"The concept of open source software seems so firmly entrenched in higher education that it comes as almost a shock to realize there's actually a debate over it. But debate there was, civilized and trenchant, this week during the annual EDUCAUSE conference on technology in higher education in Orlando, Fla." Read more.
"A study conducted this year at Arizona State University sought to take a closer look at first-year students’ use of social networks, mainly Facebook and MySpace. While many of its findings aren’t surprising on the whole, the survey suggests potentially useful conclusions for educators thinking about how to use social networks to reach out to students—both as college applicants and as enrolled pupils. The study was presented at this year’s EDUCAUSE conference here in Orlando…." Read more.
"I'm in Orlando this week for EDUCAUSE. Most of the attendees work with technology in their jobs and know their stuff, but the tech business is not their primary industry, which means they are less cynical about the products and technology. They are excited about the products filling the show floor, and they are enthusiastic about the possibilities." Read more.
Want to blog the conference? Be sure to tag it with EDUCAUSE2008.
The EDUCAUSE keynote by Moira Gunn, host of Tech Nation on NPR (radio) is very good.
Live from the Exhibit Hall! What you're saying…
"My 'ah ha' moment: I was thinking about 'communication convergence' (e-mail, landlines, cell phones, txting, multimedia, Internet) and it occurred to me that although we have all these modes of communication, still no one seems to know what's going on. Why is that? Effective communication is about much more than technology and needs to be approached as an interdisciplinary problem." ~ Karen Kappinger, IT Director, Nazareth College
"I love the lightning rounds. You pack a lot in with a shorter amount of time." ~ Lucinda Lea
How does IT bridge the gap between faculty who are resistant to change an dare unwilling to work with IT to improve the services we can provide to the entire university community?"
"Great conference. First time attending. I've already heard great things from customers and have inquiries from great institutions. We look forward to having a greater role in the future. Love it." ~ Bryan St. Laurent
"One of our biggest challenges is IT funding. We're getting sucked into the marketing instead of using common sense. We decided to use our own people to build classrooms rather than outsource, and we're maximizing our 'old skills.' For example, the Director of Classroom Technology has a theater design degree—he designs the classrooms. Saves us thousands of dollars a year." ~ Milton Nielson, Texas State University-San Marcos
"[We're] developing multiple work-study staff levels to expose students to real world IT positions (team leads, network security, web development)."
"The processes that go on in your head are far more important than those in your CPU."
On IT project management:
"Open the communication process as early and as broadly as you can. Look for natural gathering spots—committees, existing constituency, and functional groups—to help get the word out and invite input."
On challenges facing the IT organization on campus: Our biggest challenge is getting faculty engaged. Those who have been there a while aren't understanding the crisis before them. We are not reaching our faculty consistently about the use of technology in learning.
On learning spaces vs. e-learning and distributed education: "Delivering teaching and measurable learning to where the learner is, when they wish to take it. This includes classrooms, too! Anywhere, any time, any device.
On uncommon thinking for the higher good: "The chairman of the English department and the head of ITS are teaching an English course for freshmen using Web 2.0 technologies—video, gaming, and blogging tools along with iTunes, Microsoft Live, and Mesh to teach Edward Spencer's TheFaery Queen. Students can be the story's characters in the gaming world."
Join us for EDUCAUSE 2009 in Denver
Mark your calendar now for EDUCAUSE 2009, November 3 –6 in Denver, Colorado. Experience the conference in a new and exciting way next year —participate as a presenter . Presenting offers an excellent opportunity to gain recognition for achievements and your institution, make valuable contacts, and strengthen public speaking skills. Submit proposals for preconference seminars (by January 12, 2009 ) or conference sessions (by February 17, 2009 ). Proposal guidelines and submission form will be online December 1 . Sign up to be notified when the form is available.
Enjoy the rest of your time in Orlando and safe travels home!