Oct 31 2006

What is the Goal of EdTech?

With enrollment at an all-time high, everyone is dependent on the network for the business of education, pleasure and communication.

This preview issue of Ed Tech is focused on you–the IT decision-maker. Better yet, this magazine is for you. By that I mean that Ed Tech's mission is to help you do your job better: solve problems, think strategically and, most importantly, help you initiate new and innovative technology solutions for your campus and many constituents.

As you know all too well, you serve and support more constituencies than ever before: students, faculty, administrators, staff, parents, alumni, suppliers and employees. Then add to the mix students and faculty who take part in distance learning. Further, you have members of the community who use your campus facilities for events, library services and recreation, coupled with people who attend sporting events, summer camps, concerts–and more.

That's quite a lot of bandwidth for an IT department to service and support. And that is the primary reason Ed Tech is in your hands. We understand your world and we want to help you do your job better so you can serve your constituents better.

I think Michael McKay, vice president for information technology and CIO at Rutgers University, says it best in this issue's interview (Q&A on page 25), when he says that “convergence” has happened on campus–“where everybody needs the network, so campus leaders now realize they have to get involved [in IT issues].”

Enrollment at institutions of higher education is at an all-time high. Overcrowded conditions at many schools tax facilities, systems and services. Everyone is dependent on the network for the business of education, pleasure and communication–24 x 7. And now you have to support more “smart” classroom technology that is becoming more sophisticated and network ready. So now you have convergence of AV and IT.

Of course, you also have to constantly do battle with hackers, bugs and other vermin that try to sneak into your systems to wreak havoc.

No pressure, right?

Sure there is. But you also realize that IT services do more for your institution than just keep everyone connected and clicking away.

Technology enhances education. And more and more, technology initiatives are directly tied to–and measured against–the institution's mission and goals.

From my point of view, those involved in IT strategy and decisions at the higher education level are unique compared to their counterparts in the business and consumer worlds. You are helping to educate the next generation of leaders– students who are already digitally astute–who will bring that knowledge and functionality to their workplace or profession. They will be as comfortable with technology as an integrated force in their workplace lives as they are down-loading a song or communicating through IM.

We hope you enjoy reading this preview issue of EdTech, and we look forward to serving you in the future.

Chris Rother is vice president of education sales for Vernon Hills, Ill.-based CDW•G, a leading technology provider to government and education.


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