Along these lines, if somewhat tangentially, are some questions that I’ve wondered about for many years.
- How do research and teaching interact, and how might they act to catalyze one another in the best of possible practices?
- What sort of role could information technology play in integrating the two missions of inquiry and instruction?
- What are the obstacles that inhibit the process of integration?
More and more we hear the complaint that the gap between research and instruction is widening and a vital sense of motivation is falling between the cracks. It is our vision that intelligent computing systems will become a partner in the reintegration of discovery and learning within the inquiry process. We will address certain issues that must be faced if computer media are to have the characteristics necessary to support this integration. The development of the computer to date has required a careful attention to the syntax and semantics of the rather limited symbol systems we have induced them to use. A capacity for communicating in multiple modalities with non-uniform communities of symbol users — for sharing in the discovery of a pluralistic universe — will demand a quantum leap in our understanding of the pragmatic dimensions of symbol use. In the future the capacity for inquiry must permeate the living architecture of the computer system. A computer program that begins to embody these ideas will be discussed.