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Date: Wed, 03 May 1995 23:06:31 -0400
From: Martin Ryder <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: developing IT use
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Approved-By:  Carl Reimann <[log in to unmask]>
Comments: To: [log in to unmask]
 
Marty, I agree with your assessment about the technical
details of computing.  They will be transparent within two
to three years and a focus on emerging technology is
probably misguided.  As with any "new frontier", the roads
are not paved and the ride is pretty bumpy!  But as you
point out, the covered wagons will soon be replaced, and the
skills to manipulate them will be outmoded.  It is safe to
say that a focus beyond the technology is a prudent strategy
for Education.
 
Having said this, I think David Caverly's point about
"reading, writing, and computing" cannot be ignored.  By
"computing", I don't think of systems, languages and
protocols.  I think of the critical skills associated with
the post-Gutenburg era:
 
        - framing a problem in terms of information.
        - locating specific information.
        - assessing the veracity of information.
        - filtering useful information from trivia.
        - managing large amounts of data.
        - staying one's course in hyperspace.
        - collaborating with virtual colleagues.
        - recruiting the help of distant mentors.
        - representing one's own knowledge structure.
        - connecting to complementary knowledge sources.
        - presenting one's values and ideas to the world.
        ...ad infinitum.
 
Some (if not all) of these abilities will likely join the
traditional disciplines we have come to expect from basic
education.
 
Martin Ryder <[log in to unmask]>