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Sample Exercise Answers
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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Latest update: February 8, 1999
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Statistics - "Risky Promises" Exercise

Well done exercise. Note that answers are brief, to the point, and in the student's own words. Note that on these samples my comments will be inserted. Be sure to check for them. jeanne

  1. How is higher education misunderstood by high tech?

    A. The first way in which technology issues are often misframed can be called the "computer as panacea" perspective: new technologies carry inherent possibilities that can revolutionize education as we know it. If we simply unleash this potential many educational problems will be solved. Computers can help alleviate overcrowded classrooms; computers can ease the burden of overworked teachers; or computers can make teachers unnecessary at all.

  2. Misunderstanding of "computer as tools"

    A. The second type of technocratic dream, much more subtle and seductive than the first, is the "computer as tool" perspective. Advocates of this view rightly excoriate the "panacea" perspective, and argue that it expects far too much of new information technologies which are, as they say, merely tools that can be used for good or bad purposes. Tools carry within them neither the guarantees of success or failure, or of benefit or harm - it is all a matter of how wisely people use them.

    Jeanne's note: But notice that the "tool" perspective sometimes carries the same risk as the "panacea" perspective. Sometimes we tend to think in ways that we believe the tools will work, rather than developing and adapting them to the real issues at hand, especially in education.

  3. Post-technocratic approach. What does it mean?

    A. The post-technocratic mode of thinking we are proposing here would stress the limits to human foresight and planning; the interdependency of multiple consequences; and the problematic attempt to sort out "good" from "bad" outcomes.

  4. Define PANACEA: cure all. As used in the article, Risky Promises, the

    word refers to an attempt by some educators and others to proclaim technology the "way" to solve problems related to education.

  5. Define EXCORIATE: to tear away or denounce. Critics excoriate the "panacea perspective" as being too technology reliant.