Information technology — a tool and an obstacle in the education of the future

  • M. Mäkelä
Part of the IFIP — The International Federation for Information Processing book series (IFIPAICT)


Information technology will cause continuous rapid changes in our technological environment. The general impression is that the digital age will improve our lives and our society. Huge national strategies and programs are underpinned by this belief. They do not properly take into account the human dimension. The information society started principally when writing was invented, but the past technological inventions have not driven major changes in education. Challenges to the education of the future arise when the issues of cognition and human information processing are combined with the future technology. This offers an environment for rapid communication and search for information but especially the means to deepen thinking and understanding. This will set new objectives for education. Permanent skills such as learning to learn in changing environments are more important than rapidly deteriorating content. Visual literacy should be promoted in the future. The educational management must be flexible, react quickly and be able to anticipate change. A proper management information system is needed.


Educational management visions creativity literacy human/social sciences 


  1. Blonder, G. (1995) Faded Genes. On the
  2. Bork, A. (1989) Suggestions for developing technology based learning material. Interactive Learning International, 5, 25–30.Google Scholar
  3. Conger, S. and Loch, K. (1995) Ethics and computer use. Communications of the ACM, 38 (12), 30–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Davies, D., Bathurst, D. and Bathurst, R. (1990) The telling image: the changing balance between pictures and words in a technological age. Clarendon Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  5. Dedrick, J.L., Goodman, S.E. and Kraemer, K.L. (1995) Little engines that could: computing in small energetic countries. Communications of the ACM, 38 (5), 21–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Friedhoff, R.M. and Benzon, W. (1991) The second computer revolution visualization. Freeman and Co., New York.Google Scholar
  7. Haarmann, H. (1990) Universalgeschichte der Schrift. Campus Verlag, Frankfurt/MainGoogle Scholar
  8. Holzblatt, K. and Beyer, H.R. (1995) Requirements gathering: the human factor. Communications of the ACM, 38 (5), 30–32.Google Scholar
  9. Huff, C. and Martin, C.D. (1995) Computing consequences: a framework for teaching ethical computing. Communications of the ACM, 38 (12), 75–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ishii, H., Kobayashi, M. and Arita, K. (1994) Iterative design of seamless collaboration media. Communications of the ACM, 37 (8), 83–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. McKim, R.H. (1980) Experiences in visual thinking. PWS Engineering, Boston Massachusetts, 2nd ed.Google Scholar
  12. McLuhan, M. and Fiore, Q. (1967) The medium is the message. Bantam Books, New York.Google Scholar
  13. Mäkelä, M., Huovinen, L. and Nummelin, P. (1990) Computer uses in the university classroom. Education & Computing, 6, 191–197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ministry of Education (1995) Education, training and research in the information society: a national strategy. Helsinki. Also available on the WWW at
  15. Shneiderman, B. et al. (1995) Windows of opportunity in electronic classrooms. Communications of the ACM, 38 (11), 19–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Soloway, E. (1994) Log on education: ways of seeing. Communications of the ACM, 37 (2), 15–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Special Focus (1995) Visual literacy. Computer Graphics, 29 (4), 11–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Stoll, C. (1995) Silicon Snake Oil - second thoughts on the information highway. Macmillan, London.Google Scholar
  19. Thüring, M., Hannemann, J. and Haake, J.M. (1995) Hypermedia and cognition: designing for comprehension. Communications of the ACM, 38 (8), 57–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Mäkelä
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of HelsinkiFinland

Personalised recommendations