Definition of a Computer

Did you know that if you look in a dictionary printed before 1940, a definition of a computer is defined as a person who performs calculations.

This type of definition still exists today in the Oxford English Dictionary although takes secondary place -to the real definition as – a computer is a person who makes calculations, especially with a calculating machine.

The actual definition of a computer is much more complex: a device which is capable of receiving information (data) in a particular form and of performing a sequence of operations in accordance with predetermined but variable set of procedural instructions (program) to produce a result in the form information or signals. Most computers operate electronically and manipulate data in digital form.

I do wonder how the definition of a computer will look like in 20 years time!

Anonymity in the classroom

Teaching over the web vs in the classroom: differences in the instructor experience. A very interesting article for those with children. Read the whole article, it begins with negative aspects, e.g. feeling of unable to use social interaction skills by teachers, towards the end the paper presents some positive and interesting observations. Particularly on p6. The teacher was able to discern which student wrote which paper when marking even though there were no names attached. Because all of the communication was in written form, the teacher became familiar with writing styles and interests of the students.