Monday, December 8, 2014

Top ten posts 2014 (part 1)

At the end of the year, it's typical to reflect on the milestones we've reached over the last twelve months. So it is during this time that I like to review articles I've shared on this blog, and highlight several via a "top ten" list. These are presented in no particular order:

Higher-ed IT must change or die
Technology in higher-ed is on the verge of major change. 2014 will introduce major shifts in campus technology, and higher-ed IT has no choice but to adapt. In only a few years, our roles will change dramatically. The shifting sands of technology is a key point. For example, only few years ago, everyone wanted iPads in the classrooms; now, Chromebooks have overtaken iPads in education.
It's easier to interpolate than extrapolate
Try this exercise instead: What do you want your IT organization to be doing 5 years from now? What does that IT team look like? What is it focused on? What are its priorities? How is it shaped? Once you've imagined that vision, take a step back. You know where you're going to end up in 5 years. What your next step? Where do you go from here? What are the major milestones you need to reach over the next year, and over the next 5 years, to reach your target?
Master of Science in Scientific and Technical Communication
As I reflected on my Master's program, I commented on a few classes that really stuck with me. If you are interested in the MS-STC program, and want to know what some of the classes are like, this is for you.
Celebrating 20 years in free software
Another reflection, this time on my work in free software. In June, The FreeDOS Project turned 20 years old. FreeDOS is a free version of DOS, a replacement for Microsoft's MS-DOS. FreeDOS dates back to 1994, when I was still a physics undergraduate student at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. While my major field of study was physics, I long held a strong interest in computers and programming.
We are surrounded by experts
The faculty on our campuses have spent years to become experts in their fields. And they are your colleagues. Just as we rely on relationships between our peers in IT to get things done, to call on favors, we can use our connection with campus to learn from our faculty. You might audit a class (often for no cost!) and spend an entire semester to do a "deep dive" on a new skill. Or you might ask one of the faculty to give advice or coaching to pick up a new topic, or to improve an existing strength. If you feel particularly motivated, you might work with a faculty adviser to build a program out of these leadership and management skills, and either complete a Master's degree or acquire a second Bachelor's degree.

These are only five of my "top ten" posts from 2014. I'll share the other five on Friday this week.
photo: Saad Faruque

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