Untangling the Web: Applications of the Internet and Other Information Technologies to Higher Learning

By David J. McArthur; Matthew W. Lewis | Go to book overview
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SUMMARY
Until very recently, discussions of the crisis in U.S. education centered exclusively on public schools in the United States; higher education has been viewed as almost trouble-free -- the best in the world. Today, however, several problems loom. Many states' budgets for higher education are falling, and some are poised for truly terrifying reductions even as student populations are increasing and becoming more diverse (in age as well as ethnic composition). At the same time, even as resources are shrinking, industries and consumers are demanding more of colleges. Further, a broad shift from manual workers to "knowledge workers" means that students will require more education; high school diplomas no longer guarantee good job prospects. And many predict that job skills will need updating every few years; if so, "lifelong learners" will continue to demand education and retraining throughout their careers. All these changes are straining institutions of higher education to the breaking point.In this report, we look broadly at the prospects of meeting some of these challenges with a new generation of information technologies. We review and analyze, in particular, the emerging global information infrastructure -- the first pieces of which we now see in the Internet and World Wide Web -- and the multiple roles they can play in higher education:
to improve learning and teaching
to improve the creation of instruction and learning materials
to create educational communities

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