UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The implementation of a humanities computer laboratory Gray, Steven G.


The last 10 years have seen an explosion in the number of microcomputers available for use in the educational system. However, teachers have little experience in using microcomputers in the classroom and teachers' perceptions of this innovation have seldom been taken into account when implementing computers into the classroom. This case study was undertaken to delineate teachers' perceptions of computers during the implementation of a 14 computer English/Social Studies computer lab being installed as a teaching tool. Twelve teachers were interviewed during June 1985, just before the implementation of the lab, and again in June 1986, one year after the lab's implementation. The interviews were analysed to determine whether past experience influenced teachers' present perceptions of the usefulness of the new computer lab. The study found that Naive Users, or teachers with little or no experience with computers made more use of the computer lab as an aid in teaching the writing process than did Experienced Users who confined themselves to having students use the computer as an electronic typewriter. The study also found that the presence of an Aide to help students with the technical aspects of word processing freed the teachers to use the lab as writing tool without necessarily becoming technically proficient with the computer themselves. As computers become more common in the school system, it becomes important that teachers recognize and understand that these new tools are useful in helping to teach students to write. Otherwise computers may largely become a subject of study rather than a tool suitable for student use in many curricular areas.

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