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>John M. Flanigan <[log in to unmask]>  wrote:

>This is certainly an interesting thread. But like others, I wish there
>were some reasonably good data available instead of just our variously
>well-informed opinions. More comments below.

        I have come across an interesting textbook <Literacy, Technology,
and Society> eds., Gail E. Hawisher and Cynthia L. Selfe. Prentice Hall.
Upper Saddle River, 1997.  Although this text is directed primarily at
undergraduate comp  students, the timely selections cover social issues,
education, ethics, law, gender, and government, and their relationships to
and with the new technology.
        Another point of view:  one reason that cyber technology may be so
frightening is that, like Tofler maintained, even the immediate future of
"knowing" would be unpredictable.  The World Wide Web, a phrase we use so
comfortably, allows us to be in contact with many ways of knowing almost
simultaneously.  With information-retrieval computer technology, we acquire
new information so rapidly that we don't have time to establish trends, let
alone  develop predictable patterns so necessary to education.
        Brains are indeed like computers, in that they are capable of
storing random bits of data.  But critical analysis, determining the
importance or relevance of data, the ability to re-see the past from a
newly aware present, in other words, "Learning How to Think,"  Can a
computer teach this skill?  I think not.  Computers are indeed a tool,
shaped by and fitted for humanity's needs.  Any other point of view about
the technology is unthinkable, because it would relegate future generations
to an Orwellian nightmare of passive recipient brainwashing.  There are
many times many still asking questions.
        Just some of my thoughts. . . .
        Have a pleasant summer, everybody!  I'll "talk" to you again in
September.




Maggie Piccolo, Learning Specialist
Learning Resource Center, Rutgers, The State University
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(609) 225-6442   [log in to unmask]
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