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deficiencies. The Wright Bill permits companies which donate computers to elementary and secondary schools to take a deduction of 125% of cost (rather than 200%), but only if suitable educational software and adequate teacher training are also provided at no additional cost to the taxpayer. The Wright Bill represents an approach that Tandy strongly supports. We commend it to you as a useful model for the Committee to consider during its deliberations on s. 1194 and S. 1195.

of the two bills (s. 1194 and s. 1195), the Bentsen-Chafee Bill (s. 1195) comes closest to meeting the essential objectives we have described above, However, both bills provide for a maximum deduction of 200% of basis cost, which is, we believe, far in excess of what is needed to stimulate manufacturer participation in the program. Moreover, s. 1194 would permit separate 200% deductions for contributions of hardware, software, and teacher training, while at the same time not requiring teacher training and suitable software to obtain the 200% deduction. This approach is in our view unduly expensive and might not achieve the desired goal of providing computer education for our young people.

In this time of growing educational need and limited budgetary resources, it is important to enact comprehensive legislation which meets the educational challenge at the lowest possible cost to the taxpayer. Therefore, I strongly urge the Committee to make mandatory the provision of adequate teacher training and suitable educational software as a condition of obtaining any increased deduction, and that a deduction substantially lower than 200% be enacted.

As the Committee's consideration of this legislation proceeds, we would be pleased to work with you and the Committee staff to ensure that the goals of s. 1194 and s. 1195 are met fully and responsibly.

very truly yours

John V. Roach

[From the New York Times, Apr. 24, 1983]


(By Sally Reed) CHICAGO.-At Taft High School on the Northwest Side last month, before television crews and a slew of reporters and photographers, Chicago's large, financially drained school system began tackling what may be the most critical issue in education today. Sitting in front of 100 donated machines, the first of all of the city's 22,000 elementary and secondary public school teachers and 500 of its administrators began attending one-day, six-hour workshops to introduce them to the microcomputer in the classroom. Chicago's effort, while bigger than most-it is billed as the nation's largest teacher-training project-is hardly the only one. This spring, in colleges, converted lunchrooms, in front of closed-circuit television screens, at conferences and in almost all parts of the country, teachers are learning to use computers.

The need has become critical because of the dramatic impact of technology on schools in recent years. According to the National center for education Statistics, the number of microcomputers in schools tripled between the fall of 1980 and the spring of 1982. Three-fifths of all secondary schools and one-fifth of elementary schools now have at least one microcomputer.

"Many schools now have the hardware, but they don't know what to do with it,” said Gwendolyn C. Baker, vice president and dean of graduate children's programs at the Bank Street College of Education in New York. “The great need right now is for teachers to become computer-literate.”

The issue, however, is extremely complex; it involves problems with school financing, the quality of instruction, the shortage of teachers in certain subject areas and debates about what it is that teachers should know.

Teachers need the training to teach computer literacy or basic computer concepts, computer science at the secondary level and basic skills at the elementary level. Yet the National Education Association says that according to a recent survey 82 percent of teachers want to take instructionally geared computer courses but only 20 percent have received training thus far. “There's a significant problem with the availability of computers as well as adequate training of teachers on how to use them,” said Willard McGuire, N.E.A. president.

Some school systems-in such places as Decatur, Ga., Lyons Township, Ill., Hopkins, Minn., Scarsdale, N.Y., and Houston-have become models for training their teachers for computer use, starting several years ago. Last year the New York City Board of Education organized 10-week computer courses for teachers throughout the city. By the end of this school year 6,000 teachers will have completed the program. In Wilmette, Ill., all the public-school teachers have had a basic computer literacy course and the school district is subsidizing further instruction for interested teachers in a nearby college.

“But teacher training, unforunately, has been a very ad hoc kind of thing so far,” said Lawrence Lipsitz, editor of Educational Technology. "It's more of an administrative problem now. Teachers in general are leading the administrators where there is a lack of leadership: Administrators don't have the expertise. So it's not just a problem of teacher training. Most school systems have not had the expertise to run training programs.

Teachers are getting the training from a variety of sources. Often one teacher in the school is trained and then trains others. In Connecticut, a recent survey of school districts revealed that the teacher training may come from several different sources in any given district: in-service teacher classes at a local school, courses at a local college, cooperating school district workshops and vendors of the machines.

“The teachers, interestingly, have been very remarkable,” said Mr. Lipsitz. “I don't see any teachers anymore who are opposed to the computer. Now, some confess misgivings and feel they are not equipped. But I don't meet any teachers who say we shouldn't have computers in the schools today. That has been a remarkable change. That's all happened within three years and in a field where it supposedly takes 50 years to change anybody's idea about anything.”

According to Robert Taylor, associate professor of education at Columbia University's Teachers College, the most serious opposition to teacher training on computers comes for those who first trained the teachers. "No matter what state you go to, Mr. Taylor said, “If a school district wants help it often can't get it from the local university or eduction faculty.”

There are exceptions: The National College of Education in Evanston, Ill., now offers “Micro Computers I and II” for teachers. Stanford University has a new

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master of arts degree in "interactive education teachnology” that combines courses in computer science, educational psychology and curriculum theory and design.

Columbia's Teachers College has had computer courses since 1975. The University of Akron has a new Center for Computer-Based Education. At DePaul University next fall there will be a new master's degree program for teachers who want to refocus their skills in math and computer technology. And the Bank Street College of Education is attempting to train all of its faculty on the use of the computer.

"The interest on the part of teachers is there, but it's a financial dilemma for most school systems,” said Sharon Woodruff, director of training services for Technical Education Research Centers in Cambridge, Mass. “It's not a lack of interest or concern but a means of support."

Where will that support come from? Industry has already made major contributions to schools. In addition to donating hardware, many businesses have also offered teacher training. The Tandy Corporation, for example, which markets its products through its Radio Shack outlets, is mailing instruction handbooks and basic computer-Literacy packages to 103,455 schools in the United States and offering free to teachers a limited number of classes in programming in Radio Shack equipment I.B.M. last month announced teacher-training programs where it has large facilities–New York, Florida and California.

Most educators hope the Federal Government will help underwrite teacher-training efforts. More than 20 bills are now before Congress to provide Federal grants, scholarships and tax credits. The American Federation of Teachers, representing 580,000 public school teachers, however, recently issue a report seeking more Federal money than has been proposed. It wants the money to go to train teachers, provide scholarships to new math and science teachers and computer experts, increase the focus on training in the elementary schools and provide greater access to computers in poorer school districts.

In the absence of Federal support, many states have begun their own programs. In California, 19 regional technical centers have been established. Minnesota, the nation's leader in promoting computer literacy in the schools, established the Minnesota Educational Computer Consortium, which provides resources to each school district in the state. There is also a bill before the State Legislature requiring computer literacy of every teacher.

In New Jersey, the state's Boards of Education and of Higher Education will sponsor a conference this month for faculty members and administrators of the state's colleges and universities with education departments. The New York State Department of Education recently established its Center for Learning Technologies, which is organizing regional technical assistance centers for schools.

“But the scope of the issue is very large,” Mr. Taylor of Teachers College said. "During the curriculum movement of the 1960's, when the Federal Government put big sums of money into training for special subject areas like physics or biology, it was for a much smaller segment of the teaching population. We're now talking about every teacher in the United States needing some computer training. The scope of that is enormous by any stretch of the imagination.”

[From the Wall Street Journal, Apr. 12, 1983]


(By Virginia Inman) Not long ago, when accountants needed computer services, they told data-processing people what they wanted and then waited for the results to come back on green and white printouts. People who were in business or at school hardly ever used computers themselves, though schools and businesses often used them for record keeping.

Now all that has changed, and millions of nontechnicians must use computers to do their jobs. But learning how to do it has been frightening for many of these people.

Dataquest Inc., a high-technology market-research company, says there were about three million computer terminals tied to central computer systems in the U.S. in 1980, not including personal computers or word processors. It expects the number to jump to 11.5 million by 1985.

Novices who use these machines are often afraid of breaking them. Nonspecialists are also intimidated by computer jargon and by error messages. And they're afraid

of looking dumb. Experts say computer anxiety can slow people down. It can also reduce self-esteem and productivity and hurt morale.

“ALL THESE BUTTONS Cynthia Appleby, an administrative assistance at Fairchild Industries Inc. in Germantown, Md., panicked when she had to face a computerized teleconferencing system. "I was praying that my boss would come and get me for something,” she says. In particular, she found trying to remember which buttons to hit while simultaneously talking to another office across the country very difficult. “You look at this control panel, with all these buttons,” she says. “You think, if you press the wrong button and you totally blow the machine up, how much money it's going to cost the company.'

Such fears are common. People unfamiliar with computers are “afraid that if they touch the wrong button, they'll blow up Pittsburgh,” says Carol Blomstrom, chairman of the computer-studies department at National University, a San Diego school that specializes in programs for adults.

One reason people fear computers is that they can't see the effects of their actions. “You have to trust,” says Thomas Sheridan, an engineering and applied psychology professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology: "Sometimes that trust is a coerced trust. Whenever you have a kind of forced blindness, certain problems arise. You've got superstition. You've got unhappiness.” Widespread use of computer jargon by people who understand computers increases the fear among nonspecialists, he says.

RELAXING WITH GAMES Donna Sarvis, a publishing employee and former National University student, thinks the mystique surrounding computers intimidates people. Many company computer rooms are little secret rooms "where these highly educated people are, and the rest of us are supposed to walk by in silence and say wow.” To get novices over their fears, she says, computer specialists ought to "put some fun in it and quit making it this ominous thing that's going to take over our lives.” A Sun Co. executive who took a training class says he was reluctant to hit the keyboard for fear of damaging the computer, but playing computer games with others in his class helped him relax.

Ann Jones, a 40-year-old first-grade teacher in Merrimac, Mass., is taking a "computer literacy" course at Lesley College in nearby Cambridge as part of a masters degree program in education. After about two months in the course, she's still afraid she'li damage the machine or erase someone else's programs.

She also becomes frustrated and scared when communication breaks down between her and the machine, especially since the reference manual is often unclear. She once spent an hour and a half trying to get a program to run. Finally, she tried a different machine, and the program ran. “I couldn't believe it. All that time lost” because of a mechanical failure, she recalls. “I might have checked sooner if I had known about the machines."

NASTY MESSAGES Some computers seem to be designed to make people feel stupid or afraid. Janet Leonberger, a librarian who also attends Lesley, says “nasty messages,” like "statement error” and “input error,” frustrate her. The computer, she says, “won't tell you how to correct your mistakes or what the messages mean.

Ben Shneiderman, a University of Maryland computer-science professor, thinks computer-systems designers ought to get rid of vague or threatening messages. Seeing a message like "fatal error, run aborted" can be a jolting experience for a novice, says Prof. Shneiderman. Another common computer message,.,"syntax error,” is so vague it's unhelpful. He suggests a more specific message, like "Unmatched left parenthesis,” which would guide the user to correct the mistake.

Miss Jones, the first-grade teacher, says she learned how a car works in a highschool driver education course and wishes she has similar knowledge of computers. “If I could lift up the hood of a computer and know what I was looking at, it wouldn't seem so abstract," she says.

YOUNG PEOPLE ADJUST EASIER In the work place, though, there isn't much time to teach people how computers operate or how to program them. When Murray Benett trains managers at a Fairchild division, he emphasizes how the computers can help them do their jobs. “To get managers to try to learn to program-that's harder," he says.

Of course, most users don't need to know how to program. They just need the right software package. But when they don't understand how a computer works, they don't know why they do certain things and the steps needed to operate the machine seem almost magical. Rebecca B. Corwin, a math professor at Lesley College who has studied teachers' reactions to computer training, has noticed that people get nervous about the order in which they're supposed to do things.

Computer anxiety affects all kinds of people, but some groups are more susceptible. Experts say people in their mid 30s and younger tend to adapt quickly, while those who are more than about 50 are more likely to be fearful. Prof. Sheridan compares using computers with assimilating into a new culture. “Kids pick it up first,' he says, and older people don't want to look stupid. Young people also usually have more time than their elders to become familiar with the machines.

WOMEN LEARN QUICKLY Carl Madding teaches Scott Paper Co. employees to use a computerized order processing system. He says older people in this classes “tend to be very reticent, very quiet. They tend to want to write everything down like it was something they were going to hold and cherish.” But Prof. Corwin says that despite their greater initial fears, older people who want to use computers make excellent students. They're determined, she says, and they work hard.

According to Mr. Madding, the fastest learners are women in their 20s, possibly because they don't mind typing. Prof. Blomstrom also notices that women generally conquer computer anxiety faster than men. She thinks women, especially those who have been forced to reenter the work place, are more accustomed to change than men and more willing to admit their fears. It also helps, says Prof. Blomstrom, that "women don't have this phony status thing that they can't touch the keyboard."

William L. Howard, corporate director for performance and productivity at Fairchild, says that "middle managers are the toughest problem. They're less willing to change. They got where they are because they were expert at how their function operated, and now you're changing how the function operates."

Secretaries also resist computers. They're afraid they'll be tied to their desks as broadly defined jobs become typing positions.

After working with senior executives, Mr. Howard has decided age is less important than he once thought. “The quickest learners were the most senior executives,”

Prof. Corwin says teachers, managers and others in positions of authority often feel they ought to already know about computers and are afraid people will lose respect for them if they aren't immediately compentent. Many suffer from what La Jolla, Calif., psychologist Thomas McDonald calls “jerkophobia,” or the fear of looking stupid. He says this particular anxiety is "quite common" among executives, who are used to being in command of situations. Says Mr. McDonald, "They're confronted with a machine that 13 year olds are whizzes on, and they don't know what

he says.

to do.”

[From the Miami News, May 10, 1983]



(By Ellis Berger) Few Dade County public school teachers have the foggiest idea of what to do with them.

Instructors say the students often know more than they do about their use.

They're microcomputers, the latest classroom acessory, a modern blend of gadgetry and technology, part toy, part tool, an electronic equivalent of notebook, textbook and tutor rolled into one.

Two years ago, Dade School Board bought more than $1 million worth of microcomputers. Next month the board will spend another $5.5 million on the school system's fledgling computer education program.

Yet many of the computers sit idle much of the time, largely unused by the students they were supposed to help.

Critics say the problem is the school system's lack of a clearly defined, countywide policy for computer education. Teachers and principals have been left on their own

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