Four Key Ways Technology Will Impact Educational Missions

Electronic School Magazine, June 1998, p. A14

David Thornburg, senior fellow at the Congressional Institute for the Future, theorizes how emerging technologies are going to impact the future of education and how they can address social issues such as salary gaps, information gaps, and the continuing mergers/downsizing of Fortune 500 companies.

According to Thornburg, the key developments in technology that are going to (and already do) impact education most are:

  • computers keep doing more for less money.
  • the silicon chips that drive the brains of computers everywhere double in power every 18 months.
  • connections to the Internet and other networks are becoming faster, more widely available, and lower in price.
  • the world wide web is doubling in size every 90 days, and in 1996 the Internet delivered more than 1 trillion e-mail messages.
  • Given this continued technology growth, Thornburg charges schools—from the pre-K to college level—to strive for not only computer-literate students, but also “computer-fluent students” who can sit down and work a computer as easily as they can read a book.

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