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What Readers Want to See

A recent competition offered an insight into the IT issues that CT readers consider most important.

This story appeared in the March 2013 digital edition of Campus Technology.

Several months ago, we launched a competition asking readers to tell us about IT issues or trends that have not received the press coverage they merit. Many of you sent in terrific suggestions, but we could have only one winner. And that winner is Rhonda Kitchens, an instructional design librarian at the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota, who will be receiving an iPad 2 courtesy of Adobe. Congratulations!

Kitchens pitched an article titled "The Library Has Left the Building," exploring the need for colleges to integrate library resources more fully into today's world of digital learning. And we're not talking about a simple "Library" link in the LMS. Instead, says Kitchens, the integration of library assets should be contextual, relevant--and ubiquitous. It's an intriguing concept and makes sense on so many levels that CT will run a feature on the topic later this year.

Several issues appeared repeatedly among the reader suggestions. While we have covered them before, it's clear that CT needs to keep readers better informed of developments in the following areas:

  • Access to IT. Several readers pointed out that inequitable access to IT will have profound implications as education becomes more closely intertwined with technology. And the inequity is both economic and geographic: Some schools simply can't afford the technology while, in parts of the country, high-speed internet access is a distant dream--and a nightmare for online students.
  • Social Media. The thirst to learn more about social media tools--and how they can be used in instruction--appears to be unquenchable. But for every educator wanting to discover the latest web 2.0 tools, another raised questions about privacy and the self-damaging trail that students leave behind on social media sites.
  • Faculty Development. The issue of engaging faculty with IT has been the focus of myriad CT articles, but the problem remains unresolved for many readers. In May, we will take another crack at it, with a story on real-world examples of how schools are engaging faculty with IT. Some readers feel the problem lies less with faculty and more with their leadership: They want to know how schools can develop leaders who understand the potential of technology in teaching and learning.
  • University Archives. As scholarship and communication become digital, university archivists are fretting about how to preserve the accomplishments of their schools. Their efforts to catalog everything from research videos to lecture recordings are hitting storage-capacity walls, forcing them to delete material. A related issue concerns faculty communications. Traditionally, a professor's correspondence would end up in an archive accessible to scholars, but many schools have no such archives for e-mail. What, asks one reader, will be lost to future generations?

What is clear is that the digital edition of CT can never hope to cover every topic. But there are two invaluable resources that can help: the Campus Technology website, with its archive of articles and Resource Centers--and our conferences. In fact, CT Forum 2013 is just around the corner. From April 29 to May 1, attendees in San Diego can hear firsthand from educators who have been there and done that. I hope you'll join us.

About the Author

Andrew Barbour is the former executive editor of Campus Technology.

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