By Elisabeth Gerver (auth.)
A few years in the past, a ebook of this kind and elegance couldn't or do not need been written. it is because, until eventually many years in the past, no actual in-depth knowl fringe of desktops and automated gear was once on the disposal of these with a nonscience, nonquantitative history. a few humans from different disciplines-including company, the humanities, and the social sciences-had been operating with such gear, yet that they had "gone over" and tended to be much more computer-conscious than these whom they served. it's only relatively lately that individuals like Elisabeth Gerver with an organization arts and grownup schooling history firstly turned a professional after which remained precise to that history. To her everlasting credits, Elisabeth Gerver, while she grew to become concerned, kept away from being sucked into the realm of the jargon or perhaps that of the considering the pc scientists and the digital engineers. to the contrary, she insisted that she was once an informed lady facing different knowledgeable humans, and they may all converse within the language of daily discourse. It labored! One final result of her event and her proposal is that this remarkably lucid and readable ebook. it's going to end up to be of giant price to many on the earth of grownup and neighborhood schooling. however the beneficiaries will run past these sectors of society. people with a nonscience, nonquantitative historical past would definitely locate it of sizeable worth of their early, necessarily hesitant and defective, grappling with the realm of recent technology.
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Extra resources for Humanizing Technology: Computers in Community Use and Adult Education
Here again there seem to be a variety of interlocking factors. In the first place, boys seem to have a much stronger motivation to engage with computers for their own sake and will, therefore, probably be more tolerant of difficulties placed in their path, such as poor quality teaching. Girls, with their stronger practical bent, will often wonder what the point of it all is, when, in many cases, the power of the computer is used to perform trivial tasks which could be carried out more efficiently by hand or by using a calculator.
In the first place, trying to assume responsibility for the whole field of computers would be an advanced form of megalomania: computers are specifically useful for an enormous range of specific purposes, most of which community education is in no position to affect significantly. Secondly, the kinds of resources traditionally most available to community education-scarcity of funds but a substantial supply of the time of voluntary workers-are diametrically opposed The Paradox of Computers 29 to two of the major characteristics of computers, which require substantial funds but relatively few people.
The phenomenon has been described most fully by Weizenbaum (1976): Wherever computer centers have become established . . bright young men of disheveled appearance, often with sunken glowing eyes, can be seen sitting at computer consoles, their arms tensed and waiting to fire their fingers, already poised to strike, at the buttons and keys .... When not so transfixed, they often sit at tables strewn with computer printouts over which they pore like possessed students of a cabalistic text. They work until they nearly drop, twenty, thirty hours at a time.
Humanizing Technology: Computers in Community Use and Adult Education by Elisabeth Gerver (auth.)