ERIC Serves Educators

ERIC.jpgTeachers, administration, and even the general public can now phone, write, wire, or bring educational-related problems to the educational information system terminal in the modern Mundt Library thanks to a computer search system serving the needs of educators from six states (Utah, Oregon, Wyoming, Washington, Colorado, and South Dakota).

Jim Simpson, DSC instructor and SERIC director, telephones the search to Boulder, CO and within minutes abstracts print at 600 lines per minute from a computer terminal within the library. The end user selects likely articles from these abstracts and receives reproductions of the complete sources again from ERIC. From there Simpson can pull the microfiche from files either from the library or from the state library in Pierre and print them from the microfiche reader.

ERIC stands for the Educational Resources Information Center. It is a national information system aimed at educators "dedicated to the dissemination of educational research results, research-related materials, and other resource information that can be used in developing more effective educational programs".

Simpson organized a statewide system dubbed SERIC (State Educational Information Retrieval Center). Through the efforts of Simpson, South Dakota has become the second heaviest user of the automated search and research system out of any state using the program. He hoped that a grant under the USEA Title 4 and the Educational Resources Information Center could make South Dakota a remote regional resource center, providing South Dakota computer resources for the six states using ERIC.

Simpson states, "Students preparing to become teachers should be aware of new educational approaches. This center can serve to keep them informed and up to date". This could give Dakota State College a strategic advantage.

Edwin Parker says that "an information revolution is on the way... when any householder can type out a request for information and within moments see the answer on his parlor TV screen". The costs would be great, however. Parker notes that they are "likely to rival the costs of putting a man on Mars. They may even approach a sizable fraction of the costs of a small war". He suggests that such a project will benefit the human race more than putting a man on Mars or fighting a small war.


 

Source:

Jennings, Dana C. "Computer serves educators in six states." The Eastern 14 Jan. 1971: 4-5; 7.