Abington Journal

This Week in Local History: Area schools talked technology

1968 — “Trail finds talking machine exciting” was the top headline for the week.

A sixth-grade “talking and writing” composition classroom in the Nicholson Elementary School was engaged in a new program that, if successful, was expected to be adopted by other schools throughout the country.

“Although the program is centered around the mechanical use of relatively simple dictating machines, it is, in the words of head teacher Joseph Ofalt, ‘an individualized approach to teaching creative composition,’” reads the article.

“Conceived in cooperation with IBM, Trail sixth graders are the only elementary students in the United States using these machines.

1998 — The Abington Heights science department welcomed a new face to the school district: Paul Littman, who was hired as head of the department.

A front page article under the headline, “New science head sees technology as AH’s future,” introduced him to the community.

“As far as changes, Littman said technology is his first priority,” it read.

“‘The whole district is trying to integrate technology into the curriculum,’ he said. ‘We need to integrate technology into all disciplines.’

“All disciplines includes the Industrial Technology Department, which Littman was also hired to lead.

“‘I’m excited about it because industrial arts ties in nicely with science,’ he said.”

Betty Whitcomb, writing laboratory assistant in 1968 at Trail, corrected a student’s ‘talking paper’ by utilizing the same machine the student used.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_ABJ-LH-0307-1968.jpgBetty Whitcomb, writing laboratory assistant in 1968 at Trail, corrected a student’s ‘talking paper’ by utilizing the same machine the student used. Submitted photo
Paul Littman was hired in 1998 as the head of the science department for the Abington Heights School District.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_ABJ-LH-0307-1998.jpgPaul Littman was hired in 1998 as the head of the science department for the Abington Heights School District. Submitted photo

Compiled by Elizabeth Baumeister

ebaumeister@timesleader.com

Reach Elizabeth Baumeister at 570-704-3943 or on Twitter @AbingtonJournal.