Archive for May, 2003

Computers in Future Classrooms by Paul Abramson

May 15, 2003

Paul writes “Today I listened to a conversation between a computer “expert” and an architect concerning the future of computer use in the classroom. Both were agreed that within five years all students would be using hand held computers in the classroom, not laptops and certainly not desk models.

They may be right about the technology, but I am concerned about children. Has anybody done any research about the effect on young children’s eyes of using smaller and smaller computer screens? Has anybody done any research on the question of dexterity and the ability of six and seven year olds to use computers that are very small. Has anybody done any thinking or research about how hand-held computers might be used by a distraught child?

All of this started when I told them about an exercise some 60 of us had been involved in. We were in teams (teachers, architects and planners) and were to design an elementary classroom to certain specifications. I pointed out that nine separate teams designed rooms and none of us included any desktop computers. We all assumed that students would use laptops and most of us provided a means for charging their batteries. Their response was what I reported above — that in five years there would be no laptops, just hand-helds. Hence my question.

Can anyone respond? I can be reached at