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Shneiderman, B. (April 1993)
Engagement and Construction: Education Strategies for the Post-TV Era
Computer Assisted Learning, International Conference on Computers and Learning, (Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada, June 17-20, 1992) 39-45. Also Journal of Computing in Higher Education, vol. 4 (2) (Spring 1993) 106-116. Also Sparks of Innovation in Human-Computer Interaction, Shneiderman, B., Ed., Ablex (June 1993) 345-350.

We all remember the empty faces of students seated in rows, intermittently taking notes, and trying to retain disjointed facts. This old lecture style seems as antiquated as a 19th century clockwork mechanism; familiar and charming, but erratic and no longer adequate. The orderly structure of industrial age mechanisms and the repetitiveness of the assembly line are giving way to the all-at-once immediacy of McLuhan's non-linear electrified global village [McL64]. The early electronic media such as radio, stereos, and television have created a snap-crackle-and-popular culture that is enjoyable, but passive. The post-TV era will be different. Computing and communication technologies offer opportunities for engagement with other people and the power too ls to construct remarkable artifacts and experiences. Educators can now create engaging processes for their students that will motivate them to work together and explore the frontiers of knowledge. Students from elementary schools through college can apply computing technology (word processors, spreadsheets, databases, drawing programs, design tools, music composition software, etc.) to construct high quality products that they can proudly share with others. Advanced communications tools (electronic mail, network access, bulletin board systems, videotape recorders, TV broadcasts) support engagement among students, connection to the external world, information gathering, and dissemination of results.


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