Purdue University is receiving two Campus Technology Innovator awards today at the CT 2011 conference in Boston. The university is widely recognized for its innovative IT initiatives and leadership in technology outreach and community building. Here, Purdue CIO Gerry McCartney explains why he feels higher education campuses must once again become leaders in IT innovation.
We have moved away from a defining model of scarcity and can expect fundamental change in the availability and delivery of higher education in the US.
Faced with presentation after presentation in dimmed classrooms, I have become bothered by one set of circumstances: A student with great intentions spends an exorbitant amount of time putting together a fantastic presentation but fails to include all of the materials I believe should be there. Based solely on content, the student receives a terrible grade and doesn't reap the reward for the hours spent creating the presentation. But there may be a way to rectify this.
Does college prepare students for jobs or for life? And does IT care?
For the LMS to remain relevant in higher education, it must move beyond the classroom and integrate seamlessly with the learning opportunities presented by the Web.
Most of the possible implementation strategies for eText seem quite logical and are based on existing technologies that have been available to the higher education community for some time. But there is still a problem holding us back--a problem that lies in the fact that defining, combining, and implementing eText components has as yet been accomplished only on a very limited basis and by only a few "technologically entrepreneurial" institutions. Large-scale eText implementation is a task that has been identified as too daunting, too difficult, and it is the perhaps the most significant replacement ever, of an educational tradition that has served higher education well for centuries.
In a time of knowledge stability, teach; in a time of rapid change in knowledge, learn… Clearly, we have left the time of knowledge stability and entered a time of incredibly rapid change. Web 2.0, a term coined in 2004, is a description of the new Web architecture, but is also a historical marker between the era of comfortable stability and the era of unsettling change. Many in higher education say we have accordingly turned to learning and away from teaching, but in fact we haven’t.
For many reasons--grade inflation, disparity between quality of educational institutions, confusion about what the grades actually demonstrate--the value of grades, as they are constructed now, is slipping. An emerging process using electronic portfolios produces evidence-based evaluations: richer data for better decisions during college and at graduation.
American higher education--the jewel in the global crown of universal education, with nearly a quarter of the total number of higher education institutions in the world, and including graduate programs that are the envy of the world--is facing the prospect of being the next bubble to burst. Technology is both a culprit and a promising ally.
The debate over electronic textbooks and ever-increasing costs for traditional textbooks continues to rage. Part of these Web-era dilemmas ironically involves the willingness to face contradictions from the university's past.