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Lesson 2: Transforming Knowledge and the Way We Compute

The Web contains a vast treasure of information and recent efforts promise new ways to retrieve information based on meaning, not just finding words and phrases in documents. Combine this with the movement to mobile computing, and a huge amount of knowledge will be available at any time and any place. What are the implications for education? For how we work?

Segment 1: Google Apps

Google is trying to transform the way people compute with its Google Apps. Google’s chief executive officer Eric Schmidt believes that 90 percent of computing can be conducted on the Internet vs. running on individual PCs. What are the implications of this model for organizations? For Microsoft? How should Microsoft respond?

The World Wide Web is a huge repository of information and knowledge. It has changed the way we search for information and the nature of the relationship between buyers and sellers. Google illustrates the impact of consumers reducing information asymmetries with sellers. As an example, infomediaries like have changed the nature of automobile retailing as they provide customers with product and price information.

This model also illustrates transformations in education. Today’s student needs to learn how to search for information and synthesize the results, giving proper attribution to sources. Instead of the age-old lecture approach to teaching, the instructor may become a facilitator helping the student learn how to seek out and utilize information that is on the Web.


  • Inside the Future: Surviving the Technology Revolution, Chapter 10: Can Education be Transformed?