Re: Musings on technology and organizational learning

Robert Levi (
Tue, 6 Dec 94 10:06:31 MST

I'd like to respond to Alexia's previous posting (too long to repeat here).
Hello Alexia! Nice to hear from you. I, too, feel a certain interest in
using technology to promote learning (organizations). I would love to begin
a gentle dialogue around this topic (no need to flame).

Having worked with computer technology most of my life (since age 10), I am
very comfortable with it--I use it every day, and make my living
facilitating others to use it also. What I read in your posting is that you
are interested in whether technology can assist people in taking effective

Just to toss in some other feedback, I listened carefully to Fritjof Capra's
keynot at the Pegasus conference in S.F. and this is what I heard:
Technology and sustainability are not compatible, because technology is
inherently about *control* (i.e. controlling the computer to accomplish a
task, a program controlling certain functions, etc.). People, on the other
hand, do not like to be controlled, and a sustainable culture would not
strong elements of control present in it.

Now that I've gotten that off my chest, back to your original question,
which I would like to reframe slightly:
How can the use of technology promote learning in such a way as to enable
effective action without controlling (i.e. limiting) the process?

My thoughts are that it is possible, theoretically, to do this, in that
technology is constantly growing in capabilities (just look at the
internet), and therefore, complexity. It's the complexity issue that relates
to effective learning, I think. As the technological systems becomes more
complex, they are naturally more prone to chaos, requiring increasing
expertise such as yours and mine to keep it running smoothly. This
inherently has an effect on the users, who do not necessarily feel
comfortable using tools that they do not fully understand. This, therefore,
has an impact on whether they can act effectively using the technology.

I know this is a bit off the mark, but in the spirit of dialogue I'd like to
suspend this in the center. Looking forward to further conversation.
Robert Levi | voice:303/665-6679,x361 | fax:303/665-0757
Alexander Dawson School | email: |
4801 N. 107th St. | Lafayette, CO 80026 | Director of Computing