August 1998 // Spotlight Site
The Millennium Project (From Debate to Understanding: The Evolving Role of Technology in Learning)
Note: This article was originally published in The Technology Source ( as: "The Millennium Project (From Debate to Understanding: The Evolving Role of Technology in Learning)" The Technology Source, August 1998. Available online at The article is reprinted here with permission of the publisher.

Will technology replace thousands of locally-based teachers with "virtual" instruction? Will it restrict opportunities for necessary socialization among students? Will technology raise core competence in the classroom by exposing students to master teachers in lieu of under-trained educators? Will it permit students to learn in a more individual, self-paced way?

The Millennium Project, hosted by the Academy for Educational Development's National Demonstration Library for Interactive Information Technologies, is an ongoing, online discussion forum for educators and scholars interested in the potential uses of information technology tools in education. The Project's Web page, well-designed and easily navigated, maintains posts from around the world and hosts online conferences designed to debate pertinent questions such as:

  • How does technology change the role of the teacher?
  • What is the role of technology in preparing students for the workplace?
  • How is technology changing the role played by communication in education and learning?
  • Can technology help to improve public-private collaboration in schooling?

The Millennium Project's Site includes not only a BBS (where posts responding to specific discussion topics are stored), but also an archive. The extensive archive (as yet dating back only to July, when the site was first launched) , full of posts from around the world, gives the Project and the topics it engages both a temporal and global significance. "Hot Topics" are traced tri-monthly and organized in such a way that the discussion is focused and purposeful.

In addition, the Project maintains an online library of studies, reports, and articles relevant to the application of various technology tools in education. The library contextualizes the online discussions into a broad framework of research and theory.

The Millennium Project offers more than simply a Web Page: it is a unique and vibrant community of scholars and educators interested in the possibilities of using contemporary technologies in a variety of educational settings, organized into a compact and user-friendly Web site.

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