The Internet in universities: Liberation or desensitization?
UNSPECIFIED. (1997) The Internet in universities: Liberation or desensitization? COMPUTERS & GEOSCIENCES, 23 (5). pp. 513-519. ISSN 0098-3004Full text not available from this repository.
The compression of space and time that accompanies cultural evolution is being accelerated by digital communications technology. The rapid transmission of information and computer-mediated communication are key factors in economic and geopolitical development. Networks such as the Internet are now able to handle images, sounds, texts and virtual objects. These can be stored, reproduced, combined and distributed. This digital miscegenation creates a virtual, recombinant culture that signifies how human society is evolving in the postmodern era. In universities, the Internet is already an important medium of communication, a way of enhancing access to educational resources and a means of creating interactive communities of learning. This will not merely enhance educational practice as it is now. Like technological developments before them, it will also change our view of what education is, or needs to be. This, in turn, will influence the values and the sensitivities that are implicitly transmitted in the educational process. Over and above its practical effects on education, the Internet is bound up in wider geopolitical movements and pressures. As a backdrop to considering the Internet as a medium for education, this article considers some of these geopolitical movements. The conclusion will be that the often rosy image created by advocates of digital communications technology may need balancing by consideration of some darker possibilities. As a matter of social geography, it enhances uniformity, urban concentration and the commodification of cultural practices, including education. Two themes are considered here. On the one hand, following the more optimistic views of educationalists, such as Illich and Wells, there is the hope that the Internet will act as a liberating, democratizing force that will make knowledge more freely and widely available. On the other hand, following the more pessimistic concerns of geographers and cultural theorists, such as Harvey and Baudrillard, there is the fear that the Internet will accelerate the loss of cultural diversity and will help to conceal the damage that technology is inflicting on the cultural and on the natural environment. Examples of both themes are to be found in the current use of the Internet in university education. (C) 1997 Elsevier Science Ltd.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Electronic computers. Computer science. Computer software
Q Science > QE Geology
|Journal or Publication Title:||COMPUTERS & GEOSCIENCES|
|Publisher:||PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD|
|Official Date:||June 1997|
|Number of Pages:||7|
|Page Range:||pp. 513-519|
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