Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A glimpse of the future?

The Chronicle of Higher Ed summarizes what went wrong at San Jose State when the powers-that-be decided to plunge into the future with new technology:  The future is always so attractive!  Of course, nothing like this could happen at UC.

1. San Jose State declined Internet-service upgrades that the California State University system was offering free.
The university paid Cisco for faster Internet service, the article says, “even though the California State University system—which is coordinating Internet upgrades for its other 22 campuses—is providing similar technology at no cost to the schools, with a company that offered CSU a proposal at one-fifth the price Cisco quoted.”
2. Members of the administration, including (President) Qayoumi, became pitch men for Cisco.
Mr. Qayoumi and the campus’s information-technology chief, Terry Vahey, have written what the article calls “advertorials for Cisco-purchased advertising space” about the power of technology that appeared in the Huffington Post.
3. Campus leaders did not ask faculty members what technology they needed until two years after the administration had decided what to buy.
As a result, professors have found themselves in possession of expensive gadgets that go unused:
“Professor Rachel O’Malley, who heads the environmental-studies department, expresses her displeasure by keeping her videophone unplugged. She is not alone: Most of the professors interviewed for this story say that in an age of FaceTime and Skype, the fancy phones are simply unnecessary.”
4. An IT staff member might have embezzled $800,000 worth of wireless Internet devices.
That’s a bummer because Internet service is one aspect of the university’s infrastructure that everybody agrees required an upgrade.
5. The Center for Excellence in Adaptive and Blended Learning, one of the last vestiges of San Jose State’s foray into MOOCs, has been put “on hold.”
The “center” was really a series of workshops about how professors might incorporate MOOC materials into their courses. Mr. Qayoumi announced the creation of the center in April 2013 at a news conference with Gavin Newsom, California’s lieutenant governor. A backlash soon followed. The university later “paused” (and then quietly abandoned) another high-profile partnership with Udacity. With the Center for Excellence in Adaptive and Blended Learning dormant, San Jose State’s attempt to surf the MOOC wave appears to be over.

Full story at

The nice thing about future technology is that it's so easy to predict:

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