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Videotex in Education: The British Situation. Optel Report No. 15


Noting that the educational sector in Britain has been a small but influential user of videotex systems since the launch of the public Prestel service in 1979, this paper surveys the main trial uses in education. The studies reviewed begin with a 1-year trial of Prestel in 1980-81, which identified two applications as having further potential: as a source of information on careers and to provide an overview of current resources on a given subject. A 2-year trial of the distribution of microcomputer software via telephone lines that began in September 1981 is briefly described, as well as several other educational initiatives on Prestel; private videotex systems in education; and the development of a private videotex system, Optel, at the Open Univeristy. Other Open University projects described include the ECCTIS scheme, a computerized Educational Counselling and Credit Transfer Information Service; the ECCTIS videotex system; and the Cyclops telewriting project. A description of the new and more powerful version of Cyclops called Excom 100 and its applications in various areas includes the Indonesian pilot trial linking 12 university campuses in that country. An outline of additional potential applications of videotex in education, a discussion of reasons why videotex is not a suitable medium for computer assisted learning, cautions about telesoftware systems, and some speculations as to the next steps in Britain conclude this paper. Four references are listed. (DJR)


Bacsich, P.D. Videotex in Education: The British Situation. Optel Report No. 15. Retrieved March 25, 2019 from .

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