The use of a microcomputer in the primary school
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The current situation in primary schools is surveyed to set the scene for a discussion of the purpose, problems and possibilities of introducing microcomputers. Reasons are given for selecting the Corrmodore CBM/PET microcomputer and the implications of this selection. Due to the shortage of appropriate software a range of programs suitable for the primary school was developed. The philosophy of program design, overriding design aims and practical implications of the programs in areas of number reinforcement, language skills, geography, biology and logic games are explained. Evaluating the success of introducing the microcomputer is difficult since it is affected by a wide variety of factors including physical school environment; staff experience, training and attitude to integrating the computer into the classroom to add a new dimension to the school curriculum. The microcomputer hardware alone is not sufficient, suitable software and appropriate supporting services are essential. Without exception the pupils reacted to the microcomputer with enthusiasm, enjoyment, and excitement and were highly motivated by it. In particular the younger and less able pupils seemed to benefit most. Microcomputers will be introduced into primary schools and welcomed by the pupils, but will prompt a huge and increasingly sophisticated demand for computer related in-service training for the teachers.
Thesis, MSc Master of Science
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