| With vast sources of information available literally at one's fingertips, teachers are relieved of the traditional outside-in information-providing function of teaching. This sets them free for the more human inside-out inspiration-creating function. Computers can provide only data. Teachers are required to put this data in context to yield information, information in context to yield knowledge, knowledge in context to yield understanding, and understanding in context to yield wisdom. The school of the future will be characterized by this synergistic relationship between computers and teachers to help students up this hierarchy of content within context from data to wisdom. |
Maison Alcan, the new headquarters of the Alcan Corporation in Montreal, could be considered as a model for the corporate office of the future. Because of the transportation/telecommunication trade-off, it is no longer necessary for all the main office employees to be huddled under the one roof, as were the Alcan employees in their old offices in the high-rise Place Ville Marie. They were thus able to build a small, high-prestige set of offices as a headquarters hub, with other employees delocalized to the periphery.
The office of the architect and the engineer will be transformed by our new electronic colleagues. A few years ago I was awed on visiting the New York Institute of Technology to see a mathematician create a three-dimensional image on a screen from formulas and explore the three-dimensional space he had created by "flying" through it using a joystick as he would in a plane. That, however, was the most sophisticated computer-aided design system available at the time, worth millions of dollars. Recently, Don Collins, a colleague at Concordia University, who has resigned to found ACADZ (that is, computer-aided design from A to Z) showed me essentially the same system on an IBM PC.
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