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Published by Mourad Diouri

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Published by: Mourad Diouri on Feb 27, 2009
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10/17/2011

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A computer and its peripherals are often likened to an organism able to interact
purposefully with its surrounding realities, which are perceived and modified
through various receptors and effectors. This view helps to explain the principles
of industrial robots, guided missiles, and similar automata, but the metaphor
leaves out many other important applications of ICT.

One could also describe these complex hardware and software systems
as sets of smart tools or, rather, as teams of highly disciplined, indefatigable,
semi-self-governing artificial agents ready to execute strictly defined tasks.
By wisely commanding, controlling, and managing the work of those tools
or agents, we can increase:

the sensitivity of our senses, which enable us to perceive events and
communicate with other humans and machines over long distances;

the amount of data, information, and symbolic expressions that can be
processed and logically analyzed in a split second;

the efficiency, accuracy and precision of our manipulations of both
symbolic and material objects of the most diverse kind; and

our capacity to make sound decisions based upon intuitive judgments
and tacit knowledge.

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Still another way to understand ICT is to imagine them as extensions of
human organs and systems, including perceptive, reacting, thinking ones. These
extensions operate mostly in the created (artificial or virtual) reality,, presented
mostly by visual images. So we can use digital tools to clarify our inner picture
of the outside world, as well as to enhance our ability to manage space and time
while operating personal computer – a machine that works in permanent contact
with a human. Co-ordination between the human body, our senses, and the

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A HANDBOOK FOR TEACHERS

ICT IN SCHOOLS

personal computer is a critical issue in the effectiveness of using ICT. This
coordination is similar to that required by other artifacts designed and targeted
to human needs: tools for handicraft, furniture, eyeglasses, and many other
material objects.

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