Watch It: The Risks And Promises Of Information Technologies by Nicholas Burbules, Thomas Callister

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By Nicholas Burbules, Thomas Callister

Watch IT is an exam of numerous severe matters within the strength of recent details expertise (IT) for schooling. IT, already significant to many points of our lives, is quickly turning into an essential component of educating and studying. This booklet takes an in depth examine the optimistic and destructive results of latest applied sciences within the lecture room. In a sequence of interrelated essays, the authors discover such matters as entry, credibility, new methods to studying and writing, the glut of knowledge, privateness, censorship, commercialization, and globalization.

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Sample text

Access" needs to be rethought as a much more complex and multileveled social goal. We want to link two issues concerning the lnternet that are often discussed separately, but that we believe are intimately related: issues of access and issues of credibility. Access issues include who can use the Internet, who can afford a computer, who can get an online connection, who knows how to operate the s o h a r e , and so on. Issues of credibility include who can make sense of what they find on the internet, who can judge what is and is not worthwhile, and who can gain credibility and visibility as an information provider.

All trends show that while their early numbers were trailing, participation among these groups is rising sharply, sometimes at a greater rate than with other groups. This news is encouraging. But according to the analysis we have offered here, such statistical data do not tell us all we need to know to determine whether this society is making progress on the access issue or not. " The question of what one is obtaining access to needs to be evaluated. For example, even a simple technical matter such as the speed of one's lnternet connection can practically limit access to a whole host of Web sites and material.

But the current costs of these devices and adaptations are very high. Moreover, even when a large investment is made to lay in a basic technical system, soon after it is up and running new innovations surpass it. Upgrading to take advantage of new potentialities often means undoing or redoing what were expensive investments in the frrst place (such as the con- ~ f h c e s sand CredibiIi~ty 23 tinually accelerating speeds of computers and network connections). Any large-scale system investment is sure to be superseded by the time it is put in place; so there will inevitably be a lag time between what most users have and can afford, and what a smaller, more privileged group will be able to take advantage of.

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