5.20 Communication Technologies Overview - Teaching, Learning, Technology Roundtable - St. Cloud State University

5.20 Communication Technologies Overview


SCSU is recognized as a leader in the deployment and use of technology to enable and support communication channels for its faculty, staff, students, and other stakeholders. Some of these communications technologies can be classified as electronic mail (e-mail), telephone and voice services, Web-based services, and personal productivity and collaboration services such as calendaring. Additional communication technologies are addressed in other sections of this technology plan.

These communication technologies provide options for communication and collaboration. For instance, the user can decide how, where, and when the communication takes place, and these technologies work equally well for two people or for a group of people. In addition, many of these technologies are converging. That is, personal productivity tools are often integrated with e-mail (Outlook/Exchange), voice mail and e-mail may soon be delivered in the same interface (Unified Messaging in Outlook), and all these features are available anywhere via the Web.

These communication technologies require that the underlying hardware, software, data, and connectivity be purchased, maintained, upgraded, and supported. Also, support staff and users must be trained in the proper use of the technologies. Planning and resource allocation are required to deal with rapidly changing technologies.

From an organization cultural perspective, these technologies must be deployed at the level that the organization members expect; new rules of etiquette and interpersonal communication must be developed (most often informally); the deployment must be distributed fairly to avoid have/have not cells of technology; and the cost/benefit balance must be correct for the organization and these technologies.

As SCSU moves forward in the use of these technologies (and technologies not yet available), planning, discussion, value versus cost, impact on individuals, and the needs and expectations of our students and the broader community, must be continually assessed and reevaluated. The proper mix of communication technologies for this university will happen only with vision, allocation of resources, and input from the campus community.


Over the next five years, SCSU will continue to provide communication technologies that

  • meet the communication needs and expectations of the campus community
  • enable effective delivery of education and services
  • position SCSU as a leader in communication and collaboration opportunities
  • increase personal and group interaction and productivity.

The specific actions and timeline, resources, and evaluation that will enable the University to meet these goals are listed in sections 5.20.1, 5.20.2, 5.20.3, and 5.20.4.

Revised: May 2003