From the Back Cover
The Computer as an Educational Tool leads teachers to become proficient at applying the computer to solve problems, and infusing the computer into the curriculum to enhance learning and understanding. It also encourages both the teacher and learner to integrate technology into their professional, academic, and personal lives in useful and meaningful ways. This edition provides a current, comprehensive look at the computer's role in education and the application of the computer as a tool.New to the Fourth Edition:
- The following national/international standards for developing computer competencies are explained and linked to chapter content:
- A matrix on the inside front cover illustrates where ISTE standards are addressed in each chapter.
- Into the Classroom essays and tips feature real classroom teachers from across the United States and Canada discussing how they use the technology described in the chapter.
- The Companion Website, www.prenhall.com/forcier, has been expanded and is integrated with the text. This includes a list of the ISTE/NCATE standards addressed in each chapter.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
The Computer as an Educational Tool: Productivity and Problem Solving, Fourth Edition, is based on the authors' long-held view that technology should be as transparent as possiblethat is, that the use of technology should not call attention to itself but rather should be a means to an end. The computer should empower the user to solve problems effectively and efficiently.
The goal of this book is to lead teachers and those aspiring to be teachers to become proficient at applying the computer to solve problems, to infuse the computer into the curriculum in order to help students do the same, and to encourage both teachers and learners to integrate technology into their professional, academic, and personal lives in useful and meaningful ways. Those who are successful in doing this will indeed come to see the computer as an extension of their human capability. The computer will allow them to do more, to do it faster, and to do it more creatively and more accurately.
A PROBLEM-SOLVING FOCUS
The Computer as an Educational Tool: Productivity and Problem Solving, Fourth Edition, provides a current, comprehensive look at the computer's role in education, as well as the application of the computer as a tool of the mind. As the text examines the computer's various roles in education, topics are organized into specific areas of interest to encourage an understanding of the computer's contribution to solving problems. Problem-solving models are included in the text to encourage an increase in computer productivity and to clarify the application of the computer in a thoughtful and deliberate manner, reinforcing the concept of the computer as a mind tool.
A LINK TO NATIONAL STANDARDS
Three sets of national/international standards for developing computer competencies in schools are explained and used in this fourth edition. The 18 foundation standards developed (revised in 1998) by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and adopted by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) for integration throughout teacher education programs are one set. The other two sets consist of standards again developed by an ISTE project cosponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, NASA, and computer industry representatives that became known as the National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS•S) and the National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers (NETS•T). Applicable standards are listed at the beginning of each chapter. Also, NETS•S and NETS•T standards as well as chapter correlations are listed on the inside front and rear covers.
NEW IN THIS EDITION
Teachers and students will find that the strengths of the book in its fourth edition remain:
- A balance of factual information, research, theory, and application
- Highly readable, student-friendly prose
- Technical matters explained clearly for the nonexpert audience
- Full NETS•S and NETS•T integration
- Examples drawn from both PC-based Windows and Macintosh platforms
With the help of feedback from professors and student users delivered via e-mail and in an extensive review process, this book has been revised significantly. Meaningful changes have been made to more effectively demonstrate the computer's capacity as an educational tool for problem solving and to show to a greater extent the range of classroom applications of computer technology available to teachers and learners. Highlights of this revision include:
- ISTE NETS Standards
- ISTE NETS•S Standards are printed on the inside front cover along with a matrix that shows where the standards are addressed in the textbook.
- ISTE NETS•T Standards are printed on the back inside cover along with a matrix that shows where these standards are addressed in the textbook.
- The text is divided into two parts. The first deals with foundational issues and underlying theory. The second addresses practical classroom applications of the computer.
- A reorganized table of contents reflects a deeper integration of problem solving in various aspects of the curriculum and better contextualizes computer use in educational settings.
- Chapter 3 presents a practical explanation of computer equipment, and appropriate equipment is discussed in context with its school application.
- Chapter 10, one combined chapter on multimedia and multimedia authoring, provides information on classroom applications of multimedia and the use of multimedia authoring tools.
- Chapter 11, on Internet resources, offers strategies for using search tools, including filtered search engines. The basics of Web page construction are presented, including the use of commonly found editors.
- Chapter 12, a chapter on curriculum applications of the Internet, focuses on integrating Internet-based tools into the curriculum. Applications for both teachers and students are suggested, using numerous Websites. Information is also given on how to critically evaluate Websites.
- Curriculum applications receive even greater emphasis with numerous examples, model lessons, and suggestions for integrating the computer into educational curricula.
- A new bundled CD-ROM contains a database manager demo copy along with Microsoft Office files of the actual examples used in the word processing, spreadsheet, and database chapters. Students can have a hands-on experience with the examples and can modify and extend them.
- Students using this text will be exposed to and interact with all NETS•S and NETS•T Standards. Complete NETS•S and NETS•T chapter correlations are listed on the inside front and rear covers. No other text can make this statement. An improved Companion Website serves as a resource to the instructor and as reference for the student. It includes PowerPoint presentations related to material covered in the text. It also includes:
- sample software evaluation forms
- a sample parental permission form for telecommunications
- a practical listing of Internet resources and their addresses
- field definitions for a software database
- a list of software publishers, in a form that allows the authors to constantly update the information and add new features as needed with a statement of each one's sales and support policies, and lots more.
TEXT ORGANIZATION AND SPECIAL FEATURES
Woven throughout this text is the use of the computer as a personal productivity and problem-solving tool for the teacher in an instructional role, as well as for the student in a learning role. The text, therefore, is organized with the following thematic frameworks:
- Issues in information technology. A number of issues are examined, including copyright, intellectual property, equitable computer access, and gender equity.
- Learning theory and instruction. Theoretical structures are established to look at the computer's role in teacher-centered instruction and to examine student-centered learning. Both behaviorist and constructivist perspectives are examined. Underlying principles and theories of education are reviewed and applied to discussions of computer applications in instruction and learning.
- Strategies for computer use. The computer as a productivity tool is applied to tutorial, drill and practice, simulation, and multimedia formats. The Internet, word processing, graphics, databases, and spreadsheets are seen as problemsolving tools in the curriculum. Furthermore, the text is organized to provide thorough coverage of computer knowledge and educational applications, including the following:
- Word processing. Curriculum applications are suggested and sample lessons are presented to illustrate them.
- Graphics. Bit-mapped and vector graphics are explored and examples given. Instruction on the use of the computer to generate display graphics for charts and graphs, signs, posters, bulletin boards, and projected presentations is given.
- Spreadsheets. Problem-solving models are applied to the development of spreadsheets. Detailed instructions on the creation of spreadsheets are presented. Curriculum applications are suggested and sample lessons are presented to illustrate them. Proper selection of chart types and the interpretation of data represented by graphs are analyzed.
- Databases. The organization and retrieval of information are examined. Problem-solving models are applied to the development of databases. Detailed instruction on the creation of databases is presented. Curriculum applications are suggested and sample lessons are presented to illustrate them.
This edition maintains the style of the third edition, which drew acclaim from students for presenting important and useful information in a highly readable format. The following features are included in each chapter:
- Each chapter begins with an advance organizer and applicable NCATE and NETS standards.
- Into the Classroom features connect chapter information directly to real-life classroom situations.
- Charts and line drawings are used to illustrate concepts in a concrete manner.
- Screen displays illustrate application software in, as much as possible, a nonspecific hardware platform.
- Exercises allow the student the opportunity to process the information presented in the chapter and apply it in a practical manner, using higher-order thinking skills.
- Important terms are printed in boldface when they are introduced to the reader. They are then defined in the chapter glossary and are included in the index at the end of the book to facilitate reference.