C2 August 10, 2005

C2 Strategic C-level Discussions on Technology

August 10, 2005
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From the Top

Beyond Campus Boundaries ePortfolio Transforms into 'Cultural Application'

A brief conversation with Trent Batson, Director of Information and Instructional Technology Services, University of Rhode Island.

C2 asked Batson about the state of adoption of ePortfolios in the US.

I was a professor of English, so I’ve used ePortfolios myself in my own teaching. And I’ve been involved with new initiatives in academic computing for over 20 years now. There are times when something comes along that everyone talks about, something that really changes things. ePortfolios, of course, is one of those things, but it’s different in its very nature. What’s happening with universities in this knowledge age is that the boundaries between the university and the rest of the world have pretty much dissolved. We are now a learning culture, or a knowledge culture.

ePortfolios are not a higher education application. It’s not a K-12 application. It’s a cultural application. It’s being used now, or will be used in Europe, Australia, Canada, and also in the state of Minnesota for workforce development. It’s something that whole countries are offering to their citizens to store things related to their work, over a career or over the time when they are developing their career. And it’s especially good for people who are in the workforce and may be doing things that are related to something they are studying at the community college. ePortfolios can authenticate what kind of work people do in between the times when they are at the community college studying formally. So, it bridges the gap between informal learning and formal learning. Various states in this country, Canada, the UK, places in France, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and India have recognized the workforce development aspect of ePortfolios.

What we focus on in this country is more the traditional higher education view of ePortfolios; how it is really great for developing reflective thinking in students, because they can reflect on their own work over time. They have a record of their own; they can see their own development. But what’s driving the market in the US is assessment management. Any school that is coming up for re-accreditation or an interim visit from the accreditation team is being asked, “Do you have these kinds of reports from a system that will show how you are addressing student progress toward learning outcomes?” That’s the question that every place is being asked. So universities—especially schools of education around the country—are rushing to implement ePortfolio systems so that they can do the kind of reporting the accrediting agencies are asking for. So that, right now, is really driving the market in the US for ePortfolios.

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Need to Know

Former CU President Denounces Blogs That Demand Instantaneous Decisions

Former University of Colorado president Betsy Hoffman, in her first public appearance since resigning in the middle of CU’s football and academic freedom controversies told a Denver forum that instant criticism via the Web makes it hard to make intelligent decisions.

Hoffman said the spread of rumors on Internet blogs creates an instantaneous "trial and conviction" before both sides are heard. She announced her resignation in March amid scandals involving the school's football recruiting program and professor Ward Churchill's essay comparing some victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to a Nazi official.

"Decisions are made in an instant, when real thoughtful change takes time," said Hoffman, speaking to the Denver Forum this past week. (DenverPost.com)
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LSU Looking Forward to IBM Supercomputer

Adding to their renowned Center for Computation and Technology, Louisiana State University will soon receive a new IBM supercomputer.

Dubbed “Pelican,” the powerful system will explore climate modeling and coastal erosion. The new system replaces an older, outdated model called CASPER, which may now become a ghost. Find out more: (Marketwire)
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Educause Announced Annual Awards

Educause has announced its annual awards, which recognize exemplary achievement in higher ed IT. Highlights include, for excellence in leadership, Ron Bleed, Maricopa Community Colleges (AZ); for leadership in the profession, Annie Stunden, University of Wisconsin-Madison; for leadership in public policy and practice, Clifford Lynch, CNI. We heartily concur.
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Who's Where

New VP/CIO at Tufts

Tufts University (MA) recently named Amelia (“Mely”) Tynan Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer, to begin Sept. 1. She is currently Vice Provost and Chief Information Officer at the University of Rochester, (NY) where she introduced enhancements in wireless computing, advanced networking, new courseware, and online admissions.

Head of Florida's University System Takes Provost Post at Florida A&M University

Florida University System Chancellor Debra Austin announced this past week that she has accepted Interim President Castell Bryant's offer to become provost and vice president of academic affairs at the state's only public historically black university. She begins work Sept. 6.

''This is a special day for Florida A&M University,'' said Bryant, "'Dr. Austin's knowledge of the State University System, her sterling reputation in higher education and her commitment to excellence in education is just what FAMU needs at this time." (Miami Herald)
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Archives

July 27, 2005 Strategic Planning for Information Technology
By Edward J. Padron, President, Miami Dade College

July 13, 2005 Hitting the Ground Walking
By Brian D. Voss, CIO, Louisiana State University

June 22, 2005 It's Not Simply Infrastructure
An Interview with Tracy Futhey, CIO, Duke University

June 8, 2005 Online Piracy, Ethical Behavior, and the Unintended Consequences of Technology
By Diane Barbour, CIO, Rochester Institute of Technology (NY)

May 25, 2005 The Internet, the Pope, and the iPod
By Tracy Mitrano, Director of IT Policy and Computer Law and Policy
Cornell University (NY)

May 11, 2005 Overcoming the Biggest Barrier to Student Success
By Ron Bleed, vice chancellor IT
Maricopa Community Colleges

April 27, 2005: Piracy on the Seas of Higher Education
By Graham Spanier, President, Penn State University
More archives

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