History of Computers in
EDUC 515 - Educational Technology & Learning
San Diego Regional Center
Master’s Digital Teaching & Learning
Professor: Jeff McKendricks
A brief history
1965: Mainframes and
Microcomputers put into
schools - used mostly for
1960’s: Computers used in
education for computer-
assisted instruction (CAI).
Purpose was to help
students with skills, not
advance their knowledge
through higher order
1975: Apple I Computers donated to schools.
1980’s: Teachers afraid they would be replaced by
computers & fearful of computer malfunctions.
Overall, the 80’s had little in the way of
educational soft ware. Teacher’s were asking, “how
do I use a computer in my classroom?”
Educational philosophy at the time - students
needed to know how the computer worked
Students sent to a computer lab
to learn by a computer teacher.
1983: Belief surfacing that
computers can be used to support
Apple II Computers ﬁnd
widespread acceptance in
education and Apple develops
computer based tutorials and
With the development of AppleWorks, school
computers had word processing, spreadsheet,
database, paint and draw application. This caused a
move away from teaching programming.
schools, but they
could not manage
soft ware available
and were using
gopher ser vers to
Computing power was surpassing the capacity and
budgets of schools and they were left with outdates
Early 1990’s: textbook companies were pairing
textbooks with laser disks. Barcodes used in texts
with a barcode reader allowed teachers to access
resources on the laser disc (ﬁlm footage, video clips,
still images & diagrams).
1993: Barcodes placed on library books - no more paper
library cards to check out books.
1995: Internet starting to be used in schools.
1996: New graphics ad multimedia tools are
developed for delivery of information and
instruction using the internet. Schools start re-
wiring for internet access.
1997-present: Schools continually attempt to
integrate computers into direct instruction, but
lack of money and unchanging mindsets place
roadblocks on technology integration.
Sadly, although computers are present in the
classrooms, teaching styles have not changed much.
California State Long Beach University. History, the history
of computers,and the history of computers in education.
June 25, 2009.
IGI Global. A brief history of computers, computing in
education. <https:/ /igi-pub.com/downloads/excerpts/
SchifterExc.pdf>. Retrieved June 25, 2009.