Computers in high school agriculture programs: a national study of need, use, and value

Date
1990
Authors
Zidon, Mark
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Abstract

The study's objectives were to determine the need for computers in high school agriculture classes, determine how they were being used, and determine the teachers' perceived value of the effectiveness of using computers. An additional objective of determining reasons for not using computers was addressed to those teachers where students did not use computers;Six hundred schools were randomly selected from a population of 9,093 high school agriculture departments in the United States. The response rate was 53.7 percent;The use of computers by agriculture teachers was still relatively new with the group mean being less than five years of computer experience. Most teachers rated themselves no higher than just able to get by in their ability to use specific software programs. Computers were being used more often as a tool for instruction rather than as an object of instruction;Teachers generally agreed with statements that indicated students need to use computers in agriculture classes. Teachers, where students did not use computers, were less likely to agree that students need to use computers;Computer programs most often used were word processing, educational games, and drill and practice programs. Teachers rated educational games as being the most educational and motivational. A slight correlation between years of owning a computer and teachers' agreement that educational games wasted time suggests that games should not be overused, even through they may be motivational;Computers were used most often in crop and livestock production. These topics, however, were the topics most often taught;Teachers were positive about the value of five selected types of software. They agreed that these programs were educational and motivational. They generally disagreed with the idea that these programs wasted time;Teachers in schools where computers were not used agreed that the teacher is not equipped to teach with computers. They disagreed with the idea that computers were too technical for students and wasted too much teacher time.

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Agricultural education and studies, Agricultural education
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