The Technology Imperative in Education

  • William T. Bonner
  • Abhijit Gopal
Part of the IFIP — The International Federation for Information Processing book series (IFIPAICT, volume 66)

Abstract

The technological imperative can be an insidious master. It can become the central goal of our endeavors rather than just one way through which goals can be reached. This misdirection can have very real and lasting consequences. For this reason, the basis for action in terms of information systems development and implementation must be kept visible to ensure that the broader goals remain the central focus of our efforts.

In the setting in this study, primary education in the Province of Alberta in Canada, everything must change to integrate computer technology. The skills that existing teachers possess are deemed to be inadequate; teachers must be retrained University education degree curriculums must also be changed. Primary school courses must be altered to integrate computer technology. Physically, schools must be rewired and revamped to accommodate information technology. Provincial spending priorities within education must be changed A massive social and physical reengineering effort has been launched In this case, the personal information of the students and direct commercial access to them is being exchanged for computer services.

Whose góals are being served by this requirement of massive change? If it is the goals of educating children, then those who were involved in the process will have had educational goals as their principle focus. There should be stated educational “points” to the exercise and we should be able to discover them. Instead, the study finds that the educational point is never initially articulated and as the process moves along, from vaguely defined goals in one area to the hard requirement of system selection and implementation in another, the educational point question is pushed aside entirely. The technological imperative takes over.

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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • William T. Bonner
    • 1
  • Abhijit Gopal
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Management Management Information Systems AreaUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

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