All systems of education are faced with the introduction, development and maintenance of information and communication technologies (ICT) in schools. The technologies themselves are being developed at an ever-increasing rate. It was at the beginning of the 1980s that many education systems began to introduce computers into schools, with other following suit somewhat later.

What is it that educational planners need to know about the introduction of computers for the first time into schools, and what is it that planners need to know for systems that already have computers in the schools but need to develop the relevant technology and teaching? Some of the questions taken up in the booklet have been presented below to give a flavour of the content:

For pupils and schools and the system:

-- To what extent can and should curriculum reform take rapid technological changes into account?

-- What contributions can ICT make to the changing roles of pupils and teachers in schools?

-- How much of the traditional curriculum needs to be dropped to make space for new content and processes?

-- What kinds of equipment and what amounts are needed?

-- What are the features of the ICT infrastructure that are crucial for smoot and safe e-traffic?

-- What guidelines are needed to help e-travellers to find their way around the Internet, and who can maintain the system?

For teachers:

-- Which new kinds of skills do teachers need for dealing with ICT?

-- Which conditions must be in place if staff development in ICT is to be successful for making an impact on practice?

-- Which models of staff development have been adopted since the mid-1990s?

-- Which school conditions are important if ICT is to succeed?

For national policies:

-- What kinds of policy goals need to be pursued?

-- Which implementation strategies have been used, and which appear to be effective?

-- What are the main issues and challenges that need to be considered when formulating national policies for ICT?

These are the kinds of issues that all countries face -- whether they are countries just beginning to introduce ICT into schools, or are in the second stage of development having had ICT for 10 or more years and are considering further development. In both cases, the use of ICT in education is still evolving and there are no hard and fast guidelines available. Nevertheless, it is important that educational planners dispose of a state-of-the-art account of what is known, even in an evolving field. All planners are confronted with the task.