Weaving Conversations

TLT Knowledge Log

The FITness Report

Posted by C Elizabeth Thomas on September 11, 2006

As VP for IT at a small liberal arts college in New Hampshire, I was consistently confronted with out of sync expectations of students, parents, faculty and administrators regarding the appropriate and effective use of technology on our campus. I believe a college’s first responsibility is to the academic life, when technology dollars are slim. Students prefer that they have access to the best and fastest network because of their social and recreational needs. Faculty are all over the map in skill level and understanding.

The report that often guided my thinking — in presentations to the Board, as part of the senior leadership team, as leader of faculty development sessions and as a mantra to my staff — was what I referred to as the FITness report (Being Fluent in Technology). I hadn’t thought about that report much in the past year or so… with all the other goings on in my life… but it returned to my thinking when I began reviewing last year’s e-book from Educause… Educating the Net Generation. I really like the concept of fluency… it extends literacy. Somewhere a few years ago I read an article about technology as language… same idea.

I’m looking at these reports in the context of the dialog on Web 2.0, and I think there will interesting connections among these ideas.

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