Information Technology: 2009 Overview, Hype Cycles, and Kuali Open Source

Ralph DiCaprio collected the following documents relating to Information Technology in Higher Education:

The Horizon Report: 2009 Edition”  “The annual Horizon Report describes the continuing work of the NMC’s Horizon Project, a long-running qualitative research project that seeks to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have a large impact on teaching, learning, research, or creative expression within learning-focused organizations.  The 2009 Horizon Report is the sixth annual report in the series. The report is produced again in 2009 as a collaboration between the New Media Consortium and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI), an EDUCAUSE program.”

IT Hype Cycles (Prepared by Gartner).  “A “hype cycle” is a graphic representation of the cycle that new technologies go through.”  Document contains hype cycle terms and hype cycles for 2008 & 2009.

Kuali- The Next Open Source Movement,” Inside Higher Ed, July 6, 2009

MIT Abandons Kuali Open-Source Software Project,” Chronicle of Higher Education, June 15, 2010.


One Response

  1. IT appears, like facilities management, to be an organization that is not accountable and does not adhere to an agreed quality of service. An example of this is BlackBoard. What do faculty want of an online course management system? Do we need a system that has a dysfunctional business model? A model that has upgrades every year that require the users, faculty and students, to relearn how to use the software on each upgrade. A system and support structure that cannot respond to questions and queries about its bugs/features in the time frame students and faculty have to work on? The best you get is a work order 24 hours after putting in a query, and a work order that may not be resolved for weeks.
    The new email and calendaring system is another example of poor service and needless change, the latter a characteristic of IT. “Leadership” has been changed but faculty have still yet to be scheduled for the transfer. No one has explained the benefits to faculty of the new calendar system, all faculty know is that “leadership” are working in a different system to the point they are easily excluded from meetings.. All faculty get is the instruction from “leadership” to get their “calendar managers” to update their calenders with appointments issued in a magisterial manner, because “leadership” does not have their calendar managers to check in Oracle if the faculty are available. I was supposed to be on a consultative working group over the summer and I never took part because I was never informed of the meetings because most of the people in the group were of the leadership-class and been transferred to the new system.
    The current so-called NextGen Network Upgrade is another example of poor execution of a project because there is no communication of the policy objectives to us or the people doing the “upgrade”. I work in a building that had 100 Mb/s to the desk many years ago as part of the Internet 2 installation done in my building and several others. We are now being “upgraded” although to many of us it will be a downgrade. We will likely lose our ability to internally network groups of computers at 1 Gb/s. We are losing the ability to physically isolate traffic from one group of computers from another group. The impact of this project is at the level where we may have to reconsider research grants already received because it may no longer be feasible to do the work given the constraints we likely to have to work under.
    It is surprising that in the financial condition that the University has been in for the last ten years that we are willing to underwrite all these projects at once: new SIS; Q2S; new email and calendering system; NextGen Network Upgrade. This is particularly galling since we have a track record of not executing such IT intensive projects very well. The Oracle Financial software still provides faculty with less information than the CUFS system it replaced. The Concur system is still not compliant with University Policies and Procedures, but who cares? It is a system so cumbersome to use that it is incredible that we are still using it.

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