Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Importance of Multiple Perspectives

I have always been one to believe that the more ideas you throw on the table, the better the end result will be.  Engaging others in brainstorming and seeking out multiple perspectives is a key component to successful change.  While traveling throughout the ACM, I have had the opportunity to meet with the following stakeholders from the various campuses:

  • Deans
  • Associate Deans
  • Chief Information Officers
  • Library Directors
  • Center for Teaching and Learning Directors
  • Chief Financial Officers
  • Faculty
  • Information Technology Directors
  • Information Technology Staff
  • Technologists
  • Librarians

While this is the formal list of those I have met with, the passing conversations with administrators, faculty, staff, and students are sometimes even more valuable than scheduled meetings.  In some cases, this may mean an informal conversation with the president of the college about the impacts of technology on the institution, an administrative assistant with valuable institutional knowledge, or a student who relates their personal experience in using technology.

Instructional technology is about relationships.  It leads to various questions based on the context an individual or group are coming from.  Below are some initial thoughts, but by no means an exhaustive list:

  • How do faculty want to teach?
  • What do they want to be able to relate to students and how can technology help them do this? 
  • What technology do students expect?
  • What is the cost of the technology and is there a way to make it more affordable? 
  • Where is the balance between pedagogy and technology?
  • What is the impact of technology on the relationship between libraries, faculty, and students?
  • What structures can increase communication between IT departments, libraries, faculty, and students?
  • How does technology impact the larger institution?

ACM schools are very well aware of these questions and the many others that flow from technological innovation.  Having an engaged conversation at the institutional, departmental, and individual levels can help begin to answer these and other questions.  I am very honored to be a part of this process and excited about meeting even more people willing to share their perspectives and stories about technology in teaching and learning.

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