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Kathlene R. Willing and Suzanne Girard

Markham (Ont.), Pembroke Press, 1990. 112pp, paper, $12.95
ISBN 0-921217-52-8, CIP

Reviewed by Jean Farquharson.

Volume 19 Number 2
1991 March

Both authors have been involved with students, classrooms and computer workshops for many years, and their writing has been recognized by the Federation of Women Teachers' Asso­ciations of Ontario with its 1989-1990 Writer's Award.

In their introduction to this practical guide, Willing and Girard encourage elementary teachers who have not yet begun to use computers in their class­rooms to adapt their many teaching skills to this new technological tool.

The book is based on a three-step integration approach - by subject, theme and whole language. Willing and Girard explain these methods in separate chapters. They address co­operative learning and show how to use the computer as a powerful tool in group dynamics. To provide assistance in planning, organizing and evaluating, they include several reproducible examples using WEBS and matrices. The authors provide practical ideas in chapters covering graphics/text soft­ware, word processing, simulation software, and computer-related class­room activities. A glossary is included, but sometimes full definitions of terms must be found by searching the text through the index. An index of soft­ware includes the page references and their publishers. Unfortunately, the list of publishers, which includes addresses, is limited to mostly well-known Ameri­can sources.

As well, the book has certain other limitations. No reference is made to any specific make of computer. I assume that most of the programs mentioned are available for popular machines such as Commodore 64 and APPLE II. No warning is given about "cute" software that has little educational value, or about software that is not appropriate for the capabilities of computers. Although teachers are advised to read reviews in selecting software, little advice has been given beyond a point-form list of criteria, which need further explanation for the teacher new to the medium; however, an annotated bibliography directs the reader to some other references.

Unfortunately, the reader is left to find out about LOGO and databases, which are very important applications of the computer as a teaching tool and should have been included.

Recommended with reservations. For elementary teachers.

Jean Farquharson, Paris, Ont.
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