Globally, education and healthcare are the two largest budget items for governments. Education represents a trillion-dollar investment, yet still looks very much like it did 100 years ago. From the administrative standpoint, educators are investing in ERP systems, portals, and converged networks to reduce costs, create efficiency, and better communicate with students, staff, and community.
As institutions of learning, schools need to make a fundamental shift—education must migrate from its traditional focus on information retention to a new approach that centers on information retrieval and analysis. A wide variety of Internet-based tools can assist in this process, reaching far beyond the most basic use of the Internet as an electronic encyclopedia. The Internet provides access to experts, dynamic representation of concepts and ideas, 3-D imaging and modeling, interactive models demonstrating cause and effect, and simulations. In addition, the Internet can support asynchronous and synchronous communications through text, and audio and video, as well as provide a platform for exhibiting and assessing student work.