Sep 15

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Session on Academic Technology (live-blogging)

How do we help faculty become more tech-savvy?


  • going into the departments to do trainings (instead of campus-wide trainings)
  • sending out emails via Faculty Development Center (but do faculty even look at all of their emails anymore?)

The biggest hurdle is communication, such as having problems getting approval to post on the Faculty Portal

  • doing infomercial videos for technology services (Colleen will post some links to the ASU’s Academic Minute), perhaps posting these to departmental facebook page

To reach faculty, address their specific needs.   Make sure they know that they’ll learn something that will make their jobs easier (or make them look smarter)

  • Show academic examples if you’re teaching a technology like Facebook
  • Develop SoftChalk and Camtasia video tutorials that they can access anytime

Is it school culture or generational that some faculty prefer F2F interaction and some prefer self-paced tutorials?  Or perhaps discipline-specific?  Is it easier with newer faculty members?

  • Is it discipline-specific?  Example: within the Humanities, it’s easier to get faculty on board who are in Languages, but not in English (they have the greatest resistance).

You have to do a lot of marketing to get the word out on the campus.

  • But Faculty will tune you out because they’re getting too much.  So they won’t listen to what’s most important.  Does anyone read their email anymore?
  • Ex: of iPad rollout to CSUF Faculty (had to attend orientation to get your iPad, but it wasn’t effective).  Had to identify key apps (i.e. notetaking) and create sessions focused on that rather than general trainings.
  • Open House hours for drop-in questions at the beginning of the semester, also weekly Office Hours for drop-in service. Or online using Adobe Connect, Google Hangouts, Blackboard Collaborate, Elluminate (some faculty will be resistant to using this technology, though).
  • Lynda.com tutorials for software (for faculty and students).

Give away free stuff at trainings to get a turnout (apps, iPad cases, software).

Code Academy (is it good or not?).  Good for dabbling, but not comprehensive.

How do we keep our skills fresh, how do we navigate different worlds?

  • Don’t use corporate language with academics (learn their jargon)
  • (Jana’s personal observation: there are all women in this session.  Really curious about what’s going on with that….)
  • Hard to communicate:  we’re too “techie” for our constituents.
  • library.csuci.edu website–> lovely website, but stagnant content, not interactive; www.library.ucla.edu, springshare.com/ (very responsive to library needs, a hosted solution); custom solutions are frustrating when they depend on one developer and aren’t well-documented
  • Paradox of being older chronologically, but being the youngest technology-wise?  The issue of being support staff or “para-professional” rather than TT.  Lack of authority to be able to explore and implement new things?  Also, being spread too thin because of wanting to try so many projects/possibilities.  Cyclical nature of busy-ness allows for us to keep up-to-date?  Also, what happens when your “office” is the reference desk?  Is staying abreast of emergent technologies part of your job description (i.e. do you get paid to play at work)?  Difficult to go from being staff to being faculty at the same institution–>you have to go somewhere else.  Similar problem with switching from contract to TT at the same instittion.  Do we care about TT?  Maybe not, but we want to be FT and have permanent positions.  TT get more funding, get sabbaticals.  PT faculty aren’t supported by campus services, aren’t invited to Retreats, aren’t getting technology rollouts (like iPads), aren’t getting Faculty webpages (then students can’t even find info about their professors).




About the author

Jana Remy

I just received my PhD History at UC Irvine. My interest in the digital humanities stems from my ongoing "side-projects" that began in 90s-era listservs, moved to the social web, and are now spurring me towards DH project development. I've been an avid participant and sometimes planner of several previous THATCamps, such as THATCampLA, THATCampLondon, THATCampSF and THATCampSoCal 2011.

Permanent link to this article: http://socal2012.thatcamp.org/2012/09/15/session-on-academic-technology-live-blogging/

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