University Business - September 2011 - (Page 54)

M : “A Lasting ost colleges and universities attending educomm send one or two, sometimes three, people to the conference. last June, Life University (ga.) sent seven of its administrators and faculty to learn from the breakout sessions and see the latest higher education technology on the educomm exhibit floor. ralph davis, dean of clinics at life’s center for Health and optimum Performance, says it was a new experience for the group. in addition to davis, life sent the special assistant to the president; the dean of the undergraduate college; the dean of instruction for the college of chiropractic; the executive director of student services; the vice provost, and a faculty member who specializes in assessment. “Most of us in the group are relatively new to the institution, and we’ve been working on a number of initiatives to bring our small university up to speed with the latest in education technologies,” he says. “our plan was to increase the amount of active learning going on at the institution. We had a lot of ‘sage on the stage’ and not a lot of ‘guide on the side,’ so we wanted to move away from the traditional lecture format toward more active learning. That put us in a position where we were actively seeking technological solutions to assist us.” Because educomm 2011 was based at the Hilton Walt disney World resort in orlando, the trip—and the group discount— made economic sense. “When you are a small institution, as we are, dollars are tight. Being able to send a group of people to one location for this type of information was invaluable,” davis says. “and to give you an idea of how tight we try to pinch a penny, all seven of us piled into a borrowed university van and drove seven hours each way because we didn’t want to pay for the airfare. Having that ability to go to one location and do all that information gathering and comparison shopping was an amazing opportunity for us.” The exhibit floor was particularly appealing to the group, with more than 40 vendors presenting a broad range of higher ed technologies. “it was like going to the Best Buy of educational technology,” says davis. “it was an overwhelming experience. We plan to do lecture capture, for instance, and we had the opportunity to walk Dries Buytaert (above), creator of the Drupal content management system discussed open-source in education with a deeply engrossed general session audience (right). around and meet with several vendors with different approaches. We’ve also discussed moving our students to electronic texts or electronic note sets, and we found a number of vendors for that too.” The numerous breakout sessions were helpful as well, because they introduced the life team to ideas that could help them fulfill their improvement goals. educomm sessions covered a variety of that the federal government has expressed interest in a national higher ed cloud. is the cloud a campus it implementation priority? absolutely, according to responses to a FOcus survey conducted last fall. the top priority for the next 12 months, the survey found, was it security (55 percent), with other popular answers being server virtualization, upgrading the network infrastructure, wireless and mobility capabilities, and desktop virtualization. a good reason for making the cloud a priority is efficiency. gartner research (across all CIO Summit Once again, educOmm played hOst tO the preconference ciO summit, sponsored by govconnection. cloud realities and opportunities for higher ed was the topic of the day for Barb goldworm, founder, president, and chief analyst of Boulder, colo.-based FOcus, which offers research, analysis, and consulting services focused on systems, software, and storage. she shared how the all-familiar mantra “do more with less” is about consolidating, optimiz54 | September 2011 ing, and automating. consolidation began with server virtualization and is moving into storage, desktop applications, and networks. Once an organization is 30 percent to 40 percent virtualized, it starts to put too many demands on existing infrastructure, she notes. Besides private and public clouds, goldworm is seeing hybrid clouds, a composition of two or more interoperable clouds, enabling data and application portability. emerging are community clouds, which “cross university boundaries and share beyond the borders of the institution,” she said, adding

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of University Business - September 2011

University Business - September 2011
Editor's Note
College Index
Ad Index
Behind the News
Financial Aid
Money Matters
Internet Technology
Shared Governance
Acknowledging Achievement
Looking Back
Spotlight on Procurement
EduComm 2011
End Note

University Business - September 2011