I am spending the week at Campus Technology Magazine’s Next-Gen Conference. Over the week I thought it would be interesting to post the sessions I have attended in order to not only share some of the ideas presented, but hopefully foster a little discussion. I will be adding to this post, rather than adding multiple posts, so check back here to this post to see the updates.
You can find out more about the conference at the Campus Technology 2008 site, as well as an attendee generated site that includes other blog posts, twitter comments, etc. at http://sites.google.com/site/camptech08/
CIO Arizona State University
Three years ago, Adrian Sannier joined ASU as University Technology Officer, working in the Office of the President to implement cutting edge technologies in support of President Crow’s vision of the New American University. Sannier is a bold, outspoken campus technology leader whose initiatives are catapulting his campus into a future radically different from the institution’s past. Come share Sannier’s strategies for putting in place ground-breaking plans that will serve the next generation of students. These are actionable visions that include strategic technology choices—advancements that may be unfamiliar or even unpopular at first, but which carry enormous potential.
In his presentation Dr. Adrian Sannier outlined ASU’s vision for “A New American University.” Previous models in Higher Education, Sannier believes, restricted access to students, due to the selectivity in admissions, arguably to raise the prestige and value of the institution. Sannier continues that, new concepts of education, providing access through increased technology, are entering and changing the traditional university environment and the way teaching and learning occurs.
The vision of the “future” as depicted throughout our history has not lived up to expectations, e.g. flying cars, meals in a pill, etc. Yet despite our inability to reach this visionary future, tremendous technical abilities are available today that we simply take for granted. For example, Sannier muses that we do no indeed have telepathic powers, if telepathy is the ability to share thoughts instantly, text messages and IM, for example would qualify. And if we in academics take technology for granted, those entering higher ed, our students, have even greater expectations and demands.
Sannier points to the explosive growth of internet technologies such as Wikipedia and Amazon, where the functional development and pace of development is greater than users can define. Users, while not able to explain or define their needs, readily accept the tools that are developed developed. This rate adoption is leading to, not only greater expectations of students, but greater and greater development.
As an example, Sannier asks, “How many campuses have convergent networks versus how many homes?” Then claims, “we [higher education] are falling behind.”
Technology is not the only issue. So is how and what we are teaching with that technology. Sannier point this out by asking, “Who uses calculators anymore, except kid’s in school.” He also states, “Abraham Lincoln could go to any class and know exactly what to do… go to class, take the test, tell the instructor what he told me, oh and make sure not to bring my cell phone in to class.” Did Abraham Lincoln have a cell phone?
Considering the dominance of technology use by our students, Sannier believes it is worth asking, “Why are students using technology [laptops, cell phones, iPods, etc.] in class? Are they distracted by this technology? Is it technology that distracts, or are courses boring?” Sannier then re-frames the question for those of his generation, “How many folks read the paper in class rather than listening to the lecture?”
Sannier then quotes, “In their basic business of teaching students we have not diverged much from Socrates, except that they have come in doors,” Frank Rhode and John Chambers, “Many agree that technology should play a greater role, however, I believe many do not know the extent that it should, or when that will take place.”
In his last point highlighting the difference between traditional higher education and today’s environment affected by technology, Sannier asks, “If you were starting a new university would you invest in a building to house books?” And recommends that we “burn down the libraries!”
So how is ASU and Sannier addressing these issues?
Sannier recommends six (only touched on five due to time constraints) things that should happen on campuses:
1. Move from Context to Core
Sannier begins by suggesting, campuses have been spending money on technology for years, with decreasing benefits. Sannier argues that, in the 1990′s campuses had better technology: email, internet, etc. than the commercial sector, but now lag behind despite increased spending. This is primarily due to the continued support of technologies that are essentially commodities. Sannier believes campuses should be investing on user services that are unique to their campus or programs and that serve as key differentiators, not common business applications (SIS, financial, etc.) and practices. What role will payroll systems play in a student’s decision-making about where to attend school? How will parking payments affect grant funding? As an example, ASU spent 400,000 on email, service was terrible, and they allocated storage space in MB. How can campuses compete? Sannier asks.
Sannier describes core processes as the ones that differentiate your institution, everything else is context. Again, what student would choose a college because of their SIS, as opposed to the LMS? Many of these services are now standard, just like electricity, and Sannier puts forth, “who uses electricity as a metric for their collage?”
According to Sannier, campuses should devote resources on core (80%), not context. See: “Does IT Matter,” “The Big Switch: Our New Digital Destiny.” The number of resources available outside the campus far exceeds the resources available inside. Why are networks still managed on campus?
Sannier then introduced the “concept of one,” that is, collapse all services that are not standardized. This eliminates the context, and allows resourcing of core. To illustrate this concept, Sannier introduced a case study. At Apple they removed all centralized commodity services and devoted to core. This freed resources to create the iTunes application and data center to support it. Look to move context to providers who are larger and richer. And as a personal case study, ASU moved 65,000 students to GMail in two weeks, saving $400K a year.
Finally, Sannier recommends, “These decisions should not be held back by campus consensus.” Believing rather that the IT department is best positioned to to define core IT and thus to manage it.
The result, campuses need to partner with commercial providers, yet recognizing that this relationship has often been frustrating and acrimonious, campuses need to simply get over it. “ASU is “sleeping with the devil.” Sannier says, and is moving to all commercial providers to support context: E-Mail, ISP, networking using Qwest, Oracle, Apple, Cisco, Dell, Google, Cannon, Verizon, etc.
Sannier believes there are too many companies offering these services now, at a cheaper rate, and with better service. Campuses can’t keep up.
Your most important IT staffer will become your campus lawyer who develops and manages contracts, procurement and service Level agreements.
2. Cop to Concierge
Sannier states, “Everyone in on campus is a cop and a lawyer.” Arguing, campuses are quick to cite rules and regulations that limit end-users technology. Yet technology is now more available to campus users than ever and most of it can be accessed without the need of or for IT support. Sannier has a word: “Amazon.com-ification” and points the ASU website as an example. Rather than route the campus staff through IT to perform tasks, such as reporting, ASU exposes the data to anyone and lets them manage their own data. The departments are responsible for obeying the rules, not IT. Perhaps an analogy might be, who is responsible for the speeding ticket the car manufacturer or the driver.
3. From Info to Intelligence
Once the IT rules have been removed, services can open up. Many campuses have dedicated folks to run reports, undertake data analysis, etc. ASU has developed Business Intelligence through “Dashbording” and data warehouseing. Oracle and Hyperion have been deployed to allow any department to drill through their own activities, accounting, etc. Again, the responsibilities, but also the value, in now with those who can actually define it.
Campuses should recognize that students will be independent technology users, forgoing dedicated campus driven IT infrastructure, and instead allow students to use whatever technology they are already natively using.
Again Sanneir states, “Burn Down the Library!” Why do we need hard copies when the content is digital and this is the preferred mode of our students? Sannier, provoking, would like to see the user statistics of libraries to justify their expense. Sannier adds, “Universities should also get out of the publishing business.” The whole publication process is now possible online from writing, to editing, to publishing. And again users would rather use digital technologies to create, edit, search for, and use the content.
5. From Traditional to Hybrid
Campuses are tool rich, the technology already exists to satisfy their business needs. The problem is cultural. Traditional business practices and approaches as well legacy systems dominate decision-making and thus future development.
Session 1: The 21st Century IT Department Today – and Tomorrow
CIO Wayne State University
How can your IT department help drive innovation and promote outstanding 21st century classrooms on your campus? Should IT be a service organization rather than a technology provider? Here’s how you can create an IT “force” that’s an innovative agent now, and well into the future.
The session included the use of an audience response system.
Dr. Camp focused on “leadership” and “core competencies.” His methods, he explained, are applicable to leaders despite the type of school, years in service of the staff or even specific role on the campus.
A poll of the audience was taken:
- most in the session were from 4 year doctoral campuses (33%), four year schools and two year schools were tied (17%).
- Most are non-IT leaders (67%)
- Most have 10 years + service (62%) within higher education.
Camp referenced several media articles that question the role of the CIO, his/her importance in the broader campus strategic decision-making, the overall ability to define developing technology, and his/her ability to maintain services despite growing demands.
- CIO responses: utility provider, educator, relationship architect, leader, information steward, integrator, strategist. Meeting expectations like a utility. Education is not limited to internal staff but also the campus community.
- CEO responses: Contribute to Business strategy, ensure reliable service, improve business process, ensure people can access accurate data, lp drive innovation.
There is an expectation that IT will provide more than technology, enhance business, improve practice, help define the future of the organization.
Characteristics of Effective Leaders
Camp then outlined what he felt were the qualities that made effective IT leaders:
- Broad knowledge of IT and H.E.
- A vision, focus, and execution
- Outstanding communication
- Developer, mentor and motivator
- Passionate, compassionate and treats people with respect
- Rolls with punches
- Enjoys their work
- Willing to take reasonable risks.
Camp, citing the above, believes the best approach for developing IT leaders is promote those within education and research roles such as faculty and researchers (because they understand the business of higher education). Leaders, Camp also states, should expect the best from their peers and colleagues.
Camp, then presented what he felt were the core competencies for a successful IT department and campus. If, Camp contends, one can achieve these, then the IT department will have an opportunity to innovate.
- Concept: Vision is dreaming and alone accomplishes nothing; focus may make add to the vision but with only the two nothing will ever come of your great ideas, it is only when vision and focus are combined with execution can success be achieved.
- Practice: Vision is developed and expressed through strategic planning, Focus is achieved through IT Governance, and Execution through project and portfolio management. IT governance, Camp believes, is the overarching practice that allows and provides for the vision and execution. IT governance should not be a constraint, but rather inclusive: engaging with the right people in frequent communications with processes that allow people to execute. Camp points to recent ECAR research found that most campuses do not feel they are managing IT (IT governance) well.
- Camp emphasized that, strategy is about defining a campuses competitive advantage and noted Sannier’s Keynote concept of “Context to Core.”
- Governance organization: Camp suggests that committees alone will not provide good strategies on their own and that IT should introduce “overarching principles” to guide the committee and its decision-making. Camp recommenced a three tiered governance structure, including an over-arching IT steering committee, with reporting committees such as Academic Systems, Non-academic and IT Architecture, reporting up to it. These, in turn, are informed by various ad hoc technology committees.
- Governance principles: Camp then recommends, that campuses should align IT resources and services with the strategic goals and objectives of the institution. Invest in IT resources and services that provide the institution with a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining students, faculty staff and external support. Support initiatives that support best practices and promote collaboration in both decision-making in order to prioritize and maximize resources.
- Governance processes: Camp outlined how initiatives are developed through proposals that work their way up through the committee structure.
- And finally Camp emphasized that IT departments need buy-in from the “highest levels” to determine direction and development.
- Adopt a PM methodology (none were specifically discussed or promoted)
- Charter each project
- Schedule tasks, leaders, durations, resources, before development
- Mange and motivate teams with project status meetings
Dr. Camp then introduced the “Worry Curve” by Dennis Young of Project Success inc. Dr. Camp feels this approach is beneficial as it plots the concerns that increase over time. Recognizing that keeping a project on schedule is the key to avoiding frustration and concerns from the stakeholders weekly meetings are held with the CIO asking how each team member is doing on their specific tasks. Dr. Camp emphasized that these are not working meetings, just status reports, but if a problem is uncovered, then the team brainstorms.
Dr. Camp was a strong believer in a Matrix organizations and their ability to manage projects.
Dr. Camp also touched on Portfolio Management in order to maintain and administer all of the campuses IT services. At Wayne State Portfolio Management includes a chart that lists all of the department’s resource allocations, including “innovation.” This provides dedicated time for staff to investigate and vision.
Session 2: Mastering Smart Classrooms
Moderator: Scott Walker, CTS, LEED
University of Notre Dame
George Mason University
Audiovisual consultant Scott Walker (past president of InfoComm International) shares with a panel of university tech pros the peaks and valleys of smart classroom design. Challenges, stumbling blocks, hidden opportunities and smart solutions are highlighted. Find out from design and campus tech experts what you’ll need to know in 2008-2009.
Mr. Walker presented InfoComm research that identified Higher Ed. as one of the largest areas of growth in AV implementations and spending. The key driver is the new technologies in use on campuses for teaching and learning, not only PowerPoint but, podcasting, YouTube, audience feedback, etc.
The Panelists introduced the learning spaces in place, and it’s distribution on, campus. Each had 200+ rooms with technology.
Key points: Standardization and Support
Notre Dame: Nimtz noted that the Office of Information Technologies has divided technology classrooms into types from A- H based on the equipment used and its costs. Type “M: would be unlimited and included virtualization labs.
George Masson: The Department of Instructional Technologies (DoIT) defines base lines based on use (type of instruction) to define classrooms. Silverman highlighted George Mason’s staffing and the service agreements they provide: 20+ staff provides a 5min response times to any faculty member in a class. Silverman also highlighted the value of the implementation of a systems monitoring tool that allows the department to monitor actual use through statistical data, and alarms that sound when service errors occur.
ND: Once a standard template defining the media available was designed, internal staff deploy technology based on classroom use. Notre Dame’s campus woodworkers actually build each class’ lectern to fit the room and technology. The school also uses a significant number of interns which support the classroom help line.
GM: Traditionally the campus had used external contractors to install technology due to problems with initial, in-house deployment. However as several incidents occurred that highlighted the value of having qualified staff locally to support classroom technology issues that occur outside the contractor’s SLA. For example weekend and after hours support and ad hoc needs. The IT department is now providing InfoComm training for six staff. The training will provide local staff to deploy 20 classrooms with 20 staff. However now that the staff is qualified and available, project management has become a major issue. The campus does not calculate implementation costs equally when assessing internal and external costs.
Question from the Audience: “How did you determine which controllers to use”
ND: Had a AMX system, but due to support issues moved to Crestron.
GM: Also using Crestron due to support benefits.
Q: How are campuses managing access control of not only controllers but other issues like lighting, shades, light switche, etc.
Wavegate: Tries to promote a concept that “we’re not AV guys” but facilities folks. As such, audio visual professionals should be involved from the moment design begins. After all the primary purpose for these rooms are for delivering presentations, therefore the presentation tools should be the priority.
ND: Working with architects and facilities before projects begin to educate them of the technical requirements and integrate into design rather than after construction.
GM: Silverman provided a practical example: energy use and consumption. Working with facilities was beneficial for not only wiring but also power.
Q: What are some of the biggest issues you are facing with new technology?
ND: The quick pace of video displays from traditional to 16:9 aspect ratios. To try and address the issue, the campus is building video boxes with black fabric that allows installing wide screen, by simply removing the fabric, and installing wider screens.
T: Deploying Trizenter three screens. Struggling with room dimensions that allow width and still access white boards, desks etc. Currently have the widest aspect ratio by default in controller.
GM: Is waiting for wide format projectors. Looking for projectors that work well with Mac resolutions.
Q: LEED Certification, how to design a room with green technology
Wave: Developed a concept of “zoning the sun.” Emery wanted to put natural sunlight in the class. Walker proposes developing different shading specs that allow various ambient light.
Q: “How smart do the users want the classroom to be? Ease of use vs. technology enabled”
ND: Designed for ease of use. Many advanced features are not presented by default and require special training.
GM: First deployed all technology and had significant training, prior to faculty use (a 15″ touch panel control). Moved to a 6″ panel with only four buttons. Most faculty do not need training to use basic and most common features.
T: Standardized control panel layout to provide constancy. Each panel has a help button with web links.
Wave: Believes design was oriented toward the 20% power users vs. 80% general users. Now recommends looking at usage before investing in new technology.
T: Many faculty still using VHS.
Q: More folks want to implement rich media capture? How are you supporting this (staff to record, training, etc.)
ND: More of the courses are incorporating this but most is occurring through grassroots efforts managed by interested faculty.
GM: Piloting in one classroom. Also supporting faculty who have developed rich media by hosting it on the campus website/LMS.
T: Has a secondary unit on campus that supports 29 class capture systems. They are approaching 1 million minutes through an automated automatic capture system.
Wave: University of Tennessee wants all classrooms to provide capture technologies. Implemented pressure pad that activates recording, monitors faculty location and adjusts camera shots, etc.
Audience: Developed a test bed to build out specs with various technologies. Found “best fit” and let faculty use the room.
The session ended on this note and thanks to the panelist.
Session 3: Poster Presentations
Web 2.0 Beyond the Classroom: Institutional Planning Through Openness, Collaboration, and Self-Organizing Groups [view poster]
State University of New York, Delhi
State University of New York, Delhi
Session 4: Organizational Transformation: IT as a service
The session takes the audience far beyond the Drexel Innovator story published in Campus Technology in 2007. Today IT at Drexel has transformed itself by stepping into a centrally supported sandbox, intelligently exploiting outsourcing to companies such as rSmart, and Moodlerooms rather than all tech services on its own. Now IT pros can focus not merely on technology, but on providing the right service in the right way, while IT strategically drives innovation campus-wide.
Dr. Bielec started his presentation with a provocative observation, “Technology development is disrupting technology delivery on campus.”
Students and users, he observed, have a choice of web based services, “just a click away.” Many of these services are free or simply require a no monthly subscription. These tools can be accessed, and included in courses, as business tools, etc. under radar of the IT department.
The IT landscape is moving from institutional, were IT departments maintained “Enterprise Services” to personal, where individuals develop and manage their own tools and data. As a result, Drexel no longer provides personal services and, for example, has replaced, dorm phones, printing departmental bills, email, computing labs, etc. The institution is only providing infrastructure that supports access to these services by the campus community. They don’t provide transportation, just the roads. Users can determine if a bike, car, truck, or walking is the best transportation. By shifting the responsibility for personal computing to the individual, the campus can resource other services.
Bielec, believes the challenge is to control chaos while fostering innovation as services move from assets to access.
Bielec points to several ERP services, that are a click away: CRM, Employment, Purchasing, Benefits, Career Services, Resume, Email, Bookstore, LMS, etc. Academic services include: File share, IM & Chat, Wikis, Games, Blogging, etc.
Campuses, Bielec believes, need to recognize innovation end points, that is, those IT services that can and cannot be supported. Traits include:
- Enterprise IT: seldom innovative, core Institutional initiative, fragmented ownership, comicality, etc.
- Often innovative, personal ownership, unique, limited impact, non-integrated.
Drexel’s rules for IT support are:
- Use technology to improve business
- Foster individual innovation (these may or may not transition to enterprise level)
examples, gmail, hotmail, second life, Sakai, Moodle, Rich Media RMCP, MIT Courseware, etc.
Bielec highlights the CIO’s and IT Department’s role in addressing these changes in institutional services and support.
- Shift to strategist
- Foster innovation
- Identify best in breed
- Focus on integration
- Mange contracts and SLA‘s
- Network management and client services (help desk, desktop support)
- Identity management
Bielec also identified the enterprise and vendor level changes that this new-user model, where services are a click away from users and distributed, will affect:
- The data center disappears
- Applications and vendors disappear, and move to service providers.
- Service dominate: SaaS, ITaaS, S+S
- Client funding moves to pay as you go
- LMS disintegrates into a framework to access distributed learning objects
Will faculty price themselves out of the market?
- Could course development move to a Wikipedia model: Wikipedia is launching a medical encyclopedia, do we need anything else?
- Online courses become a commodity: 40% of all students take the same 20 courses
- What will differentiate one institution from the other: residential experience adds value. When courses are commodities, where is the value of a college?
Are campuses ready?
What will be the impact: strategic advantage or disadvantage. Will IT be a leader?
- How are you using IT to transform practices?
- What assets have been eliminated and replaced by access?
General Session: The 2008 Campus Technology Innovation Awards
Campus Technology announces the projects, project leads and vendor partners who broke new pedagogical ground through the use of the use of technology, attracted new students, and even saved dollars in the process. Full descriptions can be seen at: www.campustechmology.com
Mobil Learning: Abilene Christian University
- Smart phones as a mobile learning platform. 1000 students receive iPhones.
Virtual World Learning: Ball State University
- IDIAA has Created an aesthetic Camera that allows film students to produce movies in Second Life.
Emergency Preparedness: Bryant University
- Created direct radio communications between first responders, campus management, and res-life. Based on success, Bryant extended the network into the local community and then into the tri-state area.
Web Conferencing and Blended Learning: Cal State Fullerton
- W.M. Keck Foundation Center’s instruments and faculty are now available remotely throughout the Cal State system. Web conferencing allows training and consultation.
Business Intelligence: Cuyahoga Community College
- Created a college-wide BI tool to provide real-time data access to the entire campus.
Interactive Remote Learning: Furman University
- Created a virtual, fully interactive, field trip. The walking tours used Google maps to guide students throughout the US.
Student Advising Technology: Harford Community College
- Deployed application that allows students to swipe ID’s when entering Advising Office. Advisers get student profiles, pictures, transcripts, etc. before they meet with students. The system also schedules staff and appointments.
Network Security: Ohio Dominican University
- Created holistic Information Security system.: analyzed failures, inefficiencies, vulnerabilities, etc.
Collaboration Tools: Texas A&M University
- Created unified messaging through a communications hub: calendaring, mail, storage, etc. Moved 60,000 mail accounts in three weeks. System allows integration with a variety other services through “Zimlets.”
Social Networking for Admissions: University of Nebraska-Lincoln
- Created a private social network for admitted UNL undergrads. Provides access to advisers, schedules, enrollment tasks, and future classmates/roommates.
High Performance Computing: University of Northern University
- Created dedicated educational HPC environment. Edu-Grid provides HPC to educators and students from middle school through to the University, usually limited to research labs.
Enhanced Learning and Assesment: Worcester Polytechnic Institute
- Deployed a variety of Web2.0 tools in science courses to create a “community of scientists,” to share data, ask questions and collaborate on projects.
Tablet PC’s: College of William and Mary
- Encouraged faculty and students to integrate tablets into large lectures, labs and professional work.
Digital Media Training and Support: Ball State University
- Created a dedicated group, Digital Corps, to train faculty and students in media development. Corps is composed of students.
Session 5: Meeting the Data Proliferation Challenge While Building Academic Cyber Infrastructure
Johns Hopkins University
Research universities tackling the problems of large-scale data archiving and retrieval are forging a path to the future—in which all types of institutions will benefit from best practices for building cyberinfrastucture to support teaching and learning. In November, 2007, Choudhury joined other leading digital archiving experts for the inaugural meeting of the Sun Preservation and Archiving Special Interest Group, dedicated to working on the unique problems of storage and data management, workflow, and architecture for very large digital repositories. Hear the buzz from PA-SIG, plus Choudhury’s perspectives on higher education’s cyberinfrastructure.
Themes of the presentation focus on infrastructure. Choudhury, points to the automobile as an excellent example of infrastructure development. In early history “streets” did not look as they do today, with a variety of activities taking place on the street (for example, sales) as well as a variety of vehicles (the horseless carriage). In some parts of the world, streets do not appear that different than before and cars are seldom seen. The use of these roads affect the way people move, communicate, work, etc.
In the US a systematic effort was undertaken to upgrade the roads to meet the changing demands, e.g. lanes, sidewalks, high speed highways, on-ramps, etc. “Historical infrastructures become ubiquitous, accessible, reliable and transparent as they mature. …they do what we expert them to do and do not do what we expect them not to do.” – Amy Friedlander, JEP Triple Helix
Infrastructure development goes through stages: system building within specific communities (a bottom-up development based on real-world needs), transfer across domains and locations leading to variations in design and competing systems), systems merge typically through process and consolidation or developing gateways (standards). For example, these stages were seen in the development and growth of the railways. Initially local communities developed their own railroads, with various gauges (track widths), as these extends standards were developed.
Sloan Digital Sky Survey
In 1992 began to acquire data and finished this year. In the first two years of the project, they had accumulated more data than all of the data collected prior to the survey. This is know as the “Cosmic Genome Project.” The project generated 40TB of public data, 5TB of processed catalogs, 2.5 terapixels of images and is the largest repository of astronomic data in the world.
Based on use, the project began to develop educational programs, the most popular being, “Galaxy Zoos.”
National Virtual Observatory
A complementary effort that provides data sharing and interoperability, web-based tools for astronomy research, and other resources. Choudhury believes this effort serves much like the standardization seen in the railroads, by providing a forum for various researchers using different, independent, tools to collaborate and share resources through a common interface and tool-set.
Efforts are underway in other disciplines as well, to put in place the lessons learned from the above projects for other sciences: data collection, organization, access, presentation, sharing, etc. These include, environmental and soil science, turbulence research and radiation oncology.
The similarities in how the subject matter is collected and defined (images, grids, data types, coordinates, color, shape, etc.) allows for abstraction of the techniques and applying them to many other data sets. Galaxies and tumors share features that the tools can associate.
Data Curation System Components
Choudhury and Johns Hopkins is creating a system that would allow the above. Collection efforts of data includes mining and cataloging of public data. Rather than asking external folks to share data, which is not likely due to the workload imposed on contributors, the project collects data as authors submit work to publishers and they publish data.
The system then stores the data with metadata, as digital objects and ancillary information. In many cases the system will point to existing resources rather then replicate or won them.
Open Archive Initiative and Open Exchange and Reuse is extending the idea of “published work” to include the underlying data that was used in the final publication. Rather than simply referencing the final product, tools allow for collection aggregate components and then draw relationships between elements within the paper and other public works.
Effort by SUN Microsystems to change the fundamentals of storage technologies with an emphasis on data management, not only back-up and restore. The hope is to create dynamic databases that are “self aware” and can present data without specific quires, but rather based on conditions.
Also looking at data hardware and long term maintenance: PASIG estimates that one petabyte (PB) of data would cost one million dollars to maintain over ten years.
Architecture: file systems vs. databases.
Where do your local campus systems fit into this discussion?
- How are your campus’ content repositories (course work, references, etc.) integrated with teaching and learning tools?
Will our scholars interface with our systems?
What is your institution’s strategic plan for infrastructure development?
- Considering the increasing use of online services including data (course work, administrative systems, etc.) is your campus spending more on physical or digital infrastructure?
Questions from the audience
How does OAI-ORE specifically incorporate text publications?
PDF and HTML documents can be indexed and published to specific datasets.. That dataset is then accessible as independent references or as integrated references that point to one another.
What about copyright?
OAI-ORE is operating with an assumption that there will not be IP issues, developing the technology as a proof of concept.
What recommendations do you have for further development considering the broad set of actors/players?
Rather than defining a specific path for development, look to identify developments in the community. Also look to current developers, libraries and academic publishers to recognize and adopt the open standards around data archiving.
Session 6: Mandatory Cell Phone Programs: A Good Call
Edward V. Chapel & Patricia Kahn
Montclair State University
Montclair State is now providing communications and mobile services to a diverse faculty and student body the way they want it—via cell phone. All incoming students receive a GPS-enabled phone bundled with mobile learning, safety, community, and campus navigation tools. The program is keeping on-campus and commuter students engaged, and learning experiences dynamic. The university continues to build on the program and is using it to move full-tilt into Web 2.0 and 3.0.
Every student at Montclair has a cell phone supplied by the campus in an effort to remove land lines. Although now in place issues originally were 911, service (availability, network coverage) and number portability. The inspiration was the recognition that students are using cell phones already and the campus land lines were not in use. The campus wanted to exploit the way students are living.
The campus looked as SUNY Morrisville as a model, but wanted to extend the services to include a virtual campus experience, specifically student engagement. Pervasive wireless would provide students, who are primarily off campus, non-residential, with an ongoing “on-campus” experience.”
How could the campus leverage mobile technology:
- Upgrade traditional phone services
- voicemail, text, etc.
- Engage students though improved communication and community reenforcement
- polls to students
- Improve academic use of latest technologies.
- tied into Blackboard: IM, course notices,
- clickers in class
- Enhance public safety
- enhanced networking has developed land line quality
- use of emergency notification
- use “Rave Guardian” that allows students to notify campus police of movements on campus (i.e. nighttime escorts to parking lots at night). If student does not check in, police contact student, and if needed can track student via GPS.
- use data on students to notify first responders
- Leverage mobility and location based services
- use GPS to track shuttle buses, location of services, buildings, etc.
Standardization: Campuses should look to identify one phone/system
Proprietary: There are not open source tools to provide services, which requires partnering with and accepting the services of existing vendors.
Networks: Building out network capacity to handle the variety of services. Cellular and WiFi convergence.
Marketing to value: Originally mandated cellular phones, but now use service and features to entice use.
Administrative overhead: Highest in the inaugural years, as campus adopts and adapts.
Despite challenges, the program is one of the most popular.
Challenges for Educators
Educators wanted to be able to merge emerging technologies with teaching and learning. Specific goals included, add interactivity customize learning , promote constructivist approach, bridge gap between existing technology in use by students.
Students can access “Phone Apps” through web portal: Bb announcements, email, grades, alerts, etc. Students can also find groups. Students can also create their own groups. Each course has a group.
Blackboard pushes traditional services such as grades and announcements as well as podcasts.
Two groups surveyed (English and Business). English students did not use as much as their work was primarily writing assignments, not applicable for cell phones. Business students aslo reported that the cell phones contributed to learning. Both groups felt cell phones would be useful for class.
Students liked using the phone as easier access to course information rather than going online via a computer. Also enjoyed podcasts, but entire lectures where too long.
Faculty wanted to put too much information on the phone that was difficult to see.
College were encouraged by the interest in use by students, but needed to develop cell phone specific content.
New services and content were more engaging and create new material not available in courses (polling, group activities, text messages to blogs). For example, polling on phones were used in class. Students text into Rave their responses. Reports from faculty who have used polling found students more engaged.
Other uses included field work activities. Students had to walk around and find items based on vocabulary words. The same course included a scavenger hunt working in groups who must find and respond via text message.
Phase II Challenges
Campus developers assumed students, as “digital natives” would not have problems using the technology (texting, text to blog, connectivity, etc.). However significant work was needed to train the students.
Phone activation, group invites (contacting students/accepting invitations), comfort level of phones, did not want to give up their own personal phone (students in the future can use any phone).
Data suggests that there is no overwhelming evidence (positive responses were equivalent to negative responses) that cell phone enhance the learning experience.
Questions from Audience
What was the funding model?
The cell phones were funded by students, campus networking (Sprint/Nextel) was funded by an expectation of future service (subscriptions in the future). Student IT fees covered services, administration and applications.
What was the customer care for students?
Originally thought the campus IT services could provide support. Have moved to include customer care into phone service contract purchased by students.
Can polling be done on any phone/network?
Yes. Rave manages the polling and charges per use, independently of the provider.
Did Sprint/Nextel install infrastructure?
Yes: repeaters, cabling, etc.
Did you include e911?
Seems to be a fluid area, with many changes comeing, are you concerned about being locked in? How are you protecting yourself.
Built into the contract, the campus can exit with four month notice. Vendors realize this and are accommodating.
How have technology averse faculty responded?
All instructors are required to attend training if they plan to use cell phones in teaching.
Are instructors developing phone specific content for courses?
No, faculty are using default phone/rave functionality. While a SDK exisits, they are not using it.
What percent of faculty are using it? And does the blogging text entered in IM-speak get converted?
Currently in pilot, next year 70 out of 257 faculty will be using it. Students re-wrote text entered via phones. This served as a learning tool that re-enforced learning and led to reflection.
Session 7: From Social to Semantic Web: Blogs and Wikis to Mashups and Tagging
MIT and Campus Technology Contributor
How do you reach the semantic web first imagined by Timothy Berners-Lee? Batson takes us on a tour inside the latest Web 2.0 tools and applications, for a first-hand view of the technologies that may move us from common social software to that true semantic web. If you want a closer look at the tools and applications that will get us there, this session is for you.
Humans make the space. Batson uses the Vietnam Memorial as an example of how people and their interactions with a spce actually define it. While the wall is a strong memorial, it is the variety of interactions and artifacts left behind that makes it message even more powerful.
The web has evolved along the following framework
- One-to many
Collaboration is the theme and activity today, not only among users but among the applications they use. Batson links to his own nig account and groups to illustrate the collaborative forum of users and integration of tools.
Ning illustrates the concepts of web2.0: free, open access, collaborative, integration of various tools. Also as a social site includes social applications like wiki’s blogs, rss, etc.
Blogs: Personal Publishing
- self publishing allows mass distribution
- challenging traditional ideas around “authority”
Facebook: A cultural gathering place
- Lowers thresholds for meeting and interacting with others
- Allows users to remain connected, with minimal investment
- Culture does not expect formal or scheduled communications
- Allows users to monitor others without directly intruding on others
- Creates ab existential dilemma, “Trent Batson is…?”
People as Semantic Entities
The cliche of “Six degrees of separation” is applicable in the social network of the web. This, Batson, states this has been established in research and feels the same principles apply.
How do you manage the data that supports the semantic web.
The ability to find a house painter could be done by searching the web. This would provide an undistinguishable list. One could organize the painters to define their services, rates, specialties, etc. to do this would require the use of tagging (idiosyncratic as user defines description), WC3′s Resource Definition Framework (standardized definitions for describing content and context) and a Web Ontology Language (another initiative to define and organize information).
How to construct a semanic web?
Choices of similar users | semantic browser | profiles of user> learning | organization > semantics
Demo of Pellet.owldl.com, a semantic web browser
These browsers require users to build their own ontologies (a classification system)
Steps to semantic web
Character string search > character string informed by most popular > informed by browser history > organized by semantic resources
Demos of various examples of Mashups. Mashups allow the integration of various web services and data sets, into one user interface to that creates additional services.
But, ok, What will this mean?
Organizations are reorganizing content and data as well as how the view access and assemble data in different ways. However, will the ontologies that evolve accurately depict social and cultural expectations and norms?
Where’s the Learning?
Education already has developed dozens of “alternate” learning paths, and education is good at using them. Technology is readily seen as a compliment to these paths. How do these technologies and the use of these technologies challenge traditional teaching?
If the web is evolving naturally, and we went from a concept of “it,” to “me” to “us,” I think the semantic web just “is” that is a representation of our knowledge.
Batson agrees that the web is simply a space, but the semantic web is another way of organizing content and the associations between that content. Artificial intelligence will allow a search of “red hawk” to be relevant to the search on a city a beer or a bird.
Session 8: ePortfolios at Virginia Tech: Reflections on Cultural Change and Open Source Development
Shelli Fowler, Patrick Guilbaud, Anne H. Moore, Marc Zaldivar
Virgina Tech University
Are ePortfolios part of the learning infrastructure at your institution? This panel focuses on the technical orientations involved in deploying and using ePortfolios as well as instructional themes and learning perspectives at Virginia Tech. Using cultural change and adoption of innovation as conceptual guides, the discussion highlights key tenets to consider when developing learner-centered tools and engaging faculty and students in multi-faceted, complementary processes that benefit learning.
Upcomming accreditation and the need to show learning outcomes prompted VT to consider an ePortfolio.
VT recognized that many of the tools and artifacts created in those tools are digital and distributed.
Instructional technologies at VT have adopted constructivist methods in course design and delivery.
Would like to take the “e” out of eLearning, as VT recognizes this is a standard mode of education.
Goals & Organizational Change
When introducing not only the technology but the use of online learning and ePortfolios VT considered a variety of approachs: traditional top-down approaches, Strategic “incrementalism”, Center Periphery.
Barriers to addoption- first order (external issues, technology, funding, etc.), second order (internal faculty, students, administration, those using legacy systems processes)
The goal was to provide organizational change that resulted in creating online learning with defined learning outcomes (defining them, measuring them) through a motivated faculty and updated campus practices that supported and fostered the new service.
Fostering Change: GEDI case study
Graduate Education Development Institute is a collaborative initiative between Learning Technologies Office and Graduate School. Developed 16-week seminar, for credit graded seminar with 120+ students. As this work is extra workload, and not required, VT offers a Future Professoriate Graduate Certificate. GEDI emphasizes teaching and learning and pedagogy with graduate students interested in teaching as a career.
GEDI participants use the ePortfolio to develop their own professional identity, understanding their future job search, tenure, etc. Included subject matter is teaching activities, publications, research etc.
Students may use portfolio templates or create a portfolio based on standards to their own discipline. While specific information is common (CV, research interests, etc.), students have become quite creative in an order to represent themselves to “the market,” for example, creating their own demo courses that highlight their approach to teaching and learning. Students review, and comment on their classmates portfolios.
- 2002: VT joined the Open Source Portfolio: Student centered system, primarily used by early adopters, both faculty within courses and students who were creating their own accounts.
- 2005: OSP 2 merged with Sakai and provided integration with other learning tools, added new tools for assessment and reporting. A new focus emerged, combining student learning and broader academic goals, for faculty (course assessment), program assessment and the expected student assessment.
- 2008: CT ePortfolio Office opened. Focused on extending use and formal use within academic departments, Office of Assessment, Advising, Enrollment, etc.
First successes in course that already had portfolios: Art, English, Communication, Education, etc. Greatest work was with new programs, Engineer sing, Computer Science, etc.
Fowler then provided a Demo of OSP, which included a screen shot of a student-developed personal-profile; “The Matrix” which is a tool that tracks and presents student work within a specific programs (for example course assignments, personal reflection, achievements, etc.), students upload work that they feel reflect their learning within a course of a program, when the Matrix is complete a student should be ready to graduate; Students can then generate and publish a public profile that references their achievements including specific coursework, areas of special interest, etc.
Students use the Matrix as a checklist, to understand requirements for assessment and ultimately graduation, then, map those specific requirements to specific courses and coursework. The integration of Sakai and OSP allows students to undertake coursework understanding the assessments and then move them into the the portfolio.
Questions from the Audience
Are these portfolios primarily for finding a job or for assessment? Are you hosting these for after graduation?
Both, the ePortfolio provides resources that are generated during instruction, then the student identifies what to present in the public profile. VT has not determined how long portfolios will remain hosted by the campus.
How are employers and graduate schools reacted to eportfolios, do they value them in hiring?
Most of the responses have been word of mouth. Students are sending the ePortfolios as a link included with their application materials. In the past the career center has done a survey of employers, they could include specific questions regarding the ePortfolio.
How do you consolidate the portfolio for accreditation?
There are internal tools in the ePortfoli that mine data from the matrix pages and creates reports.
Session 9: Avoid a Wiki Wasteland: Learn How Wikis Work in Highter Education
Robert E. Cummings
Columbus State University (GA)
Q: What to do with wikis? For most institutions, wikis are added on a website or an existing project, with little thought as to how they can aid in the instructional mission of the institution. But here’s how to exploit the value of wikis as collaborative learning platforms—and use them in areas where they’ll be sure to succeed. This session will also demonstrate how wikis can assist instructors in creating authentic network environments for student work, even in an existing software environments.
What is a wiki?
Wikipedia is a common understanding of a wiki, while it is a wiki, not all wiki’s are like Wikipedia. Wikipedia is the largest wiki in use, and the top ten are all Wikipedia’s other languages. More generally a wiki is simply a web site that anyone can edit. There are various levels of restrictions that can monitor and restrict access. These restrictions also help avoid spam.
Why do I want wikis on my campus?
Cummings suggestes that most campus missions include something like, “Purpose is to create and desiminate knowledge.” Wikis are great at doing just this. A successful campus wiki sould be
- Large number of students in a variety of programs, courses, disciplines
- Create a meaningful integrations with web users beyond the adopting courses
- they support authentic research
- are durable, and outlast the semester
Number for is the greatest achievement, if students continue to contribute after the course is over, then the wiki is truly matured on campus and with users.
What type of wikis are out there now, and what puposes do they serve?
External wikis are maintained and accessed outside the control of the campus’ IT department.
Mark Phillpson’s Wiki Taxonomy
- the resource wiki: Similar to wikipedia, and serves as a repository of information. While this type could be used for one course, in many cases they expand beyond course and grow across semesters. Students, in the course will use it as a reference but also add new content through the course.
- the presentation wiki: Chiefly used inside the class. Serves as a place for students to collaborate primarily for a specific task, project or class.
- the gateway wiki: Acts as an aggregate of content developed through other resources. Internal development focuses on the current information posted and asks participants to comment, reflect on this information rather than extend the resources.
- the simulation wiki: Provides a forum for actors to play out various scenarios, test ideas, etc.
- the illuminated wiki: Incorporates the subject of the wiki into the wiki interface itself.
Why is it important for IT departments support wikis in the classroom?
- Market model: recognizes that crisis will drive direction, decisions are reactions to changes in the market
- Firm model: Firm manger determines the most effective means for developing products.
- Commons-based Peers Production
- Cost of fixation (developing content)
- Cost of sharing
- All information must be public
Benkler’s CBPP model emphasizes that the manger does not make decisions, set direction and shifts decisions to the individual, the integration of ideas and development is determined by the group.
Why is it important for Teaching and Learning to support wikis in a classroom?
The Market Model is blogging.
Firm Model is Web1.0 or nytimes.com
CBPP is social networking, wiki’s
Why not use a blog, or learning/content management system?
Wiki’s can remove teachers from the audience and replace them with a genuine audience. Instructors are placed in the role as the primary audience because they are grading the work. Therefore students tailor/craft their work to meet the expectationst. By using wiki’s, the audience provides assessment, and students must develop work that
Participation in a wiki places maximum value on student creativity.
Using wikis in a class are risky, but the rewards are high. Students have more confidence in what they have learned as their work as been assessed by a greater audience than just the instructor.
Benkler, Yochai, “Coase’s Penguin, or Linux and the Nature of the Firm” 122 Yale Law Journal, 369 (2002) 369-447
The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom: Yale UP: 2008
Cummings, Robert E. Lazy Virtues: Teaching and Writing in the Age of Wikipedia. Vanderbuilt UP: 2008
Phillipson, Mark. “Wikis in the Classroom: A Taxonomy” in Wiki Writing: Collborative Learning in the College Classroom. Edited by Robert E. Cummings and Matt Barton. digitalculturebooks (an imprint of U Michigan P):2009