Forces of Change: The Emergence of a Knowledge Society and New Generations of Learners

Forces of Change: The Emergence of a Knowledge Society and New Generations of Learners

Bizhan Nasseh (Ball State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-878289-74-2.ch018


Nothing in the history of humankind has permeated every aspect of life and culture as deeply and as rapidly as have the computer technology and the global network of the Internet. Over the last 10 years there has been a vast infusion of technology into communications, business, politics, social interactions, the workplace, and personal lives. Jobs in all sectors of society are being redefined to accommodate the new importance of information technology in society (Long and Long, 1998). Technology has made possible new forms of communication: thousands of virtual communities exist where members can share thoughts and knowledge independent of culture, country, religion, ethnicity, and economic status. In the workplace it is possible to conduct business with partners and clients without a physical presence. Technology’s influence is both national and global. As for the national influence, technology is changing the personal and professional lives of people, the operations of businesses, the communication techniques of society, the priorities of families, and the entertainment industry. Within the next few years, the population, institutions, and government will accept the extensive saturation of technology into every aspect of society as a national reality. With respect to the global influence, technology is also changing a geographically divided world into a global society and economy. A global society peopled with empowered citizens who can synchronously or asynchronously discuss issues and share knowledge can also collaborate on activities and interests and solve pressing problems. Technology’s influence is also felt in the education system. Nationally, K-12 education and higher education institutions are undergoing dramatic changes, and the development of global education has created an opportunity for learners around the world to access needed resources and learning programs. The educational system now presents the possibility of learning-on-demand without limitation of time, place, resources, and physical facilities.

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