, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 15-20

Anonymity versus commitment: The dangers of education on the internet

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Abstract

I shall translate Kierkegaard's account of the dangers and opportunities of what he called the Press into a critique of the Internet so as to raise the question: what contribution -- for good or ill -- can the World Wide Web, with its ability to deliver vast amounts of information to users all over the world, make to educators trying to pass on knowledge and to develop skills and wisdom in their students? I will then use Kierkegaard's three-stage answer to the problem of lack of involvement posed by the Press -- his claim that to have a meaningful life the learner must pass through the aesthetic, the ethical and the religious spheres of existence -- to suggest that only the first two stages -- the aesthetic and the ethical -- can be implemented with Information Technology, while the final stage, which alone makes meaningful learning possible, is undermined rather than supported by the tendencies of the desituated and anonymous Net.