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ERIC Number: ED377814
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994
Pages: 23
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Electronic Highway or Weaving Loom? Thinking about Conferencing Technologies for Learning.
Burge, Elizabeth J.
Information highways are high speed data networks used to transport information and link people together. As more limitations of and problems with the information highway ("potholes") become apparent, the highway metaphor may have to be revisited, and the information highway must be examined with a critical eye. Distance educators confront much fast-paced activity and hype in the use of conferencing technologies (CTs) and have to choose among them. Technologies such as audio, audio graphic, video, and computer conferencing are explored with respect to concepts, new knowledge, and guides to decision-making. Four key areas are selected for metaphorical and analytical thinking about CTs: (1) mass media and its biased presentation of information and its inflexibility of use; (2) constructivist learning theory and its focus on creativity, multiplicity, and growth, and learners' use of CTs; (3) adult characteristics and how they help or hinder learning; and (4) gender issues, especially the existing learning skills and preferences of women. Educators appear to be using the technologies to carry out much the same activities as within traditional classrooms, but with more efficiency. In exploring new CTs and their use, the challenge is to develop collaborative styles of learning and to change teaching functions without reducing academic rigor and the teacher's sense of importance. Educators must ask the why and when questions of CT use to determine appropriateness before asking how. Contains 58 references. (MAS)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A