Don't confuse a tool with a goal: Making information technology serve higher education, rather than the other way around

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Katz argues that Information Technology (IT) needs to be regarded as a tool, that is as a technological resource, for achieving particular goals. In the academy, as in so many other walks of life, however, IT has been viewed as a goal in itself. Just as IT is a social construction, it is only useful as a means to a designated end. In higher education, that means that decisions about the acquisition and deployment of IT need to be made with educational goals in mind. It I extraordinarily important in the development of both research and teaching, but in itself IT has absolutely nothing to say about appropriate research or instructional objectives. Universities have permitted IT to morph into a goal, and in so doing have both perverted its educational potential and distorted its impact on campus educational outcomes. Universities have viewed IT as an administrative cure-all, and as a money maker, whereas it has mainly increased the cost of administration and is unlikely to bring in any considerable income (via distance education, especially). Katz therefore argues that we have to consider the impact of IT on university adminstration, intellectual property policy, the functioning of libraries and the development of innovative educational techniques in the light of carefully considered educational goals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of the Association for History and Computing
Volume4
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • History
  • Computer Science Applications

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