From Now On
The Educational Technology Journal

 Vol 11|No 1|September|2001

Moving Beyond Information
to Interpreting
Deciding, Inventing, and Solving

Big piles of facts and information do not contribute much by themselves. The challenge is building something new from the raw ingredients.

© 2001, J. McKenzie, click on picture for full size.

For the past few years, we've been hearing a bit too much about information and not enough about meaning. (See review of The Social Life of Information -

Brown and Duguid are insiders. They spend their lives where information technologies do their best and their worst. Fully acquainted with the hype and promises of information cheerleaders - a group they call infoenthusiasts - Brown and Duguid warn that ". . . it can be easy for a logic of information to push aside the more practical logic of humanity." (p. 18)

They fear that an obsession with information can lead to a kind of tunnel vision with planners ignoring much of what lies within the periphery.

There needs to be more emphasis in schools and elsewhere about converting information into something that makes a difference in life.

Students should learn how to translate data and information into insight using analysis, interpretation and inference skills. But we should not stop with understanding and insight. We should also show students how to turn that understanding and insight into information products of various kinds: inventions, decisions, solutions and proposals meant to improve society or enterprise in some fashion.

The student converts information into something practical, useful and novel.

Click for next page.

Page 2

Back to September Cover

Credits: The photographs were shot by Jamie McKenzie.

Copyright Policy: © 2001, Jamie McKenzie, all rights reserved. Materials published in From Now On may be duplicated in hard copy format if unchanged in format and content for educational, nonprofit school district and university use only and may also be sent from person to person by e-mail. This copyright statement must be included. All other uses, transmissions and duplications are prohibited unless permission is granted expressly. Showing these pages remotely through frames is not permitted.
FNO is applying for formal copyright registration for articles.

From Now On Index Page