ERIC Number: ED474406
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Apr
Technology, the Columbus Effect, and the Third Revolution in Learning.
Fletcher, J. D.
This work was performed under a task entitled "Development and Assessment of ADL Prototypes." This task is intended to promote collaboration by the Services and by other government and academic partners in developing technology-based instruction. It is an essential component of the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) initiative being undertaken by the Department of Defense (DoD) in cooperation and coordination with the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). This particular document is intended to provide an overview of technology-based instruction. Writing and printed books have influenced learning profoundly. It seems reasonable to view the emergence of writing as the first major revolution in learning. By making the content of learning, teaching, and educational material widely and inexpensively available anytime and anywhere, the development of books printed from movable type effected a second revolution in learning. Can we improve on books? Computer technology is a possibility because computers can adapt the content, sequence, type, difficulty, granularity, and so forth of their presentations to learners or problem solvers based on ongoing, dynamic assessments of individual needs. For this reason, computer technology may be effecting a third revolution in learning. While preserving the capabilities of books to present the content of instruction anytime, anywhere, computers can also provide the interactions of teachers, instructors, tutors, and mentors as needed by individual learners and users. This capability may produce a third revolution in learning, with a significance equal to that of the development of writing and books. This document addresses this "Third Revolution" in learning by assessing the impact of computer-based technology on learning. Consequences of this third revolution include making individualized tutoring widely accessible and affordable; permitting interactive, individualized learning to take place anytime, anywhere; changing the way that educational institutions and educators view learning by producing radical changes in the practice and processes of instruction; and bringing into being a nation of life-long learners who are prepared to meet future technological challenges and thrive in the global marketplace. Includes a glossary of abbreviations. (Contains 43 references.) (Author)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of the Secretary of Defense (DOD), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Institute for Defense Analyses, Alexandria, VA.