Friday, May 11, 2012

Should IT's Role on Campus Change?

I found a thought-provoking article written by Timothy M. Chester in Campus Technology entitled Don't Dictate, Facilitate.

Here are some of the most interesting points that Chester makes:
  • In response to rapid technology shifts, IT's role on campus is changing. How CIOs adapt to the new reality will determine whether their organizations remain viable and valuable, or see their relevance slowly diminish.
  • As IT professionals, we are just starting to come to terms with what the internet has truly wrought. For the better part of 10 years, we viewed the internet age as a shift from a bricks-and-mortar world to an online, digital world. CIOs and their IT organizations expected to be at the forefront of the resulting transformation of higher education. We were wrong.
  • Instead, we find ourselves in an environment that is fast evolving from one based on one-to-many relationships to one based on many-to-many relationships, powered by social networking sites, consumer and cloud technologies, and mobile devices. In this brave new world, we CIOs have a lot less authority and control than we expected. Indeed, some question whether our organizations should continue to exist in their present form--and they're right. If we are to be of value to our institutions, we must change the way we organize our services, the way we exercise leadership, and the way we engage those outside IT.
  • The many-to-many world has made it far easier for students, faculty, and staff to obtain basic IT services without ever going near the IT organization.
  • Why should we build expensive data centers when Amazon, Google, and Microsoft can provide cloud computing services that eliminate high, upfront costs and replace them with lower, variable costs that scale?
  • While fully compatible with the needs of a one-to-many world, our continued emphasis on centralization led Walt Mossberg, technology columnist for The Wall Street Journal, to proclaim in 2007 that the central IT organization in higher education was the "most regressive and poisonous force in technology today."
  • In a many-to-many world, efficiency and innovation no longer correlate to centralized authority and control. Today, we need to think less about being the sole drivers of innovation on campus and focus instead on creating an environment that facilitates the innovation of others.
  • ...transition from service providers to service enablers...
  • The most important word in the phrase "credibly convening important conversations" is credibly. In the one-to-many world, credibility was based on reporting lines and formal policy. In a many-to-many world, credibility is created and maintained, not in sweeping fashion, but through constant interactions, each and every time the IT organization engages end users or delivers services.
Please read the entire article, Don't Dictate, Facilitate, and share your thoughts. Do agree that a "many-to-many world" is what we need in education or are you satisfied with a "one-to-many" approach?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

New from CIMC: Personal Financial Literacy

Many states (including Oklahoma) are mandating financial literacy as a graduation requirement. This curriculum includes all 14 areas of instruction outlined in Oklahoma's Passport to Financial Literacy. It was developed with guidance from the Jump$tart Coalition for Financial Literacy, and is endorsed by the Oklahoma Council on Economic Education.

Personal Financial Literacy will assist teachers in providing students with the basic skills and knowledge needed to effectively manage their personal finances. The objectives and learning activities are based on real-world situations, and will help build a foundation for making informed and successful personal financial decisions.

The Student Guide and Teacher Edition are printed in full color. A Teacher Resource CD is also available, which includes printable versions of all student consumables, PowerPoints®, written tests in Word® and rich text formats (for use with ExamView®), vocabulary puzzles, and more.

CIMC is offering unit 5, "Saving and Investing," as a free sample for you to download. Saving and Investing sample

The CareerTech Testing Center has also developed skills standards and a test that address these requirements.

Follow the links to view the skills standards and to preview curriculum samples. Then contact our customer service department at 800.654.4502 or visit our online catalog to order your curriculum and tests today!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

This Teacher, __________, Made a Difference in My Life! Celebrate National Teacher Day 2012

We have probably all had a teacher, or several, that have influenced our lives. In honor of National Teacher’s Day, I thought it was time to let a teacher know that they have made a difference in my life (Which name would you fill in the blank with?)
Painting by R. Caton Woodville (the 17th Lancers in the
Charge of the Light Brigade. This was an incident that
occurred during the battle of Balaklava on 25 October 1854.

For me, Nancy Rainey is the teacher that I would add to the fill-in-the-blank in the title. I have a few others that are worthy and should be there as well, but Mrs. Rainey would have to be first. She was my teacher in 1st and 2nd grade and her passion for education inspired everyone in the class. Class seemed chaotic at times as everyone read aloud (all at the same time) and you could find us at our desk or lying down in the corner, but we were always busy and eager to learn. It wasn’t uncommon for us to write 50 page stories (wide-ruled paper of course) or longer and then go from classroom to classroom sharing our stories and then to have them prominently displayed in our classroom. Did I mention reading? We read and read at school and at home (yes, some of us even read by flashlight after we were sent to bed). I can’t imagine many things she kept off limits from us, except for the books sitting atop her storage closet in the classroom.

There resided the best books. The ones we could read after we completed every other assignment and also the ones we could occasionally take home. Maybe we didn’t fully understand what we were reading when we read these “special” books, but Mrs. Rainey knew how to reel a young student in. Alfred, Lord Tennyson was one of the authors that I requested the most from the top shelf. His “Charge of the Light Brigade” always intrigued me although it seemed tragic and sad. I realize now, of course, that I didn’t fully understand the entire meaning of the poem, but nonetheless, I read it time after time. Looking back, it seems weird that I was introduced to Thoreau, Emerson, Tennyson, and others in 1st and 2nd grade, but it also meant that I didn’t think poetry was boring or strange as I got older. All forms of literature could actually be a cool thing. Other badges of merit from Mrs. Rainey included the opportunity to stay after school (yes, most of us wanted that to happen…), a ride to our home in her Volkswagen Bug, an occasional dinner at Dairy Queen with her, and the ultimate was when you showed up at home with red lipstick marks on your forehead. Kind of embarrassing for a boy, but it also let your classmates know how excited she was with something “you” had done.

I still admire her ability and knowledge to find each of our interests and what makes us “tick.” Her commitment from day one was to be our teacher for life. She attended my wedding some 25 years later and she has attended numerous graduations and events of many former students. There were two students, a brother and sister that everyone had given up on, but she refused and took them into her classroom and also tutored them at home. Flash forward to the future when one of these students graduated from Stanford Medical School and the other from Georgetown Law School on the same day. Never much of one for an airplane, Mrs. Rainey took a bus after flipping a coin and attended the Georgetown graduation.

Over 40 years later, many of us still occasionally visit Mrs. Rainey and for a moment we remember those early years when she squeals in excitement, grabs you, and you're once again left with red lipstick marks on your face.

Like I said…. our teacher for life.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Noodle - A Search Engine for Educational Opportunities

Noodle is a free search engine that can help you find educational opportunities, from graduate degrees to weekend classes. It provides personalized school recommendations based on your personality and preferences (interests, learning goals, budget, location and personality). You can already use Noodle to, hopefully, find the perfect K-12 school (elementary, middle, and high schools), college, or graduate school and vocational schools will be added in the near future.

Noodle's goal:
To bring together the best resources and information about schools, tutors, academic programs, test prep, evening classes, (and more) and make this information easy and accessible.

So what does Noodle's search engine really do?
Noodle collects the best information about schools from across the entire web—from government data to professional reviews and it allows you to meet people like yourself and see what schools they like and to connect with people at schools that interest you.

Watch: Welcome to Noodle

MIT, Harvard Link Up With Free Online Courses

Reuters By Svea Herbst-Bayliss

BOSTON (Reuters) - Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, both academic heavyweights and often neighborly rivals, are joining hands in a new partnership to offer courses online and for free.

The two schools, located near each other in Cambridge, Massachusetts, are teaming up on an initiative called edX only five months after MIT rolled out MITx, its online learning system which allows students to earn certificates for completing course work from a distance.

Harvard and MIT each committed $30 million to the project, which will be overseen by a not-for-profit group based in Cambridge. Anant Agarwal, who led the development of MITx and directed MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, will be edX's first president.

The group plans to offer its first courses in the fall and eventually expects other universities may join.

With a wink to the schools' long-running rivalries in racing to academic breakthroughs and wooing professors and students, MIT President Susan Hockfield said they also work together. "One of the best-kept secrets is the profound richness of collaboration between Harvard and MIT," she said at a news conference, standing next to Harvard President Drew Faust.

Online learning has become a hot topic in education with many schools, including MIT, offering hundreds of courses online where students work through the material at their own pace but are not tested. Now the trend is to offer classes online where students can earn certificates if they show they can master the subject.

MIT said 120,000 people signed up for the first such course - Introduction to Circuits and Electronics - that MITx rolled out earlier this year. Halfway through the course, some 20,000 were still actively keeping up with it.

The new program is expected to make Harvard and MIT's course work available around the world to students who cannot sit in classrooms on campus, and officials also expect it to aid researchers in figuring out new ways for people to learn.

"EdX gives Harvard and MIT an unprecedented opportunity to dramatically extend our collective reach by conducting groundbreaking research into effective education and by extending online access to quality higher education," Harvard's Faust said.

The students who sign up, free of charge, will be able to watch video lesson segments, take embedded quizzes and participate in online laboratories.

And they will be able to earn certificates for completing the work. But university officials have long underscored that these online learning platforms are not a less strenuous path to a top-tier diploma. Indeed diplomas can still be earned only by being admitted by the schools and attending classes in person.

Harvard and MIT are extremely selective with Harvard accepting only 5.9 percent of the applicants for an undergraduate degree this year. MIT accepted 8.9 percent.

(Reporting By Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Jackie Frank)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...