2003 Ed. by T. Varis, T. Utsumi, and W. R. Klemm
University of Tampere, Hameenlinna, Finland
University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands
ICT (Information and Communication Technology) is already a vital factor in all levels of education. Secondary Education is a decisive stage, however. Learning and studying at this age has impact on the new members in the community-of-knowledge society. This report is a plea for educational policies that promote and sustain the further ICT infrastructures for secondary schools. The first step is the penetration of internet-connected computers in the schools. The second step is even more crucial: the continuous evolution of didactic methods so that young learners will actually learn to learn in and with the WWW-based infrastructures. Similar to the need to make enterprises into "learning organizations," school institutions also face the need to become "Learning Organizations." It implies that new ICT facilities will become catalysts in the innovative processes in secondary education. The first stage is the changing teacher role once information access becomes widely available through the World Wide Web. The second stage is that the new study-environment in the school allows learners to participate in carefully-selected WWW-based learning communities. Last but not least, it will be an ongoing process in which teachers and students work together, partly face-to-face in the same physical location, partly in the virtual learning communities via the WWW. It is the role of this UNESCO Policy Guidelines to sketch the conceptual outline of how traditional teacher-oriented education will gradually develop into learner-oriented education where the WWW plays an indispensable role.
Policy Guidelines by the UNESCO IITE Institute Moscow
The use of Computers and the WWW is essential for the further progress of Education.
ICT stimulates students and teacher to develop one's learning style.
Also the motivation of teacher teams can be helped by ICT; it stimulates teachers to become aware of good and better didactic approaches.
Students who use ICT develop a longer-term study attitude that makes them less dependent on continuous formal schooling.
ICT is already a vital tool for professional training; the sooner learners know how to use ICT, the more easily they can find their way on the WWW to capture the newest methods.
Education For All.
Urgent to integrate Media and Internet facilities in Secondary Education.
For the developing countries this is even more urgent.
This executive report emerges from the IITE Institute as an input to the UNESCO Medium-Term Strategy 20022007 report, contributing to peace and human development in an era of globalization through education, the sciences, culture and communication. It can be found under the IITE WWW domain. Under the label "Education for All," according to the Dakar Framework for Action, this report aims at indicating the most promising and urgent policies for integrating media and internet facilities in Secondary Education. The need for Media and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) may be only a marginal one for the western world.
... opposed to the opinion that knowledge can be obtained only by going to schools.
... the global education problem is not solvable by conventional means like building classrooms and the preparation of large numbers of teachers.
If we look to the larger world, and especially to the third world countries, we are confronted with the fact that almost one billion adults are illiterate, and two thirds of them are women. And looking into the socio-economical realm that education is the key to development that is both sustainable and humane, and to peace founded on mutual respect and social judgment, it is even more easy to see that creativity in learning and knowledge play an even greater role. The right to education is nothing less than the right to participate in the life of the modern world. Mahatma Gandhi opposed the opinion that knowledge can be obtained only by going to schools, colleges and self-study. Theodore Hesburgh claims that the global education problem is not solvable by conventional means like the building of classrooms and the preparation of large numbers of teachers. His idea is that we need new creative thoughts on the total educational enterprise. It is clear that even the more ideological theorists have signaled the need for media-based learning. Combined with behaviorist and cognitive learning theories, it is inevitable that the strength of ICT in learning is that it may build upon individual learners' prior knowledge and individual cognitive styles.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) gradually developed from virtuous and elitist into commodity with a high degree of public addresses. This can be observed if we see sectors such as transport, industry, agriculture, health care and public services. Certain areas like the publishing sector, justice, and education show a remarkable resistance to adopt and integrate ICT facilities. One of the reasons is that these sectors are knowledge intensive and workers in those sectors are skeptical about the added value of ICT. Knowledge workers seem to understand that the steps from data to information to knowledge to understanding and finally wisdom are not trivial.
Education, schooling, and training all deal with learning. However they are different cultures. Its actors, its infrastructure, and its procedures all have been developed as a certain social- and economical situation demanded for a certain transfer from experienced adults to the younger generation. The same is the case for Primary, Secondary and Higher Education: they have different orientations, especially if it comes to taking benefits from the WWW.
Nature of Learning in the Secondary School
The role of Secondary Education shifts towards "Learn-to-Learn" and thus anticipates the continuous learning during the job.
Instead of "learning for attaining the certificate," it becomes more vital to "learn based upon interest and social orientation."
ICT is an ideal means for "learn-to-learn."
National examinations should include ICT skills and students' attitudes in the final criteria.
The nature of Secondary Education has evolved during the last two centuries. Crucial was the step towards accepting that school was a direct key to social mobility. As universities became more accessible via the large social regimes and the further abandoning of feudal class societies in the second half of the 20th century, the Secondary School became an arena where didactics played a more crucial role; students who were supposed to continue learning because of their parents' high expectations, rather than the students' intrinsic motivations on average.
ICT is potentially a very powerful dimension to transform the way the young generation prepares for tertiary studying. However the limitation of the potential ICT impact is in the fact that the schooling content, methods and assessment criteria are rather inert to the reality of our societies, economies and industries. The question why Primary and Tertiary Education has a higher potential to migrate with the ICTs' potentials lies in the fact that these schooling sectors have a higher amount of autonomy. At the same time, it can already be observed that once the standardized final examination has been offered, there is exactly an enormous scale of restructuring if ICT is fully accepted as a learning support mechanism in Secondary Education.
The secondary School is migrating towards a community for mature learners.
The scope of the Secondary School curriculum should target study skills rather than the retention of factual knowledge.
The most sensitive phase for "Learning to Learn" is in the stage between 11 and 16 years. A clear indication that supports this assertion is in the observation of new Secondary School paradigms, as in the Netherlands: The Study House Model. Its underlying motive is that students should invest in learning skills and attitudes, driven by intrinsic motivation and curiosity rather than by the pressure of covering the large number of subject domains in order to pass the final examination. Though initially it was widely expected that the teacher attitude will conflict and prevent a smooth integration of the Study House, it became soon evident that the Secondary School students objected: "If we are supposed to prepare ourselves for predefined standardized tests, it is unreasonable to ask us to experiment with alternative study methods; we expect the teacher to teach us as precise as possible what we can expect as final test criteria. It is the teacher's role to bridge the gap between what we were taught before, and what we are supposed to perform at the final examination."
One of the central notions around the question "if" and "how" ICT should play a role in education is that ICT requires students to acquire the skills and attitudes to benefit from ICT. "Computer Literacy" was the epitome for this curricular accommodation until the early 90s. As ICT functionalities progressed, such as the availability of expert systems, simulations, multimedia and recently the virtual reality, the key question became how to integrate ICT applications as cognitive tools for learning in regular didactics. So far only the text processor, the spread sheet and the database have penetrated the didactic arena. The gradual adoption of the constructivist learning paradigm enabled teachers to see how learners can convey their highly personal learning process like the internalization of concepts and problem solving strategies. In parallel to the role of ICT as a learning tool, the potential role of ICT for the teaching process also came into focus. It is remarkable that so far the ICT teacher-support has not concentrated on the didactic integration of cognitive learning tools; the larger amount of interest has been paid to WWW-based learning management systems like currently available in WebCT, Blackboard, or Learning Space etc. The main metaphor is the WWW-based functionality for delivering the right content just-in-time and correspondence among the learners. These systems have contributed to Higher- rather than Secondary Education so far. Much more challenging is the further integration of cognitive learning tools that have both an interface to the learner and the teacher as well. Typically successful learning tools are simulation systems like for instance "Interactive Physics," "Electronic Workbench" and the more generic frame systems like "Stella" and many emerging systems for qualitative modeling.
Distance Learning is not a goal in itself; it should bring learners and teachers more closely together.
Learning is a process of growing awareness on various realities.
Science, cultural and social domains rely on integrated knowledge based upon intuition and critical thinking.
Conceptual representations are crucial in knowing what you know and detecting what you don't know yet.
Learning from wide open information resources like the WWW can only succeed if the learner masters the method and tools to visage the interconnections.
Concept mapping is a fast propagating method to let learners navigate on the WWW.
An even more obvious dimension for didactic ICT support is the spectrum of meta-cognitive knowledge representation tools like concept-, mind- and cognitive mapping. The main underlying paradigm is that learners' sustainable and generic learning progress depends upon adequate imaginations of foreground and tacit knowledge. Intuitive knowledge was regarded as primitive, undesirable and even erroneous knowledge that should be kept out of the didactic procedures. Constructivism accepts intuitive knowledge as essential before formal learning may be built upon it. Conceptual representations as are manifest in concept mapping procedures have been introduced in diverse subject fields. The main procedure is to elicit the student to schematize conceptual entailments in order to guide the thinking towards the contours between the known and the unknown. "Inspiration" is one of the more widespread concept-mapping tools for education. It illustrates in the many ongoing publications how students and teachers may negotiate upon structural representations. Also a more recent investment has been made in how "Visual Argumentations" may assist in collaborative learning situations. The need for using ICT in learning becomes quite obvious as the information access via the WWW became abundant and both learners and teachers need tools for adequate selection and navigation in their searching. Though Secondary Education traditionally orients towards strict curricular content specifications and towards the national final examinations, there is an ongoing trend to invest in the students' capacity to learn independently and authentically. This trend needs ICT as infrastructure and cognitive support tools as well.
Based upon the dominance of cybernetic learning paradigms, it is quite understandable that the initial attempts to introduce computers in the learning process was also based upon "programmed instruction" and later on "intelligent tutoring systems." Papert's LOGO system and the many modeling, simulation and knowledge representation tools were skeptically allowed only in summer camps; they were merely seen as games and distractions, not beneficial for mastering curricular goals. And indeed still nowadays the whole spectrum of media-based learning tools aims at extra-curricular assets, but in fact creates obstructions along the main road to the golden final examination; the gateway to higher education. The crucial lesson from the past ten years experimenting with new learning tools in Secondary Education is that educational media are a provocation to the traditional test-regimes in schools. It shows that right after clarifying the student that a central examination is their final criterion, students (and teachers) are reluctant to "learn the unknown." Students rely on the teachers' intuition about what is relevant to learn and what is irrelevant. Curiosity, experimentation, risk taking and searching for analogies are not encouraged. The reality is that "learning by assimilating the teacher's knowledge and preferences" is seen as the most appropriate and efficient way to attain traditional schooling criteria.
Flexibility and Life-Long Learning
Learners can only become continuous learners if they are regarded as participants in knowledge communities.
A knowledge community exists and survives based on the awareness that there are always good reasons to reconsider earlier conclusions.
Traditional reproductive learning methods are not the best to elicit curiosity and appetite to join collaborative learning.
ICT is a provocative medium for knowledge communities. The key factor for successful ICT in the schools is the willingness of schools to learn by themselves.
Similar to "learning organizations" in industry, it is the key that schools transform themselves into learning communities.
If there is no external reason to reform schooling, life-long learning and knowledge creation rather than knowledge reproduction, there is also no reason for integrating ICT in the school. For more than two centuries, learning has been a top-down process, and teacher-centered learning became mutually dependent. The introduction of new media in the school will only pay-off if it is carefully linked to an adequate reform in didactics and last-but-not-least a reform in assessment paradigm. It means that learners should finally be evaluated to the extent of producing relevant understanding rather than demonstrating common understanding by others. A solid underpinning of this position will not be found in epistemological analyses; it will be promoted by new urgent qualifications demanded by the evolving "knowledge economies." The knowledge economy needs players in the "knowledge game." These persons are not selected based only on their actual knowledge. They need the capacities to synthesize newly-developed ways of working and cooperation skills in large networks of specialists and reformulate important trends to any relevant sector in the society and economy. For these highly wanted citizens, knowledge is not only an end product or raw material; it is the mentality that expertise manifests between specialists. As in larger technical and social processes, there is a need to combine various disciplines. Knowledge workers have the capacity to mediate between expertise domains. Learning and helping other people to learn is the key process. Media and communication facilities will play an ever more important role. The issue of this Policy Guidelines Report is to clarify that Secondary Education has a vital role in preparing the next generation citizens. Also this report aims at showing how new learning methods will emerge and how schooling institutes will attempt to accommodate these trends.
The road map towards "learning schools" runs via "learning teachers."
ICT can mobilize teachers' creativeness and make their didactic practice more flexible and creative.
Networks of teachers stimulate the exchange of best practice, multi-cultural orientation and self-appraisal.
Teachers are the key players in promoting learning. Teacher training is crucial for starting this innovative process. The dominant paradigm so far is that teachers need to be taught the content that they are supposed to teach later on. The dilemma of bringing teachers and teacher students to a new didactic method, such as the integration of ICT, is that they themselves have been taught in traditional ways for many years. Also there is an overall lack of candidate teacher students in many of the Western European countries. The process of changing teacher attitudes to use ICT in the learning process is helped by the fact that alternative assessment methods are now being developed to decide upon the admission of pre-service teachers basing upon their predicted class- room performance. E-communities become compelling and popular ways to discuss staff development and teacher training. An active organization to do so is EDEN: The European Distance Education Network.
ICT as a mechanism for teaching and learning went through various stages before it arrived in its current catalytic function. Early software prototypes demonstrated the "computer as an electronic teacher." In the mid nineties Hypertext, Hypermedia and Multimedia were introduced. CD-ROM and the WWW, and the DVD became the default information resources. Since 2000 Virtual Reality and its 3D user interface carry users through fictitious and other worlds. Learners are supposed to navigate through unknown spaces and achieve a high realism. The overall pattern is that ICT becomes an extension of our senses and thus addresses the mental faculty of imagination. As will be stressed later in this report, it is the emotional, affective and esthetic dimension that will become important in our next generations of media programs. Already for airplane pilots and for medical surgeons, for example, the haptic and tactile sensation is included to let trainees "feel" and "touch" critical variables in their task performance. The overall spectrum of didactic methods of today includes the learner as a deploying personality who needs gaming, experimentation, negotiation, crises and reflection in order to learn genuinely. ICT is no longer the instructional format for reconciling prerequisite learning steps. ICT offers an exploratory space where the learner is at charge. One of the new teacher roles is the facilitator; the person who stimulates the learner for taking risk, understanding by analogy and reflection. This role is in essence pedagogical and should not be underestimated after all. Like in many sectors, also in education the Video Conferencing in combination with VR avatars will allow the learner to experience conceptual laws like currently consolidated in sciences; Physics, Biology, Chemistry and medical practices are adopting the three-dimensional immersive effects for a deeper involvement and finally learning.
ICT and the Quality of Secondary Education
Virtual Reality so far is the ultimate way for high-training and immersive games.
Like simulations in general, the virtual reality offers the learner a wide spectrum of complications and challenges to survive.
Virtual reality is better than reality itself in preparing the learner for complicated problems and emergencies, as we never hope to meet them in the real situation, but statistically we know that our students will meet them once, for sure ...
So far, books confront learners with abstract situations. Real life rarely exposes itself as a written description.
The call for quality indicators of educational systems can hardly be isolated from the various cost aspects that go together in terms of teaching load, equipment cost, and innovation support by external teams.
- One aspect of ICT's effect in Secondary Education is the question of the extent to which ICT facilitates the achievement of prior (traditional) goals as assessable in national and international comparative studies.
- A second aspect of the same question is the extent to which ICT in Education facilitates a more smooth transition from the schooling period into the labor market.
- A third aspect is the question of how well ICT facilitates the continuous evolution from the existing schooling concept to the schooling concept that fits to the learning needs of tomorrow's society, especially as we try to cope with the knowledge society.
It may be clear that these three interpretations do not necessarily converge in implementation; a high score on the proliferation of ICT for more optimally achieving traditional learning goals may hamper the catalytic function in the evolution of schooling paradigms.
Policy-makers should have alternative road maps that illustrate the cost-benefit ratios at various moments on the three distinguished dimensions. A conclusion in "Digital Technology and its Impact on Education" by Joseph Hardin and John Ziebarth:
........ Technology is affecting education in revolutionary ways, and the momentum toward these changes is irreversible. Teachers who have begun to use the Web see this change occurring, even if they only have experience with static information-gathering and display capabilities. Most of these educators have not yet used or even seen the potential of collaborative technologies for their classroom and their school.
....... Colleges of education need to become leaders in applying computational and information technology for the K-12 community, and university administrators need to begin to chart the 21st century vision of their institutions, a journey that will include information technology and collaborative learning and teaching. An obstacle that needs to be overcome is the view many hold that computers and Internet connectivity are "tools" for learning, and thus an increased grade point average is the only measure of value for these resources. A more important perspective is for administrators and school boards to realize that the Web represents a new environment for learning and teaching and that very soon every teacher and student will need access to the information represented on the Web in order to be competitive in their work and in their lives....
Like globalization, cultural diversity and technological advancement, schools will evolve towards new learning needs.
The question if ICT brings added value to education is a rhetoric question; It will be very hard to eliminate ICT from schools.
Therefore the question is whether the cost of ICT equals the benefits is obsolete. The only high price is to wait until learners abandon schools because they cannot use the existing curricular content.
In "A Different Way to View the Return on Investment (ROI) in e-Learning," by John Moran, attention is drawn to the speed ICT allow education to catch up with innovations in the learning contents and the costs that are implied. According to this criterion, ICT facilities have a huge impact. The implication is that for Secondary Education the speed of content innovation is considerably lower than in higher and vocational education.
In "ROI of E-Learning: Closing In" by Paul Harris, attention is focused on the ROI (Return on Investment) way of thinking that is common in commercial enterprises. The central message is that the ROI concern is just a mentality that becomes complicated as soon as we address the innovation of learning processes. The reason is that we do not only increase the amount and the speed of the learning, but mainly its direction in unexpected ways. This means that it is essentially impossible to map the new learning effects on the scheme of traditional learning criteria. Learning implies changing. Improving means changing the changing. The only reference point is to what extent the new learning methods allow us to cope with next unexpected situations compared with the traditional situation.
Societies underwent globalization effects since the mid eighties. Expanded transportation, and even more importantly the dense communication infrastructures, created opportunities for citizens to visit and connect to other parts of the world. Globalization was also reflected in the reorientation of large socio-economical and political units in Eastern and Western Europe and a subsequent change in the polarity between East-West and an increase in the North-South conflicts. For the younger generation these shifts brought an increased attention for migration and building a new life in economies that announced themselves as prosperous and attractive through the mass media. Schooling received a considerable influence from this trend, for instance, in the growing inclination towards learning a second and third language.
Three dimensions are crucial for the newly emerging "learning communities" and so-called "learning networks":
- Learning scenarios will be embedded in communities of practice and less orchestrated as the top-down delivery processes of traditional schooling and corporate training. Mobile and on-line learning are likely to benefit from new flexible paradigms that bring the learner back into the centre. A key function in flexible autonomous learning is to find the right learning partners.
- Student learning is continuously shifting towards project-based learning and problem-based learning, wherein curricula and teachers are catalytic factors. Learning by gaming (simulations and meta-modeling) is one of the methods to make students curious about underlying processes and meaning. Attaining the certificate and thus opening the gate to higher education is the prime goal for secondary school students. At the same time it may inhibit the needed learning attitude for participating in the knowledge economy. Existential factors such as attempting to understand complex dependencies like in technology, economy and health, need a continuous curiosity that exceeds the motivation to learn for the test only. It is this anticipatory function of ICT in Secondary Education that elicits new learning modalities and learning attitudes. The role of WWW-based learning communities emerges.
- Participating in VR (Virtual Reality) is a growing opportunity to make learners alert and better prepared to complex jobs and understanding complex conceptual dependencies. Examples are in the domains of Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Astronomy but also the three-dimensional orientation during data mining in the fields of Economy and the Social- and Life Sciences. An example of the integration of VR in professional training of surgeons can be found in the DIME project. The ongoing research focuses on a learning environment for vascular interventions and the Liechtenstein technique for ventricular operations.
Mobile learning will change dramatically institutional learning practices. Several developing projects in the U.S. demonstrate the more longitudinal trends in learning cultures. Learners with wireless-connected PDAs balance between traditional curricular agendas and nomadic efforts to find the ultimate communities for sparring their actual level of understanding (E. Soloway 2001).
New low-cost devices like the mobile telephone, the digital agenda, the watch and the photo-camera; they will all be WWW-connected.
The spread of information is then no-longer a burden for learning.
Teachers' role is to orient students in how to find relevant and reliable information and apply it in social and economical ways.
For the developing countries, this access offers huge potential to advertise local rural productions.
PDAs have the reputation of luxury gadgets with the functionality of electronic agendas and an address database. Current low-cost PDAs have much more powerful equipment than the mainframes in the early eighties. Current educational projects aim at providing hardware and software to Secondary School students. The price of a basic varies between 100 and 500 US$. The more complete versions are constantly on-line via GPRS or Wireless Local Area Networks. The book "A Hands-On Guide to Using Palm Computers in K-12" by Mike Curtis and Elliot Soloway shows how educators can now afford to have a computer in each student's hand and let them participate searching and analyzing large databases, let them visualize complex relations, and work in groups of students on a common topic in any curricular domain. Available free software for didactic usage is on PDA Resources.
Multimedia and recently virtual reality have brought new interaction capabilities and more diverse scenarios for the delivery of information. The more effective learning is the creation of new understanding and the construction of new solutions to recognized problems and new production methods. Crucial to this process is the communication of intuitive ideas and the synergy between experts with adjacent specialties. The on-line PDA becomes a very practical way to allow students to participate in other virtual communities. The teacher then coordinates the learning between students in the local classroom and the online learning experiences abroad. Education becomes "experiential learning" rather than intellectual learning. Certificates still are milestones for the student. But we see many indicators of existential learning. Media are crucial in the process of curiosity and motivation. Projects that provide students with PDAs show the use of simulations and gaming in the process of understanding complex issues such as physics, math and economics. New services need to be developed: Radio/TV broadcasters and book publishers will gradually undertake narrow-casting. Telecom providers will offer a wider variety for various types of connectivity.
In contrast to mass media such as TV, books, and glossy mass-media journals, the fine-tuned WWW-based access allows schools and individual learners to participate in rather than only witness other cultures. The study of Comparative Media leads to the examination of new media technologies and their cultural, social, aesthetic, political, ethical, legal, and economic implications. At Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), students are trained to think critically about properties of different media and about the shared properties of different media and about the shared properties and functions of media more generally. Comparative Media Studies (CMS) is the research and educational projects that explore a wide variety of traditional media and their uses in education, entertainment, communication, politics, and commerce. A number of projects in MIT are indicative for the new potentials for media in Secondary School curricula. (See its main projects in http://web.mit.edu/cms/)
ICT in education is much more than the use of computers; it is the opportunity to connect learners and teachers.
ICT helps to reshape learning into "living" and "surviving."
While factual memory was once vital for solitary citizens, it is now the skill to survive in information overload.
Secondary Education is the critical period to make the younger generation sensitive for "connectivity."
While a number of Western Countries still train youngsters to memorize history, it is important that developing countries memorize their future.
Learning with ICT opened our eyes: knowledge is not only in the persons, it is between the persons.
The WWW-based media like multi-media and highly immersive virtual realities, allow Secondary School teachers and students to participate in highly sophisticated and high-tech environments. It seems opportune however to give extra attention to the fact that we know through long traditions, that "receiving the right information" is only a small first step towards learning. The WWW allows us to provide 'just-in-time' and 'just-for-you' information. It also allows students to work closely together with peer students, even with those in other countries, belonging to different cultures and participating in different types of courses. From a multi-cultural point of view, this access and communication is quite vital to make progress in bridging parts of the worlds. Also for teachers these global facilities help very much in becoming a "learning organization." ICT for Secondary Education in the coming years will evoke a rather drastic evolution as both learners and teachers will discover the access to experts and learning partners all over the world. Special attention is drawn by the ongoing trends in allowing learning to become more individualized, more authentic and distributed along several learning networks via the WWW. The fast introduction of online computers in all sectors of societal life has boosted the full integration of ICT in Secondary Education in the last five years.
Secondary School learning is the age of understanding complex processes and mastering foreign languages. Constructivism is a paradigm that highlights the need for learners to 'build' one's own concepts. How students should prepare themselves for the 21st century? We need new didactics in order to motivate the new generation to invest and participate in technology and stimulate economies and social integration. The overall conclusion is that the knowledge economy will not develop by just integrating ICT in the traditional schools. Learning and teaching become a process of "developing" rather than "transferring" knowledge. Teachers get the role of leading students in its pedagogical sense. Students will participate in several learning communities at the same time. We expect learning networks for best practices among teachers. Larger organizations like UNESCO, the OECD, UNICEF and the World Bank will further demonstrate initiatives to propel these WWW-based mechanisms.
All URL of web sites in this paper are accessed on August 14, 2003.
Author Biographical Sketch
Ph.D. and Ass. Prof. in Educational Technology
University of Twente
Faculty of Behavioral Sciences
Division of Educational Instrumentation
P.O. Box 217
7500 AE Enschede
Tel. +31 53 4893576 or 3611
Fax +31 53 4894580
Dr. Piet Kommers is Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Educational Science and Technology at Twente University in the Netherlands. His research field is the design and application of media in learning situations. His courses are Multimedia Design, Virtual Reality and Societal Effects of ICT. Concept mapping and metaphoric design stages play an important role here. Projects are undertaken in the field of multicultural communication. The learning processes at individual and societal levels manifest in terms of existential expressions and awareness. Media play an ever more important role in it.
Conceptual representations for meta-cognitive awareness become a default language for identity and road maps for changing oneself. The high saturation of communication infrastructure offers the opportunity to participate in learning communities. Sharing experience and finding the right sparring partners for exploring alternative approaches in one's job and continuous learning becomes realistic and offers a more dynamic personal development. Schools, Professional Training and Human Resource Management face the challenge to include and build upon personal growth and attitudes. The priority in learning is not restricted to the access and assimilation of knowledge and skills. Finding ways to convey one's own further learning is priority number one. The WWW, adjacent to the face-to-face communication, is a valuable support facility. The art of designing WWW-based facilities and procedures is keen on both the nature and culture of the human mind. We may expect that education in the new era will have less and less to do with the transfer of knowledge on the shelf; the key issue is to facilitate the new learning modalities of the younger generation. We can hardly fall back on proven methodologies if it comes to media design. In a certain way it is a self-organizing process where prior goals undergo evolution continuously. As new media appear daily, it is vital that those who are responsible for learning, communication and cooperation are willing to play with its potential; they will soon discover that a sense of pragmatism helps to attain the higher missions as well.
 UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (IITE); 8 Kedrova Str. Bld. 3. Moscow 117292; Russian Federation. Prof. Vladimir Kinelev is its director, was Minister of General and Professional Education (1996-98). See his CV at http://www.wsis-romania.ro/conferinta/WSIS-8NOV/SESIUNI-WSIS-8NOV/E-LEARNING/Vladimir%20Kinelev/VLADIMIR-KINELEV-CV.pdf
 In April 2000 more than 1,100 participants from 164 countries gathered in Dakar, Senegal, for the World Education Forum. Ranging from teachers to prime ministers, academics to policymakers, non-governmental bodies to the heads of major international organizations, they adopted the 2000-word Dakar Framework for Action, Education for All: Meeting Our Collective Commitments. See also http://www.unesco.org/education/efa/index.shtml
 Cognitive Tools for Learning; Series F: Computer and Systems Sciences, Vol. 81. Ed. by P. A.M. Kommers, D.H. Jonassen & J.T. Mayes. (Springer Verlag, Berlin, 1991) ISBN 3-540-55045-3.
 Visualizing Argumentation: Software Tools for Collaborative and Educational Sense-Making. Paul A. Kirschner, Simon J. Buckingham Shum and Chad S. Carr (Eds.) Springer-Verlag: London 2002 ISBN 1-85233-6641-1 www.VisualizingArgumentation.info
 The European Distance Education Network (EDEN), as a non-governmental educational association, was formally established in May 1991 following the first pan-European conference on distance education in Budapest in 1990. Its aim is to foster developments in distance education through the provision of a platform for co-operation and collaboration between a wide range of institutions, networks and individuals concerned with distance education in Europe. http://www.eden.bme.hu/contents/computerconf/computerconf.html
 DIME: Distributed Interactive Medical Exploratory for 3D Medical Images. It can be found on the project's web site http://users.edte.utwente.nl/kommers/DiMEpage/SummaryofthePlan.htm
 Soloway, E. (2000). Supporting science inquiry in K-12 using Palm computers: A Palm Manifesto. Center for Highly-Interactive Computing in Education. Retrieved April 7, 2002, from http://hi-ce.org/palm/solowayletter.html
 General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) enabled networks offer 'always-on', higher capacity, Internet-based content and packet-based data services. This enables services such as color Internet browsing, e-mail on the move, powerful visual communications, multimedia messages and location-based services. http://www.gsmworld.com/technology/gprs/index.shtml