Teaching, Learning, Technology Roundtable - St. Cloud State University

Teaching, Learning, Technology Roundtable

TLTR Notes for 10/19/07

In attendance: Kristi Tornquist, Rich Josephson, Ilya Yakovlev, Tom Hergert, Marcus Pohl, J.C. Turner, Kristin Lyman, Sara Grachek, George Fiedler, John Weber, Casey Wagner, Phil Thorson, Mario Felix, Balsy Kasi

A SWOT analysis was started as part of our revision of the SCSU Technology Plan.  Those present first each wrote down up to five opportunities, followed by up to five threats.  Below is the compiled list of each.



Technology Literacy Increasing?
Students have more sophisticated personal hardware and technical skills
More tech-savvy students
Younger generations are increasingly tech savvy

Veterans Back From Active Duty

3D (2)

Further Development of Standards

More people have access to high speed Internet -- video/audio
Standard PC use across campus controlled by one organization
Secured computing
Software as a service
Packaged based application installation for Mac and PC
Virtual apps and servers

Developing standards for inter-connectedness (meebo)
Seamless external service integration with campus technologies
Rich media proliferates and gets to be cheaper and higher quality
Next generation course management system is “better”
Developments in intelligent technologies (per Ray Kurzweil)

Ubiquitousness of wireless networks (WiFi, WiMax, cellular)
Increased wireless usage and popularity
GPS/tracking devices
Wireless devices (e.g. Google phone, smart phones, blackberries)

Alignment with free electronic services and social networks (Facebook, hotmail, Gmail)
Social networking (2)
Second Life
Web 2.0

Establish key vendor relationships which extends current technical and teaching expertise
Partnerships (MnSCU and other institutions)
Partnerships with Office of the Chancellor
Price of proven technologies continues to drop rapidly
MnSCU finally gets bulk pricing figured out

Growing importance (“mission critical”) of technology in the way the world operates
Recognition of need for technology funding

Home schooling -- they are making better use of technology -----> opportunities to deliver instructors to them
Demand for online public education increases (with appropriate resources)
Increase online/distance learning opportunities (all courses online)
Growth in online learning
Growth of 24/7 learning environments (online learning)


More technologies available for classes, i.e. conferencing tools (some we own, some not) that don’t require dedicated rooms
Advances in collaboration software
Digital workflow

Developments in mobile technologies
Laptops, mobile student computing

High # students w/cell phones -- long distance calls not a much of a problem
Capability of near instant communication with all students (& campus) for emergencies

Personalized technology experiences




Perception that Distance Education costs less/same as traditional classroom education

Other schools going after the same students via distance technologies

Competition from well-funded for-profit “institutions”
Students enrolling at other institutions, less $ for us
Competition with other schools/recruitment may be limited, lowering student base

Increased security risks
Spam/phishing/scams, viruses, etc.
Sophisticated hackers, etc., security
Identity thefts
New ways to notify people in emergencies
Terrorism, loss of privacy, other security threats
Homeland Security, war/conflicts
Security issues e.g. spam, phishing, personal identity theft

Economy jitters/fears of weak economy
Commoditization of education
Mandates from state/national
(Office of the Chancellor) Universities may not be able to have a “specialness” or unique foci
Stakeholder demands and expectations outstrip resources
Growth in funding for technology rarely keeps pace to properly support how it is used
Lots to do but few/diminishing resources
Limited funding from legislature
Funding levels could change, projections not great
Funding for new technology initiatives rarely includes total cost of ownership, i.e. personnel, space renovation, etc.

Diversify communication opportunities to the point that it becomes more complicated rather than useful/helpful (overload)
Diverse user needs means support challenges for all the different technologies
Online programs from other institutions
Flexibility demands complexity and requires well-resourced support
Information overload/fatigue
Unrealistic service expectations for current staffing levels; OoC makes changes that we have to implement

More and more new technologies; which do we support?
Not in control of all technology critical to operation (i.e. power at U of M/D2L/Internet capacity)
Too many PC standards/configurations to maintain
No single point for IT
Demand for 24/7 service
Legacy technologies

Students and faculty who prefer classroom interaction are disheartened by trends to online technologies
Lose out on the value of face-to-face personal experiences with the increase in technology
Culture may not have empowerment as key foundation

Organizations adopt and adapt too slowly to technology
Certain social segments left behind as technology non-adopters
Loss of expertise (baby boomers, industry)
Funding sources, legislature, OoC
New technology that we aren’t prepared yet to support
Huge investment needed for IT to keep it current
Access to technology e.g. broadband usage limited across state
Office of the Chancellor may not have realistic “seamless” expectations
Artificial Intelligence

Laws and policies lag behind technology, creating uncertainty
Increase in online learning = increase in potential cheating without better solutions in place

Political climate continues to devalue people as opposed to technology
Lack of understanding of IT need by senior level - thus lack of funding
Loss of funding and other support for IT
Non-IT believers, VP/President

3D not ready for prime time!!