Importance of a Computer
As citizens of advanced but vulnerable economies, we musteither relentlessly increase the quality of our skills or see ourstandard of living erode. For the future, competition betweennations will be increasingly based on technological skill. Oil andnatural resources will still be important, but they no longer willdetermine a nation’s economic strength. This will now be amatter of the way people organize them selves and the natureand quality of their work. Japan and the “new Japans “of EastAsia are demonstrating this point in ways that are becoming painfully obvious to the older industrialcountries.
There is simply no way to rest on our past achievements. Today’s competition rendersobsolete huge chunks of what we know and what forces us to innovate. For each inpidual.Several careers will be customary, and continuing education and retraining will be inescapable. Toattain this extraordinary level of education, government, business, schools, and even inpiduals willturn to technology for the answer.
In industry, processing the information and designing the changes necessary to keep up withthe market has meant the growing use of computers. The schools are now following close behind.Already some colleges in the United States are requiting a computer for each student. It isestimated that 500,000 computers are already in use in American high schools and elementaryschools. Although there is an abysmal lack of educational software, the number of computers inschools expands rapidly.
The computer is the Proteus of machines, as it takes on a thousand forms and serves athousand functions. But its truly revolutionary character can be seen in its interactive potential.With advanced computers, learning can be inpidualized and self-paced. Teachers can becomemore productive and the entire learning environment enriched.
It is striking how much current teaching is a product of pencil and paper technology. With thecomputer’s capacity for simulation and perse kinds of feedback, all sorts of new possibilities openup for the redesign of curriculums. Seymour Papert, the inventor of the computer languageLOGO, believes that concepts in physics and advanced mathematics can be taught in the earlygrades with the use of computers. On every-day level, word-processing significantly improves thecapacity for written expression. In terms of drill and practice, self-paced computer-assistedinstruction enables the student to advance rapidly—without being limited by the conflicting needsof the entire class. In short, once we learn to use this new brain outside the brain, education willnever be the same.
Industry, faced with the pressures of a rapidly shifting market, is already designing newmethods to retrain its workers, In the United States, a technological university has been set up toteach engineering courses by satellite. And the advances in telecommunications and computationalpower will dramatically expand the opportunities for national and international efforts in educationand training.
Without romanticizing the machine, it is clear that computers uniquely change the potential forequipping today’s citizens for unprecedented tasks of the future. Particularly in Europe and theUnited States, innovation will be the basis for continued prosperity.
New competitors are emerging to challenge the old economic arrangements. How successfullywe respond will depend on how much we invest in people and how wisely we employ the learningtools of the new technology.
1. What is the decisive factor in future competition between nations?
[A] Oil. [B] Technological skill.
[C] Natural resources [D] Education
2. The main idea of this passage is
[A] Knowledge of a Computer. [B] Importance of a Computer.
[C] Function of Knowledge. [C] Function of Technology.
3. Why does further study become indispensable?
[A] People want to so more jobs.
[B] People want to attain this extraordinary level of education.
[C] People would not rest on the past achievements.
[D] What we know becomes obsolete.
4. The word “Proteus” is closest in meaning to
[A] flexibility. [B] persity. [C] variety. [D] multiplicity.
1. B. 工艺技术。这在第一段就讲到“在未来，国与国之间的竞争越来越以工艺技术为基础。尽管石油和其他自然资源仍很重要，但它们不会再对一个国家的经济实力起决定性的作用。”
A. 石油。 C. 自然资源，这两项不是决定性因素。 D. 教育。文内教育作为改革的一个方面，其重点是在学校内应用计算机，来改变教学质量，达到革新人才的目的。并不是直接参与竞争。可参看第2题的答案及译注。
2. B. 计算机的重要性。整篇文章都显示了这一点。第三段“工业上，信息处理和制定必要的改革计划以适应市场需要意味着越来越多使用计算机。学校紧跟工业之后……”第四段“计算机是一种变化多端，神通广大的机器，因为它显示千种图象，发挥千种功能。而它的真正的革命性可在其相互作用的潜能中看出。有了先进的计算机，学习可以个别进行，速度自行规定。教师变得更有成效……。”第五段“……由于利用计算机，在学校低年级就能教授物理学和高等数学概念……。”最后一段画龙点睛地指出：“计算机独一无二地改变着那种今天公民能担当未来空前任务的潜能……新的竞争对手正在崛起，自由的经济布局提出挑战。我们如何才能顺利的应战，取决于我们对人的投资的多寡，取决于我们怎么聪慧地应用新技术的`学习工具。”所以
A. 计算机知识。 C. 知识的功能。 D. 技术功能，这三项只是计算机重要性中涉及到的一个方面，不能作为中心思想。
3. D. 因为我们知道的一切变得陈旧。第二段头几句话“我们决不能吃老本，当今的竞争使我们的大部分知识变得陈旧，非加以革新不可。对每个人来说，他们将惯常从事某几种职业，并且非继续学习进修和从新接受训练不可……。”都说明进修学习的原因。
A. 人们要做更多工作。文内没有提到。 B. 人们要到达非同一般的教育水平。这是目的，不是原因。 C. 人们不能吃老本。这话并没有完全讲清楚全部原因。
4. A. 灵活多变。 Proteus 一词，原义是指希腊神话中变幻无常的海神，普罗狄斯，他可以随心所欲边成各种形状。这里指灵活多变。