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More Challenges Ahead for IT in Higher Education

05/28/2013 by: The SunView Team

Several years ago, I was a Project Manager working full time on Sales Consultant training. Our distance learning model was originally built around regularly scheduled live on-air trainers. Then we began to move the training to the online model, making the product knowledge training available anytime, anywhere. The new model was disruptive to the trainers but cheaper for our client, easier for us to administer, more accessible to the Sales Consultants, and the information delivery was 100% consistent.

If you are managing the changes required for EDU IT, whether disruptive or slowly progressive, you need to control the change and release process. Check out the offer below.

Over the past several years, the changes in education have been moving towards the online teaching model. My daughter got her high school diploma through online classes at the same time that she was attending Community College. She then received her AA and many of those courses were online. Our educational sector clients in IT Organizations are deeply involved in managing the institution's online courses and more.

What is the Impact of MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) on the IT Organization?

In David Carr's recent post, Higher Ed CIOs Can't Ignore MOOCs Or Politics, he talks about the many challenges of the modern CIO in Higher Education. He was invited to attend the Consero Higher Education Technology Forum, an event for peer-to-peer interaction among higher-education technology leaders.
One participant said:

"what consumes your day, what you really do, is politics."

Something many readers will relate to. Another participant is working on a service catalog,

"With a service catalog, it's easy to see what's obsolete or redundant or a commodity service that could be outsourced at a lower cost, as the range of things that can be treated as commodity expands."

Of course, the discussion then becomes about making IT into a commodity. Can IT be entirely outsourced? Another participant noted:

The idea of a service catalog is an important tool for identifying where IT adds the most value... remember that their job was "not to do IT but to help people do education and research."

I think that is the crux of IT in EDU - help to enable educators and researchers to do what they do. IT in EDU is not about IT. The CIO for EDU needs to focus on the fact that teaching and learning technologies continue to drive their jobs but,

"we've been mired in administrative computing, and it's time to put the academic hat back on."

Wow, that is powerful. Did you get into EDU for the IT opportunity or to help in education? Another CIO noted:

"contracting with MOOCs was too close to the core mission of delivering academic content. "Coming from the liberal arts college sector, if we're going to think of outsourcing that, what is left? We're outsourcing not just our core mission but our bread and butter - putting it out there. So are we contributing to a disruption that's going to disrupt us right out of existence?"

Very similar to my days in distance learning management. We were putting a huge dent in the trainers' pay checks, but we were still delivering excellent content to teach product knowledge. Progress?

There are many big issues facing the CIO of Higher Education - ranging from administrative and IT outsourcing, to MOOC and giving away the educational content. How are you managing the changes to EDU?