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Senior PaperTomhave 7

horse understand that it needs to drink. I will extend this metaphor further in the next

phase as I provide an overview of solutions to the problems just established.

The first solution is to teach students and administrators how to transform

information into knowledge. It is one thing to know something and entirely different to

make use of it. Along with teaching people how to transform information comes the

need for tools that assist with this task. For example, some companies provide

relational databases to companies such as Target that are able to look at all the

purchase data and, after building meta-data about the actual data, push information to

the business about purchasing trends, etc. This sort of tool will become increasingly

vital as more information becomes available on the internet. Working with the

metaphor of making the horse drink, the aspect equates to teaching the horse to

recognize water. Once a horse is able to see water, recognize it for what it is, it can

then move on to learning what to do with it.

Along with the need for tools, the need also exists to move away from traditional

forms of imparting information. RTFM simply is not adequate anymore. Systems and

network administrators must understand why certain things need to be done, rather

than simply taking a checklist and ticking off responsibilities without really

understanding why things are done the way they are. The counter-argument has been

posed as to whether or not things like "How-To" books and manuals can ever be fully

supplanted by an actual desire for more thorough understanding. I believe the answer

is yes, though not for the current generation. My opinion really ties into the next


The second solution involves education. There are several aspects to this

solution, including teaching resources, teaching necessary skills, changing thinking,

and changing relationships. More will be said about each of these points later, but

suffice it to say that it all works toward the end of transformation education as a whole.