Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Tower and the Cloud

Bullet points from Richard N Katz's keynote presentation - Vice President of Educause

  • Powershift in Higher Ed- 1100-? (popes>princes>professors>people)
  • Stanley Katz - don't mistake a tool for a goal
  • Martin Trow - information technology is embedded in, and used by, institutions that have a history.
  • Higher Ed shift from public good to private investment
  • We are in the information age and we are in the information business
  • The cloud is big! How is the cloud growing to envelop our Universities? How is the University using the cloud to extend it's presence? How might the cloud alter the form of our social institutions?
  • google search of "professor" takes you to wikipedia and ratemyprofessor.com
  • Emergence of the Collective - wikipedia, citizen journalism, seti
  • Exponential growth looks like nothing is happening until it explodes - Ray Kurzwell
  • We live in a knowledge revolution, but colleges are not at the center of that revolution.
  • Increasing access to knowledge does not equal increasing literacy or numeracy.
  • The context of IT does not equal the context of higher ed (we do not serve all who can learn, we have not made higher ed more efficient, we have not yet transformed learning)
  • Really Neat IT does not equal student engagement and success ( high rates of attrition, evidence of declining engagement, high need of remediation, the vanishing student)
  • Everything digital, everyone online, does not equal privatizing of knowledge
  • YET Great IT = Great Research
  • Open Education is surprising us!
  • Cloudy Future: School of Athens?
  • We are now a consumer goods.


  • Since technology is so high quality, the time is now to ask what is the "idea" of the university? What is the university trying to do? what does the institution really need to do well to manifest its intent? What are the information infrastructure, environment, and services that will enable(or drive) this?
  • Do we have a strategy and an infrastructure to: discover, engage, attract, and develop talent? Re-think scholarly communications? Promote scholarly literacy, engagement, and global citizenship? Make the institution influential on local, regional, national, or world affairs.
  • Universities are aggregaters of talent.
  • Do our policies and incentives reinforce what our infrastructure, services and resources enable?
  • Summing it up -- IT has gotten better. So good in fact, it allows us to change things. Profoundly. IT allows others to change things as well, making our task more urgent and more complex. Our challenge is less technical and more one of institutional purpose, adaptability, and will. The needs of our stakeholders are changing. Soon virtual environments to support learning and discovery will rival and surpass "built" ones, in certain cases. The successful university of the future will know its values, have clarity of purpose, and an IT capacity to reflect and extend those values and purposes globally.

1 comment:

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