Yes, even today (2015), teaching with Altair 8800, Amstrad PCW, and Basic - for good reasons.
From the Minimal Computing project
Old Machines Running Old Languages
The Minimal Computing Lab at the Centre for Textual Studies (CTS) at De Montfort University (Leicester, England) was created to help students of arts and humanities subjects to understand how computers work, with a special focus on how they can store and process writing.
At some point, BASIC and the Altair 8800 or the Amstrad PCW are inevitably not powerful enough for the students’ ambitions. With even a relatively short piece of text such as Chapter One of Jane Austen’s novel Persuasion , a word-frequency analysis running in BASIC might take days to complete. (We can mitigate this by using our Teletype machine as the console and leaving it on all week; the results will be captured on paper even if they appear at 3am on a Tuesday, and cannot ‘scroll’ off the screen as with a VDU.)