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SCHOOLING THE INFORMATION SOCIETY? The place of the information superhighway in education

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Despite a history of educational resistance to technology, the internet and, in turn, the information superhighway, have been popularly heralded as having the potential to transform schools the world over. In doing so there has been a conspicuous lack of critical examination of the information superhighway's role in education. This article therefore contrasts popular conceptions of the 'educational' superhighway with the likely social and cultural implications of the 'wired' school. From this perspective the article first examines three central claims that are popularly made about the information superhighway in education: namely, the unbridled access to information it will afford teachers and learners; the potential for interactive communication with other individuals; and the equality it will imbue. These popular discourses are then contrasted with two fundamental characteristics of the information superhighway which are often overlooked by its advocates: the different quality of learning experienced 'on-line' and the educational implications of the inherent economic nature of the emerging information superhighway. The article then concludes by suggesting an alternative approach to examining the implementation of the information superhighway in an educational context.
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Keywords: COMPUTERS; EDUCATION; INFORMATION SUPERHIGHWAY; INTERNET; LEARNING; SCHOOLS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 1999

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