Education and Research


Kim H. Veltman

Why Computers are Transforming the Meaning of Education

The original title of the lecture on which this paper is based was New Media in the Post McLuhan Age: A System for Universal Media Searching. Published in: ED-Media and ED-Telecomm Conference, Calgary, June 1997, ed. Tomasz Müldner, Thomas C. Reeves, Charlottesville: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education, 1997, vol. II, pp. 1058-1076.

1. Introduction
2. Capture and Display
3. Distributed Content
4. Distributed Views and Collaboration
5. Separation of Content and Presentation
6. Meta-Data
7. Agents and Delegation
8. Learning
9. Conclusions

1. Introduction

The rise of networked computers through the Internet has inspired very different interpretations. Some see it as merely the next step in a long evolution. They note that global communications are not new; that Alexander the Great prepared the way with his pony express linking India with Europe in the fourth century B. C. In this view, the spread of the telegraph and the telephone in the nineteenth century and television in the twentieth century were preparatory stages for the multimedia evolution now underway. Some see networked knowledge merely as an industry driven enterprise. A third view sees the developments of the past decades as the beginnings of a revolution of monumental proportions, a view for which this paper will explore further evidence. By way of introduction, basic changes in capture and display methods are mentioned. The scope of new content that is becoming accessible is explored, as are the implications of access to these sources in a distributed knowledge framework with respect to collaboration and augmented intelligence. A fundamental development entailing the separation of content and presentation is outlined, as are its implications for the rise of meta-data, agents, delegation of work and the re-definition of learning.

Read full article