Vol. 11, No. 1
ISSN: 1546-2676

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Kappa Omicron Nu FORUM,
Vol. 11, No. 1. 
1546-2676. Editor: Dorothy I. Mitstifer. Official publication of Kappa Omicron Nu National Honor Society. Member, Association of College Honor Societies. Copyright © 1999. Kappa Omicron Nu FORUM is a refereed, semi-annual publication serving the profession of family and consumer sciences. The opinions expressed by the authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of the society. Further information: Kappa Omicron Nu, PO Box 798, Okemos, MI 48805-0798. Telephone: (727) 940-2658 ext. 2003

Interested in submitting an article to KON FORUM? Papers are now being accepted for review.


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Kappa Omicron Nu


Editor’s Message

This publication highlights some typical experiences with information technology (IT), but we don’t pretend to present an inclusive summary of all that’s going on in our field—that wasn’t our goal. We do think this issue explores some important territory: a focus on the use of IT to improve teaching and learning, an examination of IT as a research tool, and an exploration of our role in helping individuals, families, and communities to use IT to facilitate reflection, dialogue, and critical action—all needed for empowerment. It seems to me that this issue can help all of us critique the role of technology in our lives and those we seek to influence.

EDUCAUSE, a higher education association for the purpose of transforming higher education through IT, recently published Dancing with the Devil (Katz & Associates, 1999a) to frame the issues of IT to enrich the dialogue on college campuses. We hope this issue of FORUM enriches the dialogue in our field in higher education but also in other domains. The following summary (Katz & Associates, 1999b, p. 119) of insights by essayists in Dancing with the Devil have implications for our individual environments:

  • Engage your community (family, neighborhood, government, institution, business) in developing a vision—IT investment requires broad elements of the community to align their direction and efforts.
  • Develop the capacity for change—resistance to change can be overcome by enriching and extending the instructional program in the community.
  • Devise strategies—an articulated plan should include strategic guidelines and program development parameters, a rigorous business plan, and a rapid evaluation process.
  • Develop the community personnel—individuals will need education for their roles as designers of learning experiences, processes, and environments.
  • Manage IT as a strategic asset—IT can be utilized by the community to increase the quality and productivity of programs and services, and it must be treated the same as any other community asset in budgeting and financial management decisions.
  • Focus on outcomes—enhancement of educational offerings will depend on the quality of teaching and learning.

Duderstadt (1999), in sharing his glimpse of the future, challenges us to “aspire to a ‘culture of learning’ in which people are continually surrounded by, immersed in, and absorbed in learning experiences” (p. 25). Can there be a more compelling vision?



Duderstadt, J. J. (1999) Can colleges and universities survive in the information age? In R. N. Katz & Associates, Dancing with the devil (pp. 1-25). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Katz, R. N., & Associates. (1999a). Dancing with the devil. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Katz, R. N., & Associates. (1999b). Tying things together: Advice for the practitioner. In R. N. Katz & Associates. Dancing with the devil (pp. 119-122). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.