Someone who could foresee it ten years ago - an article by a Hungarian author Péter Fehér in 1999

Péter Fehér: : Computer in education - at the doorstep of the third millennium

In his article Péter Fehér writes about the state of ICT infrastructure in schools, the roles of ICT tools in education and the essential changes to be made in the teachers' attitude.This article was written ten years ago. (The article was based on a presentation held in January 1999, at Budapest IT conference "Roles of the libraries in education".)

This article is interesting, not only because of its historical value, but also because it refers to the concepts of "digital pedagogy", "knowledge based society", "Net Generation", which have become crucial only in recent years in the educational world. A decade ago, the author summarized the trends, the needs, the requirements of the digital era - as he says: "myths, doubts and hopes". He formed questions that are really up-to-date, and we still have not found the answers

  •  can we create a computer which is able to do what the teacher does?
  • Is the computer capable of doing something that the teacher is not?
  • What can we use multimedia and the Internet in education for? Do we really need to use them?
  • To what extent can a student be motivated, how long does the "magic" of a new tool last?
  • How should the teachers' attitude change in order to meet the requirements of the Net Generation?
  • Does ICT have any chance of improving efficiency in education at all?

The author says: "Beyond doubt the education based on the new interactive multimedia needs new paradigms", and to explaine his statement he quotes the widely referred book of Don Tapscott (Growing Up Digital, Mcraw-Hill, New York, 1998.), listing the most important changes required in the education. Their thesis are as up-to-date as they were at the date of publishing Tapscott's book and the article of P. Fehér:

  • teacher-centered  education must turn to student centered-education
  • instead of swotting the students must learn "to learn", to select and navigate
  • instead of uniform teaching a tailored teaching should be developed
  • the teacher should be a facilitator instead of being a "sender"
  • teaching should be fun and not a nightmare

The author concludes that the teachers are still the key players in education to take the first step to achieve  the above mentioned aims.  Ten years after the article was written, we intend to help teachers achieve the same objectives in Tenegen project. What is important for us is, that during the last ten years the second generation of web development (called Web 2.0 phenomenon) offers a lot of new sophisticated tools for facilitating communication, collaboration and sharing knowledge through the internet, which could not be imagined ten years ago. These tools give a new chance to achieve the aims invented by the authors. But the question "how?" has not answered yet. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to seek for new ways in the frame of the LdV project, Tenegen.

Róbert Farkas, Mária Hartyányi

 You find the article of Péter Fehér in Hungarian on the website of the Pedagogical Review.

Public visibility permission: