This is a "keynote" address, focusing on the state of the art and the future of ICT in education. The goal is to provide some overall common background and sense of direction as we work together in the workshop. ICT-Assisted PBL is an important part of the future of ICT in Education.
Part 1: Overview of ICT in Education
and Future of ICT in Education
I have written a short book on the future of computers in education. It is available free at:
Moursund, D.G. (2004). Planning, Forecasting, and Inventing Your Computers-in-Education Future. Access at http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~moursund/
What follows is an outline for a "generic" talk about the
future of ICT in education. It gets adapted to fit a
specific audience before and during the time it is being
presented. Thus, it may differ somewhat from the talk that
is actually presented. Note that the non-clickable
references for the "keynote" are given at the end of this
Essetially all of the content of the talk outlined below is covered in more detail in the book listed above.
I: Getting Started
1.1 About Dave Moursund
Some of my Websites are listed at:
My career path has been:
- University of Oregon
- University of Wisconsin (Madison)
- Michigan State University
- University of Oregon
1.2 Goal: Improve Education
It feels like we have come a long way in the past 50
But, we have barely scratched the surface in making
effective use of ICT to improve education.
In the next 50 years
1.3 Forecasting the Future: Doing, Teaching,
Those that can, do.
Those that can't, teach.
Those that can't teach, teach teachers.
some people claim to be futurists.
- Natural Language (speak and listen)
- Literacy (read and write)
- Computing and Computer Programming
- Information Technology and Internet
1.5 Each Human-Invented Language:
- Is an aid to communication (face to face as well as
over time and distance).
- Is an aid to representing and processing certain
types of information & knowledge.
- Is a cognitive aid (a mind tool).
1.6 Each Human-Invented Language:
- Has the potential to significantly change our
- Presents a major challenge to the educational systems
of the world.
1.7 Problem Solving. People:
- Pose, represent, and solve problems
- Pose, represent, and accomplish tasks
- Pose, represent, and answer questions
- Make (wise) decisions
These are repeating themes in all academic disciplines.
And, of course, they are strongly affected by the
1.8 Goals of Education
- Education has many goals because there are many
- One goal is to prepare students for responsible,
productive adult life in their society.
- As student "grow up," they gradually assume
responsibility for setting their own goals in their
formal and informal education.
1.9 Contemporary Standards
- Many formal education settings have student learning
goals and outcomes they strive to achieve.
- Often these goals are aligned with state, national,
or international goals.
- Over most of the past 5,000 years, contemporary
standards changed slowly.
- Now, they are changing much more rapidly (and ICT is
a major contributor to the speed up in rate of
1.10 Craft and Science of Teaching and Learning (C&S
- Teachers gain considerable Craft Knowledge ,
especially via self teaching on the job.
- Teachers may gain considerable "Science of Teaching
& Learning" Knowledge through formal and informal
education, on and off the job.
- Good teaching requires an appropriate balance in
C&S of T&L, and the balance varies with the
1.11 Content Knowledge in Teaching
- There is lots of research supporting the need for
teachers to have content knowledge.
- But, knowledge of content does not automatically make
one into a good teacher. C&S of T&L is also
II: Craft and Science of Teaching and Learning
(C&S of T&L)
2.1 What is Science (as in C&S of T&L )?
Careful, accurate description.
Successful cause-effect prediction, based on a well
reasoned combination of:
- empirical evidence
- a testable and tested theory that helps to explain
2.2 We Can Improve Education by:
Providing students with better brain tools.
Providing students with better body tools.
Providing students with an education that helps them
learn more, better, faster, and to make appropriate use of
their brains and bodies, and brain and body tools.
2.3 A Challenging Question
If ICT can solve or significantly aid in solving a
problem, accomplishing a task, or answering a question that
students currently study or we would like students to study
in school, what should we have students learn about
representing and solving, accomplishing, answering
all disciplines) ?
The capabilities of ICT (as used in the brain and body
tools ICT helps to provide) will continue to increase very
rapidly for many years to come.
2.5 Gordon Moore's "Law"
The density of transistors on a chip doubles every 18
months, thus increasing the price performance of compute
power by a factor of two every 1 1/2 years.
The bandwidth of connectivity is currently doubling
approximately every six months.
2.6 "Way Out" Future Ideas
Ray Kurzweil, Hans Moravec, and others indicate that
another 15 years of Moore's law holding will bring us
supercomputers with the capability of a human mind. Thirty
years will see microcomputers with this level of
The meaning of these forecasts is unclear to me. (But, it
is a "fun" topic to discuss!)
2.7 Key Question: Can ICT Help Make Education a Lot
- The research is not nearly as strong as ICT in
Education "experts" would like it to be.
- Some of the research is buried in ICT-based
implementations of good ways to improve education without
the use of ICT.
2.8 One on One Tutoring
Bloom and the 2-sigma
effect: on average, tutored students learn a lot
On average, tutored students learn several times as
Intelligent Computer-Assisted Instruction (ICAI) is
making some progress toward achieving significant gains in
better, faster learning.
2.9 Can Computers Teach Better than Humans?
Yes, in some cases.
The number of such cases will continue to grow.
Cost effectiveness is a major issue.
III: Powerful Ideas
3.1 Seymour Papert (1980) talked about "Powerful
Constructionism (sort of like constructivism).
3.2 Dave Moursund's List of Powerful Ideas
These were selected because I think they are important,
powerful, and have enduring value. Thus, they help predict
You can add and delete items to suit your own view of ICT
ICT has facilitated the development of a Global
Digital Library as well as other huge databases that are
in routine use.
ICT aids to communication among people and machines
are growing rapidly.
Increased educational emphasis on understanding and on
library research skills, as compared to rote memory.
3.2 2. Information Appliances
We are still in the early stages of a megatrend toward
computers becoming invisible -- much like electric motors
being built into all kinds of appliances.
The focus will switch from learning the technology to
learning to solve problems and accomplish tasks using the
3.2 3. Effective Procedure
A detailed step-by-step set of instructions that can
be mechanically interpreted and carried out by a
specified agent, such as a computer or automated
Procedural thinking includes developing, representing,
testing, and debugging procedures, and using them to
solve problems and accomplish tasks.
For many years, we have been in a trend toward
students learning less about the development and use of
effective procedures, and of procedural thinking.
3.2.4. Improving Human/Machine Interfaces
A "good" interface saves a lot of time and effort on
the part of the user.
We all understand the significance of the development
of the graphical user interface (GUI) that includes the
We are just at the beginnings of routine use of voice
and virtual reality as part of the human/machine
3.2.5. ICT as Content of Non-ICT Disciplines
Examples include spreadsheet, geographic information
systems, computer-aided design, and mathematics systems
such as Mathematica and Maple.
Discipline-oriented teachers need to have an
increasing amount of knowledge of roles of ICT in knowing
and doing the discipline.
3.2.6. ICT-Assisted Problem Solving
One of the most useful strategies in problem solving
is breaking big problems into smaller, more manageable
Increasingly, ICT is a tool that can solve these sub
problems -- thus, greatly increasing the problem-solving
capabilities of computer users. (This ties in with
3.2.7. Modeling and Simulation
One of the two winners of the 1998 Nobel Prize in chemistry was a computational chemists.
Computer-based modeling and simulation are now a
powerful aid to knowing and doing all of the sciences as
well as many other disciplines such as economics and
3.2.8. ICT-Assisted Project-Based & Problem-Based
ICT is a powerful aid to doing the work on a project
or problem, and to representing the results of this
PBL is an excellent aid to implementing SoTL ideas
such as constructivism, situated learning, cooperative
learning, and collaborative problem solving.
3.2.9. Lifelong Learning: Anywhere, Anytime, Any
New dimensions, such as distance learning,
computer-assisted learning, intelligent computer-assisted
instruction, learner-centered software, and brain
"Just in time" learning.
Continual learning (a routine, everyday part of one's
job and life).
3.2.10. Compelling Applications
Helps the user to do things s/he wants to and/or needs
Empowers the user to do things that cannot readily be
done without the ICT.
The spreadsheet is a great example.
Desktop publication is a great example.
IV: Final Remarks
After 50 years of ICT use in K-12 education and about 25
years of microcomputer availability, we are just getting off
the ground in terms of effective use of ICT to significantly
THE BEST IS YET TO COME!
Bloom, B.S. (1984). The 2 Sigma problem: The search for
methods of group instruction as effective as one-to-one
tutoring. Educational Researcher. v13, n6, pp 4-16.
Bransford, J.D.; A. L. Brown; & R.R. Cocking: editors
(1999). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience, and
school. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.
[Online]. Accessed (4/14/00) http://books.nap.edu/catalog/6160.html
Brin, David. The Uplift Saga (3 novels).
Earth's intelligent species know very little,
relative to the billion year old Galactic Library that is
an important part of this series of books. There is an
interesting parallel with the issue of who has access to
the Web, since the Human Race cannot afford full access
to the Galactic Library.
Bruer, John T. (1995). Schools for thought: A science of
learning in the classroom. Cambridge, MA: The MICT
Kurzweil, Ray (1999). The age of spiritual machines: When
computers exceed human intelligence. NY: Viking
Learning theories: Learning with software
[Online]. Accessed 4/4/01: http://www.educationau.edu.au/archives/cp/04.htm
A discussion of 13 different learning theories
from a point of view of their use in educational
Logan, Robert K. (1999). The sixth language: Learning a
living in the computer age. Toronto, Canada: Stoddart
Moravec, Hans (2000). Robot : Mere machine to
transcendent mind. Oxford University Press.
Moursund, D. (2003). Project-based learning using
information technology. Eugene, OR: ISTE.
Moursund, D.G. (August-September 1999). Ten powerful
ideas shaping the present and future of ICT in education.
Learning and Leading With Technology. Eugene, OR: ISTE.
Moursund, D.G. (October 2000). Roles of ICT in Improving Our Educational System. Part 2: Compelling Applications. Learning and Leading with Technology. Eugene, OR: ISTE. http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~moursund/
Norman, Donald A. (1998). The invisible computer: Why
good products can fail, the personal computer is so complex,
and information appliances are the solution. Cambridge, MA:
The MICT Press.
Papert, S. (1980). Mindstorms: Children, computers, and
powerful ideas. New York: BasicBooks, Inc.
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