I have been involved in educational technology for almost 30 years. When I started there was a deep totality in my country (former Czechoslovakia). I was a technician obtaining the MSc. degree in field of sound engineering with the little experience on mainframe computers and programmable calculators. But that time in the beginning of the 80′s the first 8 bits computers came through iron curtain. Accidentally in the same time I looked for a new job and I was questioned by the director of the company (owned by state and guided by communistic party), which was responsible for all state controlled deliveries to Czech schools (textbooks, tools, aids, etc.). My intention was to be involved in the recording process of the programs distributed that time on sound cassettes – e.g. to support language education.
But in the same time (1984) this company finalized the development of the first national educational personal computer called IQ 151. The director didn’t allow any discussion and made me responsible for this process. This way he involved me in the educational technology development – and I stay here until today. I have to acknowledge that this was a big luck for me as I can say that I am almost the first person in this country who took care about the usage of computers in primary and secondary education (apart from higher education, of course).
You know, in some way the personal development has very similar traits regardless you are in totality or democracy. You have to make the right decision when you reach the situation you are asked to cover some mistakes of your boss or the company generally. Maybe I could behave differently when I found out that IQ 151 has some constructional drawbacks, which the top management wished to hush up. But I decided to repair the existing defects. Unfortunately the best solution was brought by the excellent professor of computer science at Charles University, but he was in political underground thanks to his religion. My intention to enforce his solution of our problems with IQ151 computer was not accepted by the management. As I knew that this decision would have a big future consequences for our teachers I decided to adopt the openness and not keep silence. So, I went on the way which is not very easy, but I don’t regret. I still stay on it.
You see, the main my problem to be actively connected to the world after more than 20 years of passive usage of English is still the language.