A Brief History of Computers, Computing in Education, and Computing in Philadelphia Schools

A Brief History of Computers, Computing in Education, and Computing in Philadelphia Schools

Catherine Schifter (Temple University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-765-2.ch001
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Abstract

There was a time when electricity was a novelty; something to be harnessed, to be understood. With time, not only did mankind harness electricity and understand it, but electricity became a mainstay of modern society. Today we cannot imagine our lives without light bulbs, refrigerators, and all the wonderful appliances that run on electricity. Similarly, there was a time when the telephone was a toy for the wealthy in their homes. Only the very well off could afford one of those “contraptions.” Why would the hoi polloi have a need for a telephone at home? Again, with time, not only did the hoi polloi have a need for the telephone in the home, but phones became self contained (i.e., didn’t need an operator as a mediator), smaller, and portable with the advent of the modern twenty-first century cell phone. But cell phones too rely on electricity; and as with electricity, we cannot imagine our lives without the telephone in all its forms.

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