Keeping infrastructure ahead of demand has become a big challenge for higher education, Hinson says. 

Jun 02 2014

Q&A: David Hinson on Coping with Expanding Tech Boundaries

Keeping infrastructure ahead of demand has become a big challenge for higher education, Hinson says.

(After the publication of EdTech: Focus on Higher Educaton’s “Top 50 Must-Read IT Blogs,” we chatted with a few of the bloggers on the list.)

David J. Hinson’s higher education blog, Logorrhea, is new to our dean’s list and has an interesting take on daily updates through video blogs. Hinson is the chief information officer of Hendrix College and also develops apps for mobile platforms. We spoke with him this week about his blog and his take on the future of technology in higher education.

EDTECH: Please describe the theme of your blog.

HINSON: Logorrhea is my personal blog. There’s no particular rhyme or reason to it, just whatever happens to be in my head. I do try to keep it mostly related to what I am doing professionally at the time. Right now that just happens to be working in higher ed.

EDTECH: What made you want to start writing your blog?

HINSON: This was actually my third or fourth attempt at starting a blog. This time, for whatever reason, it took. I began working on Logorrhea in 2008 because I wanted an outlet to discuss social networking and my development efforts there. As I moved into mobile development my topics and posts centered on that area of interest. These days, I seem to be talking mostly about higher ed issues, teleconferencing, customer service and communications. Next year – who knows? I just want to make sure that whatever I write or produce that it's interesting.

EDTECH: Do you interact with your readers?

HINSON: Not so much directly on the blog — perhaps because I approve all comments before allowing them on the blog. When I do interact with readers, it is usually through another channel where we’re also connected, like Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

EDTECH: From your perspective, what's the biggest technological challenge higher education institutions face today?

HINSON: The biggest technological challenge [in] higher education is that technology is exponentially more ubiquitous, voracious and mobile with each passing day. Each of our students at Hendrix College has, on average, three or four devices connected to our network at any given time. We have increased our overall Internet capacity tenfold in the last three years, simply to keep pace with demand. Students, faculty and staff increasingly want – and expect – to be able to work anytime and anywhere on campus, with the same productivity they enjoy in their dorms, offices and classrooms. Our challenge is to keep our capacity and infrastructure just ahead of the demand. There is simply no way to anticipate exactly what particular devices we’ll be seeing on our networks, only that there will be more — always more — expected of our network and its ability to support and provide a great campus technology experience.

EDTECH: Read any other IT-related blogs?

HINSON: Not regularly. In the early days I used aggregators, like Bloglines or Google Reader, to follow what was happening in the blogosphere. Blogging has certainly diminished in volume over the past several years, in favor of tweets, Instagram selfies and videos. Even on my blog, I would say that my content has made a definite shift, from long-form posts to more of platform to host short video and long-form podcast content. Readers’ tastes are changing, and, sadly, many bloggers have just stopped altogether.

When I do read a post someone has written, it is usually because I ran across a mention on Twitter, Google+ or Facebook — but not because I do any kind of appointment reading on a particular set of blogs.

Look for more Q&As with other Higher Education bloggers from our Top 50 list in the coming weeks.

<p>Courtesy of David J. Hinson</p>

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