A couple of weeks ago there was an essay in Inside HigherEd arguing that we should tenure IT professionals. To say I had a strong negative reaction to the article would be something of an understatement. With a little time between me and the article, I wanted to see if I could better articulate my thoughts outside the 140 character restraints of Twitter.
A few months ago, I was asked to join the advisory group for the EDUCAUSE Leading Academic Transformation Community of Practice. Working with this interesting, intelligent, thoughtful group of people has been a great ride so far, and I’m excited to see how the work we’re doing will benefit the community. As we’ve been sifting through ideas, I keep coming back to one key question: just what do we mean by academic transformation, and how to you lead it?
A couple of weeks ago Robin DeRosa, someone I follow on twitter, posted the following observation: I don't get why universities, with so many depts/experts, sub out all the design/building of learning infrastructure to 3rd party vendors. — Robin DeRosa (@actualham) August 10, 2016 The entire thread is worth a read, and I’d encourage you to go take a look at it. While this is similar to the question often asked with regards to self hosting (or not) things like email, the question of academic infrastructure brings a nuance that is worth exploration.
So more than 21 million people are using #PokemonGo each day & no one has received formal professional development on it? Hmmm… #Edchat — Tom Murray (@thomascmurray) July 14, 2016 This quote has gotten retweeted into my feed almost half a dozen times in the last two days. I’d say every six months or so I see or hear something similar. You know, “if the app is designed right nobody will need training on it.” Um, right. Or, “why do we need to roll out training with this, it’s so intuitive?” Sure, OK.
Last week I had the opportunity to attend (and present at) EDUCAUSE Connect: Denver. This is the third year of the Connect events, and I think they’re starting to come in to their own. This year both facilitators and participants seemed to get the format and mostly came ready to have some fun together.
Early today Inside HigherEd covered some interesting work going on at Morovian College in Pennslylvania. They’re definitely doing some substantial upgrades to their network infrastructure (along with handing out laptops and tablets to all students), but here’s the part I find interesting:
I was just listening to an interview with the always interesting Audrey Watters. Those of you who follow Audrey’s work won’t be surprised by what she had to say, and that isn’t really what I wanted to highlight. Near the end they began talking about blog comments and threats Audrey has received. What I want to talk about is the almost throwaway comment the interviewer made with regards to that.
At EDUCAUSE this year I took the opportunity to attend a pre-conference seminar entitled Weaving a Tale So Others Will Listen: Technical to Fantastical led by Crista Copp and Michael Berman. This wasn’t just a “make your PowerPoint pretty” workshop (although we did spend some time on that), it was a full blown introduction to the art of story telling.