The next big th#ng? : a history of educational computing policy for New Zealand schools 1960-2004 : a thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Education at Massey University
Computers have helped to transform our lives. Computers are at the centre of the 'knowledge-age' and the way our society now communicates, stores and analyses diverse masses of information. Computers are now integrated into an enormous number of day-to-day technological devices. They provide powerful research and analysis tools with professionals in such varied fields as medicine, music, sports and design now using computers in an array of new projects. Computers have even been instrumental in the research and preparation of this thesis. While computer technology has made numerous positive contributions to our society, there are also instances where they have not added to the general good. What has become apparent is that among the benefits brought by computers, there are also more complex social realities into the bargain. Computers don't just deliver technical solutions; they change the way people carry out certain tasks and they also create new sorts of activities. Computers are cultural devices operating within a social context and they can affect, or fail to affect, social situations in a variety of predictable and unpredictable ways. 1
1 H. Bromley (1998). Introduction: Data Driven Democracy? Social Assessment of Educational Computing. In H. Bromley and M. W. Apple Education/Technology/Power: Educational Computing as a Social Practice. New York: SUNY Press.