They usually bring up the phrase “the age of grobalization and information?as the key word to depict the current age. But the more specific word to characterize these days is Internet. The 72nd edition of The UOS Times tried to speculate how close we came to the Internet surfing culture. Then we asked to ourselves whethere we were really living in that new age. Readers will find various answers to this question in our magazine. But the ultimate answer still remains on your own side.
What is the age of information? To characterize it, people say “no paper society”. You can easily imagine by this word the society with no paper settlement sheet owing to the automation of office work. But society with no paper work could not be realized in the near future. Rather than that, you should think the change in major means of office work, that is to say, from paper work to electronic work. To see the situation of our university, only thing we can do with ‘electronic machine’, the computer, is to write term papers on the monitor. Our computer systems still need papers because we need them to print out the contents. So to us who are living in the “no papersociety” the computer is just a typewriter. Are we still living in the age of information?
But why don’t we look at the bright side, imagining the situation as this. One of the professors in your department gave you an assignment. That is to visit an organization abroad and summit the report about it. You think you should make a reservation for airplane tickets first.
But, just wait a second, and don’t forget we are living in ‘on-line age’. You can make up a team of 5 students. You, the team leader, send only two of the team members. Your two-man task force is equipped with laptop and digital camera so that they can send the pictures of the organization and interview with its people.
You and the rest of the team also can have cross-continental meetings by NetMeeting program. Your team members put heads together in cyberspace and make final version of report in the same way. Turning in the report to the professor might be the easiest thing you can do with your laptop.
I made up this story with technologies available now in our university. What matters is that the utilities of those equipments are very low. The classes concerning computer skill do not go beyond the level of introduction.
Facilities are limited to use a laptop freely. In a nut shell, we are just on the start line toward the age of information. What are we supposed to do?