Decentering teacher authority in the interclass: Creating space for student participation, responsibility, and engagement



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Texas Tech University


The 1990's have witnessed a momumental shift in the way technology affects our lives, and nowhere have the changes been more profound than in the ways we perceive education. There has been a rethinking in general terms not only about how students learn, but about where they learn, the very space where education occurs. The phenomenon of electronic communication in what Nicholas Negroponte (1995) has called the "post-information age" (163) has redefined the whole notion of proximity, creating "place without space" and removing "the limitations of geography." He further argues, "Digital living will include less and less dependence upon being in a specific place at a specific time" (165) . For example, Negroponte points out, an Internet "address" has no physical location but is "much more like a Social Security number than a street coordinate. It is a virtual address" (166). This growing freedom from demographic constraints has major implications for education. A growing body of evidence suggests that the space of learning is becoming increasingly the virtual space of network communication, and, as Negroponte notes, "the true value of a network is less about information and more about community. The information superhighway is more than a short cut to every book iti the Library of Congress. It is creating a totally new, global social fabric" (183).



Internet in education, English language, Computer managed instruction