Occasionally I think that the progress has been disappointingly slow. However, for the most part, I have been quite
optimistic throughout the years. I always feel that the best is yet to come. Even now, I feel that the field is just
barely emerging from infancy!
technically oriented workers…. The
high-touch aspects of our society have
considerably different characteristics.
High touch refers to people skills such
as knowledge of self, knowledge of
others, and good abilities to use this
knowledge. High touch relates to getting along with others, which is essential since high tech has led to weapons
of mass destruction.”
Tech fact: Compaq beats IBM to the
market with the Deskpro 386, the first
computer to use Intel’s 80386 chip, a
32-bit microprocessor with 275,000
transistors on each chip. The chip gave
PCs as much speed and power as older mainframes and minicomputers.
In the world: The space shuttle Challenger explodes, killing the entire
crew, including teacher Christa
McAuliffe. The world’s worst nuclear
accident occurs at the Chernobyl
nuclear power plant north of Kiev,
Moursund: “Education would be better…
…if teachers had more status in our
…if our society valued education
…if there were more money and better pay.
…if teachers were more professional.
…if teachers were life-long learners.
…if teachers had the opportunity to
visit each other’s classes and to observe master teachers at work.
…if more and better inservice opportunities were available.
…if administrators and school boards
would let teachers teach and quit in-
terfering so much—for example, quit
assigning teachers so many nonteaching duties.”
Tech fact: A computer worm named
Morris unleashed by a Cornell University graduate student clogs 6,000
university and military computers but
causes no real damage.
In the world: The United States bans
smoking on flights shorter than two
hours. Mikhail Gorbachev becomes
president of the Soviet Union. A magnitude 6. 9–8.0 earthquake kills up to
55,000 people in northern Armenia.
Moursund: “In my opinion, our educational system is poised on the brink.
Massive change agents such as distance
education, computer-assisted learning, transportation of students, and
corporation-run schools could lead to
massive, relatively rapid, revolutionary
changes in our current system.”
Tech fact: The Hubble space telescope
sends back its first photographs. Microsoft releases Windows 3.0.
In the world: Nelson Mandela is released from a South African prison
after being detained for 27 years as
a political prisoner fighting against
Apartheid. McDonald’s opens its first
restaurant in Moscow. The Persian
Gulf War begins.
Moursund: “It takes many years of
training and experience to achieve
one’s full potential in any area of academic endeavor. Students who have
good access to computers at home
and routinely use them for communication, information retrieval, problem
solving, playing intellectually challenging games, studying, and so forth
will gain a significant advantage over
students who only have access to computers at school.”
Tech fact: Apple introduces the Power
Macintosh, which uses the PowerPC
chip co-developed with IBM and
Motorola. The PowerPC processor
puts the Macintosh on par with Intel’s
In the world: Nelson Mandela becomes
the first black president of South
Africa. Some 100,000 men, women,
and children flee ethnic slaughter in
Rwanda. Israel begins its final withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.
Moursund: “Consider a scenario 20
years in the future: Every student
has a personal portable microcom-puter for use at home and at school.
Wireless connectivity to local and
worldwide networks is provided in
every classroom. A wide range of software tools and educational software is
available to every student. Computer-assisted learning and distance education are routine parts of the teaching
and learning environment, both at
school and at home. These methods
of instructional delivery provide access to instruction in the full range
of coursework that is appropriate to
K– 12 students. The combined power
of current hardware and software
supports high-quality voice-input systems. Tool and educational software
are both ‘intelligent’—that is, they reflect the steady progress that has been
occurring in artificial intelligence.”
Tech fact: Phillippe Kahn develops one
of the first camera phones. Jorn Barger
coins the phrase “weblogs” on his Web
site, Robot Wisdom.
In the world: Scientists clone Dolly the
sheep. Princess Diana dies in a car