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May 12, 2008

Collaboration Technology and Community Engagement - Recap

Case Western Reserve University has a grand tradition of information technology innovation. Back in 1973, the University was one of the original nodes on the then ARPA Network (which pre-dates the commercial internet by 20 years). In 1986, the University created the Cleveland Freenet Community Computer System, a free public computer network which allowed dial-in users Internet access. In 1989, Case Western Reserve was the first campus in the world to use fiber optics to create a computer network. In 2002, Case Western Reserve was among the first campuses to deploy next generation switched gigabit network technologies and add pervasive wireless technology around the university. In 2003, we helped to form OneCleveland now known as OneCommunity.

This past week (May 08, 2008), with the help of a lot of friends and colleagues Case Western Reserve University launched Collaboration Technology and Engaging the Campus. We think we may once again be ahead 'ahead of the curve'. As reflected in our campus-wide conversations and strategic planning effort, the professional technology services community at Case Western Reserve University stands poised to offer the campus a portfolio of collaboration tools and platforms to advance the mission of the institution.

Online coverage of the gathering has been very positive with plenty of engagement from bloggers and others. The Cleveland Plain Dealer covered the launch of our collaboration with OneCommunity to extend the wireless cloud beyond University Circle into Cleveland Heights, East Cleveland, and further into the City itself. Anthony Williams, co-author of Wikinomics and our lunch keynoter posted reflections on his his own blog on his short visit to Cleveland and Case Western Reserve University. Several different blogs linked to Andy Guess' piece from Inside Higher Education. Jeffrey Young, from the Chronicle Higher Education blogged about his experience in SecondLife during the conference. Karen Schaefer from NPR affiliate WKSU filed a 5 minute story on the gathering.

More than 300 persons came to the event at the Thwing Center with nearly 100 additional registrants watching some or all the event through the available stream or in SecondLife. The gathering had 40 speakers, two plenary panels, 16 breakout sessions, and our lunch hour keynote.

Here are some examples. Exploration of curricular use of wikis found blogs on "Ben Schechter from the Case School of Dental medicine's Clinical Manual. Jonathan Adler, from the Case School of Law was the lead-in to not only Andy Guess' story but also caught the attention of others in the blogsphere. A number of folks commented on their experiences at the conference in second life here and here. Other bloggers commented on the various lessons learned and opportunities to leverage their experiences at the gathering in their own environments. If you've blogged or twittered related to the gathering please let us know in the comment sections.

With the forthcoming release of the University's strategic plan, the technology community at Case Western Reserve University is committed to positioning these and other powerful collaboration tools to support the pursuit of scholarly and academic distinction consistent with the vision of the University. We hope that today might mark the first of an annual celebration of innovation and critical reflection on the transformation potential of collaboration technology for the University and the community around us.

Lev Gonick
Case Western Reserve University
May 11, 2008

Posted by lsg8 at May 12, 2008 11:30 AM and tagged

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