The 1970s saw NCET evolve into CET under the stewardship of Geoffrey Hubbard and survive the transition to the Thatcher government. It helped the formulation and implementation of government’s first major educational technology development programme – NDPCAL responding to the increased power and ubiquity of computers and their use in education. By the end of the decade, government was again running to catch up with technological change with the impact of microelectronics on society at large and education in particular.
A Decade of Transition and Development
Politically, educationally and technologically the seventies was a decade of transition. There was a real change in style and approach from the governements of Wilson, Heath and Callaghan, via the “winter of discontent” to the Thatcher governement of 1979. Educationally it was a time of change as government began to question the ‘progressive’ approaches that many educators were advocating and began to build constraints into the system. Technologically, it was a decade of change from the large, room-sized mainframe computers via the development of microelectronic devices to small personal computers suitable for classrooms. The development programme NDPCAL did some sterling work in exploring the early use of computer aided learning but by the end of the decade the government realised that the ‘microelectronic age’ had arrived and had rewritten the agenda for all areas of life, not least education.
NCET becomes CET
Chris Humphries, formerly Information Technology Programme Manager at the Council for Educational Technology takes up the post of Assistant Director of CET on 1 March 1985. Vincent Thompson is leaving CET to be senior consultant at Butler .