RAYMOND S. NICKERSON
BNN Laboratories Inc.
Much discussion about technology and education has focused on the question of how technology can be used to facilitate teaching and learning. But technology relates to education in many ways, the connection with educational methods being only one of them. Education takes place within a sociocultural context, the nature of which is determined by technology as much as by anything else. To the extent that the purposes of education are determined by the context in which it occurs, technology, by virtue of its role as an agent of social change, is a force in shaping them. Technology also affects the content of education, because among the objectives of education is that of making understandable the world in which one lives, and we live in a technological world.
At the end of the introductory chapter of this book are some questions that were posed in the interest of stimulating discussion on specific ways in which technology could influence education over the next few decades. The contributors to this volume address these questions, as well as others that could have been included in the list, though not in a question-by-question fashion. Each author has focused on one or a few issues from his or her particular vantage point. In this summary chapter, I will view the relationship between technology and education from a broad perspective and discuss the several connections mentioned above in light of the preceding chapters and with the questions raised at the outset in mind.