Technology is the Answer: What was the Question? -: UNESCO EducationEducation is one of UNESCO’s principal fields of activities. Since its creation in 1945, the Organization has worked to improve education worldwide believing it to be key to social and economic development. The Organization aims to help build a sustainable world with just societies that value knowledge, promote peace, celebrate diversity and defend human rights, achieved by providing Education for All (EFA). Its close links with education ministries and other partners in 193 countries place UNESCO in a key position to press for action and change. The Education Sector comprises some 400 staff members worldwide. The sector is under the authority of the Assistant Director-General for Education. Headquarters in ParisSome 150 staff members work in the Education Sector in Paris.
NobleIn recent years changes in universities, especially in North America, show that we have entered a new era in higher education, one which is rapidly drawing the halls of academe into the age of automation. Automation — the distribution of digitized course material online, without the participation of professors who develop such material — is often justified as an inevitable part of the new “knowledge–based” society. It is assumed to improve learning and increase wider access. In practice, however, such automation is often coercive in nature — being forced upon professors as well as students — with commercial interests in mind. This paper argues that the trend towards automation of higher education as implemented in North American universities today is a battle between students and professors on one side, and university administrations and companies with “educational products” to sell on the other.