a blog about technology management

Looking 5 years out

Candidate searches in an IT environment often ask the question “What will the IT environment be like in 5 years?”  Looking ahead in IT is nearly impossible, even 1 year is a challenge.  I enjoy listening to the end-of-the-year radio shows where the tech commentators listen to their predictions from 12 months prior and comment on them.  Most are quite funny.  Could I have predicted the iPad or ubiquitous mobility 5 years ago?  Let’s see what I was blogging about 5 years ago.

Turn on the WABAC machine and let’s see.  It’s 2006. Pluto was demoted.  iTunes store had sold 1.5 billion songs in 3 years (it was only 3 year sold).  It’s up to 10 billion now.  Daniel Powter was topping the charts with “Bad Day.”  My blog posts were few but I was working on adding functionality to our moodle install as well as going to Educause nationals.  My focus at Educause 2006 was an interplanetary Internet (a very good keynote), learning spaces were still hot, outsourcing resnet, posting more materials online causing an increase in printing volume, web 2.0 and CMS 2.0.

Where are those topics now?  While learning spaces were hot, now they are part of our campus planning fabric.  Then it was outsourcing resnet, now it’s outsourcing email.  In both cases, we are taking a hard look at what services are not strategic (but still essential) and moving them out and refocusing institutional resources on strategic and mission-related projects.  My Frye experience continues to resonate.

I think there will always be some unforeseen disruptive technology that shakes everything up. What we have to do is accept that is the world we exist in and simply roll with it.  I prefer to not jump in with both feet but rather assess things (be reflective) before taking a step.  Take iPads for instance.  We see some faculty buying them for themselves and using them to improve their productivity, improve their access to information, and now enhance their teaching.  My team is planning an iPad summit with the cutting edge faculty to discuss how they are using iPads and how they could imagine iPads impacting student learning.  So far, at my institution, they’ve been used for, at most, instruction but not student learning.  I hope a result of the iPad summit will be some great pilot ideas to improve student learning which we can then support and fund.  I prefer to not buy the iPads and then shop for ideas – teaching first, technology second.  I see this as the delicate dance instructional technologist play with faculty — sometimes lead, sometimes follow, and sometimes line dance along side.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Powered by WordPress | Designed by Elegant Themes