Forum: Teachers Lab

Topic: Teaching and Learning in the next mellenium

Topic Posted by: Gurbir Singh (gurbir.singh@icl.com )
Date Posted: Wed Sep 29 13:09:00 US/Eastern 1999
Topic Description: Hi, I am a former teacher (K12/computing) but now work in the computer industry. I am based in the UK and have been following the developments surrounding the introduction of computer technology in colleges for learning, teaching and administration. It seems that anywhere you go (I worked for a year in Australia and briefly visited some colleges and a university in Germany), there is an interesting debate on how the habits/traditions/methods and culture of teaching and learning will change as 'educational technologies' gain a stronger foothold. A popular term used in the UK is Information and Communication Technology ICT referring to the educational exploitation of the web, Internet, email, CDROMs, Video Conferencing and virtual classrooms - all of which support distant and open learning. Interesting aspects of the debate include many individuals who see the introduction of ICT as having a negative impact on learning. Hindering the learning process, preventing students developing communication and social skills, and fostering only superficial skills in information analysis and understanding. The (relatively) short history of the Annenberg/CPB Projects and equivalent developments elsewhere - which positively exploit ICT - i.e Open University in UK and the 'New directions' program in Tasmania, illustrate to me the future of education - student centered, anytime anywhere, a variety of learning methods guided by one on-line tutor and supported by the multitudes of on-line (and interactive) materials and people. The Annenberg/CPB projects, probably because it had the unique funding so early on, appears to me to be at the vanguard of the new modes of teaching and learning. It is developing the model which will shape the way schools, colleges and universities will operate in the future. Two questions 1 Do you agree with above paragraph? 2 Are we missing something? Are we giving those who believe that investing in ICT will have a negative affect and thus should be kept out of the classroom, a fair hearing? Gurbir

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