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Education in the Information Society

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The young people’s preparation for work and life in the information society is composed mostly of information about new technologies in all forms and levels of education. In education, as in other social life spheres, changes are necessary in order to answer the information society challenges. The plenty of information, the repeatedly increased opportunities or preserving processing and circulation of data, pose the question for actualization of citizens’ knowledge and skills. This actualization has to be done in two levels – bearing of new technologies and acquiring new skills, the most important of which is ″how to learn″ under conditions of free access to information and knowledge. Because of that reason the European commission initiates extension of knowledge base and improvement of education, actuated by the realized truth that the biggest European capital to invest in, are people.

The investment in future depends also on the understanding that the information society starts from classrooms and auditoriums, but at the same time, from the belief that knowledge bearing adaptation and preservation is in the basis of long-term and permanent education. The developing and applying of adequate educational programs could prepare people to meet these challenges and manage them successfully through broadening the cognitive basis and improving education.

In 1996 the European commission works up an action plan for an educational initiative ″Studying in the Information Society″, as a continuation of the earlier marked educational program in the White Book ″Teaching and Studying on the Road to Information Society″(1996). The main tasks of the action plan are:

1. To connect the educational institutions in a European network in order to create new means for world access.

2. To assist multimedia educational programs, stimulate multimedia pedagogical applications and form critical mass of consumers, products and educational multi-media services.

3. To train and motivate teachers and lecturers to use new means of education of the information society widening their cultural and linguistic variety.

During the session of the 17th Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, held on 23rd June1997, the Ministers came out with a Recommendation # 1332 in respect of science – technical aspects of the new information and communication technologies in education and training; health services, preservation of the natural environment, state bodies and transport in order to make easier the community’s adaptation to these changes. The assembly recommends the Committee of Ministers series of measures. A great number are directed to science and education namely:

1. To develop and adapt technologies for distance operation;

2. To develop computerized medical systems for control and analysis of environment data, telematic transport systems;

3. Encourage development of multimedia and new educational methods at all educational levels;

4. Encourage development of virtual science and technical activities centres;

5. Encourage development of technologies for screening the impermissible information in accordance with the existing legislation and etc.

In September 1998 the European School Network was founded. There are representatives of twenty Educational ministries, of the European Commission and outside experts. The using of information technologies for educational purposes steps on five basic posts:

ü The technical equipment(hardware and software) of all kinds of schools is a necessary preliminary condition for integrating of informational and communicational technologies in educational process;

ü The maintenancemeans realizing the change in teachers’ role – from instructive to supportive and directive;

ü The trainingis related not only to students, but on a first place to their instructors who have to be convinced in the use of informational and communicational technologies and to be technological well-informed in order to integrate new approaches with traditional training methods.

ü For this purpose teacher training is held simultaneously in the two directions – creation of new teacher generation, prepared to work under conditions of the information society and further qualification of active teachers;

ü The international cooperationin this field is necessary because of the common goals and issues, met on the road of implementation of new technologies in education. In spite of some specific needs of every single country /for example – the using of educational software is limited by the used language/, it’s possible wide exchange of experience and joint work on issues of the information society;

ü The research and assessmentof the results of carried out policy of cooperation of the informational and communicational technologies with education are necessary to determine the right direction of undertaken steps to preparation towards information society and their more effective application.

In the information society the computers are not only educational devices but combined with communicational technologies they turn into a new educational environment whose characteristics are not ran out only with the definition – computerized school environment. Measures of this educational environment vary from didactic training to on-line university, where the student is absolutely free in his choice for place and time. It put a new way of thinking and a new kind of education as it widened unbelievably the universities’ limits and brought out on a first place the problem of ″information literacy″. The concept ″virtual school hall″ gives students and specialists an opportunity to ″attend″ lectures, international seminars and conferences, held all over the world, without transport charges and long-term absence from natural surroundings, work and family.

The libraries also change significantly their face and functions and combine the lots of communication forms.

At the end of XX century new types of media – films, videotapes, computer dicks, records, cards take place side by side with books, newspapers and magazines on the bookshelves. The progress in miniaturizing and telecommunications make easier the materials preservation and request when they are not kept in one particular library.

Even in the most isolated library connected with the library network, could be find a source of any other library. These networks aren’t spread out only in a country’s boundaries but they cross national borders. ″The media centre″ becomes a substitute of libraries as there are kept paper and not paper materials and there is a computer access to world information sources.

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