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Technology and Human Responsibility | Information, Computers, and Education

Educational Provocations
Stephen L. Talbott

[This article in its original form was published in NetFuture #147 (July 15, 2003). It appears as a chapter in Devices of the Soul: Battling for Our Selves in an Age of Machines, released by O'Reilly Media in spring, 2007.]

I have, in the following collection of short statements, attempted to gather some thoughts that could usefully stimulate discussion among school board members, parents, and teachers, as well as students in the upper grades. I certainly cannot claim whole, or even part, ownership for many of these statements. I have sifted the underlying truths from my own experience, from conversations with friends and colleagues, and from the educational literature. Here I have tried to formulate each point as generally and simply -- and sometimes as offensively -- as possible, without any effort to supply supporting references. It is for the reader to discover and qualify the many ramifications of each statement.

** Lack of information has not been the bottleneck in education for decades, or even centuries. Rather, the task f