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Ronald G. Ragsdale.

Toronto, OISE Press, c1982.
(Informal series #45).
107pp, paper, $6.75.
ISBN 0-7744-5056-8.

Reviewed by Jean Farquharson.

Volume 11 Number 5.
1983 September.

Ron Ragsdale, instructor at OISE, has addressed educators who are interested in the application of computers in schools and who have some knowledge of the subject. His purpose is to cover a number of important questions without necessarily providing all the answers. He outlines why and how we can make use of computers, how the use of computers will affect elementary and secondary teachers, how we should decide hardware and software needs and make evaluations, how we must organize and control this new technology. He suggests where we should begin our efforts "to maximize the advantages that computers can offer us, and at the same time, minimize the possible disadvantages." In the concluding chapter, Ragsdale discusses the need for curriculum change and training at the post-secondary level.

Teaching involving computers is divided into three main parts: teaching about computers (mostly computer literacy), teaching through computers (computer-assisted instruction), and teaching with computers (using the computer as a tool word processing, VisiCalc, etc.). He also discusses teaching to computers or the computer as "tutee." This refers to Seymour Papert and his followers who have constructed a simple language called LOGO to be used by young children to teach the computer the definition of shapes. Upon command, the computer will draw the shapes it has learned. Another example would be students who instruct the computer in the syllabication of words and in the process, learn the subject themselves. Ragsdale feels that using the computer as tutee may be the most important application of computers in education.

Each chapter is summarized. There is a very extensive bibliography, but no index. Later printings of the book are in reduced size with smaller print, which may be difficult for middle-aged readers. Recommended to all teachers, especially those taking courses on the subject.

Jean Farquharson, Brantford C. I. & V. S., Brantford, ON.
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