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Education Unbound

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As an instructor in my college's applied in- formation technology program, I see every day how computers radically transform both the means and the ends of education. Nevertheless, I am far from optimistic about technology's ability to flourish in our schools--public or private. That's because technology is, in effect, begging the whole question of schools themselves.

When asked why he robbed banks, Willie Sutton replied, "Because that's where the money is.'' For thousands of years, people have gone to school because that's where the knowledge is. Just preserving it there has been a challenge for most societies. Thousands of peasants had to toil to support a handful of literate clerks and priests whose duties included training their replacements. Control of knowledge meant power, and its flow was vertical.

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