History 427: History of the Information Age

HIST 427: Information Age Timeline Entries

For the past few weeks in History of the Information Age, each student has been working on two entries on topics relevant to the Information Age to add to a class timeline.

For my two entries, I chose to learn about Apple’s 1980s “Kid’s Can’t Wait” program, and the advent of EchoNYC, an early online telnet-accessible community.

I chose to research “Kids Can’t Wait,” because as an education student, I have always been interested in the growth of the school computer lab. “Kids Can’t Wait” refers to Apple’s education initiative in which the company provided roughly 9,000 computers to California schools after a failed attempt to lobby for legislation that would allow for them to receive tax breaks for providing one computer for each school in the country.

Controversy exists over this initiative because many question to what degree Apple sought altruism versus prophet, as the inclusion of Apple IIes in schools increased the sales of Apple IIes for home use. In a 1995 interview with the Smithsonian, Steve Jobs did attribute a great deal of Apple’s early success as a business to Kid’s Can’t Wait and the use of Apple IIs in school.s

Prior to researching KCW, I did not know the great extent to which Apple had been a key player in expanding the role of computing in education. While I did not include it in my timeline entry, I learned that studies as early as the late 1980s showed the efficacy of Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI) in increasing literacy rates and standardized test scores among school-aged children.

I chose to research my second topic, the EchoNYC community after reading about Stacy Horn and in Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet by Claire Evans. I was surprised to learn that New York Telephone Company had to dig up the street beside Horn’s apartment in order to add a private cable just for Echo!

To learn more about both of these topics, please view my timeline below!

While relevant full citations are listed within each entry, I have also included citations not included in each entry below.


Buck, Stephanie. “When Steve Jobs donated 9,000 Apples to California Schools, It Was Tax and Marketing Coup.” Timeline. November 8, 2017. https://timeline.com/apple-kids-cant-wait-2792d326aa31

Kleinmann, Howard H. “The Effect of Computer-Assisted Instruction on ESL Reading Achievement.” The Modern Language Journal 71, no. 3 (1987): 267-76. doi:10.2307/326446.

Markoff, John. “Sound Bytes; An Electronic Salon, in N.Y.” The New York Times. March 27, 1994. https://www.nytimes.com/1994/03/27/business/sound-bytes-an-electronic-salon-in-ny.html (accessed April 10, 2019).

Newman, Sandra. “Growing Old in New York’s Snarkiest Early-Internet Community.” The Atlantic. May 1, 2017. https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/05/echo-growing-old-online/524577/

Nystedt, Brendan. “How Apple’s Education Devices Changed Through the Years.” Wired.
https://www.wired.com/gallery/how-apples-education-devices-changed-through-the-years/ (retrieved February 18, 2019).

Sanford, Glen. “Apple IIe.” Apple History. August 2, 2005. https://www.apple-history.com/aIIe

Stewart, Milton D. “Polishing the Apple.” Inc. February 1, 1983.
https://www.inc.com/magazine/19830201/6207.html (retrieved February 18, 2019).

Utson, Ken. “9,250 Apples for the Teacher. (Free Computers for Schools.)” Creative Computing 9, no. 10 (1983) 178.
https://www.atarimagazines.com/creative/v9n10/178_9250_Apples_for_the_teac.php (accessed February 18, 2019)

Watters, Audrey. “How Steve Jobs Brought the Apple II to the Classroom.” Hack Education.
http://hackeducation.com/2015/02/25/kids-cant-wait-apple (retrieved February 18, 2019)

1 thought on “HIST 427: Information Age Timeline Entries

  1. I like that your choice of topic for your timeline connected to your field of study and personal interest. Prior to reading this, I did not know about this initiative. Nor had I heard about Echo. These topics relate well to concepts we have discussed in class, especially a discussion of how men and women use technology in different ways at times.

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