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Inventing your future of ICT in education. We
spent a week on "futures" in DAE1. Here we revisit the
topic. The focus is on what an individual can do to invent
his/her own future of ICT in education, help shape the
future of his/her students, help shape the future of his/her
school, and so on.
Some Specific Objectives and Topics for Week # 8
- One of the goals of the DAE1 and DAE2 sequence of
courses is to help build leaders in the field of ICT in
education. A leader needs to have a clear vision of
his/her future and of where he/she is leading others.
This week's class session is part of leadership
Here is some material from a draft of the first chapter
of Moursund's booklet on Inventing Your Future of ICT in
Education. It summarizes some of the topics covered in the
This book is about forecasting and inventing your
personal future in the field of Computers and Information
Technology (ICT) in PreK-12 education and in teacher
education. In this book, the word "your" covers the reader
and any organization that the reader happens to be involved
with. Thus, the book is designed for individual people,
schools, school districts, school boards, and others who are
interested in helping to create the future of ICT in
ICT includes a wide range of computer and
telecommunications hardware and software, and supportive
knowledge and ideas. The computer hardware ranges from the
processing and memory chips embedded in appliance
controllers and wrist watches, to palmtop computers, to
laptop and desktop microcomputers, to mainframe computers,
to super computers. Connectivity includes a wide range of
wireless approaches and a wide range of hard-wired
approaches. ICT includes the Internet, which in turn
includes the Web. ICT includes digital cameras and digital
video. It includes the fields of Computer and Information
Science, and Computer Engineering. To summarize, we do not
want to be overly restrictive as we consider possible
futures of ICT in education.
Alan Kay has made immense contributions to the field of
ICT during his long career. For example, his pioneering
ideas of a Dynabook are now reflected in today's laptop
computers (Rheingold, 1985, Chapter 11). In 1971 Alan Kay
Don't worry about what anybody else is going to
The best way to predict the future is to invent
it. Really smart people with reasonable funding can do
just about anything that doesn't violate too many of
The title and overall design of this book are based on
the ideas in figure 1.1.
Figure 1.1. Explaining the title of this
The triangle in figure 1.1 is designed to suggest that
Inventing, Planning, and Forecasting are an iterative and
integrated process. In terms of educational uses of ICT in a
school or school district, you might begin by studying the
literature on long-range forecasts for ICT. Then you might
do some long-range strategic planning for ICT in your school
or school district. This is followed by forecasting possible
outcomes of the plan. Probably this leads to moving back and
forth between more work on long-range strategic planning and
more work on forecasting possible results. Then the
The implementation can be thought of as inventing the
future. As the actual future unfolds, you periodically
return to the long-range strategic planning and forecasting
steps of the overall process. The original future that you
wanted to invent might not be achievable with the resources
that you have available. Unforeseen events may intervene.
Or, you might decide that this emerging future is not what
you really want. Return to the drawing board. Do more
planning and forecasting. Start anew on the implementation,
to invent a new, more pleasing and attainable, future.
Figure 1.2 presents a Venn diagram of ICT and education.
In this book we are specifically interested in inventing
some part of the future of ICT in education. The diagram
suggests that both ICT and education are immense fields in
and of themselves. You can significantly change your role in
both the field of education and in ICT. However, the chances
are that you will not significantly change either of these
two large fields.
Figure 1.2. ICT in education.
In this short book, our focus is specifically on ICT in
education. We are not trying to invent or thoroughly cover
the field of ICT or the field of education. However, we do
devote a chapter to the field of ICT and include a number of
forecasts in this field. These forecasts will help you to
forecast likely outcomes of attempts to implement the
long-range strategic plans that are developed for ICT in our
classrooms, schools, and school districts.
Each of us is an inventor. However, some of us are far
more inventive than others. Thomas Edison was one of the
world's greatest inventors. The following quotation,
however, suggests that there may be a huge gap between an
invention and widespread adoption of the invention to help
create a particular future or solve a particular
I believe that the motion
picture is destined to revolutionize our educational
system and that in a few years it will supplant largely,
if not entirely, the use of textbooks. (Thomas A. Edison,
This forecast by Thomas Edison underlies a key idea in
this book. Thomas Edison invented a number of products. In
some cases he started companies to produce and sell his
products. The combination of invention, production, and
sales changed the world.
Now, consider what went wrong with his forecast on the
use of motion picture in education. Thomas Edison knew
little about formal schools (he was almost entirely home
schooled) and change processes in education. He thought of
education as an information delivery system. He thought
movies could replace books. He was wrong.
Years later, as television became available, people
thought that d television could replace books and teachers.
They were wrong. First movies, and later TV, have been
widely used in education. However, they have not proven to
be an adequate or appropriate replacement for books and
As you work to invent your ICT in education future in
your classroom or school, be realistic. There are powerful
reasons why our current education system is the way it is.
Our educational system is highly resistant to change. You,
personally, can make substantial changes in your own,
individual classroom. This is somewhat akin to inventing,
producing, and selling a product. However, even there you
may face substantial resistance from your students, their
parents, your fellow teachers, and the overall educational
As groups of people work together, they have more
resources to invent their collective ideas on some
particular aspects of the future. Thus, individual teachers
and school administrator work to invent the futures that
they feel are appropriate for a good educational system.
Moreover, there is a greater likelihood of success if the
great majority of the teachers and administrators in a
school decide to work together toward inventing an agreed
upon future. There may be still greater likelihood of
success if the great majority of the teachers, school
administrators, students, parents, schools, school district
administrators, school board members, and other key
stakeholders in a school district pool their resources to
invent a mutually satisfying future.
We end this section with a quote from Steve Jobs. The
quote and the subsequent work of Apple Computer Corporation
provide an excellent example of inventing the future.
When I went to Xerox PARC in
1979, I saw a very rudimentary graphical user interface.
It wasn't complete. It wasn't quite right. But within 10
minutes, it was obvious that every computer in the world
would work this way someday. And you could argue about
the number of years it would take, and you could argue
about who would be the winners and the losers, but I
don't think you could argue that every computer in the
world wouldn't eventually work this way. (Steve Jobs,
Wired Feb 96 p102.)
In 1984, Apple brought the Macintosh computer, with its
graphical user interface, to market.