Information, Knowledge, and Learning Society

Information, Knowledge, and Learning Society

Eliana Santana Lisbôa (University of Minho, Portugal) and Clara Pereira Coutinho (Department of Curricular Studies and Educational Technology, Institute of Education, University of Minho, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch449
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One of the first authors to refer to the concept of the information society (IS) was the Economist Fritz Machlup in his book published in 1962, The Production and Distribution of Knowledge in the United States. However, the development of the concept is due to Peter Drucker who, in 1966, in the bestseller The Age of Discontinuity, speaks for the first time in a post-industrial society. For Drucker, the power of economy would have evolved from agriculture to industry and from industry to services, which is based on a new precious commodity: information (Crawford, 1983).

The idea behind the concept of IS is that of a society engaged into a process of constant change, as a result of the advances in science and technology. As the press has revolutionized the way we learn, through the dissemination of reading and writing in printed materials, the triggering of information and communication technologies have made possible new forms of access and distribution of knowledge (Olson, 1994; Pozo, 2001, as cited in Pozo, 2004). This new reality demands that individuals' have competencies and skills required for dealing with the computerization of knowledge that “made it much more accessible (...), more horizontal and less selective production and access to knowledge” (Pozo, 2004, n.p). It is in this context that authors such as Castells (2000), Levy (1996), Postman (1992), among others, announce and underlie the emergence of a new society, “the information society” also called the “third wave,” by Toffler (1997).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Learning Society: the learning society can be defined as an environment in which the plurality of actors contribute to the construction of shared knowledge in a continuous and procedural perspective, whether individual or collective, and in all areas of society ( Fabela 2005 ).

Information Society: The concept of IS is a company engaged in a process of constant change as a result of advances in science and technology, making possible new forms of access and distribution of knowledge ( Pozo, 2004 ).

Knowledge Society: Knowledge Society is understood as the ability that people have in the face of information, to develop a reflective competence, relating its multiple aspects, according to a particular time and space, with the ability to establish connections with other knowledge and use it in their everyday lives ( Pelizzari et al., 2002 ).

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