Informatics and changes in learning vol:34 pages:37-47
The introduction of computers in schools in the early 1980s was accompanied by high expectations with respect to the potential of the New Information Technology (NIT) for improving education. However, at present it has become clear that those expectations have not been fulfilled, neither by computer-assisted instruction nor by intelligent tutoring systems. If is argued that this is largely due to the educationally inadequate conditions of computer applications in classrooms, based on unrealistic assumptions about the instructional potential of the NIT and on an inappropriate conception of learning as a passive process of information absorption. A new expanding conception of productive educational computing is described : computers should be embedded tr powerful collaborative learning environments as tools that elicit and support in students active processes of knowledge acquisition, meaning construction, and problem solving. Two examples of educational software representative of this conception are CSILE (Computer-Supported Intentional Learning Environments) and Geometry Supposers. There is however a need for further research and development and policy to support the approach.