Successful use of microcomputers in classroom instruction

by John D. Winkler, Richard J. Shavelson, Cathy Stasz, Abby Robyn

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A widely shared belief among many policymakers, educators, parents, and the general public is that microcomputers have the potential to help pull U.S. education out of its current state of mediocrity, and subsequently improve its quality. This paper addresses the standard implied in such an evaluation, that is, the nature of successful classroom microcomputer use that might be embodied in the teaching of widely recognized expert or master teachers. The authors advance a preliminary definition of successful microcomputer use that focuses on how teachers integrate microcomputers with their ongoing instruction. Potential means of integration are discussed, including teachers' instructional goals, ongoing curriculum, computer-based learning activities, appropriateness of integration, and feedback.

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