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Education content from Leo Nelson

Top 10 Questions to ask a University IT Department – 2009

Over the last couple of years I’ve helped at the new student/ prospective student admissions department fairs at Temple University. As a result, I’ve managed to get a sense for the typical questions that parents or students ask the IT department and also possibly the types of questions they should be asking. So here’s my list for 2009 of the top 10 topics you should ask the IT department at your university.

  1. Technical Support
  2. Software discounts
  3. Hardware discounts
  4. Printers and Printing
  5. Residence Hall Room network restrictions
  6. Wireless Access
  7. Seminars and Training
  8. Computer Labs and Social Spaces
  9. Off-campus access to restricted resources
  10. File Space

EDUCAUSE Mid-Atlantic Regional 2009 Conference

The EDUCAUSE  Mid-Atlantic Regional 2009 Conference is currently going on in Philadelphia. This year’s topic is focussed on ‘The Technology Revolution in Higher Education: IT as a Catalyst for Change’. Definitely an interesting topic when colleges and universities are also currently experiencing challenges from the economy.

For those not familiar, EDUCAUSE is a nonprofit association whose mission is to help advance higher education by promoting the use of information technology.

I’m going to try and make it to tomorrow’s sessions but because we’ve just started work on a BMC Remedy project I’ve been missing out on some great sessions that happened today. A number of my colleagues are at the conference and are using Twitter to keep others in the loop. If you’d like to tune in, check out posts with the hashtag #MARC09 (i.e. Mid Atlantic Regional Conference 2009), or simply visit the Twitter search page for Marc09.

Conferences like EDUCAUSE are a great way to network with fellow peers within the education industry and especially a chance to monitor trends that may be worth investing in. For example, for a day that I missed, here’s a sampling of topics that were covered in today’s session that I would have liked to attend:

  1. Help Desk Outsourcing: Lessons Learned – Interesting given the general negative perception that some Fortune 500 companies have faced as a result of outsourcing their Help Desk operations. At a time when universities are trying to increase alumni giving, one would expect that keeping Help Desk operations in house would actually help improve customer satisfaction which might directly correspond with an eventual increase in alumni giving. I like to say Customer Loyalty = Customer Satisfaction + Customer Relationship Management
  2. Teaching in Virtual Worlds (Second Life) – Another interesting area given that Second Life seemed to be the big area for marketing a brand and slowly seems to have lost steam over the past year. I was glad that I never invested in Linden Dollars and with so much educational material now available on Youtube I’m curious how or what was taught in SecondLife. Either way, Second Life is still running unlike Google’s Lively which closed on January 1 2009.
  3. Effective Strategies in Supporting a Campus Through Major Technology Initiatives

Some links that a colleague shared through out the day via Twitter that are truly reflective of the gems that you take away from the various sessions include:

  1. Top 100 Tools for Learning in 2008 - Are you using at least the Top 10 tools?
  2. Dr. Michael Wesch’s YouTube videos - Check out the video ‘A Vision of Students Today’
  3. Project Tomorrow - How are today’s students being prepared to be tomorrow’s innovators, leaders and engaged citizens of the world.