Education and the 'Dark Side' of IT
Recent advances in information technology have dramatically enhanced the quality and value of computer-based hypermedia flexible learning resources. Access to such resources is also rapidly improving with the use of local networking and Internet facilities, giving rise to genuine flexible materials. However, successfully developing and exploiting such resources requires a very special support computing environment. Advice and help need available on a host of different topics ranging from highly technical hardware problems, through how to use different software packages, to the essentials of screen design. Using experiences from Exeter University's IT Services, this chapter explores what sorts of facility needed and how these developed and maintained effectively, while addressing the traditional problems of cost, time and staffing. Although for offering practical solutions to support problems, this chapter also raises fundamental questions about how and why we exploit IT resources for teaching and learning and, indeed, whether we should exploit them in the first place.