Reinventing Schools

The US National Academy of Sciences has recently released a multimedia report available on the World Wide Web called, "Reinventing Schools: The Technology is Now!." It considers that "today’s children have grown up immersed in a world of computers and other information technologies. They play video games; they listen to music on digital compact disks; they help their families program the computerised controls of videocassette players. With all of the exciting innovations in computer technology, children have the opportunity to gain a wealth of knowledge without ever leaving home. Schools by comparison can seem dull."

The report continues that "education reformers have been developing new approaches for improving the way in which children learn and interact in the classroom. They now must consider the "technology gap" that exists between the technologically rich experiences children have outside the classroom and the comparatively low-tech, in-school environment." The report considers that the aim is not just to outfit more classrooms with computers but schools should be changed so that they encompass and guide out-of-school activities that already embrace technology.

The report is based on a meeting at which hundreds of leaders from government, education, and the entertainment and information technology industries, developed strategies for reinvigorating the K-12 educational process by integrating the school experience with the information technology that has captured children’s imaginations. Funding for the project was provided by the National Science Foundation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Academy Industry Program of the National Research Council and endowment funds.

For further information contract: Office of News and Public Information, 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20418, USA.
Tel +1 202 334 2138
Email: news@nas.edu
Web: http://www.nas.edu/nap/online/techgap/welcome.html

Issue 5 "Learning in a Global Information Society" 20 September 1995