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Computers in the Classroom?

Writing and Thinking with Computers
Monroe
1993

Unfortunately, computers in English classrooms has turned from teaching students to “enhance their writing and thinking” into teaching students that copying and pasting from Wikipedia is unacceptable.  It’s a whole new world of computers in classrooms now!

0 Responses to Computers in the Classroom?

  • “Imitation and the split screen.” Gosh, that sounds like something to encourage.

    Speaking of which, hopefully the next section of the TOC has to do with sources and citations. We’re talking about academic writing, after all.

    (Apparently teachers should shape the English/Language arts curriculum. Someone should let the No Child Left Behind people know.)

  • At the time this was very useful, and computers were a great writing motivator. The whole editing process was much much easier and kids were more willing to do it. It was miraculous. It’s ironic that as the writing/editing process became easier it also became easier to cheat.

  • You know what’s even worse – they used the wrong word. They meant “rational”, not “rationale,” as in excuse or explanation. They have different meanings and pronunciations! The sentence makes no sense!

    “…Monroe offers both a rationale[sic] and much practical advice…”

    Wait, that “much” shouldn’t be there either, it should just be practical. I think.

    I’ve noticed some misspellings in library books before, but they’re usually fiction that comes from small publishers. Or in YA.

    • No, they used the correct word. Rationale is a noun, while rational is an adjective. Monroe is stated as offering “both a rationale and much practical advice”. By substituting in variables for the words, you can say “Monroe is offering both X and Y”, which requires two nouns. Ergo, rationale is the correct word to use. As for the inclusion of the word “much”…well it is modifying the noun phrase “practical advice” and giving it a quantity.

      Now, this doesn’t mean the sentence isn’t awkwardly phrased. It could be rewritten as follows:

      “… Monroe offers both a method of application and plenty of practical advice…”

    • Have to disagree with you here: Monroe is offering two things. The first is a rationale (as in an explanation) for using computers in the classroom. The second is “much practical advice” for using computers in the classroom. So in this case rationale is correct.
      I do agree that the sentence is awkward though. It definitely requires a second look and that’s especially confusing and frustrating when reading a blurb. Perhaps splitting the thought into two sentences would have been helpful. Where is my red pen….

      • Thanks guys, I read it as if advice was the noun and rational/practical were adjectives.

        I won’t tell you how fried I am. Or was. so sleepy.

        college student

  • When I started high school computers were just starting to be common, (about 1 in every 4 kids had them at home ) You quickly learned that spell check was not always your friend, that just becasue a word was spelled correctly does not mean that it was saying what you wanted it to say. But on the plus side you also learned that if you changed the margins slightly and increased the font by one or two points you didn’t have to write as much to get the pages…

  • Is it sad that when I graduated from high school (5 years ago) we had computers that looked just like the one on the cover? They barely worked and 9 times out of 10 if you accidentally turned it off it wouldn’t turn back on again. The librarians and comp lab aides took to gluing wood scraps from the tech and shop class over the power buttons to keep us from poking them.

    Also, it was REALLY hard to find floppy disks to save our work in a time where even CDs had been usurped by flash drives.

  • It would appear that a well-rounded curriculum for computers in the classroom includes learning the art of time-wasting with solitaire.

  • Wow! 1993! I think we used the computers in my classr00m that year for Number Munchers and Oregon Trail.

  • I enjoyed these comments. Having just completed my MLIS degree in an online program this year the month before I turned 65, my teaching days go back before anyone even heard of a computer. Besides teaching high school English I was saddled with the journalism classes. My students put out award winning yearbooks but I also had a group of rebels who put together a weekly newspaper for the high school using the real cut and paste method with a typewriter and scissors–we had our own darkroom for developing pictures. I bought my first computer in the 90’s for my own children and to help me do a secretarial job. I literally cried when my boss tried to teach me how to use a a very complicated original pc, I don’t even remember what it was. All I know was it gave me a case of serious tech phobia that I am very proud to have overcome.

    • You Go Nan! … could you go and have a talk to my parents? my dad won’t even use an ATM… and they still have a rotary phone.

  • I have mentioned this before on this website, but when I was still attending school back then (around 1993-94) I would play on the computer game THE CARTOONERS. This was about 5 years before I have ever heard of the Internet.