The main research test site for the Vivarium
program was the Los Angeles Open School. In cooperation
with the staff and the 375 elementary school pupils (Grades
1-6) program members developed an evolving program that
was included in this LA Unified public magnet school's
curriculum. Each classroom, in all grades, provided one
Macintosh computer for every two children.
Vivarium examined how teachers and young
children might use personal computers as extensions of
themselves and of their learning endeavors. Their uses
are both to reshape the computer to fit their own situations,
as well as to utilize the computer as an amplifier of
their joint reach for knowledge. Future use of the computer
will entail using networks and the program explores exemplary
curriculum designs for groups and for working with knowledge
The Vivarium program probed at the following
questions: What philosophies of learning most benefit
children and adults? What does deep computer literacy
mean for the general population? What kinds of hardware
and software designs facilitate the deep use of computers?
What is needed to get entire schools and school systems
to use personal computers as casually and deeply as paper,
pencils, crayons and books?