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Computer Education in Australia Fifty Years Ago

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Digital Transformation of Education and Learning - Past, Present and Future (OCCE 2021)

Part of the book series: IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology ((IFIPAICT,volume 642))

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Abstract

This paper is about computer education in Australia fifty years ago when it was just at its beginning. It makes particular reference to the State of Victoria. The paper covers the period of the 1950s–1980s. It looks at how, after the first mainframe computers appeared, university courses in programming began in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1960 the Australian Commonwealth Government began looking for ways in which government departments could make use of computers and in 1963 set up the Programmers-in-Training scheme. This was later taken over by the Colleges of Advanced Education and became the template for many future business computing tertiary courses. Computing in schools made a minor start in the early 1970s with a few schools teaching programming in Maths classes using punch cards that were run at a local university. Arrival of the low-priced microcomputer in the late 1970s changed the situation dramatically with many schools quickly making use of them in education. Initially this involved teaching about information technology, but in the later 1980s computers began to be used in other subject areas.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    CSIRAC – Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Automatic Computer.

  2. 2.

    It is believed that CSIRAC is the only remaining first generation computing still intact and on display in the world.

  3. 3.

    The Apple II used a cassette tape recorder as storage and a television set as a monitor.

  4. 4.

    In some countries these courses were called Computer Literacy.

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Tatnall, A. (2022). Computer Education in Australia Fifty Years Ago. In: Passey, D., Leahy, D., Williams, L., Holvikivi, J., Ruohonen, M. (eds) Digital Transformation of Education and Learning - Past, Present and Future. OCCE 2021. IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology, vol 642. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-97986-7_10

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-97986-7_10

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