January 13, 2011

Predicting IT Trends on Campus

Lev Gonick
Lev Gonick

For the past few years, Insider Higher Ed has engaged Lev Gonick, chief information officer and vice president of Information Technology Services at Case Western Reserve University, to provide his top 10 technology predictions for the coming year, and this year was no different. His predictions ranged from global engagement through technology to, of course, the popularity of iPads and other e-readers. But, he noted, “This year’s tech predictions are less about gadgets and new technology innovation [and more about] how innovation has led to a broad set of challenges.” Yet no list of tech trends could be without some acknowledgment of gadgets and their real-world applications. “Key technology trends like mobility, gaming, e-readers and social networking—four of the 10 trends from last year—are repeats [on my prediction list] this year. These technologies are gaining a foothold in interesting ways, while last year they were largely emergent.”

So exactly how do these national trends play out on the Case Western Reserve campus? “All 10 trends have direct consequence and relevance to Case Western Reserve University,” Gonick said.

For example, many faculty members are innovating in learning platforms like multipurpose e-readers, Gonick said, and many others use all electronic learning materials in courses, including texts. There still is a long way to go when it comes to complete implementation, though: “I would be surprised if e-texts, including electronic reserves and online resources represent more than 10 percent of the current textbook adoption/purchasing behavior of faculty and staff,” Gonick said anecdotally.

Additionally, the university is continuing to innovate in mobility, gaming and virtual world technologies, including learning activities in Second Life.

And the adoption of MediaVision courseware, the university’s digital lecture capture solution, has expanded to more than 100 courses each semester. “This homegrown rich media solution began as a platform built to support student success in introductory courses. It is now deployed in a range of different settings, including executive and graduate courses across the university,” he explained. “In addition, a number of faculty members are experimenting with students making their own video recordings of learning activities.”

Other trends Gonick predicts for 2011 at Case Western Reserve include:

  • A strategic alignment to the efforts in internationalization
  • Leading efforts in shared service models for technology among peer institutions as well as in exploring entrepreneurial opportunities to support revenue generation
  • A commitment to operational excellence and to surfacing additional capacity to support key university initiatives, like alliance activities
  • A continued focus on decision support tools for administrative systems and on improving business solutions to help the university community get work done in a convenient, easy manner
  • Continuing to embrace project management as a core methodology and being able to handle all kinds of project requests that come to ITS
  • Advancing pilot activity in a new initiative to support open data set sharing
  • Further develop the Case Connection Zone, a next-generation project designed to provide faster broadband access to local residents and Case Western Reserve students in the area. “The Case Connection Zone is a demonstration project on how a great university can support the priorities of its neighbors and advance the research agenda of its faculty researchers,” Gonick said.

To read his predictions for the world of higher education and see how they compare to his predictions for Case Western Reserve, view the Inside Higher Ed article here.

Posted by: Emily Mayock, January 13, 2011 08:15 AM | News Topics:

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