Kierkegaard and the Internet: The Role and Formation of Community in Education

Kierkegaard and the Internet: The Role and Formation of Community in Education

Andrew Ward (University of Minnesota, USA) and Brian Prosser (Fordham University, USA)
Copyright: © 2002 |Pages: 8
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-931777-15-5.ch015
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Abstract

In the last decade of the twentieth century, with the advent of computers networked through Internet Service Providers and the declining cost of such computers, the traditional topography of secondary and post-secondary education has begun to change. Where before students were required to travel to a geographically central location in order to receive instruction, this is often no longer the case. In this connection, Todd Oppenheimer writes in The Atlantic Monthly that one of the principal arguments used to justify increasing the presence of computer technology in educational settings is that “[W]ork with computers – particularly using the Internet – brings students valuable connections with teachers, other schools and students, and a wide network of professionals around the globe.”1 This shift from the traditional to the “virtual” classroom2 has been welcomed by many. As Gary Goettling writes, “[D]istance learning is offered by hundreds, if not thousands, of colleges and universities around the world, along with a rapidly growing number of corporate and private entities.”3 Goettling’s statement echoes an earlier claim by the University of Idaho School of Engineering that one of the advantages of using computers in distance education is that they “increase access. Local, regional, and national networks link resources and individuals, wherever they might be.”4

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