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Universities in Transition: The Promise and the Challenge of New Technologies


by Nicholas C. Burbules & Thomas A. Callister — 2000

This essay reviews two interrelated sets of changes that are having a major influence on higher education, today and for the future. Our primary concern is with the changes wrought by the incorporation of new information and communication technologies into the teaching activities of colleges and universities. Today these are normally discussed under the rubric of “distance education,” but we believe that this label misconceives the importance of online technologies in blurring the distinctions between on- and off-campus teaching. We consider a number of ethical and policy issues arising from these changes and the ways in which the uses of these new technologies affect and are affected by a second set of changes affecting universities, the conditions of globalization. In general, we want to question the forced options of boosterism or rejectionism, along with other unhelpful dichotomies that have characterized much of the discussion of these issues up until now.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 102 Number 2, 2000, p. 271-293
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 10362, Date Accessed: 8/21/2017 8:03:34 AM

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About the Author
  • Nicholas Burbules
    University of Illinois, Urban/Champaign
    E-mail Author
    Nicholas C. Burbules is Professor of Educational Policy Studies in the College of Education at the University of Illinois. He is the editor of Educational Theory. His recent articles have appeared in Access, Philosophy of Education 1997(, and the Electronic Journal of Sociology.
  • Thomas Callister
    Whitman College
    E-mail Author
    Thomas A. Callister, Jr. is assistant professor, department chair, and director of teacher education in the Education Department at Whitman College.
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