans for the future. Now counselors may utilize scores from tests and answers to computerized interviews to pinpoint problems. Lewis office of the University of Illinois describes a counseling system in use at San Diego junior college. Another approach that I thought was rather unusual is that they have computer programs now to assist the student in counseling himself where he can inquire of the computer what he should do if he is skilled and such and such in the computer would then turn around and indicate the strengths and weaknesses and by and interaction with the computer obtain a great deal of information that would typically. The acquired by the student meeting with a counsellor. This would save their counseling functions some time and the student would then have a better idea of some of the areas that he might wish to pursue with a counselor in greater detail than he can get from a computer. But this is kind of a novel approach and probably
one that it's not very common throughout the United States. Even basic research in the entire field of education may be aided by computers through carefully designed information retrieval systems key documents may be recovered by those pursuing a particular educational problem and its solution. The ever a clearinghouse system now divided into 18 branches is one facility which helps educators in their research. In Urbana Illinois one Eric clearinghouse specializes in information about education of the child from birth to age eight documents that are unpublished such as manuscripts of lectures or mimeographed studies are analyzed at the ever clearing house key index words are drawn from each article and stored in the memory of the computer. When a person wants to know the identity of articles about preschool math and struction for the culturally deprived you can demand from the computer their titles by mentioning the key phrases culturally disadvantaged preschool curriculum and mathematics. Ryan
Carr is director of this every clearinghouse observes what impact the system has upon its users. Our audience and people that come to us and ask for help arrange all the way from university professors down to as did happen not very long ago a mullah walked in the front door with a little child and said What can I do for this child. And she said that I didn't have a very good education. And I know what it means to have an education. What can you do. What can you give me that will enable me to give this child a better education. Well that's a sort of the breadth of the spectrum that we're dealing with in this case what you do is to give her some basic booklets pamphlets time materials that she can go away and read normal things to make sure that she does understand that it's important to be.
Child is fed properly that you teach a child about hygiene basic basic things but very important that it is not enough to say to a child sit over there and be quiet. But you must enrich the environment of the child and you can do this very simply and it doesn't cost a lot of money to do it. Just giving the child a pencil and a paper is a great start. But you would be very surprised at some of the homes that I have been in. You say Nashville or in Arizona which is an entirely different kind of environment where it's a rare thing indeed that newspapers in the home Dr. Carson estimated the greatest response to this computer based system. I would say most of the inquiries we get are from teachers or brought it to Michael practitioners and
education. These would include people that are running daycare centers and in many instances for example like in the last Social Security Act that was passed an amendment in which it was attached to each. Yeah Mark something like 400 million dollars for the financing of day care centers. And it was required within the act that parents who are on welfare must receive training to qualify for welfare. But these daycare centers were there to take care of the truth. Of course the people that are stuffing these daycare centers saying well what do we do with the kids. You know you can't just have them then sit them in a room. That's not the purpose of the will. You couldn't really justify spending that amount of money. So they have been turning to us and saying I'm one of the sort of things you do with a child. Can you give curriculum can you
recommend the kind of toys that might like to play with toys that are not just toys to play with but toys. I teach them something at the same time. So it's this kind of demand that we've been receiving that we try to generate bibliographies which help them make recommendations just to kind of material to eat to get to what is good material. The natural question is why I put so much information into a computer why not handle the process manually. Dr. Carr's States clearly there is just too much literature for it to be done manually. And certainly when you're going to do any kind of situating of these massive files you see if you think that you have files of 20000 documents that's an awful lot of time. So it's the only reasonable way to do it.
To do an exhaustive search of course is to use a computer to do with research in such areas of education and with increased emphasis upon computers within the framework of today's schools the challenges of a growing population may be met. Students may come to depend upon computers as a new tool in the classroom and they realize the creative spirit of teachers committed to this new kind of education. Do not follow the new teacher's pet he notes school budgets class schedules and instruction itself. Educators welcome the speed and flexibility of the computer at all levels. On our next program in this series we'll turn to the repository for man's knowledge his libraries. According to next week's guests computers may bring a revolution and the concept of information retrieval. Each week the University of Illinois radio service brings you a new meaning behind the
slogan of the computer age. Do not been the staple or mutilate this. This program was distributed by the national educational radio network.
Do Not Fold
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Producing Organization
University of Illinois
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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"Do Not Fold" is a program about the growing applications of computer technology. Each episode focuses on how different professions and sectors are using computers to explore new possibilities in their line of work. Interviewees discuss how they are incorporating new technology into their work, what these innovations mean for the future of their field, and how they may affect the general public.
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Producer: Johnson, Jiffy
Producing Organization: University of Illinois
Production Designer: Haney, Edna
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 69-19-11 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:52
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