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Campus Technology 2006: A Hit in Boston

New Conference Format Drives Change

Campus Technology 2006 :: Boston, MA


Chris Dede
The More MUVEs, the Merrier

At the Campus Technology 2006 conference held July 31-August 3 in Boston, Harvard University (MA) education technology visionary Chris Dede’s opening keynote (left) set the stage for a week of dynamic, panel-only discussions about the changing face of technology on campus. Dede punctuated his talk, “Get Ready for a Sea-Change in Education: Immersive Learning Environments Across Cyberspace,” with examples of multi-user virtual environments (MUVEs) that now exist in real time across cyberspace. What a way to launch three days of innovation sharing!

Lucinda Lea, John Lawson, Brian Voss
Ready for Anything?

Not all change is planned or good, and CIOs have to be ready for contingencies. Middle Tennessee State University CIO Lucinda Lea (left) interviewed two Louisiana CIOs at the technology helm of their respective institutions during Hurricane Katrina. Former Tulane University (LA) CIO John Lawson (center) emphasized a flexible disaster preparedness plan, while Louisiana State University CIO Brian Voss (right) surprised hundreds of attendees by cautioning against “over-focusing” on survival issues at the expense of the IT to-do list.

Vijay Kumar,  Phil Long, Lori Breslow, Judith B'ettcher
Workshops Abound.

A day of pre-conference, teamfocused workshops allowed attendees to stretch their imaginations. (Top left to bottom right: Vijay Kumar, MIT; Phil Long, MIT; Lori Breslow, MIT; Judith Boettcher, Designing for Learning and the University of Florida.)

Stata Center
New Learning Spaces.

MIT’s Phil Long led an extensive walking tour of the university’s extraordinary learning spaces. Attendees clamored to visit places like the world-renowned Stata Center (left), teeming with labs, programs, and public spaces. Tour participants left inspired and energized.

Media Lab Research
Media Lab Research.

A tour of MIT’s Media Lab gave attendees a real behind-the-scenes glimpse of research in areas like contextaware computing (left) and multimodal interaction (right).

Ideas on Display
Ideas on Display.

Wrapping up an afternoon of tours with an exclusive reception at the MIT Museum, attendees were treated to special presentations by MIT iCampus PIs. MIT’s Randall Davis (left), professor of computer science and engineering, fielded questions about Magic Paper and sketch recognition software. Attendees were enthralled (right).

New Leaders.
New Leaders.

Looking toward the future yet mindful of change, Tufts University (MA) CIO Mely Tynan (far left) and a panel of three IT leaders—at different places in their own career paths—discussed how to develop the next generation of IT leadership in higher ed. Panelists included (center left to right) University of Minnesota’s Linda Jorn, Cornell’s (NY) Joan Falkenberg Getman, and Annie Stunden, recently retired from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

A Performance to Support HPC
A Performance to Support HPC.

Indiana University’s Matt Link (far left) led a robust discussion of strategies to support high-performance computing on campus. Panelists included (left to right) Vijay Agarwala (Penn State), Jim Pepin (University of Southern California), and LSU’s Brian Voss.

The Future Opens Up
The Future Opens Up.

From Portland State University (OR), Nate Angell (left) and Wende Morgaine (center) shared their ample expertise with large-scale open source implementations. They were joined by rSmart’s senior education consultant, Hannah Reeves (right).

Assessment Experts
Assessment Experts.

MIT’s David Singer (center), assistant professor of political science, assembled a large panel of his peers to discuss the need for informed assessment strategies. The panel included (left to right) Steven Lerman, Kimberle Koile, David Pritchard, and Lori Breslow.

Vijay Kumar
Looking Ahead with Vision.

At the conference’s closing plenary—a “visions” panel—moderator Vijay Kumar (left) asked panelists and attendees to reflect on what they had heard during the conference and project possible future scenarios. Kumar invited them to engage constructively in crafting a “preferred future,” and act as futurists, thus allowing possibilities to seem more real for their own campuses. Audience and panel observations, questions, and insights propelled all into the future. Excerpts follow:

Wake Forest University’s (NC) Jay Dominick
Wake Forest University’s (NC) Jay Dominick

Wake Forest University’s (NC) Jay Dominick (left) maintained that the academy was built on the scarcity of information, with libraries developing in the 1400s and 1500s around collections of text. But the scarcity of text has disappeared, he pointed out. So, “how do we help our organizations figure out what tomorrow is about?” he asked his audience. And how will ubiquitous technologies (where connectivity and collectivity rule, rather than place) affect what institutions will look like in a generation or so?

Rochester Institute of Technology’s (NY) Diane Barbour
Rochester Institute of Technology’s (NY) Diane Barbour

Reflecting on security issues and the “dark side” of technology, Barbour (left) pointed out, “Security is surrounding everything that we do; it has to be a focus for us going forward. We really have to be proactive and go out there and find ways to prevent [bad] things from happening,” she said, “as opposed to fixing them after something bad has happened.”

University of Texas-Austin’s Dan Updegrove
University of Texas-Austin’s Dan Updegrove

University of Texas-Austin’s Dan Updegrove (left) insisted that the new technology is going to come, and “we are going to have no idea what it’s going to look like.” But he observed that one of the messages of the last five years is that there are fundamental social forces that we have to respond to. “I’m convinced that one of them is accountability; we have to be in a position to support the assessment of our entire enterprise in front of the increasingly critical eyes of society.”

University of Georgia’s Barbara White
University of Georgia’s Barbara White

University of Georgia’s Barbara White (left) focused on research computing and suggested, “In order for us to be competitive in a 21st-century research environment, we’ve got to learn the language [specifically for] high-performance computing, [and understand] the role and scope of research computing and/or the role of high-performance computing. And we have to make a sustainable business case.”

See you next year at Campus Technology 2007 in Washington, DC, July 30-August 2!

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