Think of this as Volume 16, Number 11 of A-Clue.com, the online newsletter I've written since 1997. Enjoy.
One is capability. The other is cost.
Health care resisted automation for decades after the PC. It only began succumbing (and it's a continuing struggle) after costs got so out-of-control that care became unaffordable for increasing parts of the middle class.
It didn't matter to doctors that PCs and networks could distribute data faster than their secretaries. Automation threatened their control of the customer. Not just the retention of the account, but the choices they made on treatment, their autonomy. Their power.
Some types of technology were acceptable. Systems that made it easier to get paid, new machines, these were readily accepted. But collecting and moving patient records didn't really start until the 2009 stimulus provided the money and set a firm deadline for the industry – about 2 ½ years from now. And even now progress is agonizingly slow, with doctors, clinics and hospitals making, not tech choices, but business choices. The winners in the Electronic Health Record market turn out to be the insurers and hospital networks, who are enhancing their own control over both patients and physicians.
Education has been much the same. Even after the Internet, and wi-fi, broke the cost barrier for networked education, principals and administrators have resisted technology fiercely, for the same reason doctors did.
It's about control. If kids have network access, they can learn things that aren't in the textbook. They may even learn that teachers are engaging, not in education, but in political indoctrination, enforced from on high. The smart ones might resist and get away.
The same is true, doubly true, in higher education. Even though networks make it possible for anyone to learn anything at any time, credentialism has locked kids into rote classrooms taught by unsympathetic drones at ridiculous prices.
Teacher-controlled education is as unsustainable as doctor-controlled health care.