Bill's FutureShock: Technology will distinguish colleges

Claiming humility over futurist predictions, Gates says students will look at technology programs and facilities in deciding where to go to school.
Written by ZDNET Editors, Contributor

Technology will be one of the most important factors in choosing a college or university in the future, according to Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, reports CNET News.com

"We need to be humble in making predictions of how technology will affect education," because people made big predictions about how TVs, video tapes and software would influence education that haven't come true, Gates said, speaking at the Microsoft Government Leaders Forum in England.

Gates said that the future university will be impacted greatly by technology: lectures will be distributed for free over the Internet, students will hold discussions at a distance in chat rooms, and testing and accreditation will happen online for people anywhere in the world.

"Technology allows for more specialization and improvement" in education, he said.

Greater emphasis will be placed on IT training for teachers and using online resources for creating curriculum. The Government Leaders Forum also addressed topics such as technology's role in improving global competitiveness.

"The answer is not protectionism," he said. "The answer is not turning back the clock ... but to invest more in science, technology and creative industries," said Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown.
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