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Slightly expurgated, occasionally bowdlerized

Feb. 24th, 2011

08:34 am

Wow, this journal has suddenly become a spam magnet. I wonder why.

Jun. 30th, 2010

03:53 pm - Remote support for classrooms, better services for faculty, smarter inventory

I'm pleased to report that Hofstra's Media Engineering group has deployed Extron's Global Viewer product to enable remote support for all the University's technology-enhanced classrooms. When a faculty member calls the Faculty Support Center we will be able to see if their projector is on or off and turn it on or off for them, as well as select an input source. This will tremendously shorten the response time for such calls at the beginning of the semester when faculty are returning to the classroom. The system will notify us via SMS text and email if an AV controller freezes and needs a hard restart, and also when projector bulbs reach their end of life. We will also be able to collect data on when and how our technology classrooms are used, helping us to plan better for these resources as well as target new idea suggests for faculty who may want them.

I'm incredibly proud of Joshua Daubert and his staff, who suggested and then implemented this exciting project. I'm looking forward to all the great results this will bring. Thank you, gentlemen!

Jun. 25th, 2010

02:46 pm

Updated new Faculty Computing blog on rules of thumb for AVOIDING more work this summer. Thank me later!


Jun. 21st, 2010

04:13 pm - Progress?

Remember back when if you wanted to run a new application, you bought it and installed it (on your webserver or even your mainframe!) and then you debugged it and it ran? Just on ONE BOX?

Man, those were good days.

Jun. 8th, 2010

12:41 pm - Yay! We're officially a medical school!

Just came from the press conference where our accreditation was announced. It feels like the first day of school after two long years of work - and I know my piece of it all was the very smallest piece. I'm so proud of what the Hofstra University/Northshore-LIJ Medical School will be and I'm looking forward to someday having a doctor educated the way we're planning to educate our students. The whole curriculum is structured to educate the students to be critical thinkers with a grasp of science that will never leave them and a concern for the community as well as the patient. The information technology in the new building is all planned in service to those goals - it's geared toward interactivity and working in teams. We'll also be doing some very innovative things with data analysis for assessment. Plus we get to learn new things like facilitating digital microscopy!

It's such an exciting school and an exciting curriculum and I'm so honored to be part of it.

Jun. 2nd, 2010

05:21 pm - Finally exploring Blogspot.

Launched a new blog this week, specifically for academic technology thinking and aimed at my customer base at work: http://facultycomputing.blogspot.com

Feel free to subscribe, drop by, or pass it along to your friends!

May. 14th, 2010

04:38 pm - So thrilled with students right now.

I am so thrilled with students right now - mine, who did awesome work this semester in my class on global media and its sales, and in general. I have to share this video of a class speaker proposing to his girlfriend as the close of his speech.

Doesn't it seem like the world is a little kinder, a little more human, these days? Maybe like since we've all realized that we're not all going to own McMansions and SUVs and that we'll probably be eating the vegetables we grow in our own garden, we are all just normal people after all and we might as well enjoy the ride we're on? Maybe it's just me. :-) (Not that I ever wanted a McMansion or an SUV, but you know what I mean. Maybe it's just being in my forties. They're a lot more relaxed than the thirties.)

Jan. 26th, 2010

06:07 pm

China is pulling "Avatar" from its 2D screens where it's still doing quite well in order to show "Confucius", a biopic of the sage, with Chow Yun Fat in the title role.

So, protectionism in the arts on a national level - good or bad?

NYTimes article is here.

Jan. 5th, 2010

05:56 pm - Hotness, 18 years past my expiration date.

Apparently digital humanities was, finally, "hot" at the MLA convention this past month. I've been waiting 18 years for that. (I keep counting them up. That CAN'T be right. And yet it apparently is. Unless I'm so decrepit I've also lost the ability to do basic math.)

And meanwhile the New York Times points out that education wants more than ever to be relevant to the job market - even as employers want employees who can communicate, reason, and innovate - rather the things the traditional liberal arts curriculum was supposed to be good at, whether or not "traditional liberal arts curriculum" is now a phrase that equals "elitism".

It isn't business school that's going to make your kid employable. And higher education is failing entirely at conveying that to the public.

I can't quite put my finger on where this is going so horribly wrong, and yet there it is.

Dec. 1st, 2009

04:16 pm - If you build it, they mostly don't care.

Just had the same old conversation about how providing technology to faculty doesn't necessarily cause them to use it.

Outside of the basic necessities - a network connection and a computer - I've never seen any technology purchase that by its very existence caused faculty to faint with excitement and completely rehaul their curriculum. Not beyond that small handful of forward-thinking faculty who enjoy innovating anyway. I've certainly never seen it affect faculty who had no interest in innovating their curriculum beforehand. Have you?

I think that part of the problem is that sometimes, administrators see computers like cookies (rewards for good work, something desirable) whereas faculty often see computers like, say, porcupines. They don't want them and don't need them to get their job done. Offering them, especially as an incentive to change, doesn't work.

Administrators hear frequently from faculty who WANT something new and spiffy; perhaps they don't realize that they don't hear from the rest of the faculty, not because they don't just want the new spiffy thing, but because they consider the new spiffy thing to be actively nasty.

How about you? Do you think that we technology people (or administrators in general) think of technology as cookies? Do you or your faculty think of it primarily as porcupines?

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