There are two primary reasons why public education must change and integrate information technology if it is to survive in the future. These two primary reasons could be the cost and the fight against the tax payers. The first is cost. If schools are to remain public then the public will decide, through taxes, how many resources the schools can have. The second is Tax payers. The tax payers all over the nation have been sending a very strong message that the schools are costing too much, while at the same time criticizing the public school system for not doing a good enough job. Our current system, where professional teachers deliver all of the educational experience from the isolated kingdom which is each classroom, is costing too much. Salaries are 80% to 90% of each school budget. This is at a salary level that does not attract people to the teaching profession for the money, or the prestige. Combining educational reform with technology can allow us to maximize the time and efforts of the good teachers. Teaching is interacting with students, not taking attendance or duplicating handouts. There could be many, less skilled, educational support jobs in the schools of the future (Layton 1). There is also a need to provide the teachers and students time together when and where it is most needed. Currently we have very rigidly structured school days. Often this rigid structure will interrupt a dynamic lesson, or leave a student with nothing to do while the rest of the class finishes. To maximize each student's time and each teacher's interactions with their students, we need a flexible, demand driven, schedule. Where each student can get her individual needs met while maximizing the efficient use of the teacher's time (Alcorn 1). As science has been discovering how the human mind works, we have learned a lot about learning. Expecting every student to respond equally to the same type of learning environment is not realistic. To achieve the best results it is necessary to create an individual curriculum for every student. In order to be able to even approach this goal the school will have to use technology to track each student's work, communicate with the teachers, parents and other students, and to assure that the student's work is evaluated and that the school is accountable to the community for the success of the student (Layton 1). There is also the possibility that technology will allow a single teacher to reach thousands of students around the world. This needs to be viewed very critically as human contact is still a necessity for a good learning environment, but the potential is there for distance learning to play a much greater role in the school of the future. Combine this with a system where the customer, students and parents, determine who teaches and how much they are compensated, and we could increase the effectiveness of our educational salary dollars. Schools are currently baby-sitting students while their parents are at work. If society wishes schools to teach and baby-sit then we must have buildings and personnel to imprison the children for 8 hours a day until they turn 18. If society can do without the baby-sitting it opens up many possibilities. Private schools have the luxury of telling the students to take a hike if they are not doing the work. If public supported education were viewed as not being bound by time, then the public school system could offer its students the option of taking some time off if that student is unwilling, or unable, to continue in school. This would require a system that would track a student's learning through many years and many different locations. This system could be a major step towards a life long educational system. Public schools would be able to extend their learning environment beyond the walls of the building, with students working at home and in the community, only coming to the school when there was a need for face to face interactions. The other major reason that public education needs to take advantage of technology is that our world is changing. This change is being lead by an economic change from an industrial economy to an information economy. The schools must prepare their students to participate in this new economy, using the technology upon which it is based. When the majority of the new information in the world is in digital form, it will not do for the schools to only have access to eight year old text books. The amount of information in the world is increasing geometrically. To remain current in any field a person has to be continually learning new skills. This new economy rewards learners. We are also entering an age where our social boundaries are changing. It is more important how you are connected than from where you are connected. If you are from one of the industrialized nations you have access to the phone system and commercial television which can put you in touch with the world. If you are one of the increasing numbers of people who are on line, your friends and your neighbors are no longer defined by the confines of your community, but extend to people with common interests throughout the world through an interactive, on line, service. These changes will continue into the future with social structures atrophying due to lack of purpose and other structures taking their place. The definition of citizenship will change as people's definition of community changes. Preparing children for global citizenship requires access to the whole world. Below is a story which illustrates a potential future for our public schools. This is one of my personal visions. It is not a utopia, but it is an optimistic future where people's basic goodness has been the prominent force when decisions are made about our children and their future. This is my personal vision. Each individual has her own vision of what the future of education will be like. It is important to develop a personal vision and to be aware of the visions of all of the people that are involved with your school's transition. Giving this story to everyone involved and discussing people's reactions to it might be useful for starting a dialog on where your school should be headed. We need good teachers. Education is the interaction between a learner and a teacher. There is very little that technology can do to improve the education which our public school system delivers that is not directly connected with improving the work environment of the teachers and students. Good teachers like their students. The most satisfying part of their work is the interactions between themselves and their students. This is what information technology must protect and promote. A failed individual costs more than society can afford to pay. How much is it worth for a person to contribute to society instead of being dependent or in prison? Students are individuals. They are not a product or a raw material. It is a gargantuan task to meet each student's individual educational needs and to educate each child to her greatest potential. This individualization of public education can not be done, with the resources that society can make available to the public schools, without extensive use of technology. Technology and educational transition are intertwined. Today's traditional educational system derives very little benefit from adding technology. It is only when the whole system is re-evaluated with the goal of improving education and cost effectiveness by using all of the tools that technology and our modern society make available that schools can successfully integrate information technology.