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THE FUTURE OF HIGHER (LIFELONG) EDUCATION:
For All Worldwide, A Holistic View

(All chapters are intended for continuing revision)

Return to Chapter 1.2 | Go to Chapter 1.4

Volume I - Chapter Three

(Updated  Nov. 5., 2008)  In Chinese following the bibliography

THE CHALLENGE OF FUTURE TECHNOLOGY

The existing web of computer, telephone, broadcast, and other kinds of networks does not (yet) constitute the...powerful infrastructure—no more than the thousands of U.S. dirt roads in the early 1900s made a national highway system. --Michael Dertouzos

Satellite-based streaming distribution networks will hop over the Net’s backbone and beam content directly to the last-mile providers - or bypass the Internet entirely. --Wired Magazine headline.

A new convolution of technologies...wireless Internet which links to cell phones and censor nets...wireless broadband...networked computer gaming...this blending of atoms and bits that is beyond anything we have experienced as humans.                                  --Larry Smarr

...Skills of tomorrow will have little to do with how to operate computers and a great deal to do with how to use augmented intellects, enhanced communications and amplified imaginations. --Howard Rheingold

The...step needed to make computers human-centered and help us finish the Information Revolution is to reach. . . billions of people in the developing world --Michael Dertouzos

A  book, free on the Internet,  on building wireless networks in the developing world can be found at <http://www.wndw.net/>. There is also a related online discussion on the topic at <http://lists.nocat.net/mailman/listinfo/wndw>. .

International commercial interests would like to control--for  their profit-- the manufacture ICT technologies for the poor in the developing world; in fact that would like  to take control of the Internet as they have taken control of television in  so much of the world.  BUT there is another possibility.  In Bangladesh the Grameen bank, a people's bank, has put a `walking telephone booth' --a woman with a cell phone-- in poor neighborhoods and it could be several, or time very many. And the ICT gadget that will empower the poor in such places is the already  coming into existence cell phones to connect to the Internet for business, e-governance, education and health care. As these intelligent cell phones mature they can be manufactured in a poor developing world  country at a much more affordable price than would otherwise be possible. It is time now to prepare for what is going to be possible in a few  years ahead.

In the next decade, and already beginning, (see Mooallelm 2008 on great increase in Africa)  there are going to be astonishing uses of the expanded  cell phone, for education, conferencing, Internet access and much more.  New and smaller technologies appear almost every day with wireless connection, keys that light up for use in the dark, more brain, a brighter screen, with more speed and intelligence and many new features to empower learning. This is likely to transform education and continuing learning as the cell phone connects to the a more intelligent grid-Internet, to all kinds of course modules, to electronic textbooks that contain music, video with automated age-appropriate tutor, with automatic language translation, with access to a vast library including reference books, with conferencing software for group work (where a learner is or anywhere in the world), with exciting games for learning, with a personal profile of the learner for a unique personalized program adapted to the needs and talents of each learner.(More on forthcomng technology here in volume three. The cell phone will take a  more important role in poverty reduction and educational development in the developing world when it comes with the X-O computer for poverty area children. (See 3.7) A firm in India is preparing to make cheap cell phones widely available. (Talbot  2008)

Those who ought to be assuming responsibility for a global education system are have as yet only a dim vision of what is going to be possible soon and at much more reasonable prices, such as free online courses and textbooks..
--easy to find and use sources of all relevant knowledge cross-indexed and easily found, so that the learner can concentrate on creating knowledge--in cooperation with teachers and others, rather than just learning existing knowledge,
--internet accessing cell phones that can "form their own `mesh networks' and " for instant messaging, motivation an inspiration, to share photos, videos, library access and other text
--all people can do more creative thinking and cam create their own movies an other creative digital arts in 
an explosion of creative work."
--Wagner (2005a) sees `mobile learning' making possible "new strategies, practice, tools, applications and resources" to make personalized education available everywhere...just the right content, on just the right device, for just the right person,at just the right time."  

Gee of the University of Wisconsin Madison has pointed out that youngsters are experiencing more power-performance learning in their popular culture than they are experiencing in their schools. Video games, for example, giving their mind a powerful `workout.' Deitweiler at the `Microsoft Summit On the next Generation of Learners' explained why existing education (19th century)  models are outdated (Both quoted in he Sept./'Oct 2004 issue of  Educause.) Data will move thousand of times faster on the Internet, and therefore much cheaper when wireless. (Nevertheless as we note forthcoming technologies it is important to note that systems for organizing `educational content' lag far behind and discuss that in later chapters .

Despite the dangers that `social hurricanes' bring into present education, will forthcoming new technologies also offer solutions and new opportunities , not only for existing institutions but also for whatever emerges to bring learning to billions of people in the future? The computers we have at the turn of the century--even the awesome Terascale Computer System--which is to be used for cosmological structure studies--may still be just an early primitive model -T Ford machine compared with what it to come. Bill Gates of Microsoft in a 2004 lecture at MIT said that existing personal computers are just a ` rough draft.' The next decade will see see "cool software for portable and wireless devices, and who knows for sure what will come next..  On free software for the developing world see: <www.opensource.org/docs/definition_plain.html> . On `spot beam' satellite connections see: <http://vsatus.com>. A research center at the University f California, Berkeley,  seeks to put a billion transistors on a single chip.

Technology chapters in each of the three volumes here are not written for technologists, but for a new generation of citizens and developing world educators who need a glimpse of what is coming down the road. So our concern is not with the how of technology itself, but what it can accomplish in and for global-scale learning for all. There is much controversy and disagreement. Educators generally consider technologies from two points of view.
    (1) Some begin with the latest technologies--often developed for other purposes--to see how they might be adapted to education.
    (2) Others seek to create uniquely new technologies needed for learning. Actually, of course, we must do both; in part because it is business and health care that have the money to develop large-scale new technological systems, and often education can piggy-back on systems developed for other purposes. Some most useful in global education are discussed here in 2.2, 2,3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6. and in Volume Three. Will they, and others yet to be created, stimulate and help create something worth being called global or universal learning? They are not without dangers to creativity and innovation that Lessig (2001) describes.

For a discussion of how to begin crucial large-scale planning, see Rischard -of the World Bank in Europe--and his web page (<http://www.rischard.net>.) for here we are exploring possibilities for global networking, for a large-scale continuing planning conference on how to achieve `learning for all.' There is much experimentation on such global-scale conferencing, for example: <http://www.web4engineers.com/webmeetings/using_e_review.asp> and see 3.10 here.

1.3.0  TRANSFORMATIONAL TECHNOLOGIES (more here in other volumes)

First here, on technology for global lifelong learning even in the industrialized world, we must look ahead at least two decades since educators need to plan now for what is coming or be swamped by it. In these early years of the 21st century the useful thing about many new technologies may be that they are forcing educators to re-think what they are doing and to get to work on larger-scale holistic research on learning.(2.17) It is important that researchers use and develop technologies that can best help learning at all of life' stages to achieve stated and future goals and they need to see where they must revise and update those goals. <http://lttf.ieee.org> . The University of Chicago's `Center for Astrophysical Thermonuclear Flashes' that can simulate a supernova suggests the forthcoming superpower that can improve all global research and learning.

Technologies are changing so rapidly, however, that what is written here should be regularly updated or at least linked to web pages that help do so. Those who do not have the time or opportunity to keep up with developing technologies are nevertheless inevitably affected and challenged by the electronic/digital developments that appear to be transforming human institutions, and those yet to come that have a great potential for global education. Many are helpfully introduces in Rheingold (2003).  Ntal (2004) reports on `the intelligent Internet' and `machines that understand us and even anticipate our needs. The question of Internet access in poor rural villages in the developing world is crucial and still difficult to do.

 Rheingold (2003) pointed to the convergence of cheap computer-empowered wireless digital cell phones with instant access to all information and to educational and new kinds of learning games, with global positioning and other satellite access, connection to computer power beyond what we can yet imagine, and computer chips in everything, empowering our clothing, our chairs and desks, the walls of our rooms--which also become telecommunication windows to the world. Much of this is even now in reach, indeed Rheingold began by describing how instant access cell phones with text messaging were already transforming youth culture in Finland where 80 percent of adolescents already had the next generation of such empowered cell phones. The subtitle of his book is: The Next Social Revolution: Transforming Cultures and Communities in the Age of Instant Access.  (see Padron 2009 on cell phones in Afghanistan.)

Already at some American higher education institutions technology systems are in place that bring together and coordinate on on one portable or larger in-room screen everything a student may need or want: wireless and cable, streaming video, courses, music, conferencing. a campus calendar, library and educational materials, TB channels including sports and more. See existing commercial services:  <www.glowpoint.com>, <www.vbrick.com>.<www.radvision.com.  And for a list of administrative technologies:<http://www.campus-technology.com/conferences/summer2005/index.asp>.    

Perhaps most important for lifelong education is not any particular forthcoming combination of technologies, but rather the future design, interconnection and convergence of technologies on a global scale. such as the emerging semantic, intelligent grid computing which aims to be as easy to use as the telephone and as invisible as the grid that provides electricity.. Combinations into more comprehensive tools can make possible some kinds of research, instruction, and educational experimentation on a scale and with quality never before possible. Some large (very powerful and costly) technologies are already involved in the reshaping of education and the Internet and are going to evolve into something we perhaps cannot yet really anticipate, the enabling of a powerful new partnership between human brains and computerized 'whatevers’ (we cannot yet for sure anticipate them either). It is in our human interest not to let educational uses of these technologies evolve without our active planning, participation and institutionalization. Education research needs to mobilize the collaboration of thousands of minds--or more--if humanity is to cope with potential human crises. (2.1).

Taking into account the probability that the future is likely to be quite different from we expect, the best way to talk about technology, including future software, now may be to focus first on what needs to be done and then on existing technologies that are most likely to grow and expand into what is needed. So we begin with some examples. Second, however, Larry Smarr (2002) began to create a `living laboratory'--industry, government and university collaborating--to `fool around' with new ideas that may or may not be practical; "weaving together emerging technologies such as  the wireless Internet, nanotechnology, chemical sensors and sensor nets...and building them into the campus and community." Now in this early stage of the transformation of learning, Long (2002) says, one might be helped to understand is at <http://web.mit.edu/oki>. And note the `living' DNA computer: <DNA computer: <http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/02/0224_030224_DNAcomputer.html>. 
We have no idea what the perils and opportunities for lifelong global education will be when millions have the cheap cell-phone-type instrument with Internet connections and a TV screen to access many hundreds of channels. Another option for the bored student during a lecture? Students have often traveled around the world and now they can become "virtual mobile students' (Silvio 2003)  in new kinds of international learning communities.

1.3.1  PRESERVING KNOWLEDGE AND CULTURE (Cosmopedia)

A major task of libraries  will continue to be to preserve and transmit existing knowledge and lessons from history but with a new global style and research context. The fifth chapter will discuss libraries that, characteristic of all of education, are swamped with more information, data and knowledge than they can cope with. What are our best possibilities for dealing with the knowledge explosion and data glut?  Unfortunately, important data in digital form is being lost. This online book will discuss empowering the `collective memory by bringing human minds and interconnected supercomputers into collaboration and the massive online `reference books' for a global learning system. Ahead of the `cosmpedia' is the already `wickopedia' with nearly 400,000 entries in many languages. (1.5)

To preserve existing and forthcoming knowledge is going to require more effective organizing, classifying, indexing, searching, finding and integrating. A crucial technological development will be empowering the Internet to make it more intelligent. Bill Gates of Microsoft is said to have suggested that everyone’s portal to the Internet should perhaps be an encyclopedia. The word `encyclopedia’ too much suggests written and printed text, so the word `cosmopedia’ has been suggested. This would be a living, interactive bringing together of all knowledge, so that anything known can be accessed by clicking on any word, idea, musical sound, segment of film or other graphics, any math formula, meme or gene, nuclear or chemical term or whatever. Further it should at every point list all of the problems, questions, controversies, and the criticisms and needed research in relation to each item in the cosmopedia. And the data, information and wisdom included should be presented not merely in words, but also through illustrative images, graphics or filmed case studies and much more. Each item would lead to a web of information. (For example if one clicks on Mark Twain, one would be led to texts and films of all of his writings, to all criticism and writing about him, his cultural background and life history, indeed all that is known about him and his work) This can be done with existing technology and it is going to improve and expand exponentially. 

The `global electronic cosmopedia’--the ultimate reference library for everyone in the world-- could include an interactive connection of all online encyclopedias, reference books, dictionaries, data bases, multimedia, TV news and documentaries and more, including the history and data of every person and community on earth. For more detail on cosmpedia, See: Rossman (2004) and the essay appended in the bibliography at the end of this chapter. To illustrate, here below is science fiction exercise to stimulate creativity and imagination. (See Levy 1997 on `cosmopedia.’ The term has been copyrighted for a commercial CD-ROM project and has varied meanings elsewhere.)  One way to think about it is through this brief science fiction glance:

It is July 6, 2022. Our planet is overwhelmed by inter-related crises: billions are hungry; violence, terrorism and crime are rampant; a billion are seriously ill from new diseases and a deteriorating environment: bad water and soil, a sick ocean, polluted air; desertification and massive crop failures, and other crises. Many think that the very survival of human life on the planet is at stake. So a more educated population is finally motivated to act politically. Humanity has powerful new technologies, such as the ability to link tens of thousands of supercomputers to do things that have never been possible before--out pacing any human mind--yet this fantastic machine intelligence cannot alone seem to cope with the moral, ethical and political problems that underlie the crises. So the leaders of major nations call upon the world’s universities to mobilize and coordinate efforts to bring together hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of human minds (collective intelligence) through the powerful `successor’ to the World Wide Web and Internet--to cooperate with the machine intelligence to find holistic solutions to the crises. All such problems are seen to be inter-related: for example, food supply is limited by farmer health and education as well as the weather, poverty, ignorance and environmental decay. So it finally becomes clear to key political leaders of major nations that no one of the crises can be tackled alone, they all must be resolved together. So:

            “(1) The effort to link and coordinate all human knowledge is enlarged. A global electronic cosmopedia and dictionary become the primary gateway to all human data and knowledge.

“(2) The cosmopedia is alive, increasingly intelligent and continually growing. It is each day updated so each `section’—the words `monograph or article’ seem too textual and linear--becomes the definitive draft of all that can be agreed upon and verified through a transdisciplinary process of peer review by scientists and scholars, with a careful listing and detailed description of all disagreements and needs; that is, of all that needs to be researched. Hazen (1997) pointed out that "the key to understanding  why science is an endless frontier lies not in cataloging what we know, but rather recognizing the vast amount of what remains unknown--the unanswered questions."  These areas of needed work are expanded by dialog with other disciplines in a quest for holistic solutions. As in the Yale Human Area files, these `definitive cosmopedia section’ are made concise by the elimination of all duplication. Also articles can be presented with graphics, models, maps, simulations and so forth. While as accurate as possible, the sections are enlivened by computed-assisted constructions of reality, simulations of possibilities linked to the largest possible models of the physical and social world, and of the universe.

“(3) Every essential word in each definitive section is hyper linked to its precise meaning (only one meaning is allowed, there are plenty of words in various languages to be used for other meanings) in the global dictionary—which links the equivalent of the Oxford English Dictionary in every language. It defines every shade of meaning in every language and dialect, with each word coded to a specific use and meaning. (Or a numerical part of the coding, for example, might attach a number to each word; for example: church1, a building; church2, a congregation, church3, a denomination, church4, a mystical universal religion and so forth, wherever the word “church” is used.) Note: in the University of California `OceanStore' system each fragment of stored knowledge has a “globally unique identification tag.” The cosmopedia, of course, has much more sophisticated coding not yet developed in 2002 so that the automatic translation of scientific papers from one language to another can be precise. Linking every word to a dictionary or search engine is discussed in Educause, April 2005..

“(4) Similarly every idea--perhaps every sentence-- is hyper linked to expanding webs of documentation <http://www.buyya.com/ecogrid/wwg>., as well as to every individual scientist, every publication and every organization <http://www.uia.org>. that is involved in research on that aspect of a problem. All researchers are invited to participate in a continuing online seminar, and its related online journal that is daily updated. (A first model of this was seen in the 2001 online seminar, involving over 5000 people in over 123 countries. to work over the World Poverty Report.) Different from year 2001 scholarly journals, once a question is raised, the discussion and research continues ceaselessly—even for centuries--until all the questions are answered and all sub problems and controversies are resolved. Every university in the world, which has the willingness and capacity, is asked to create an ongoing, day and night, year after year continuing online symposium on one of these research areas; as in 2001 was proposed in medicine.

“(5) In each case every research team and university is asked to give some time—in relation to each scholar’s bit of knowledge and research--to solving fundamental human crises and their sub-problems (such as the problems defined by the Union of International Associations, See Sinnot in references below)

“(6) Who does the work? Every graduate student’s thesis, dissertation, term paper, et cetera and every scholar’s journal papers and monographs can be related to the updating and researching. Undergraduate and secondary school students have access to the cosmopedia and are encouraged to bite off a small piece of some cosmopedia-defined-problem to work on in each course, or as the beginning of a lifetime scholarly calling. (Secondary school students at Dalton School in the late 1900’s were already been preparing a CD-ROM history of New York City, a project in which each year’s class picks up and expands the term papers prepared by students the year before. H.J.A. Goodman of the World Brain group of the American Association for Information Science proposed that every retired scholar and scientist might be employed part-time to work at updating in his or her field. Thus collective intelligence is mobilized, if first only in collaborative work, for example to create interactive indexes and links.)

“(7) To capture the imagination of children and to inspire and motivate the political will of the public, every `living section’ in the ` cosmopedia’ has attached stories with graphics, films and case studies to show needs and what is being done about them; and has links to action groups and their publications and projects. Every individual in the world is invited to have a lifelong hobby interest in one area of needed action. Also the cosmopedia includes inspiration from art, music and so forth to empower and motivate responsible action or research-and-action in relation to each cosmopedia `section.’

“(8) The daily updated (from research and feedback) electronic online textbooks in every subject--and at every level of learning—are founded upon and linked to appropriate cosmopedia `sections.’ Related tutorials are then adapted to the age and level of information of each learner and his or her e-textbooks.

“(9) The cosmopedia makes it possible for the global virtual university to become a lifelong learning and research institution, with seamless relationships to educational activities of each individual from birth to death. Essential learning at every stage of life can be available on the sequel to Internet2, discussed below. Lifetime learning is related to a continually enlarging profile of each individual’s gifts, talents, limitations, handicaps, opportunities, and so forth. Each person is empowered with an electronic memory (a lifetime of learning can now be recorded on one disk), instantly accessible, indexed by job and personal and professional interests. Each of these personal electronic memories can be plugged into the universal cosmopedia memory for corrections and to meet specific needs, and can also be linked to the electronic memories of others in a work team research project or whatever.”

(Also note, the Wikipedia, a wiki-based encyclopedia project < http://www.wikipedia.org/>.Ir began as an offshoot project of Nupedia  encyclopedia project and "as of September 2003, there were over 300,000 encyclopedia articles  in various languages."<http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Statistics>) and Rossman  (2004) "Cosmopedia: Tomorrow's World of Learning."

1.3.2  MAPPING AND ORGANIZING KNOWLEDGE FOR USE AND TRANSMISSION  <http://benking.de> .

Transformation in learning will also be accelerated as the Internet become a grid, a matrix, and has increasing intelligence, essential if scholars are to cope with (tens of?) billions of pages on the World Wide Web. The work on a grid, like the one that supplies electricity to the public, is being developed by scientists at CERN, in Switzerland, for a their own specific purpose; as the World Wide Web idea emerged there in 1989, also to serve a need of Physicists. In August 2001 IBM, the National Science Foundation and others were developing a grid for research purposes that was expected by 2003 to have over 450 trillion bytes. The CERN grid was being created to distribute information from the Large Hadron Collider to universities and researchers via a system of multiple tiers connected through fiber-optic cables. This was to make it possible, as not possible with existing PCs,  because of the volume of data, for an individual researcher anywhere to access data directly from the individual supercomputers. For present and future developments see the Grid Forum: <www.gridforum.org/> And: <www.nsf.gov/od/lpa/news/02/pr0238.htm>, <www.globus.org/research/papers/anatomy.pdf

(However, Robert Floral of the USA Sandia National Laboratories warned that the next generation Internet or grid  would likely be vulnerable to all kinds of attack. The grid holds the promise of being able to solve problems and do remarkable things for science research in real-time and on a global basis. Therefore at the 2002 annual conference of the World Future Society Floral proposed networks patterned after nature, "self-preparing and self-protecting like living organisms; e.g., intelligent systems  of complex adaptive agents that evolve and learn while continuously monitoring themselves.") 

The Internet began with military and science networks and has grown to be available all over the world, with Internet2 providing faster and more comprehensive service to major universities, to scientists, and to many secondary and primary schools. No one university, phone company, or corporation could alone do what was accomplished together by all three. Not to be connected now with Internet2 has handicapped scholars much as they have been limited if they do not have access to the journals that report the latest research in their fields. So the Internet, which supports high speeds and powerful services, has moved to the center of the educational community—as new learning communities take shape on the Internet, possible as a result of cooperation among educational institutions, private corporations, and government agencies as well as individual researchers and their professional groupings. <http://www.isoc.org>. Its many component networks are funded differently, but many in corporations, governments and universities see these “electronic highways” as becoming to our global society what paved roads were for the Roman Empire. Next, however, they are becoming much more than highways. The Internet is on its way to becoming what some scholars call a `global brain’ or a global superorganism. That is, each individual scholar is becoming a cell that may be compared to cells in a human body, and the computer networks may be compared to the connections in a human brain. And the technology to accomplish this `superorganism’ already is coming into existence. "The Matrix may be the future of virtual reality," a report on the Global Grid Forum asserts, but "the Grid is the future of collaborative problem-solving." On George Landow and hypertext see <www.altx.com/int2/george.landow.html>.Steven Bugaj (Polish) of the WebMind group and his wife, an artist from India uggest that the emerging global brain will also have artistic dimensions, helping promote creativity and imagination. Perhaps as robots and other such tools take over most of our routine work, most humans will have time for more reflection, for developing creativity, imagination, and art talents. 

However, Stanford Law School professor, Lawrence Lessig, in The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Commons in a Connected World has warned of a possible take-over of the Internet by powerful multinational all-for-profit corporations that will use copyright, patent laws and controls that may greatly reduce the use of the Internet for learning, innovation and creativity. Meanwhile Steve Wishnevsky of the Global Brain Group (e-mail Nov. 13 2005) sees google working toward the vision of a global brain..." composed of a large number of humans  and a central system with much greater than human intelligence." This raises serious ethical questions, he says, to motivate and rehearse its learning that should come collectively from the humans.

Archives of the Global Brain research group seeking to develop the Internet include provisional definitions as follows:

“The "global brain" is the name given to the emerging intelligent network formed by all people on this planet, together with the computers and communication links that connect them together. Like a real brain, this network is an immensely complex, self-organizing system, that processes information, makes decisions, solves problems, learns new connections and discovers new ideas. It plays the role of a collective nervous system for the whole of humanity. No person, organization or computer is in control of this system: its "thought" processes are distributed over all its components.” The metaphor of the information network as global brain can be extended to the whole of society as a global organism. If the information processes in the network constitute the "mind" of this system, all people together with their artifacts (tools, buildings, cars, etc.) form its "body". Since individual people are organisms themselves, this encompassing system is an organism consisting of organisms, that is, a super-organism. The superorganism not only has a nervous system for processing information, but a metabolism for processing matter and energy: resources such as ores, water, oil are converted via various industrial processes into specialized goods and services, transported to the place where they are needed, used, and finally recycled or excreted as waste. And `living systems theory’ provides a detailed correspondence between the different subsystems of a society and those of an organism.”

We will say more about this later, but here is technology to help learners and `educators' deal with the information glut and achieve their basic objectives in an information society. Here are the beginnings of a collective memory, collective imagination and creativity and collective intelligence – putting many minds together, enabled by powerful computers, to accomplish what hitherto has not been possible. The Global Brain Group’s definitions also show that “to make the global information network function at a higher level of intelligence, instead of merely storing and transmitting data, new technologies are brought into play. These technologies are inspired by increasing understanding of how the human brain works: how it learns associations, thinks, makes decisions, etc. (2.2.2) At the same time, the information on the net is not centrally controlled, but distributed into countless data bases and in the minds of millions of people and their documents, with billions of cross-connections. “Thus, cognitive processes at the level of the `Global Brain’ must allow all this chaotic, heterogeneous information to interact so that collective patterns can appear. Some of the more traditional technologies include the various methods of keyword-based information retrieval. Others may use techniques derived from artificial intelligence, such as software agents, neural networks or data mining. Still others, such as collaborative filtering or groupware, enhance collective problem solving.

Collective intelligence (see 2.4 for more) is the idea that a group or collective can be more intelligent than its members. The best known examples are social insects, such as ants, termites or bees, which are individually dumb, but capable of surprisingly intelligent behavior when functioning as a group. Even when the individual members are quite intelligent themselves, the group may be even more intelligent. The intelligence of the GB will be collective, as it arises from the interactions between millions of individuals. Symbiotic intelligence, a term introduced by N. Johnson, is the idea that intelligence can also emerge from the interactions between essentially different components, such as people and computers (see the Symbiotic Intelligence FAQ). As J. de Rosnay proposes, people will live in symbiosis with this surrounding network of technological systems, and out of this symbiosis, a higher level intelligence may emerge.” These definitions and much more information can be found at <http://pespmc.vub.ac.be/> where there also is information about collective filtering, human/machine interface, web learning, Englebart’s collective I.Q., and how to make the Web more intelligent. Also: <http://pespmc.vub.ac.be/gbrain-L.html> These pespmc web pages are not just now available.

For example, a distributed knowledge system (DKS), a term proposed by C. Joslyn (of Los Alamos), is an environment in which communities of agents (human and/or computational) interact with networked information resources. DKS have introduced fundamentally new structures: human-machine interaction at the collective level, not just between a person and a computer, but also interaction within the user/agent community and among the information resources themselves. We increasingly find examples of DKS around us, not just in the Web and the Internet, but in corporate Intranets, digital repositories, and electronic markets. Our experience with the growth of the Internet has shown that the unprecedented new properties of DKS to combine computation, storage, and communication are revolutionizing the way that knowledge is generated, organized, and transmitted. As the dynamics of a DKS is very different from the one of a traditional, centralized computer system, it requires extensive research, using a variety of new methods. Such research is being done at the DKSM team at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Also, notice CYC <http://www.opencyc.org/> with its encyclopedia-type organization of concepts and ideas.

Now add to this the holistic views offered by digital satellite imagery and usable via streaming video on the Internet. Baker et al. (2001) have pointed out that “one of the new millennium’s defining features is rapidly growing global transparency” as they provide holistic views of planetary and human ecology. For example, the CARES project <http://www.cares.missouri.edu> (ignore request for password and wait a moment) is in 2001 adding layer after layer of data—such as census information—to detailed photos of small neighborhoods, even of farms. Next can we anticipate maps of regions and neighborhoods that one can click upon for detailed data about education also, including illiteracy rates, health needs, foods available, local educational facilities and resources available, weather, crises, and everything that would be helpful for local people and lifelong education planners and model creators to use in improving the quality of learning? Olsen (2003) has pointed out that Internet2 is at a crossroads. It has transformed research and teaching and is now at a turning point.

1.3.3  DIGITAL WIRELESS BROADBAND

Communication speed a hundred times faster than available at the turn of the century should also make it possible to greatly reduce costs of education delivery. Wi-fi can, as proposed in India, make wireless Internet Access available in cafes, librarier and other public places.  Alongside the increase in computer power through parallel and interconnected systems, parallel communications in all-optical networks can perhaps reshape the entire educational world. One hair-thin strand of fiber could already in  1995 carry more than an entire day's communications of the entire world. So, in time, combinations of technologies--such as satellites and new smart digital radio connections--can bring the World Wide Web--and whatever succeeds it-- to educators and  researchers anywhere in the world at affordable cost. Indeed, digital wireless radio may well be the more affordable and better way to make possible the active participation of developing world scientists in the global research community as well as making it possible to bring adequate education to everyone on the planet.,

It was also predicted that since network speed will be faster than many personal computers can manage, more and more of the computing will be done on the network grid, much as the telephone company does for the home phone. This can reduce the cost of upgrading software in the developing world. The fast network becomes the computer. Online management of `video on demand' should make it possible to access a library of CD-ROMs--or rather the successors to CD-ROM--which could contain all desired texts and videos to show how to do things. A researcher's laptop--or handheld device-- will tap databases and libraries worldwide as easily as one can use a hard disk or CD-ROM drive. George Gilder (2000) was often wrong in the stocks he recommended to investors in the 1990's but he was right in saying that the convergence of computers, communications and empowering software can `unleash creativity and "unprecedented hope to the people that the industrial age passed by." It is frequently asserted that broadband will not work so well once many more people are using it. However, Hurtig (2002) says that it government bureaucracy that is keeping America in the `wireless dark ages' and reports research and experience that demonstrates that there can be plenty of spectrum for all and to "develop solutions to intractable real world problems."  

The number of enhanced wireless phones may increase soon to five hundred million with the ability to enable any scientist to connect on location anywhere in the world for education purposes.  Think what a powerful instrument the telephone has been, inter­connecting a hundred million phones via space satellites and Internet where there are not yet telephone lines  It was thought remarkable in the1990's that a document could quickly be sent anywhere in the world. Now Lessig (2001) says that `infinite' bandwidth--"as electronic switches are replaced by optical switches--the speed of the network will approach the speed of light. Already in 2003 BBC was providing English lessons to Beijing and Lagos via mobile phone.

Pelton (2003) has reported that the amount of Internet-related traffic on INTELSAT alone had grown from 7% to  20% of all traffic, mostly via digital video broadcast at low cost. The desire for access continues to grow, he says, also via wireless and optical fiber with even more advanced, broader band systems ahead. Worldwide enterprises operated 24-hours a day which benefits global enterprises such as `big science." The insatiable demand for mobility and access to global networks anywhere on the planet has "led to the extremely rapid development pf wireless telecommunications and personal communications  systems.

1.3.4  SOFTWARE FOR HUMAN/MACHINE COLLABORATION

"Software creativity knows no boundaries" Vinton Cerf has said (2002) "And the Internet benefits from the unfettered human  imagination." Yet, Lessig (2001) has pointed out, creativity, imagination and innovation are limited when the Internet loses its character as a `commons'--available free to all like a public park or street--is walled in by patents on code, copyright on ideas and content. Educators have much to gain from Linux and free code. Creativity comes from the bottom up, not from the top down...and too many controls. Dean Unsworth of the University of Illinois (2004) writes of the `liberating' potential of open sources software. (More in volume 3.) 

Many educators feel swamped with too much inadequate software, lacking time to examine all education packages themselves, yet dissatisfied with choices others make for them. Roush (2003) has reported on new approaches to software design and creation that can help programmers cope better with complexity, replacing it with "easy-to-understand tables, maps and highlighted text." The payoff to new approaches he reports, "should be more reliable software for everyone." Gleason (2003) says that universities, plagued with problems with commercial software should adopt "free, open source software that all could contribute to and help update. Should not the goal be standardized open source software for all the world's educational and learning institutions, much as auto tires have standard sizes despite the brand

Dertouzos (2000) proposed that computers--that are not yet `human-centered'--seriously limit educational uses of the Internet and Web. He used the analogy of the automobile; if instead of having a steering wheel and brake, the driver had to enter coded instructions to “control spark advance, fuel mixture, the valve clearance of each cylinder, the angle of each wheel, the tension on each brain drum” and had to keep doing this constantly while driving. This is exactly the sort of thing we have to use when we cruise the Internet with 600 page manuals to read all the time. So the time has come, he said, to change the machine-oriented mindset and invent controls like a car’s steering wheel, gas petal and brake that are developed for people. This is why the information technology revolution still lies ahead, Dertouzos says. “The Web and Internet of today, compared to where we are headed, are (old fashioned) steam engines compared to the modern industrial world.” Now our learning structures are moving into an airplane age. To envisage the future of global lifelong education we anticipate a spaceship age.

Beyond convergence, digitalization and jargon about people-friendly computers and intelligent agents, education needs an underlying computer and information infrastructure that will tie the elements together at a higher level. There must be specialized, customized hardware and software for education at all levels. By 2010, Dertouzos predicted. a hundred billion appliances will be interconnected. The “Internet is just the tip of the iceberg” so planners must take a longer look into the future--an unfinished revolution-- and stop planning only for what can be done with `Model T Ford’ technologies we have today. Or as Dertouzos said it: “Rather than drowning in information overload and computer technology,” we must throw out the 20th century models and create a new master plan and philosophy. For educators this means letting learners and teachers “interact naturally, easily and purposefully with each other” and with the surrounding vast universe of information, experimentation and search for truth, justice and wisdom.

As global learning moves into virtual space its planners should heed the advice of Dertouzos that the industrial revolution did not just move humanity into `motor space,’ leaving the old human world behind. But then and now, new technologies that continually change entered and profoundly affected everyday life and work. Nor, then as now, information technology did not move us into some `magic new world.’ One sign that the information age revolution is finished, he said, will be when computers disappear as motors did in tools to help human beings work in new and more powerful ways.

A next step towards a more intelligent and educationally useful Internet will be the "semantic web" that recognizes the meaning in documents that are linked or accessed.   The World Wide Web Consortium has been developing standards and technologies for a richer, more customizable Web in which searches will be more accurate and thorough and truthfulness of information will be easier to verify. (Technology Review, Nov. 2001). Olson and Bollen (2001)  have been working to develop a framework to integrate knowledge  from different disciplines into an encompassing `world view,' using the framework to implement "a self-organizing knowledge web that learns new concepts and  associations from the way it is used, and `thinks ahead' of its users." 

Software for global lifelong learning must also be affordable and customized to serve learners and teachers as well as a technological system; and not only standardized but also mass-produced to make it low priced. (3.9) It must interconnect and be adjustable to many small personal computers. Technologies must be designed so they will work together: digital cameras, virtual maps, hand held computer devices and much more. The need, Dertouzos has pointed out, is not to fix bugs in existing systems, but rather a radical change in mind-set. In many cases it may mean starting over instead of merely expanding and changing existing systems. Think how expensive long-distance phone calls would be if all calls had to be routed through a “switchboard” in London or Tokyo .Local networks can bypass expensive international systems. Users pay only for a local call but can still address their mail internationally. Long-distance telephone costs within one country are often manageable, whereas international rates are often still prohibitively high as set by govern­ment Post, Telegraph and Telephone (PTT) monopolies. In 3.3.5 we introduce the possibility of increasing the brain power and memory of the individual learners. It is now possible to record everything a person says and types during a lifetime--a 14-gigbabite servers should do--at a reasonable price. Next we can have the system to index it, access it at any time and place, and interconnect all we know with the similar systems of others we are working with.

1.3.5   IMPROVISING IN THE DEVELOPING WORLD

High speed research networks are being extended, for example, to Latin America from the United States and some other industrial nations. One illustration was the provision of cable connections by a consortium of universities in Florida. This two-way project aimed to give researchers outside Latin America access, for example, to data from the Gemini South telescope in Chile. However, it may be decades before the poorest in rural parts of the planet can participate in such developments except through wideband digital wireless connections to the Internet, soon at modest cost. Combinations of much simpler technologies are creating an educational revolution for the poorest. Experiments and demonstrations are showing how poverty areas began to participate through radio, e-mail, video-and audiotapes, and CD-ROM and soon with wireless telephones, as seen in countries such as Bangladesh. Affordably priced technologies now become effective components in a larger mix, empowered by interactive two-way participation and can be used for the benefit of all students in a class or of individual, self-directed learners. (2.2.0, 1.3.5, 3.2.7) On Sept. 20, 2004, the `India Space Research Organization' announced the launching of the first satellite devoted excuively to long distance education for millions of illiterates in rural India.

A transportation analogy may be useful in discussing how to get the developing world affordably online. Today, some need transportation because of physical disability or because of distance to a school. Others, because of isolation and need, must have education brought to them. Perhaps adequate learning for everyone in the world will require that education be taken to billions of people, wherever they are; especially if and when our planet has ten billion people. Perhaps the only way lifetime education for all can be affordable, sustainable, tailored to need, ecologically sensitive and of high quality. At the beginning of the automobile era there were hundreds of companies producing and experimenting with cars. We do not yet have Model T Ford type educational hardware, but there are significant moves in the direction of standard electronic devices that can be affordable to billions of people. However, for many of the poorest their present best possibility for learning technology is more likely to be analogous to the bicycle than the automobile..

Dertouzos (2000) used the analogy of the automobile that can be driven without having to refer to a manual each time one wants to turn a corner. Perhaps a `lifelong education for all’ analogy should begin with the bicycle as a place to begin in some of the most undeveloped parts of the world. Bicycles can be used to generate some electricity. Solar power and batteries, however, are better alternatives. For with batteries the rider down a path where there is not yet a road can listen to tapes and as she rides or is at home where there is no electric grid connection. The illiterate farmer plowing the field can listen via earphones to a talking CD that gives him agricultural information. The next step in his lifelong education is the earphone that wirelessly connects him to a satellite where the universe of learning can be available. 

Suppose we had the funding and political support to develop a system of digital-age learning for the whole world, what should we do? Suppose planners had the technological capacity to do anything they could imagine . . . what then would be the right things to do? (See 3.8.)  Again we are perhaps only dimly aware of many future possibilities.

First, meanwhile, let’s propose that wherever possible there should be at a neighborhood electronic learning center (school), near enough for most children to walk, a technologically empowered education center for all ages: preschool head start and child care for working parents; a place of educational counseling and testing for all ages; classes for children by day and adults in the evening. (2.17) Everyone in every neighborhood who wishes to participate could belong to and participate in activities of the local `learning consumer cooperative’ that operates that `school' and its electronic connections to the world of learning; and which is a partner in planning for local needs. (2.17, 2.18 for more.) Successful prototypes exist and some American grass roots organizations and cities are providing equipment and support. 

Second, let’s accept the fact that needs will be different in every culture, situation, and perhaps in every neighborhood; that therefore the construction of a global learning system should begin from the bottom up and not be imposed from the top, globally, nationally, or by an authoritarian regional education system. Could all the neighborhood educational co-ops were linked together as the structure for a regional, national, and global administrative system that could mass produce for economy (Again more in Volume III., especially in  3.10.

It would be splendid if everyone on our planet could right away have an Internet connection and the most sophisticated information technology and connections to learning and healthcare. Already there are successful demonstrations of how `electronic learning' can be brought to all in advance of cable connections. Solar-powered TV, cell phones, HAM radio and battery-powered CDs and digital radio can be used now to provide developing world rural teachers and individual learners with greatly improved resources before cable and satellite connections arrive. ` Volunteers in Technical Assistance' (VITA) has shown that often it does not take a huge organization and vast funding to have great ideas and make them available to the developing world. VITA was the first private voluntary organization to apply advanced microelectronics and space technology for communication with the developing world for humanitarian and development purposes. It did so by using a Low Earth Orbiting Satellite, a series of independent short-wave radio systems, and an electronic wireless computer messaging system for use in time of disasters, for health education and information, vehicle tracking, data gathering and sharing and much more. Rather than waiting for more sophisticated communications, VITA has worked with whatever systems exist to promote decentralized, usable communications, including battery or solar‑powered inexpensive ground systems. In 2001, WorldSpace announced a receiver that is being mass-produced to receive crystal clear digital radio via satellite that a huge share of people in Asia and Africa can access with a four-inch dish. The receivers are already on sale in many developing countries.  WorldSpace nonprofit foundation has sought to help make the technology available to those in poverty and those who are geographically isolated. The dishes cost $200-$400--which is too expensive for the poorest except perhaps in India where amateurs construct their own--but which can be installed in tele-centers for a whole village or neighborhood to use at affordable rates. In time it will have multimedia capabilities and will provide much clearer reception for the millions who receive education via radio.

Next there may be baseball-sized satellites, cheaper to build, to put in space, cheaper for users, and Negroponte (2002) that "spread spectrum" wherein each Wi-Fi system makes it possible for messages to leap from peer to peer can bring inexpensive connections to the rural world of developing nations at very modest cost. Now is the time to prepared for what is going to be available in a few years. However, there are problems, security, support, lessons to learn from the experience of others.Many such possibilities have been discussed by Joseph Pelton (2003, leading authority on satellites.)

(Note reports of InfoDev research, detailed case studies, open source tool kit, etc.<http://www.infodev.org/>. At the 2005 World Summit on the Information Society it was reported, for example,  that.Nortel is focusing on connecting communities to foster trade,  education and healthcare in developing countries by providing wireless broadband to rural areas. such as in Haiti where they have established CDMA high speed networks with wireless MESH networks...and also in eight provinces in Angola

 1.3.6   SATELLITES WITH CHEAP WIRELESS GROUND RECEIVERS AND SENDERS

New technologies are being reported nearly every day. Satellites--to “provide medical service” and educate millions in remote villages--have transformed the global communications system so that already by 1987 half the world’s population could be linked together live via satellite at any time of day or night. (Pelton 1987). A 2001 glimpse at the future was seen in the University of California (Irvine and San Diego’s California Institute of Telecommunication and Information Technology (or Cal(IT)2) and its wireless Internet. Larry Smarr, formerly of the National Supercomputer Center, has proposed that the sequel to the Internet--`the grid,’ a ubiquitous wireless network always and everywhere available twenty-four hours a day--can have transformational uses n global learning,  beyond using it to monitor the environment. Television became an important component of distance education in part because of INTELSAT's demonstration of reliability. It's two-way satellite system integrated a satellite and an earth (receiving/sending) station that brought TV courses to millions in Asia. Although most people think of the earth station as a dish-type antenna now so often seen in the yards or on the roofs of schools, receiving stations became a portable pack as small as a suitcase. New technologies --including streaming video on the Internet--now revive television as a major player in distance learning. Meanwhile much can be done via radio and TV.

Indonesia early had its own satellite system. Used to link eleven university campuses on different islands for distance education and teacher training “to improve educa­tional quality” (Hudson and Jussawalla 1987). The University of the South Pacific and the University of the West Indies also then developed a system to serve education needs in several widely scattered island countries. India early used a NASA satellite to deliver educational programming to more than 2,500 villages.” Since then, satellites have become able to send many more courses at a time, can provide two-way television and broadband services which can greatly empower international education. For some time to come wireless broadband connections are essential for much of the rural world. Elsewhere global education will escalate though fiberglass cables, which are moving to connect most of the world. It is expensive, however, to wire the earth with cable able to carry the volume of sophisticated material required for global-scale re­search and learning. The companies that operate cables must “charge by the mile” to recover costs.

Radio can be increasingly important for isolated areas that do not yet have Internet possibilities. Local radio stations play a crucial role in much developing world education, passing on to battery-powered radios what they receive from the Internet. High frequency radio is often unreliable, except locally, although that can improve. Digital radio can play a major role, as HAM radio was early able to provide Internet connections. Satellite time is expensive although subsidies and flexible pricing policy may help educational satellites better serve educational institutions in the underdeveloped world. It will, however, require global-scale action as no governments or agency can accomplish that alone.

Markle (2001) has described how--”in ways that would have been impossible just a few years ago”--technology has been turning space into the wireless revolution’s next frontier as satellites are able to by-pass the Internet and transmit directly to cell phones. Satellite-based streaming networks, he said, will beam directly to `last-mile’ connections, bringing full-motion video to the entire planet. The entire broadcast and film industries will be transformed when three million simultaneous high-fidelity streams can be sent down to earth to any school. However, because of the many satellite bugs and bureaucratic hurdles in the way, fiber optics will continue to be the best option for online learning in the foreseeable future even though “air and vacuum are cheaper.” In time, however, satellites should take twenty seconds to transmit the entire Library of Congress with high quality sound and graphics. A vast number of courses and lectures can then be sent that quickly when `lightware' communications are combined with “digitally compressed two-way video.”

Some experts have  pointed to the fears--of change and competition that arise when planners face the social hurricane of technologies that brings almost unmanageable floods to swamp current efforts to use its new possibilities. Perhaps needed global planning and coordination require new software, rather than just trying to build sea walls to keep the technology out? Surowiecki (2002) points to the potential  of "the nascent world of broadband" that can transform the Internet to provide access to vast quantities of badly-needed learning.  This is especially true as WiFi (such as the `cloud' over sections of downtown Athens, Georgia--makes it possible to use a cell phone to access the Internet from a downtown park bench.

1.3.7   GLOBAL STRATEGY, GLOBAL DIGITAL DIVIDE

We can now surmount the digital divide and provide learning for everyone in the world. It is a matter of politics and a higher level of priorities. See <http://www.isoc.org/oti/articles/1201/g8.html>for ways business, non-profits and people from developing countries, seeking to enhance global cooperation and create a global framework to establish priorities in such areas as e-readiness, assessments, giving advice and providing services in cooperation with local people as a `Virtual Policy Center.’ Online discussions have already been very productive and helpful. <http://www.ictliteracy.info/>..

A research project in Mongolia early obtained direct Internet access via satellite, using DirecPC. SatelLife HealthNet has been using low earth satellite communications in sixteen African nations. <http://www.healthnet.org>. But what about the individual learner in remote areas? Can standardized mass-produced communications equipment--simple and easy to use--be manufactured in the developing world to reduce cost? Various efforts have been underway to develop what some call a PCU (Personal Communications Unit), a portable computer/Internet device that can be used by learners and researchers almost anywhere, now that various kinds of wireless connections are becoming available. One in India--the Simputer--reads texts to illiterates and may be made available to the public in telephone booths--to those who have a smart card to insert. One in Brazil is to be placed first in schools, hospitals and libraries.

A development of an adequate, inexpensive hand-held `learning instrument' for the developing world can emerge from current experimentation, as with simple `Model T type' hand-held computer (perhaps what in time improves the `Simputer' in India) with the capacity for other features—such as solar power--to be added as they become affordable. The scientist in a developing country who cannot afford a trip to Europe or North America may first use them. Some scientists are already experimenting with one or another such `PCU,' created with rugged components from various systems and computer companies so that it can work in outdoor humid conditions without air conditioning. Like a `digital hard hat' for construction workers --invented at the University of Illinois (News 1997) some models might be outfitted with camcorder and digital equipment for collecting and documenting information, for communication with colleagues, and to retrieve data information as needed on the spot from databases. (Bass 1998).

Meanwhile, an e-Bus--a mobile computer lab with workstations and a satellite link--cam travel through rural neighborhoods, in Ghana for example. Such a bus has been one project of  "a United Nations Development Program  (New York Times, Aug. 23, 2001), promoted by the Community College Foundation in California as "one way to bridge the digital divide in communities that lack funding, local facilities and Internet connections." Many developing nations are not planning to use e-Buses because cheaper connections are on the way. (Negroponte 2002).

It is urgent to note that education for all, health care for all, clean water and air for all, and justice for all are political and economic problems, not to be solved by technology alone, but forthcoming technologies make it possible.

1.3.8   THE COMPUTER ENGINE

In Volume III (2.3) we will say more about future technologies we cannot adequate foresee or imagine, yet for which educators should now be planning. The engine driving all transformational technology for learning, of course, is the computer and existing computers are very primitive, compared to what is coming and for which we must now begin to prepared. For example, Brooks (2004) reports on an 'engineering revolution' that is discovering how to develop `bacterium that compute,' that can be used to built future computers..

Even now chips and everything get smaller and smaller in hand-held devices. Rheingold (2003) anticipates a vast increase in wearable computer, chips in clothing that replace many kinds of computerized instruments, such as those already demonstrated at MIT. On the other hand, he also anticipates Larry Smarr's  "emerging planetary super-computer." (More of these developments in volume 2 here.)  Many scientists aspire to create one huge computer,” consisting of a vast constellation of interacting `distributed’ machines, a global nervous system that would link together all the computers in the world.  An analysis of vast distributed computer power was in the March, 2002, Scientific American <http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=000770CC-3712-1CEE-93F6809EC5880000Linked super-computers can give teachers and education researchers power and speed to help learners in yet unimaginable ways..

As that begins to happen we can also anticipate the replacing of silicon chips with "molecules similar to those found in biology." (Schultz 2002) The power of interconnected personal computers is already being harnessed to work on large projects, and, at the national supercomputer center and elsewhere, scientists are linking many supercomputers to make `today’s information superhighways look like 19th century railroads.’ This system can empower learning, as other aspects of society, for it can be ever changing and keyed to the future rather than being limited to the platforms and conventions of the past. How will educators use more speed and power, new systems, software for new learning designs and models? How many are ready to be freed from the tyranny of present systems and pull order out of present chaos?

It is hard to predict what new technologies will be used for learning in the future because they are changing every few months. Many companies are pioneering in developing new technologies for education for all levels. Pelton (1990) foresaw that “reduced costs will make a cornucopia of educational services available to more and more people on a global basis.” But what will that `technological cornucopia’ contain and make possible? How can some kind of holistic structure be set up for global lifelong learning when academic structure is so fragmented even within one university (Levine  1993) and its divided, competing  power structures?. If planners for future learning can have tremendous technological power to do things never before possible, what should they do? And how can more voice be given to the developing world in IT decisions? <www.panos.org.uk/ICT_decision_making.htm> A radical new direction for information technology, according to Michael Dertouzos will be to make computer systems serve people. . .rather than the other way around. More will be said about technology in volumes 2 and 3.

Neil Ferschenfeld of MIT says: "We've already had a digital revolution; we don't need to keep having it. The next big thing in computers will be literally outside the box, as we bring the programmability of the digital world to the rest of the world." Katz (2005) has anticipated the World Wide Web becoming a three-dimensional environment with virtual portals and avatars. However in 2005 the world of learning was at a primitive technological level as compared to what was coming in the next decades

urn to Chapter 1.2 | Go to Chapter 1.4


Bibliographic Notes

          Wireless networking in the Developing World. <http://wndw.net/.>

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Arbib, Michael. 1997.“A Brain for Planet Earth,” paper for World Brain Workshop at the University of Calgary, June 12.

Bailey. James. 1996. After Thought: The Computer Challenge to Human Intelligence. New York: Basic Books.

Brooks, Rodney. 2004. "The Cell Hijackers. MIT's Technology, June.

Cerf, Vinton.   2002. "Musings on the Internet." Educause, Sept/Oct.

Cole, J. R. (ed) 1994. The Research University in a Time of Discontent. Baltimore MD: Johns Hopkins Press.

Dertouzos, Michael. 2000. The Unfinished Revolution: Human Centered Computers and What They Can Do For Us. New York: Harper/Collins.

Duderstadt, James. . 2000. A University for the 21st Century. University of Michigan Press.

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Floridi, Luciano. 1995. “The Future of Organized Knowledge.” UNESCO Philosophy Forum, and 1996. “The Internet as a Disinformation Superhighway.” Spectrum.

Gerschenfeld, Neil. 1997. When Things Start to Think. New York: Henry Holt.

Gilder, George. 2000. Telecosm. How Infinite Bandwidth Will Revolutionize Our World. New York: Free Press.

Gleason, Bernard W. (2003) "Open Source Software Fosters Integration and Stability. Chronicle of Higher Education, Aug. 1."

Goodman, H. J. A. and Anthony Debons. 1997. “The Senior Scholars State-of-the-Art Cumulative Online Continuously Updated Statement (SAS) System, University of Calgary.

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Kortwright, Enrique. 1997. “Developing a Worldview for Modeling and Simulation: An Exercise in Applied Philosophy.” Transactions, March.

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Levine, Arthur. 1993. Higher Learning in America. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press. 

Levy, Pierre. 1997. Collective Intelligence: Man’s Emerging World in Cyberspace. New York: Plenium. (Paris: 1994)

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 Olson, Sander. 2001. "My Answer to the Atomasoft Interview." Global Brain Listserv, Nov. 6.  

Padron, Edwardo. 2008. "The `Developing Country "Model of Information Technology;" Educause, Sept//Oct.

Pelton, Joseph.  1002. "The Future of Broadband Satellite Communcation." in Varus, et al. Global Peace Through the Global Univesity System. <http://www.friends-partners.org/GLOSAS/Global_University/Global%20University%20System/UNESCO_Chair_Book/List_of_Part_IV.html

Rischard, J. F. 2002. High Noon: 20 Global Problems, 20 Years to Solve Them. New York: Basic Books.

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Rossman, Parker. 2004. "Cosmopedia: Tomorrow's World of Learning." Futurist, May-June. Text below.

Roush, Wade. "Writing Software Right." MIT Technology Review, April.

Schultz, Steven. 2002. "7.5 Million Funding Work in Organic Electronics." Princeton Bulletin, June 17.

Silvio, Jose. 2003. "Global Learning and Virtual Mobility."  In Global Peace Through The Global University System." Ed. by T. Varis, T. Utsumi, and W. R. Klemm. University of Tampere, Hameenlinna, Finland  <http://www.friends-partners.org/GLOSAS/Global_University/Global%20University%20System/UNESCO_Chair_Book/Bk_outline-D13.html
>

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Simon, Hubert. 2001. “The Steam Engine and the Computer: What Makes Technology Revolutionary.” Educause, May.

Smarr, Larry. 2002.  "Planet Internet: Interview With Larry Smarr." Technology Review. March.

Surowiecki, James. 2002. "The Future of AOL.: Wired, October.

Talbot,  David. 2008. "Upwardly Mobile." MIT Technology Review, Nov./Dec

TaUnsworth, J.M. 2004. "The Next Wave: Liberation Technology." Chronicle of Higher Education, Jan. 30

Wagner, Ellen. 2005a,  "Enabling Mobile Learning." Educause. May/June.

Webb, James. 1969. Space-Age Management: The Large Scale Approach. New York: McGraw Hill.

Internet mapping: http://www.cybergeography.com/atlas/surf.html.Map of Web routing: http://www.cs.bell-labs.com/who/cghes/map .Matrix maps: http://www.mids.org )(

Chinese follows after the following;:

COSMOPEDIA: TOMORROW'S WORLD  OF LEARNING by Parker Rossman, from Futurist, 2004, May. 

"No one yet knows for certain what the impact of powerful new computer technologies will be across the next two or three decades, but I suspect that all of us are in for great surprises. One surprise, with enormous consequences for education and much more, is likely to be a global computer-based information.

In an article entitled "The Coming Great Electronic Encyclopedia" (The Futurist, August 1982) I suggested that information-age technology would graDually inter-link online all reference books, specialized encyclopedias, atlases, lexicons, dictionaries, and other scholarly material. The ultimate result would be what I then called the "Global Comprehensive Electronic Encyclopedia" (GCEE)

It now appears that this 1982 vision was very limited. The term`encyclopedia' refers to printed illustrations and text.  A new word is needed to describe the comprehensive weaving together of knowledge in all its forms. These forms include animated graphics, motion pictures, music, sound recordings and probably other new media options we can not yet imagine.   Technology consultant and author Pierre Levy  has suggested the  term `Cosmopedia,' to describe the ideal universal information resource, and I propose to follow his suggestion.  What Is the Cosmopedia?

The ancient Greeks first envisioned the `comprehensive organization of all knowledge' and some of their dream came true.   It began with writing, collecting oral wisdom and tradition in great manuscript collections like the ancient Library of Alexandria.  Later, the Middle Ages saw the founding of universities, where masters of lore and rhetoric could gather in relative safety to extend and spread their knowledge among dedicated students by means of books and lectures. The invention of movable type and the subsequent spread of printing made information cheaper and more portable in the form of books, pamphlets, broadsides and newspapers. Then, in the 18th century, the first attempts were made to systematically assemble important technical and scientific information in uniform bound volumes as a universal printed reference source or "encyclopedia."

Since the Industrial Revolution, ever-growing demand for knowledge has continued to push learning into new dimensions.  Where speech and printed text were once enough to answer most questions satisfactorily, tomorrows learning materials need to be diversified to include new media.  For example, think how much we learn by viewing visual records and interpretations of historical figures from news photos to political cartoons; and how listening to audio tracks enhances our enjoyment and understanding of music or poetry. At the turn of the 21st century learners can watch the videotape of a lecture or the demonstration of a technical procedure, and replay segments over and over to help them master dif ficult material.  This is especially useful for learning another language. Using the Cosmopedia, learners will be able to do even more.In the Cosmopedia, every idea, old and new, becomes a web link leading to related information and additional detail. Users can check the exact meaningof every word  in a comprehensive dictionary,  or have it automatically translated into another language or dialect.

The Cosmopedia will link  museums, documents, writings and research on every important figure in history. For example, one click on the name "Mark Twain" will lead a Cosmopedia user to all that of that author's writings, to all criticism, reviews, books about Twain's life,  filmed "visits' to his town of Hannibal,  Missouri, steamboat views of the Mississippi River, to the mining camps in old Nevada and other locations important to his career, as well as practically everything else known about the man, his work and his world. All this can be accomplished using technology that exists today; technology that continue to improve and expand exponentially. Democratizing Expertise This all sounds great; but who will actually perform the colossal labor involved in compiling and organizing the massive amounts of information old

and new?   Encyclopedia publishers and other traditional suppliers of data in printed form have already begun migrating their material to digital formats. New commercial Internet-based utilities and search engines are rapidly connecting information users and suppliers.   But  as today's Internet evolves, the Cosmopedia emerging from it has the potential to dramatically change the way people research, record, and share all kinds of information. One very successful feature of today's information revolution is the role played by enthusiastic volunteers.  Not only professional experts and academics, but hobbyists, dedicated amateurs, and ordinary citizens are making major contributions every day that move the Cosmopedia closer to reality.For example, the historical, geographical and sociological data stored in government archives and university libraries can be made available online to Cosmopedia users throughout the world.  But so can genealogy records, personal reminiscences and local history reports on an individual neighborhood or village like those that many British schoolchildren have been compiling for years.

Professor H.J.A Goodman at the University of Calgary proposed that highly qualified retired scholars and scientists should be offered part-time employment to work on the regular updating of `online encyclopedia' articles that would grow to be more and more comprehensive. Many future Ph.D. dissertations might begin where existing online articles end, researching what is not known and expanding areas of special promise. There could also be collaboration between dissertation researchers worldwide who would work together to expand various aspects of the same encyclopedia article. In addition, graduate student term papers,  scholarly journal articles and monographs can all contribute to updating the Cosmopedia. Undergraduate and secondary school students,  too, who access the Cosmopedia would be encouraged to bite off a small piece of some clearly-defined-problem to work on in a course, or as the beginning of a lifetime scholarly calling. In these and other ways collective intelligence will be mobilized, most likely in collaborative work at first, as for example to create interactive online links and indexes.

For years, in the field of astronomy, non-professionals with modest budgets and equipment have  performed valuable original work searching for comets and steroids in near earth orbit.  Their discoveries and calculations, shared with major scientific institutions and observatories around the world, can quickly be confirmed and refined. The Cosmopedia will help break down  barriers between paid professional and serious amateur in every field from ancient history to zoology by making established facts and new interpretations readily available to anyone with an interest it these subjects.  This will greatly expand opportunities for  faculty, students, and citizens to all become partners in learning.

Beyond the Book?

In the September-October, 2003 issue of The Futurist, David J. Staley debatedwhether or not the book has a future. He confirmed my view that it does, and that printed text will coexist with electronic forms. But the book is only one`instrument' among many.  In many primary and secondary schools students are already preparing papers and reports that augment printed text with sound, graphics, interactive multimedia and more. Before the book, there were  written manuscripts, and before that came oral recitation and memorization.  It is important to remember that even in a world of global electronic communications,  these older methods remain useful ways to store and transmit information. History shows us that new communications media do not replace older ones so much as supplement them and make it possible to use the old tools in new ways. In the earliest universities, lectures were necessary to transfer the learning of the instructor to the minds (or at least the notes) of their students. After printing was invented, lecturers began to publish, making their knowledge available to a wider audience. Ideally this meant that next year's lectures did not need to repeat what students could read in print.  Instead, the lecturer was freed to update and enlarge his thought in new directions. Time formerly required to present the basic content of a subject area could now be given to seminars, discussion and debate with colleagues, tutoring and guiding the research of individual students, and to reading and responding to  ideas found in the writing of other scholars. Instead of making live speech and handwriting obsolete, the technologies driving the Cosmopedia may actually revive old style lectures and debates in a new context.  Today, learners who cannot physically go to a campus, can still meet online (most often via e-mail) with a distant professor.  Soon it may be just as common to take part in online seminars, participating by voice or typed0 computer "chat" in real time with learners in many countries, all sharing and learning together, not just passing  data along.

Progress Toward Cosmopedia and Problems to Solve

    Who will pay for building the Cosmopedia, and making its resources available to everyone?.  Most likely users will always pay in some way to access or download information, much as students now pay for textbooks.  But if billions of people worldwide routinely use the Cosmopedia, the charge per use could be very low indeed.

Copyrighted materials, including books, films, TV tapes, dramas, and music recordings are sometimes very expensive.  This is especially true of the newest and most up to date items.  The price of older materials even when only a few days or months behind the "cutting edge" often far lower. In the future, when content is routinely stored and transmitted electronically and rapidly interlinked,  updating the contents of the Cosmopedia with new information should be very cost-effective.  Under these conditions, while the very latest material may still command a premium, the price of older `editions' could be minimal or even free to schools and libraries. There may even be barter systems where I give what I have learned to you in exchange for what you have learned. One exciting aspect of the Cosmopedia will be its ability to bring the past alive.  Imagine, for instance, what an exciting "field trip" it would be for schoolchildren if they could actually step into the world of ancient times?  A prototype for such a visit already exists in the State University of New York-Buffalo's virtual reconstruction of a 2900-year-old Assyrian palace. You can learn more about this  `Virtual Site Museum' online at http://www.classics.buffalo.edu/htm/UBVirtualSiteMuseum/peopleNimrud.htm.

Another  important demonstration of possible new ways of learning was Dean Thomas J. Mitchell's  City of Bits (1996), which was published by MIT Press both as a printed book with attached CD-ROM and online. In the online edition, readers could enter an `electronic agora' (discussion site) and go to any section of the text, add their own comments, and read the comments left there by previous readers. The footnotes and endnotes of the online edition were linked to web pages,  and readers were invited to add links to other relevant web addresses. Thus, Mitchell reported, this online urban architecture book "became a conveniently organized entry point for exploring an enormous amount of related information." 

But users taking part in Mitchell's experiment encountered two major problems.   First was the fact that web page contents and addresses often change quickly, so that links no longer work, or lead to the wrong place. A second concern was the online equivalent of vandalism.  Soon after publication, advertisements and graffiti instead of relevant comments began to clutter the agora. While assigning passwords helped control access to this discussion area,  the need for some way to monitor online comments and test web links on a continuing basis was clear.  Both these issues  continue to be concerns for users of today's Internet, and could cripple the future Cosmopedia. Finally, there is the problem of success.  The sheer mass of material in a fully functioning and globally accessible Cosmopedia might simply overwhelm prospective users.  Besides merely acquiring files of data and opinion, ways must be found to help users locate the information they need without getting lost or buried in too much detail for their purpose.  Some online equivalent of the reference librarian will be essential to advise and guide newcomers and old computer hands alike in how to use the Cosmopedia.

New Dimensions to Learning

It would be a big mistake, however, to judge the potential future of electronic learning materials only by what is now available, however useful and exciting.   In time, the Cosmopedia will transcend communication as we know it today. Enhanced capabilities for virtual reality will make accessing the Cosmopedia a total immersion experience allowing users to absorb knowledge through all their senses.  Beyond mere definitions, users will find interactive demonstrations that enhance their understanding of any word,  idea, musical sound, image, segment of film or video, scientific formula, gene sequence , nuclear structure, historical event or phenomenon of nature. In Collective Intelligence: Humanity's emerging World in Cyberspace (New York: Perseus, 1997), Pierre Levy envisions the gradual development of a new language, neither linear like conventional written text, nor static like photographs and graphic art.  Such a language, incorporating objects in motion and sound to augment words and symbols will make possible "dynamic representation of thought." The medium of such a language would in effect be computer-assisted imagination Levy sees a new generation of learners today that, through computer/Video games, for example, is growing accustomed to "a continuously updated, distributed knowledge base maintained by a sprawling community of players." Players in that very large community are partners in the creation and management of knowledge.  This is already making them impatient with traditional lecturing and printed text. This image-oriented, knowledge-creating generation will develop and extend the evolving Cosmopedia.

Limits to the Cosmopedia

Can a future Cosmopedia offer solutions to manage the emerging data glut and explosion of information? Can it solve the problem of lost information, as important data in digital and non-digital form disappears? Certainly to safeguard existing and future knowledge there must be more effective ways to organize, preserve, classify, index, integrate and retrieve what is known. I can envision a future time, say around 2050, when our world could be overwhelmed by interrelated crises, such as massive hunger, terrorism and crime, new diseases and a deteriorating environment, that political leaders will be struggling desperately for the very survival of the human race. Humanity by then would have thousands of powerful new technologies, including data processing networks that make our turn of the century supercomputers look like children' toys. Such almost unbelievable computer power may even outpace the abilities of the human mind.  Yet humanity may find that even this fantastic machine intelligence cannot alone cope with the moral, ethical and political problems that underlie the threats they face. Society's one hope may then be the mobilization of hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of scholarly and scientific minds in partnership with the Cosmopedia they continue to enlarge and expand.  Only such `collective intelligence, as Pierre Levy calls it, may enable and direct the crucial partnership between human minds and the `artificial intelligence' of  machines needed to produce lasting solutions to interrelated global crises. Again, I draw upon Levy who stresses the ongoing need for "deep contact between human hearts." Perhaps the emerging `world brain' needs a matching `world heart. Certainly up to now humanity' political, military and economic systems have often seemed void of compassion for the millions who suffer from ignorance, injustice and desperate poverty. The Cosmopedia that includes documentary reports using film and other media may move hearts and stimulate compassion and empower action, something existing print encyclopedias rarely do.  To capture the imagination of children and to inspire and motivate the political will of the public, every section in the Cosmopedia will have material appropriate for different age levels.  Stories matched with graphics, films and case studies will convey the reality of existing needs and show what is being done to meet them. There will be links to relevant action groups and their publications and activities.  Every individual in the world will maintain a lifelong personal interest in some area of needed action. The Cosmopedia will also offer inspiration from the fine arts, music, word works and performances to empower and motivate responsible action or research on world needs and problems.

Aliteracy-the Final Barrier

    But what good is a book if no one reads it?  A recent study reported that in Spain, young people are no longer in the habit of reading.  Over 90% of the students surveyed reported that they read only when required to do so. Without the desire to learn, no information system, however rich and easy to use can help us. s a multi-media world, literacy involves much more than the ability to read and write text. To use the Cosmopedia to its full potential, people worldwide will need to overcome illiteracies of many kinds. Until now, literacy-based education has stressed the use of language and numbers, but offered little guidance in how to communicate using non-verbal means such as art, music, dance, and gesture. In future, all these elements, as well as skills in using electronic tools to fashion moving pictures, cartoons, slide sequences, and mixed media presentations, will demand a broader approach to education that can integrate visual, kinetic, aural and synthesis elements. Instead of merely bridging the "digital divide" of unequal access to equipment, educators need to cope with the "fluency divide" between those who passively consume information and those who possess the motivation and skills to locate, select, organize and apply information to help them reach their goals.  The access gap can be bridged while the fluency gap remains. Will the dream of universal access to all human knowledge ever become reality? Piece by piece, the necessary physical elements are fitting into place. Ever-smaller and cheaper computers, wireless Internet connections, huge linked databases, and widely available standardized software are all helping break down the barriers of time and expense that once kept individuals isolated and communities in conflict.  If enough humans are willing to cooperate, to value lasting benefit over short-term profit, and prefer challenging activity to easy entertainment, the Cosmopedia may truly help transform global society.  Empowered by these new technologies, citizens of 21st century Earth can become active partners in the adventure of learning, expanding human potential to reach levels of achievement the ancient Greeks could only dream of.

      NOTES

 On the term "Cosmopedia Just as we do not yet know much about what the encyclopedia’s successor maybe, we also do not yet know what it may be called. Pierre Levy’s suggested term` Cosmopedia" has been copyrighted for a commercial CD/ROM project, and it has other meanings elsewhere. Also I do not yet know how Pierre Levy will himself develop the concept. His mind is hard at work, see: http://www.ethoschannel.com/personalgrowth/planetwork/1-ENG-perre_levy.html.

On who will do the spadework Details of Canadian professor H.J.A. Goodman=E2=80=99s proposal for recruiting retired scholars to update online encyclopedia articles can be found onlineat:http://www.ucalgary.ca/UofC/Others/worldmind/v4/.

On current progress toward the Cosmopedia. It was suggested at the 2001 Global Brain workshop in Belgium that the Internet itself is becoming the `Cosmopedia.' Articles on bringing together all the world’s knowledge and on the Global Brain project can be found `at:<http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/GBRAINREF.html>and<http://www.rbjones.com/rbjpub/c=s/ai014.htm>.On `aliterates' (people who can read, but choose not to) For more about reluctant young readers in Spain (Romano, 2002) see: www.media.mit.edu/research/group.php?type=3DresearchGroup&id=3D10..>Also see:  Andrew Kohut's article for the Columbia Journalism Review on a recent Pew Research Center study that offers insights into the reading habits among different age groups in the US, available online at:http://www.cjr.org/issues/2002/4/voice-kohut.asp.

第三章 面临未来技术的挑战

 

现有的计算机、电话、广播及其他形式的网格所构成的基础建设并不比始建于二十世纪初构成美国国家高速公路网的几千条土路来得强大。

 ---德尔图佐斯(Michael Dertouzos

基于卫星分流网络将超越骨干网并将内容直接传送给最后一英里的提供者,   或完全绕过互连网。

----《电报》杂志头条

一种新的螺旋式上升的技术……连接移动电话和网络审查的无线互联网……网络电脑游戏……这种原子和比特混合物远超过我们人类已经历的任何事件。

----司马(Larry Smarr

明日的技术并不对如何操作电脑起太大的作用,而在于对如何使用大量的智力资源起着很大的作用,加强通讯和增强想象力。

---雷恩古尔德(Howard Rheingold

使电脑成为人类中心及帮助我们完成信息革命的步骤是研究发展中国家的几十亿人。

---德尔图佐斯(Michael Dertouzos

 

国际商业团体想要控制为贫穷国家生产的信息通讯技术产品以便获得利润,实际上,他们还很想像控制电视那样在世界上很多地方控制互联网。但是,现在已经有了另外的可能性,在班哥拉达什的格拉民银行,人民的银行推出了一项走动的电话亭项目,即由一位妇女那着移动电话在贫穷的地方走街串巷,为人们提供通讯服务。可以是一个人为某个区域服务,也可以是多位。各种能够在方便贫困地区人们使用的电子通讯产品已经问世,比如手机已经能和互联网连接使人们能够通过这种连接进行商业、管理、教育和医疗等活动。当这类智能手机产品更成熟时就能够在这些发展中国家生产,以使这些贫困地区的人能够买得起。现在已经是为几年后的[能够充分利用这些技术和产品服务于教育的]情形作计划的时候了。

在下一个十年中,其实现在已经开始了,就会有更令人惊奇的利用手机进行教育,召开会议,连接互联网等功能。那时手机能够和更有智能的网格相连,能够接收各种在线课程模块,包含音乐,音像动画和电子辅导的电子书籍,并具有多语种翻译功能,又能连接到巨大的电子图书馆,能够方便浏览书籍和参考书,并能够有进行小组讨论的会议软件(不管学习者在世界任何地方都可以参加讨论,还可以有激动人心的学习游戏,同时记载着学习者的个人成长挡案,使游戏能够针对学习者个体的特色并使其能发挥自己的独特才能,当着一切都一一实现之日就是教育和继续学习会发生彻底变革之时。

那些应该负责设计全球教育体系的人们还没有很清楚地看到很快就可能到来的质优价廉的电子信息教育技术, 如:

——互相索引和容易搜索的各种相关知识使学生更侧重于和教师合作来进行知识的创造, 而不仅仅是学习现有的知识;

——通过手机和互联网相连,可以形成自己的通讯网络伙伴,进行即时通信,分享图片照片影视资料,图书馆资料和其他相关信息和资料,从而提高学习的动力和激情;

——所有的人都能够进行更多的创造性的思考,可以自己创作电视电影或者其他充满创造性的电子艺术;

——瓦哥那 2005a)希望大家明白‘移动学习,’即 新的策略实践工具和资源的应用”将把为各地的人们提供个性化的教育变为可能,使某个独特的个人在适合自己的时间,得到合适的内容,利用得当的设备来享受个性化教育。

 

来自威斯康星——麦迪逊大学的吉(Gee)指出,年轻人在他们通俗的文化环境里能够表现出比在学校里更为强劲的学习能力。狄特韦勒(Deitwiler)在《下一代学习者微软峰会》中解释了为什么现有的教育(19世纪)模式已经过时(均在ISSUE OF EDUCATION SEPT/OCT  2004中发表)。现在数据在互联网上的传播速度比以前快几千倍,并且当使用无线网络系统时费用将更加便宜。(然而正如我们所看到的,令人担忧的是“教育内容”的组织系统远远落后于出现的和正在出现的技术,这点将在以后章节中讨论)。

在这些社会风暴给现今教育带来危险的同时,即将到来的新技术是否能够不仅为现存的社会结构,而且能在将来为几十亿人的教育提供解决方案和新的机会?在世纪之交我们所拥有的计算机,即使是今人敬畏的用于宇宙结构研究的超级计算机(Terascale康柏推出的超级计算机)和正在出现和即将出现的更新型的计算机相比,仍然是一种像福特后续产品与T型车那样的早期原始的模型。就像微软的比尔·盖茨在2004年在麻省理工学院的一次演讲中说的那样,现有的个人计算机仅仅是一种“粗糙的设计”。今后的几十年间将看到为便携及无线产品设计的“酷软”,谁会知道再以后会出现什么呢?关于为发展中国家开发的免费软件请参考:< www.opensource.org/docs/definition_plain.html > 关于“点光束”卫星连接请见:< http://vsatus.com >。加州大学伯克利分校一研究中心正在研究如何将上亿个晶体管置于一个芯片中。

本卷中牵涉到技术的章节并非为技术人员而作,而是为社会新一代公民和发展中国家的教育工作者而写---他们需要知道什么即将到来而全方位地影响到社会生活和教育。因而,我们所关注的并不是技术本身,而是技术可以为全球范围的学习者能做什么。关于这点有许多的争论和不同意见。教育工作者通常从两个方面来考虑技术:

一些人从最新技术看它们如何可以用于教育,这些新技术常常因其他原因而从其他领域开发出来。

另一些人探求为改善学习而发明独特的新技术。实际上,我们当然应当两者并重;由于企业和卫生保健业拥有雄厚的资金发展大规模的新技术系统,教育则可以利用这些本来用于为其他目而开发的系统之。一些对全球教育极为有用的技术在2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6章和第三册中深入讨论。这些现有的和即将被开发出来的技术能刺激并帮助构建那些值得被称作全球学习或大学学习的系统吗? 2001) 年称类似的发明创造并非毫无风险。

关于如何开始至关重要的大规模计划的讨论,请看欧洲世界银行雷斯查德(Rischard)及他的网页,< http://www.rischard.net > 这里我们侧重探究全球网络的可能性,我们的探究主题是如何组织“为了所有人的学习”的大规模继续教育计划会议。这里有许多关于这样的全球规模会议的经验,例如:< http://www.web4engineers.com/webmeetings/using_e_review.asp > 并请参考 3.10 章节。

 

1.3.0 变化的技术

首先,因为教育工作者现在就需要预计将来会有什么技术或什么技术会被淘汰,因此我们至少要提前二十年展望全球终身学习技术,甚至在发达国家也应如此。在21世纪早期许多新的有效的技术也许会迫使教育工作者开始重新思考他们在做什么并着手对学习进行大规模整体性研究2.17)。对研究者来说是要和开发和使用那些能够帮助生活在所有阶层的人士达到预定及将来目标的最有效的技术,并且他们需要看到哪里需要修正和更新。这些目标是很重要的,可参阅该网站:< http://lttf.ieee.org >,也可以模拟超新星爆发的芝加哥大学“天体物理热核反应闪现中心,”越来越多的人认为即将出现的超级能力可以改善全球的研究和学习。

技术的改变让人感到目不暇接,因此这里所写的内容需要定期更新或至少在链接的网页上帮助做到这一点。那些没有时间或机会跟上技术发展的人也不可避免地受到改变人类制度的电子/数码技术发展的影响而那些能够跟上发展的人和机构在全球教育中拥有巨大的潜能。许多这方面的情况在雷恩古尔德(Rheingold 2003)和那塔尔(Ntal 2004)的两篇报告《智能互联网》和《了解我们并提前满足我们需求的机器》中都有深入的介绍。如何让互联网进入发展中国家的贫穷乡村是十分紧迫的问题,要想达到这方面的目标仍然存在很多的困难。

雷恩古尔德(Rheingold 2003 指出便宜计算机功能和无线数字移动电话能够方便地接入所有信息和教育性的和新的学习游戏的功能再加上全球定位和卫星接入功能的整合具有我们难以想象的计算机的能力。计算机电子芯片能够安装到我们熟悉的任何物品上,成为我们的衣物,椅子和桌子,成为我们房间的墙,使我们的墙成为通向世界的通讯窗口。拥有大部分上述功能的电话现在已经有了,事实上雷恩古尔德在开始时就描述了这种便携式移动电话如何正在改变芬兰年青人的文化。芬兰有80%的年青人拥有具备这种功能的下一代移动电话。他的书的标题是:下一个社会革命——在即时获取信息时代的文化和社区

在一些美国高等院校已经拥有这样的技术系统,通过该系统能够集中每一个学生需要的所有资料和信息,并把它们同步显示于手持或大型室内显示屏上。该系统整合了无线和有线网络,流动录相,课程软件,音乐软件,视频会议,电子校历,电子图书馆和教育资料,TB频道, 以及体育及其他内容。请通过以下网站查看已有的商业服务:< www.glowpoint.com >,< www.vbrick.com >,< www.radvision.com > <www.cdigix.com >, 和技术管理清单:< http://www.campus-technology.com/conferences/summer2005/index.asp >

也许对终身教育最重要的并不是现有的一些特定的技术组合,而是对全球化的未来之设计以及相互结合的技术的整合.例如已出现的基于语义学的智能计算机网格, 这些技术的目标是使网络像电话一样易用,同时又像无法看见的网格一样给人以激励。许多复杂技术工具的组合可以使一些全球性和高质量的研究、训练和教育实验成为可能,而且可以达到以前达不到的质量。一些大型技术(强大并且昂贵的)已经使教育和互联网在发生根本性的变化,虽然我们现在还无法预期这种变化的结果会如何,会不会在人脑及电脑之间形成一种强大的新的合作关系呢?(我们现在也无法预料两者结合是否可能)为了人类的利益,我们不能让这些技术未经我们积极参加,计划和研究就使用到教育领域……。如果人类需要解决潜在的人类危机那么教育研究就需要动员成千上万(也许更多)的思想家进行合作。

考虑到未来可能会和我们所希望看到的情形有很大的差别,也许应该首先关注创建理想化的未来我们需要做什么,然后关注如何将现有的可能性扩展成为所需要的最好的技术和方法,包括未来的软件。现在,我们只是从介绍一些例子开始。其次,司马(Larry Smarr 2002) 开始创建一个由工业界,政府和大学合作的 “活跃的实验室”---- 这个实验室正尝试着看似“无用”的新想法,这些想法也许可能或不可能实现;“将出现的无线互联网,纳米技术,化学传感器和传感器网等技术结合在一起,建立在校园和社区中。” 龙(Long 2002)说现在我们在学习变化的早期,在下列网站< http://web.mit.edu/oki >上的文章也许能帮助理解。并请关注活着的基因计算机<基因计算机:< http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/02/0224_030224_DNAcomputer.html >

 

我们现在还不知道当几百万人拥有便宜的可接入互联网并能接收到几百套电视频道的移动电话式的设备对全球终身教育是种危险还是机遇。或许,这只不过是在听演说中无聊的学生们可以做的另一种选择?学生可以常常旅行于虚拟世界各地并且他们在新的国际学习社会里可以成为“虑拟移动学生”(Silvio 2003)。

 

1.3.1保存知识和文化(宇宙全书)

图书馆的主要任务仍然是传承历史学识,但已有新的全球方式及研究背景。第五章将讨论图书馆像所有教育领域所面临的共同问题, 即超过其处理能力的大量的信息、数据和知识。什么是最好的方式来处理知识爆炸和过剩的数据呢?很不幸,重要的数据格式和数据正在丢失。本套在线书将讨论加强“人类思想的相互联系以及与超级计算机合作达到共同记忆”全球学习系统大量的在线全球学习系统和“参考书”。在“宇宙全书”之前就已存在的是拥有近400,000入口的多语言版本的“区域全书”。

保存现有的和即将到来的知识要求更有效的组织、分类、索引、搜索、寻找及整合。重要的技术发展能够加强互联网的功能使之更为聪慧。据说微软的比尔·盖茨曾建议上互联网的人也许应当先成为一本百科全书。“百科全书”这词在本文中已多次使用。因此建议使用“宇宙全书”。这将是即时的,将所有的知识聚集起来,任何文字、音乐、电影或其他的图片,任何数学公式,基因,原子或化学术语或其他任何东西都可以通过点击得到。更多的是它可以是所有询问、辩论、批评以及在“宇宙全书”中每个需要研究的相关问题的项目列表。数据、信息和智慧不仅仅用文字表述而且提供视频、照片或案例学习影片及其他方式来说明。每一项查询都可连接到一个信息网(例如当一个人点击马克吐温,他可以看到所有的文字及电影,关于他的所有的批评和文章,他的文化背景和历史,事实上所有所知的关于他和他的工作)这些事可以在现有的技术下完成,并且继续得到改善和拓展。

作为世界上最终的参考图书馆,“全球电子宇宙全书”可以包括所有在线百科全书,参考书,字典,数据库,多媒体,电视新闻和文件及更多的东西,包括每个人的和地球上团休的历史和数据的互动联接。更多关于“宇宙全书”的内容请看:罗斯曼(Rossman 2004)和本章最后附录的论文。为说明这点,以下是关于刺激创造力和想象力的科幻小说的简要介绍,参见列韦(Levy 1997)“宇宙全书”,本书已制作成版权的商业CD-ROM并在其他地方有不同的含义。通过这本科幻小说可以从一方面思考:

202276日,我们的星被内部危机所淹没。几十亿人处于饥饿、暴力、犯罪猖獗和恐怖活动不断的社会环境,十几亿人饱受新的疾病的折磨和恶化的环境的困绕:肮脏的水源和土地,病态的海洋,污染的空气,土地的沙漠化和大规模粮食欠收,以及其他的危机。许多人都感到这个星球上的人类生存已危如累卵。因此许多接受过教育的人最后决定采取贤明的举动。人类拥有强大的新技术,像有能力联接成千上万终端的,可以从事前所未有的工作的超级计算机。只是,这种智能机器无法处理危机下的道德,伦理和政治问题。因此主要国家的领导号召全球大学通过强力的动员,调集成千上万或者上百万的人类智慧(集体智慧)置于万维网及互联网上,通过人-机智慧的协作找到解决危机的整合方案。所有这些问题都存在着内部联系:例如,食品供应受到农民的健康和教育制约;气候、贫困、无知和环境腐败也受到一定因素的制约。因此,主要国家的关键领导人最终认识到没有一项危机可以单独得到解决,它们都要一起综合治理。因此,在此建议:

1)加强所有人类智慧的联系和共同协作努力。全球电子宇宙全书和字典成为通往所有人类数据和知识的大门。

2)宇宙全数书是有活力的,其智能化程度将不断增强和持续发展,每天都更新,从而使每一部分都是经过多学科的科学家和学者审议过的确定的文稿,并将有争议之处详细的列举出来,并标明哪些问题需要更深入的研究。哈森(Hazen 1997 指出“理解科学为什么一直处于前沿位置的关键就是要了解科学并不是将我们所了解的东西编目出来,而是要找出大量的迄今为止无人知晓的东西,即处理未曾回答过的问题。 ”这些急需领域的工作通过和不同学科的学者的对话来寻求整合的解决方案。比如,在耶鲁人类方面的文件中,这些‘确定的宇宙百科全书部分’通过去除所有的重复部分而达到精确无误。另外,文章也可以通过图表,模型,地图,仿真等方式来做直观的表达。在保持准确的同时,宇宙百科全书的各部分还会因为有计算机辅助仿真而栩栩如生,用可能性仿真来连接最大可能的的物理的和社会的世界,乃至宇宙的模型。

3)语言中有大量的单词用作其他意思。正如在每种语言中相当于牛津英语词典一样。它定义了每种语言和方言中的每种意思,正如一个单词代表着一种特殊的用途和意思。(或者用数字表示的部分,例如赋予每个单词一个数字;如:教堂1,一种建筑物;教堂2,一种集会(圣会),教堂3,宗教名称,教堂4,神秘的通用仪式,然后是往前,不管单词“church”在哪使用)注意:在加州大学“海洋货栈”系统,每一个储存的知识碎片都有一个特定的全球识别标志。当然“宇宙全书”在2002年还没有开发,但它具有更为复杂的代码,因而将科学论文从一种语言自动翻译到另一种语言将可能达到更为精确。

4)类似的,每一种观点,也许每一句话,都联接着拓展中的文件网 < http://www.buyya.com/ecogrid/wwg >。同样联接着每一位从事某项问题研究的科学家,每一种出版物和每个组织。< http://www.uia.org >。所有的研究者都被邀请参加持续的在线研讨会,相关的在线杂志每天均在更新。(这第一种在线研讨会模式在2001年出现,涉及了超过123个国家5000个人,研究世界贫困报告)和2001年定期学术刊物不同的是,一旦有人提出了问题,讨论和研究是持续不断的。如果需要的话,这种讨论可以持续一个世纪,直到所有的问题和所有分支问题和争论得到解决。世界上每一个有能力的大学,都应该自愿或相应要求建立一个相关研究领域,持续的,不分昼夜,年复一年地延续在线讨论会,在2001年在医药方面这种方法被采纳使用。

5)在每个案例中,每一个研究队伍和大学要求给相关的每个学者一些时间解决基本的人类危机问题和分支问题(如国际协会联盟,请参考以下Sinnot文件)

6)谁在做这项工作呢?每一位硕士论文、博士论文、学期考卷等等和每一位学者在刊物发表的论文和专著都和这些知识的更新和研究有关。本科和高中学生也可以进入宇宙全书中,并且鼓励他们提取全书中确定的问题的一小部分在课堂上做研究,或者作为今后从事的终身研究的开始。道尔顿(Dalton) 高中学生在20世纪末已经在准备纽约市的历史光盘,这个项目在每年在上学年学生准备的学期考卷基础上进行收集和扩展。美国信息科学协会世界大脑组的古德曼(H.J.A. Goodman)建议每一位退休的学者和科学家可以兼职在他(她)的领域中从事更新的工作。这样可以动员知识的收集,刚开始仅做协作的工作,如建立交互式的索引和链接。

7)抓住孩子的想象力,鼓动和激发公众的政治意愿,每一个宇宙全书中的动态的部分都附有带有照片的故事或电影剪辑和安全学习指导,并可以显示他们的需求和他们正在做什么,并且联接着工作小组和他们的出版物和项目。世界上每一个对某项工作中的一个范围有兴趣作为终身业余爱好的个人都被邀请参加。

8)每个学科和每个学习层次的电子在线教科书通过研究和反馈日常更新和宇宙百科全书的相关内容链接,相关的在线辅导也针对每个学习者的年龄和信息对教科书的难度进行调整。

9)宇宙全书可以使全球虚拟大学成为终身学习和研究的空间,可以使每个人从出生到暮年都将教育活动无缝地连接起来。在生命中每个时期的基本学习可以在互联网2代中实现,关于这点在以后章节中讨论。终身学习可以使个人持续扩展各自的特长, 天分, 机会等等所带来的利益,并克服自身的局限和所碰到的 障碍。 每个人通过可以即时使用的电子记忆,使识记能力得到加强 (现在,每个人终身学习的资料和信息可能被记录在一张光盘上),这张盘由工作简历、个人成长档案和专业兴趣等内容来做出索引。

每个这些个人电子记忆可以被接入通用的宇宙全书来更正和调整以满足具体的需要, 并且能在工作队伍,研究项目或其他任何文件中与其他人的电子记忆连接。

还要注意维基媒体(WikiMedia) ,即基于维基百科全书 WiKipedia)的项目 < http://www.wikipedia.org/ >,它开始作为纽批百科全书(Nupedia)项目的旁枝项目,到2003 9, 已收录有300,000 篇各种各样的百科全书文章。"< http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/special:statistics >。参见罗斯曼《宇宙全书---明天的世界学会》。

 

1.3.2 为使用和传播而计划和组织的知识< http://benking.de>

学习的变革如同互联网成为网格, 矩阵一样加速变化, 并且能增长智慧, 如果学者想要成功有效地应付万维网亿万页的资料,这种变革是必要的。在瑞士科学家正在在欧洲粒子物理研究所(CERN)开发网格的功能, 就像向公众提供电力, 为了一个他们自己的具体目的,如同在1989 年那里涌现出了万维网的想法, 网格也在满足物理学家的需要。 2001 8IBM , 国家科学基金会和其他人为同一研究目的而开发的网格拟在2003 年以前完成,这个网格预计有450 兆字节。 CERN 网格通过光纤电缆以并联多排系统将信息从大型粒子碰撞机向大学和研究员分送。 由于能够容纳大量的数据,网格将使一名个人研究人员能够在任何地方通过个人超级计算机直接得到数据, 而现有的个人计算机是不可能做到的。关于网格的现状和未来发展见网格论坛。< www.gridforum.org/> < www.nsf.gov/od/lpa/news/02/pr0238.htm>, www.globus.org/research/papers/anatomy.pdf

(然而,圣地亚哥国家实验室的弗罗若尔(Robert Floral)警告说,下一代互联网或网格也许在各种攻击下是很脆弱的。网格在现实中担负着力争解决全球基本问题和为科学研究做出非凡贡献的承诺。因此在2002年世界未来社会年会上弗罗若尔建议网格模仿自然,“像活性组织一样能够自我修复,自我保护;比如在持续不断的自我监视中,复杂可变的智慧系统也在进化和学习。”)

互联网开始于军事用途和科学网络,现在已发展成为在全球都可使用,第二代互联网向主要大学,科学家,许多高等和初等学校提供更快和更为复杂的服务。没有一所大学, 电话公司, 或公司能够单独做成需要多方联合才能完成的事。现在无法连接进第二代互联网对学者的限制就像是他们无法看到报导他们研究领域里最新的研究刊物所受到的限制是一样的。因此支持高速和强力服务的互联网已成为教育社会的中心了,新的学习社会在互联网上已经形成,也许是作为教育机构,私营企业,政府组织以及个人研究者和他们的专业团体合作的结果< http://www.isoc.org > 。这里面的许多网络组成部分是由不同的基金会建立的,但更多的是由企业、政府和大学建成这些电子高速公路来为我们的全球社会服务。下一步,它们将比高速公路更快捷。互联网正成为一些学者所说的“全球大脑”或全球超级组织。那就是说每个单独学者可以比作人体细胞,计算机网可以比作连接人脑神经网络。完成这种“超级组织”的技术正在成为现实。全球网格论坛上有一篇报告断言“矩阵也许是虚拟现实的未来”,但“网格是协作解决问题的未来。” 要了解兰多(George Landow)和他的超文本请参看 < www.altx.com/int2/george.landow.html >. 网络头脑组的布盖尔(Steven Bugal)和他的从印度来的艺术家妻子对我说全球大脑形成应当也有艺术的成份,它能帮助提高创造力和想象力。也许正像机器人和其他工具承担了我们很多日常工作一样,全球大脑起作用时会使大部分人将有时间来做更多的沉思,沉思发展创造力,想象力和艺术潜力。

然而,斯坦福大学法学院教授,勒西格(Lessig)在《思想的未来:互联世界中公众的命运》中写道:一个互联网络时代的平民的命运也许会被一个由强大的以盈利为目的的跨国公司提供的互联网所接管,这些公司用版权,专利法来进行控制,这会大大减少互联网用于学习、改革和创新。

以下是全球大脑研究组寻求发展互联网的文挡,包括对“全球大脑”暂定解说:

   全球大脑”是给这个星球上所有人组成的智能网络的名称,包括计算机和把它们连接在一起的通讯链接。像一个真正的大脑一样,这个网络是无限复杂的,自我组织的系统,能够处理信息,做出决定,解决问题,学习新的关系并发展新的理念。它担当着全人类的集合神经系统。没有人、组织或计算机由这个系统来控制:它的“思维”步骤分布到它的各个组成部分进行。将信息网络比作全球大脑可以扩展到将全社会比作“全球有机体”。如果网络中的信息处理步骤组成这个系统“头脑”,所有的人包括他们的物品(工具,建筑物,汽车等)形成它的“身体”。既然单独的人自己是个有机体,那么围绕的系统也是一个有机体,或包含着有机体,换句话说是一个超级有机体。这个超级有机体不仅仅具有信息处理的神经系统,而且是能够处理事情和具有能量的新陈代谢系统,像矿物质、水、油这些资源通过各种工业步骤转换成特殊的产品和服务,传送到需要和使用它们的地方一样,最后循环利用或像废物一样被抛弃。“活体系统理论”在社会的不同分支系统和那些有机体中间提供了详细的通信联系。

我们稍后将谈论更多的关于这些方面的内容,但现有的技术将帮助学习者和“教育者”处理充斥的信息,并从信息社会里达到他们基本的目标。集体记忆、集体想像和创造力以及集体智慧使得许多的思想形成整体,通过强大的计算机达到至今达不到的目标。全球大脑组织的定义也表明了要使全球信息网络以较高的智慧水平发挥作用,而不是仅仅储存和传送数据,所应当使用的新技术。这些技术通过越来越多的对人类头脑如何工作,如何协作学习,如何思维,如何做出决策的机理的了解而产生(2.2.2)。同时网络上的信息并不是控制的中心而是通过几十亿个交叉的连接将信息分布到无数的数据库和存在于几百万人的头脑中和他们的文档中。因而“全球大脑”的认识水平和处理过程必须允许所有这些混乱的不同种类的信息相互作用,相互影响,这样集合模式才能够出现。一些更加传统的信息技术通过包括基于密码信息的各种方法得以挽回。其他可以使用源于人工智能的技术,例如软件手段,神经中枢网络或数据挖掘。还有一些其他技术,如协作过滤或组件,增强问题的整合解决,等。

集体智慧是团队或集体比其单个成员更具有智慧的一个概念。最为知名的例子是群居昆虫,如蚂蚁,白蚁或蜜蜂,他们作为个体是相当笨的,但当作为一个团体发挥作用时就有令人惊讶的行为能力。即使单独成员具有相当的智能,团体也可能具有更高的智慧。全球大脑的智力将是集体的, 因为它产生于数百万个体之间的交互作用。 N. 约翰逊所说的共生智力是一种可能从具有根本不同特质的部分的相互作用中涌现出的智力,譬如人和计算机(参见共生智力常见问题解答)的相互作用。罗斯内(J. de Rosnay 指出, 人们将与技术系统环绕的网络共生, 并且出于这种共生, 更高的智力水平也许会涌现出来。关于这方面的更多信息可以在下列网站查到< http://pespmc.vub.ac.be/ > ,并且还有关于集体过滤信息, -机介面, 网络学习等方面的资料。英格尔巴特(Englebart)研究集体IQ和怎么使网络更加聪明。 参见< http://pespmc.vub.ac.be/gbran-L.html>

 例如,由约瑟林(C. Joslyn)提出的知识分发系统(Distributed Knowledge System DKS),是一种社区 (人和计算机) 与网络的信息资源相互影响的环境。 DKS 介绍了从根本上全新的结构; 人机在集体水平上相互作用, 不仅在人和计算机之间, 而且在用户/代理社区和在信息资源之间相互作用。 我们越来越容易在我们身边发现DKS的例子, 不仅在网络和互联网上, 而且在公司内部网, 数字式贮藏库, 和电子市场上都可以看到。 我们对互联网发展的经验显示, DKS 这一史无前例的新事物是联合计算, 存贮, 和通信所引起的知识产生,组织,传送的革命化方式。因为DKS 的力度与传统是非常不同的集中化的计算机系统, 它要求使用各种新方法进行更广泛的研究,。这样的研究DKSM 队正在洛阿拉莫斯(Los Alamos)的国家实验室进行。

同时请关注CYC < http://www.opencyc.org/ > 的百科全书式的思想理念构成。

现在看一下由数字卫星图像提供的总体情况及通过互联网上流动的录影的使用情况。贝克等人(Baker et al. 2001)指出新千年的一个特点是全球透明性迅速发展,它们提供了行星和人类均衡系统的整体看法。例如中心咨询服务项目< http://www.cares.missouri.edu > (忽略对密码的要求并稍等待)2001年数据一层又一层地增加,如人口普查信息包括了小范围邻近的详细照片,甚至包括了农场。下一步我们可以预见到地区和邻近的地图,我们可以点击这些地图得到详细的关于教育的数据,包括文盲率,健康需要,可得到的食品,当地教育设施和可得到的资源,天气,危险和一切能够帮助当地人民和终身教育工作者, 以及模式设计者用以改进学习质量的资料。奥尔森(Olsen)在2003年指出第二代互联网正处在十字路口。它已经改变了研究者和教育者并且现在正处于转折点。

 

1.3.3. 数字无线宽带

现在的通讯速度比起世纪之交时已有百倍的提高,它使得教育成本大大地降低,如在印度, 通过WIFI可以在咖啡厅、图书馆和其他公共场所无线上网。通过并行及互联系统计算机的能力已得到更大提高。并行于所有可选择的网络的并行通讯也许可改造全部的教育世界。一根头发丝般细的光纤在1995年可以传输比全世界一天的全部通讯量还多的信息,数字无线互联等即时的技术组合可以使互联网以可承受的价格向教育工作者和研究人员方便地提供。事实上数字无线电可提供更低廉的服务,可使发展中国家的科学家积极地加入便于研究的团体中来,而且还可以将充足的教育带给地球上的每一个人。

据预计网格速度将比许多个人计算机处理速度要来得更快,越来越多的计算将在网格上进行,就象电话公司为家庭电话所做的那样。这可使发展中国家软件升级费用降低,可方便联接入CD-ROM库,计算机成为快速的网络,在线视频管理在需要时提供所有所需 的文档、视频,并通过该视频显示如何操作。研究者的膝上型电脑或手掌机可以从数据库和图书馆随时提取信息,像一个人用硬盘或CD-ROMS那样简单。吉尔德(George Gilder 2000) 20世纪90年代向投资者推荐股票时经常出错,但现在他对了,会聚了计算机、通讯和强大的软件可以“释放出创造力”和“给经历过工业时代的人们以空前的希望。”经常有这样的说法一旦同时有许多人使用时,宽带的工作就不会这么好。然而赫尔提格(Hurtig 2002)说是政府官僚机构将美国置于“无线黑暗时代,”研究报告和经验证明仍然可以为所有人提供广大的服务范围,并能“开发解决疑难现实问题的方法”。

快速增加的无线电话数量也许能在短时间内增长到5个亿,它将有能力使任何科学家在世界任何地方为教育目的连接到特定位置。想想看电话是一个多么强大的设备,通过没有电话线的太空卫星和互联网将上亿个电话联接起来。在20世纪90年代将文件快速地送到世界任何地方是多么伟大的事情。现在勒西格(Lessig 2001)说“无限”宽带当电子开关被光学开关取代时网络速度将接近光速。在2003BBC就已通过移动电话向北京和拉各斯(尼日利亚首都)提供英语课程。

佩尔屯(Pelton 2003)报告说,仅国际通信卫星机构的互联网相关通信量就从占所有通信量的7%提高到20%,主要是使用低成本的视频广播。他说,在不远的将来,通过装备有更为先进的宽带系统的无线网络和光纤希望加入的数量会持续增加。全球范围企业一天24小时运营有助于这些“大科学”企业的发展,对灵活性的要求和希望在地球任何地方连入全球网的无限要求使得无线电通讯和个人通讯系统得以超高速发展。

 

1.3.4 人机协作软件

塞尔夫(Vinton Cerf)在2002年说过“软件创造力是无界的”,“互联网得益于人类解放的想象力”然而勒西格(Lessig 2001)指出,当互联网失去了它的个性而成为像免费提供给人们使用的公园或道路一样的公共物时创造力,想象力和创新就会受到限制,互联网应当受到知识产权和版权的保护。教育者受益于Linux和免费代码。创造力由下而上而不是从上而下……而受到太多的控制。伊利诺伊州大学的安斯华斯(Dean Unsworth 2004)写了关于开放的源代码软件释放潜力的文章。(在卷3有更多的阐述)。

许多教育工作者感觉到太多的无特色软件在泛滥,没有时间检验所有的教育软件,更无法对声称为他们而作的软件感到满意。罗什(Roush)在2003年报告了关于设计和开发可以帮助程序员更好应付复杂的软件的新进展,这种软件具有“易懂的平台,规划和突出的文档”的特色。他说新的进展的结果“应当是为每个人提供更稳定的软件”。格里森(Gleason 2003)年说受到商业软件苦恼的大学应当采用‘免费的,开放源代码的软件’,这种软件件所有人都可以为它作出贡献并帮助它升级。难道为全球教育和学习机构开发的开放源码软件不应当有标准化的目标,就象汽车轮胎一样都有标准的尺寸而不管商标是什么吗?

德尔图佐斯(Dertouzos 2002)认为计算机还没成为“人类中心”,它严重限制了教育方面对互联网和网络的使用。他用汽车来比拟,如果不是有了方向盘和刹车,司机得输入编码指令来提前控制电火花,混合燃料,清洗每个汽缸阀门,调整每个轮胎角度,每根脑神经都会很紧张,并且在驾驶中还要不断地做这些事。这正象我们在读一个有600页的手册时要做的事情一样。他说,需要为人类的发展而改变的时代已经来临,就像为了适应机械形势的发展发明控制汽车的方向盘,汽油瓣和刹车那样的控制系统一样。这就是为什么信息技术革命仍然还在前头的原因。德尔图佐斯(Dertouzos)说,今天的网络和互联网和我们所处的位置相比是过时的,就像现代工业社会和蒸汽机时代相比一样。现在我们的学习结构已处于航空时代。正视全球终身教育的未来,我们期待一个太空时代。

超出集中,数字化和难懂的人性化计算机和智能力量,教育需要一个能够将各种要素整合在一个更高水平上的基本的计算机和信息基础结构。需要有为各层次教育专门定制的硬件和软件。德尔图佐斯(Dertouzos)预测,到2010年几千亿设备将会相互联接。互联网只是冰山的一角,因此设计者需要放眼未来,停止设计那些仅仅与“福特T型车”有关的现有技术,未来的改革还没结束。或者象德尔图佐斯(Dertouzos)所说的那样,与其被超负荷的信息和计算机技术淹死,不如抛弃20世纪的模式,创造出一个新的主要的计划和宗旨。对教育者来说这意味着让学生和老师自然地交流,能够容易地和有目的地和其他人交流,能够和周围大量的大学信息,实验交流并且为真理,公正和智慧而研究。

鉴于全球学习已进入虚拟空间,设计者应当留意德尔图佐斯的建议,他建议工业革命不只是将人类带进“马达时代”而是将旧人类时代留在了身后。但在那时和现在持续不断改变的新技术进入并深深地影响着人们每天的生活和工作。和以前一样,信息技术也不是仅仅将我们带入那些“神奇的新世界,”他说信息时代改革已经结束的一个标志是当计算机像摩托作为工具一样消失。

 

1.3.5 在发展中因陋就简

从美国和其他工业化国家到拉丁美洲的一些国家关于高速网格的研究正在扩展。一个例子是弗罗里达的大学联盟协议提供的电缆连接。这种双路径方案是为了提供给拉丁美洲以外的研究者使用,例如研究者可以从智利南双子座天文台望远镜得到数据。但这个星球上最贫穷的农村要分享这个发展还需要几十年时间,除非他们能够以很低的价格利用数码宽带无线连入互联网。简单技术的组合正在为最贫穷的地区和人群创造教育变革。实验和示范表明最贫穷地区使用收音机、电子邮件,录音录像磁带和CD-ROM很快就能使用无线电话开始加入世界网络,这种情况已经在像孟加拉国这样的一些国家可以看到了。低价的技术现在成为大规模技术混合中的一个有效的组成,由交互式双向参与授权, 能够对所有学生或个体的自我指导性学习大有裨宜(2.2.0, 1.3.5, 3.2.7)。在2004920日,“印度空间研究组织”宣布发射第一颗用于印度农村,为上百万文盲扫盲的远程教育卫星。

也许用交通运输来比喻如何让发展中国家得到付得起的网络教育是很有用的。今天一些人因为身体残疾或者离学校太远而需要交通运输。另一些人则因为地域相隔而需要要交通运输,我们必须将教育带给他们。也许为了世界上每个人都要有适当的学习要求向几十亿人提供教育,不管他们在哪里,特别是当我们星球有上百亿人的时候。或许这是唯一的能够方式为人们提供可能付得起的, 能承受, 量身定做的,生态的,敏感的和高质量的学习。 在汽车时代的开初期有许多公司生产和开发汽车。我们仍然没有像福特T型车那样的教育硬件,但现在在标准电子设备方面已有了重大的进步,这使得几十亿人能够付得起将来的教育。然而,许多最贫困地区,他们现在最好的学习技术是类似自行车而不是汽车。

德尔图佐斯(Dertouzos 2000) 使用了汽车作比喻,汽车每次转弯时不需要手动。也许在世界上一些最不发达地方“为所有人的终身教育”应当用自行车来比喻。自行车可以用来发电。然而太阳能和电池是更好的替代物。有了电池,骑车人沿着没有路的小径时可以听磁带,当她骑行或在家时那里没有电网。文盲的农民在耕作时可以通过耳机听给他带来农业信息的CD。在他终身学习的下一步就是戴着耳机收听通过卫星传送的大学教育。

设想一下如果我们拥有基金和政治支持来为全球开发一个数字时代的学习系统,我们应当做什么呢?假如设计者拥有足够的技术和能力来实现他们能想像到的事情……那么正确的做法会是什么样的呢?(参看3.8.)。目前,我们也许只能朦胧地相信终身学习的未来是能够实现的。

首先,让我们设想一下无论什么情况下每个地区都有一个电子学习中心(学校),对大多数孩子来说可以走到,一个为所有年纪的人的电子授权的教育中心,在这个学习中心可以开始学前教育和为工作的父母照顾孩子。这里也可以成为    为所有年纪而设的教育测试和评估的地方,白天为孩子的学校,晚上为成年人的夜校。(2.17)本地区的每个愿意参加的人都可以参加进来,并成立当地的“学习消费协作会”,这个协会利用这种“社区中心式学校”并用电子网络连接进全球学习资源,并协助设计符合当地需要的学习项目(2.17,2.18有更为详细的阐述)。这方面已存在很多成功的事例,其中一些事例得到一些美国基层组织和城市提供的设备和支持。

第二,我们应当接受这样一个事实,即不同的文化,不同的背景,也许在每一个地区都有不同的需要,因此建立一个全球学习系统应当从底层开始,而不是从上面,全球,国家或由一个独裁的地域性的系统强加下来。将所有地区的教育连接起来成为建成地区、国家或全球管理系统,这个系统会因为大规模运作而更为经济有效吗?(详情请看第三部,特别是3.10

如果我们全球每个人现在都能立即连上互联网,那么,通过这种最复杂的信息技术,每个人都能够连上学习和保健网络资源,这是多么辉煌的事情!现在如何将“电子学习” 通过光缆连接,就能实现这个目标,这方面有人已有成功的实例。太阳能电视,移动电话,硬件相联存储器,收音机和电池CD机以及数字收音机现在都能在光缆和卫星连接实现前将更好的资源提供给发展中国家乡村教师和个人学习者。“技术援助志愿者(组织)”(VITA)表明不需要巨大的组织和大量的资金来实现这一伟大的理想并将理想带给发展中国家。VITA是第一个以人道和发展为目标向发展中国家提供先进的微电子和通讯太空技术的私人志愿者组织。它使用地球低轨道卫星,一系列独立的短电波系统,和电子无线计算机信息系统整合用于赈灾救灾,保健服务,教育教学,信息服务,交通工具搜索,数据采集和分享以及其他更多方面的服务。VITA已致力于利用现有的包括以电池或太阳能为能源的并不昂贵的地面系统来促进有用的信息传递,而不是等待更多复杂的通讯手段的出现。在2001年,太空世界基金会发布一个已大规模生产用于接收通过卫星发射的高清晰数字信息的无线电设备。这个设备可以用一个4英尺碟形天线来接受,它可使亚洲和非洲广大人民受益。这种接受器已经在许多发展中国家有售。太空世界非盈利基金已在寻找帮助那些在贫穷地区和那些处于地理隔绝区的人们得到这种技术。这种碟形天线成本在200-400美元,也许对除了印度外最贫困的人来说是太贵了,那里的业余爱好者也可以自己制作这样的天线,这种天线可以安装在电信中心以合理的价格提供给整个村庄或地区使用。它拥有多媒体能力并能为上百万通过无线电接受教育的人们提供更便宜的接收方法。

下一步也许会有棒球大小的卫星,它制作便宜,放进太空,对使用者来说价格低廉,尼格洛泊尼(Negropone 2002)在“传播系列”中每一个WI-FI系统可以让信息从一个同伴传向另一个同伴,以非常低的成本为发展中国家的偏远地区提供低廉的连接方式。现在是为以后几年做准备的时候了。然而,仍然有许多问题,如安全、支持、从其他人的经验中学习等等。佩尔屯(Joseph Pelton 2003年《卫星最主要的功能》中谈到许多这样的可能。

从下面链接可以查找信息发展研究报告,详细学习案例, 开放的工具等等 < http://www.infodev.org/ >

 

1.3.6 地面接收发送系统的卫星

    几乎每天都有新技术出现的报告。提供医学服务和为遥远村庄上百万人服务的教育卫星已改变了全球通讯系统,因此到1987年半个世界的人口通过卫星不分白天黑夜的任何时间里都能连接在一起(Pelton 1987)。2001年在加州大学和它的无线互联网可以看到未来一瞥(IRVINE和圣地亚哥加利福利亚无线电通讯和信息技术研究所,或加州IT2)。前国家超级计算机中心的司马(Larry Smarr)建议,后续的互联网,也许每天24小时任何地方都可以随时使用的无线网络已改变了在全球学习上的作用,远超过用于监视环境。这是一种双路卫星系统,结合了卫星和地面站的接收和发送功能,这种系统可以把电视课程提供给亚洲几百万人口。虽然大部分人把地球站当作碟形天线, 并且经常在院子或学校的屋顶上可以看到,接受装置现在小到像一个手提箱那样轻便。新的技术,包括互联网上的流媒休,在远程学习中担当了主要的角色。同时通过无线电和电视可以做得更多。

印度尼西亚早就拥有自己的卫星。它们在远程教育和教师培训方面用来连接处于不同岛屿的11个大学校园以提高教育质量(HudsonJussawalla 1987)。南太平洋大学和西印度大学也开发了一套系统服务于好几个分散岛屿国家的教育需要。印度在早期使用NASA卫星向2500个以上的村庄发送教育节目。自从那时,卫星有能力同时发送许多课程,能够提供双路电视和宽带服务,这极大地加强了国际教育的可能性。有些时候无线宽带连接成为许多边远地方的基本方法。在其他地方全球教育通过光缆逐步得以上升,光缆正成为连接世界的方式。然而用电缆连接地球用以承载全球规模的研究和学习要求的复杂的资料是十分昂贵的。XXXXXXXXX

无线通讯对那些没有互联网的偏远地区来说是很重要的。地方无线通讯站在许多发展中国家的教育中起着至关重要的作用,将从互联网上接收到的信息传送给电池供电的无线电设备。高频无线电常常是不稳定的,除了地方性以外,但是这是可以改进的。数字无线电可以起到主要的作用。就象HAM无线通讯早就有能力提供互联网接入。尽管下降的和灵活的价格政策能帮助教育卫星更好地服务于不发达国家的学校和教育,卫星还是很昂贵的。然而这需要全球规模的行动,因为没有哪个国家或机构能够单独完成这项工作。

马克尔 Markle 2001) 描述了当卫星可以跨越互联网,直接将信息传送到手机时,技术则将无线数码革命带到下一个前沿空间,而这在“几年前还可能被认为是不可能的情况。”他说,基于卫星技术的流媒体网络,将会把全动态视频影像通过最终端结点直接传至全球。当三百万栩栩如生的流媒体影像资料能同时传输给地球上任一所学校时,整个广播电视电影业就会发生巨大的变化。不过,尽管“空气和真空传输比较便宜,”由于卫星使用权限和官僚机构的重重阻碍,在可看到的将来光纤还会是在线学习的最佳选择。其实,总有那么一天,卫星只需要20秒就可以以高清晰度的视频音频和图像传输美国国会图书馆的所有资料。当“轻件”(lightware)交流和“压缩数码双向互动电视”(digitally compressed two-way video)技术整合之时,众多的课程和讲座资料也可以同样快速的传送。

一些专家指出,当规划者面临技术带来的社会风暴时会产生对变化和竞争的恐惧,认为这些技术带来不可控制的洪流,扰乱试图利用新技术可能性的努力。兴许,必须的全球规划和协调需要有新型的软件,而不是圩堤造堰来防止新技术的涌入。苏洛维基(Surowiecki 2002)指出“新兴的宽带世界”的潜力能够巨大的改变互联网使之提供大量的急需的学习资源。当WiFi使得人们能够利用手机在公园长椅上连接互联网时,这种前景就变得更为真实。

1.3.7 全球战略,全球数据分割

我们能克服数据分割的困难向世界每个人提供学习。这是一个政治和考虑优先等级的问题。商业,非盈利组织和来自发展中国家的人们正在寻找增强全球协作和开创一个全球优先建设的作为电子阅读,评估,提供建议和作为“虚拟政策中心”与当地人们合作的服务体系构架。关于这个构架在线讨论已经有很多并起了很大的作用。

在蒙古的一个研究项目通过卫星用PC直连接互联网。非洲生命健康网已经在非洲16个国家使用低轨通信卫星。< http://www.healthnet.org >但边远地方的个人要怎么办呢?为降低成本简单而易用的标准通讯设备可以在发展中国家大规模生产吗?各种各样开发所谓的PCU(个人通讯装置)的努力已经在进行,这种便携式计算机/互联网设备可以给几乎任何地方的学习者和研究者使用,到现在有许许多多的无线连接方式。一套在印度,一种被叫做“简单计算机”的装置可以为文盲朗读文章并且可以在电话售货亭为那些拥有智能卡的人使用。一套类似的装置在巴西首先用于学校,医院和图书馆。

可以从现有的实验中开发出一种适应发展中国家使用的便宜的便携式“学习设备”象“福特T型车”那样简单的便携电脑(也许是印度“简单计算机”的改进型),这种装置具有其他的特色和能力,买得起的话就把太阳能的功能加进去。发展中国家那些无钱去欧洲或北美的科学家就可以首先使用这种设备。一些科学家已经在实验利用从各种各样设备和计算机公司那得到的粗糙的部件开发一种类似“PCU”的装置,这些设备可以在户外潮湿的环境中使用,而不需要空调。象伊利诺伊大学发明的建筑工人使用的“数字安全头盔”,一些型号装备有可携式摄像机和数字设备用于收集和证明信息,当需要时可以和同事交流,在现场从数据库里找回数据资料。

同时一种带有工作站和卫星连接设备和移动电脑实验室的电子公共汽车可以穿行于乡村地区,例如在加纳。这种汽车是“联合国发展计划”的一个项目(纽约时报2001823日),是加利福利亚社区大学基金会为解决数字化鸿沟为 “缺乏资金、设备、互联网的社区”研制开发的。许多发展中国家不计划使用这种电子公共汽车,因为已研制出了更为便宜的连接方式(Negroponte 2002

需要提请注意的是,所有人的教育,所有人的保健,所有人的干净的水和空气,所有人的公平是政治和经济上的问题,不能仅仅用技术来解决,但即将到来的技术可以帮助解决这些问题。

 

1.3.8 计算机发动机

在第二部第三章(2.3)我们将更多地探讨我们预测或想象的未来技术,虽然如何计划使用这些技术是教育规划者的工作发动机驱使所有为学习而转换技术,当然到现在便携式设备的芯片和其他部件越来越小。雷恩古尔德(Rheingold 2003) 预期可穿戴式计算机大量增加, 穿着式芯片替代许多计算机化的设备已经在MIT得到证实的。另一方面他也预期了司马(Larry Smarr)的“行星形成超级计算机”(第二部将更多谈到这方面的发展)。许多科学家渴望制造一个含有星座相互影响分布的超级计算机、一个可以将全世界所有的计算机连接在一起的强有力的全球系统。一份关于拥有巨大的能量的分布式计算机分析报告刊登在《科学美国20023月期上< http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm_articleid=000770cc-3712-1cee-93f6809ec5880000 >互连的超级计算机可以为老师和教育研究者提供无限的可能性,并以不可思议的方式帮助学习者。

当所有这些开始发生时,我们还可以预期“类似于那些在生物体中发现的分子”会取代硅芯片(Schultz 2002)。互联的个人计算机的力量足以胜任大型项目的工作,并且,在国家超级计算机中心和其他地方,科学家们正在连接着许许多多的超级计算机以使“今天的信息高速公路像19世纪铁路”那样令人惊奇。这种系统有令人难以想象的潜力可以帮助教师和教育研究者来促进学生学习。

很难预言将来会有什么新技术用于学习,因为每几个月技术就会变化。许多公司正在领先开发为所有层次教育使用的新技术。佩尔屯(Pelton 1990) 预见到不断降低的成本会让全球越来越多的人获得丰富的教育服务。但“丰富的技术” 究竟是什么?它包含了什么并且能做到什么?当前学术结构是如此不完整,甚至只是在一所大学里,如何能为全球终身教育建立起一个完整的结构体系呢?假如未来学习规划者拥有从未拥有过的巨大的技术力量,他们会怎么做呢?怎么将更多的声音传给的发展中国家的IT决策者呢?< www.panos.org.uk/ict_decision_making.htm > 按德尔图佐斯(Michael Dertouzos)的看法,信息技术根本的新方向是让计算机系统服务于人,而不是周围的其他方面。关于技术方面将在第二部第三章深入讨论。

麻省理工的尼尔·费尔斯钦菲尔德(Neil Ferschenfeld)说:“我们已经经历了数码革命;我们没有必要总在革命之中。计算机领域下一步的重大变化其实会在黑箱之外,比方说,如何使世界上其他领域的人了解数码世界的程控性。”卡兹 Katz2005)曾预期万维网将变成拥有虚拟入口,虚拟三维形象模型的三维环境。

 

 

 

 

 

The Future of Higher (Lifelong) Education: For All Worldwide: A Holistic View
http://ecolecon.missouri.edu/globalresearch/chapters/1-03.html
For more information contact Parker Rossman
July 12, 2006 -- Copyright © 2002-2005 Parker Rossman