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Tower under Siege

Tower under Siege: Technology, Power, and Education

Copyright Date: 2001
Pages: 176
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  • Book Info
    Tower under Siege
    Book Description:

    In The Tower under Siege Brian Lewis, Christine Massey, and Richard Smith explore these important themes and issues from the varying perspectives of students, teachers, policy makers, and administrators. They describe the opportunities, changes, and policies developing in Canadian universities and governments in response to the education revolution. While most studies of the education revolution tend to be highly polemical, The Tower under Siege occupies a middle space, identifying issues and policy processes used to manage change and create more opportunities for education. The Tower under Siege will be of great interest to anyone concerned with, excited about, or worried by the expanding role of technology in higher education: teachers, researchers, students, parents, policy makers, and administrators.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-6910-2
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-xiii)
  4. Acknowledgements
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
  5. 1 A Call to Arms: Promises and Politics of Telelearning Technologies
    (pp. 3-10)

    The implementation of telelearning technologies as part of a socalled “revolution” in education has been seen by both promoters and critics as a watershed event. We regard technology-mediated learning (tml) as just one example of a more general social phenomenon – the move to an information society. tml refers to the widespread use of computers and computer networks in the teaching process, in classrooms, or at a distance.

    The word “telelearning” comes from a research initiative that was sponsored by the Canadian government’s National Centres of Excellence research program. One of those National Centres of Excellence, nce/Telelearning, has become the focal...

  6. 2 Throwing Down the Gauntlet: The Rise of the For-Profit Education Industry
    (pp. 11-28)

    Private firms in the for-profit education industry deliver education, training, support services, tools, and infrastructure to education markets. The growth of this industry is a critical indicator of accelerating change in post-secondary education. Practitioners and observers can benefit from an analysis of this industry, since it is here that much of the innovation and change that education is currently experiencing originates.

    This chapter investigates the characteristics of the for-profit education industry: its rise, growth, and implications for the future. While the industry is large and varied, with market participants operating in such sectors as private-education delivery, technology products and services,...

  7. 3 From the Ramparts: Government Telelearning Policies
    (pp. 29-45)

    In this chapter, we examine the more general Canadian federal and provincial policy trends that have an impact on the use of telelearning technologies. We focus on trends in dozens of initiatives in an effort to better understand the dynamics of policy for telelearning technologies in post-secondary education, by placing initiatives and issues in the context of what we call the “melting borders” between education and the economy. The chapter begins by outlining overall Canadian government policy.

    Albert Gore, the former vice-president of the United States, was the first truly influential political proponent of the information revolution in North America....

  8. 4 Strategies: Federal and Provincial Government Policy Initiatives
    (pp. 46-88)

    Chapter 4 examines the policy initiatives of the federal and provincial governments in greater detail. Many of these initiatives were mentioned in Chapter 3 but will now be elaborated on, thus providing a more detailed account of policy initiatives in Canada. In Phase I of its work, ihac created a Working Group on Lifelong and Workplace Learning. The group’s report,Making it Happen: Final Report of the Learning and Training Working Group,was tabled in December 1995 and made many broad-ranging recommendations for action by the federal government, based on the conviction that learning was central to every part of...

  9. 5 Dispatches from the Front: Policies and Policy Practices in Post-Secondary Institutions
    (pp. 89-139)

    Universities are among our oldest social institutions and today face enormous pressure to change. We have always had debates about the purpose of the university, its pedagogical program, and its relationship to other social and political structures. Now, however, these debates have been given renewed vigour and urgency by the availability of advanced information and communication technologies for teaching and learning – telelearning technologies – that signal a fundamental shift in the interests of policy-makers in today’s economy.

    The increased visibility of technology in all that we do in universities makes it tempting to focus our attention on technology as the locus...

  10. 6 In the Trenches: Student Perspectives
    (pp. 140-149)

    What is it like to be a student taking on-line courses? This simple question belies a complex reality. The change in environment from the traditional to the virtual classroom entails a substantially different experience for the student. The ability to work on-line changes a number of the assumptions that most students have about the classroom.

    Students are keenly aware of the many instructional elements that exist in a regular classroom. They understand when they should come to class, when they should participate in that class, and when they should simply take notes and listen. Homework is assigned and is sometimes...

  11. 7 Negotiating the Terrain: Strategies for the Future
    (pp. 150-154)

    Our review of policy issues for the use of telelearning technologies in Canadian universities and colleges suggests that only complex answers to complex issues exist. Each institution is unique, with its own culture, program strengths, and, consequently, technology needs. Not all institutions will be well served by a large-scale transition to telelearning methods, and some institutions and their students could certainly benefit from a more effective use of telelearning technologies. We can, however, isolate certain broad areas of action that will be useful for any institution engaging in on-line education. These are described below. These institutional recommendations are followed by...

  12. Appendix: Issues Map
    (pp. 155-160)
  13. Bibliography
    (pp. 161-172)
  14. Index
    (pp. 173-178)