We highlight certain points that should be adopted or
1. The permanent training of teachers has again
become key in the innovative process. In many cases, it will mean an
authentic change in attitude, in that there is resistance to such a
sharp change in teachers'role. In effect, their customary role of personal
educator andtransmitter of knowledge has to be transformed into that
of director or selector of these skills. Teachers have to adapt to the
reality of their environment and know how awaken in students curiosity
to search out and expand their knowledge, critical and selective awareness
before the invasion of information pouring over them through the new
information and communications technologies. Solidarity and knowledge
of other cultures have to be promoted. Networks should be used to aid
communication between students from other countries. In fact, if teachers
persist in their current methods, the need for them will be questioned,
since they will feel overwhelmed by the knowledge acquired by their
students with very little effort, as many of them have been using the
new technologies at home since they were quite young. To achieve adequate
skills, teachers must be taught to understand new technology, both in
their initial training and through update courses, whether face-to-face
or virtual, throughout their professional careers. It would also be
of use to collect the experience accumulated during these years by teachers
who have used new technology with their students. Successes and failures
could then be weighed. In short, a didactic methodology for these educational
tools needs to be worked out.
2. National or regional cultures need to be strengthened
to create and publish educational materials that are instrinsic to
a particular culture or which are tailored to it, and that know
how to highlight, and benefit from, the richness of diversity and to
respect minorities. The concrete adaptation of these materials to the
most local setting is the job of the teachers. This is an important
question, in that if today the educational reform processes in which
many countries are immersed have been criticised for how they follow
common guidelines and as attacks on cultural diversity, the effect of
mass-produced educational programmes or programmes dominated by ruling
values of other cultures will have negative effects. Uniform patterns
of behaviour which are foreign to the cultures themselves may be introduced.
3. The influence on children's logical and
reasoning processes of the widespread use of this new technology from
an early age is still to be analysed. Therefore, it cannot be repeated
too often that teachers are essential for the tasks of matching information
with students'maturity and, in particular, ensuring that computers or
television do not drive students away from books and reading. The role
of reading continues at present to be vital.
4. The introduction of the new information
and communication technologies has to tend towards reducing inequalities.
Therefore, the efforts of governements and international finantial organisations
have to focus on giving these tools to schools in the poorest countrirs
and area, so as to avoid creating new forms of social exclusion and
illiteracy. However, here may enter the bibbest contradiction: how can
schools be provided with these computer tools if they do not even have
electricity? There is a risk of opening still further the abyss between
rich and poor countries and, within poor countries, between richer and
poorer areas. To avoid this, urgent support measures need to be taken
for those ares that need support more.
5. School fulfils essential socialisation
and education functions, along with transmission of knowledge. Whereas
new technology affects more this transmission of knowledge, always led
by teachers, in the other functions school continues to be irreplaceable.
6. As student reach adult age, the role of new
technology in their education becomes more relevant and can be a magnificient
tool of distance education, which undoubtely revolutionises traditional
7. Maybe new technology-and this needs still
to be researched-will bring back to formal or non-formal education students
excluded from the system when they were young for various reasons. For
most of them there are no suitable programmes. Given how attractive
new technology is for the young, it could give them them a second chance,
if there is the right combination of face-to-face and virtual teaching.
Outside schools, the media, mainly television, have
an active role as genuine educational agents. Their influence can even
become more important than the family's or school's. However, the programmes
they broadcast are often not the most appropriate for children and adolescents.
Once again we find values and counter-values from other cultures being
transmitted that clash with the education that children receive at school,
in the family and in their immediate environment. in this area, the
role of selection is fundamentally the responsability of the family.
Therefore, attemps should be made "to educate the media",
if only at local level, but the task is not too easy, given the global
scale of the media's information transmission. There is a need to move
forward with agreements on "programming ethics", in which
the contents and values of the media tend towards neutrality at least.
this would reduce the impact of the values of counter-cultures and dominant