Colleges were really the first educational facilities to bring mainframe computers into the mix and these facilities were the types of schools that featured the first examples of computers. So, post-secondary educational facilities really tested the waters in terms of offering their educators and students access to more primitive forms of computer and printer technology.
During 1975, Apple Incorporated began to donate its Apple 1 computers to schools. At this point, mainframes began to become less popular for the purposes of conducting research within academia. The usage of computers continued to grow exponentially during the next few years. For example, students at Dartmouth College were polled and it was discovered that ninety percent of them utilized computers during their college years. The poll was conducted during 1977.
By the earliest years of the 1980s, computers were used quite a bit in order to instruct students. Drills and programs for practice were made only for classroom usage. In general, grade schools went with Apple computer designs, while high schools preferred computers with DOS setups. However, some schools couldn't meet student demand for computers. They just didn't have the resources to buy enough of them. Despite these challenges, most schools had an array of computers in place by 1989, even if they didn't have enough of them to meet demand.
The 1990s is considered to be the advent of modern media technology. For example, CD-ROMs became prevalent during the Nineties. As well, a lot of important software programs were developed, including Microsoft Powerpoint. Laptops and more affordable printers were also available. These technological advances and others made it easier for students to get the equipment that they needed. During 1996, Bill Clinton earmarked two billing dollars for grants for computers for schools. His program for grants really accelerated the process of outfitting schools with needed computer equipment and printers.
Computer Technology Always Evolves
These days, technology has advanced to the point where it often seems magical. Many students have smart phones which are basically portable computers that perform an array of tasks. As well, the computers found in schools have more memory and performance features and the printers are definitely huge improvements over the first crude printer designs from the Seventies. Kids grow up with computer technology nowadays and this is why certain skills, such as cursive writing, are not taught to the same degree that they once were. In the future, technology will continue to evolve...