Monday, December 2, 2013

2013 Top 10 - part 1

As the year draws to a close, I like to look back and reflect on my favorite posts of 2013. This year, it was pretty hard to narrow down to just my favorite ten posts. I've covered a range of topics this year, from MOOCs to new learning modes, and lead-manage-do to what's coming up next in technology. Here is a selection of my favorite posts of 2013.

Learn something (January 14)
I generally encourage everyone to learn something, no matter where they are.  It's helpful to occasionally take a step back and look at your career highlights. We refer to this as a leadership journey. To start, a leadership journey should be distilled to just those events that hold the greatest meaning. These moments can be either "negative" or "positive". You may find that your leadership journey changes as you gain new perspectives throughout your career and life experiences. And that's okay.
MOOCs as a disruptive innovation (March 18)
This week's post is co-authored by Rex Wheeler II, my partner in the Office of Information Technology at the Twin Cities campus. For years, higher education seemed immune to upheaval. While individual topic areas changed over time, such as the introduction of Computer Science as a new science in the liberal arts, higher education has always been based on an instructor with students in a classroom. But as the saying goes, change is the only constant. This proves true even in today's higher education with the introduction of electronic learning (e-learning) and massive open online courses (MOOCs).
How technology changes entertainment (April 8)
Technology changes all the time, and those changes are driven by us. However, it's interesting to consider how technology changes us, how technology changes our perceptions of culture, of art, and of entertainment. It's not just about technology will change the platforms artists (of all types) use to create, produce, publish and distribute their work—but how technology might even replace the artist him/herself. I suppose it's only a matter of time before someone at a music label gets the bright idea to combine data analytics of what people are buying, CGI avatars, and vocaloids to create a completely synthetic pop star, sometimes called an idoru.
Going behind IT's back (April 15)
It's a symptom of the consumerization of technology, where faculty and staff bring technology into the campus on their own terms. Sometimes they work with IT on the new technology, and that's great when they do. At other times, they try to hide it from IT, and that's not good. We need to face up to personal devices entering the campus network; it's naive to assume this will be a passing fad. IT departments need to embrace BYOD. We need to stop saying "no" to customers, and find ways to say "let me help you."
The future of the helpdesk (May 31)
In the face of "BYOD" or "Bring your own devices," helpdesks need to transform to remain relevant. The helpdesk is the most visible technology support function. Students, faculty, and staff look to the helpdesk for all kinds of technology support. The helpdesk needs to be continuously available to everyone on campus in order to be most effective. I will add that a helpdesk that offers 24x7 support would add huge benefits to higher ed. Most institutions' helpdesks operate in "office hours," or 8:00-5:00. That's fine if you are supporting on-campus staff and faculty, but it's not a great support model for students who often stay up to late hours while working on homework and projects.

I'll post the second half of the list next week.

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