The Anaheim Convention Center was teeming with higher ed IT thought leaders Wednesday morning as Educause President and CEO Dr. John O'Brien took the stage in a packed exhibit hall to welcome attendees at the organization's annual meeting.
Before opening keynote speaker Susan Cain, co-founder of Quiet Revolution and author of "Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverts" and "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in A World That Can't Stop Talking," joined to detail the hidden leadership and collaborative power of introverts, Educause Recognition Committee Chair P.B. Garrett issued the following awards.
Leadership Award: Don Spicer, associate vice chancellor and CIO at University System of Maryland
Leadership Award (Posthumous Recognition): Bill Graves, former VP at Ellucian and founder and director of Institute of Academic Technology
Community Leadership Award: Timothy Chester, vice president for information technology at University of Georgia
Rising Star Award: Emily Lynema, associate head of IT and director of academic technology, NCSU Libraries at North Carolina State University
The untapped power of introverts
Susan Cain's keynote on the often-untapped potential of introverts was particularly relevant to an IT crowd that, when asked to raise hands, was roughly split 70/30 on introverts and extroverts. Cain began by asking, “Is the ideal leader bold, alpha, and gregarious? What about the ideal thinker?” She said that the cultural environment says there is only one style of leadership and being creative and thinking differently. But temperament matters and introversion and extroversion govern everything about the way we work, think and love. Thus, introverts and extroverts are both needed.
For organizations to fully harness the skills and talents of both introverts and extroverts, they must rethink personality to harness the power of the introverted third of the population, rethink creativity because solitude matters, and rethink leadership because the most charismatic person is not necessarily the best leader. There's more going on with introverts than meets the eye, she said, noting that they’re not sitting there inertly. They’re paying close, careful attention to everything going on around them and the subtleties of their environment.
Drop networking as a conference goal...find kindred spirits - says Susan Cain. I think EDUCAUSE has been pioneering this for years #edu16— Ken Graetz (@kgraetz) October 26, 2016
Many well-functioning companies, she said, are organized into yin and yang introvert/extrovert pairings.
Most notably, she said that while extroverts might enjoy group brainstorming more, it doesn’t produce best ideas because introverts think best in solitude. Therefore, the best approach sends some people off on their own to come up with ideas and bring them back to the group.
As a result, meetings can be run more effectively, with more than 3 people doing 70% of talking, in a number of ways. Introverts should push themselves to speak early in discussions, as ideas advanced early tend to become anchoring ideas, and people who speak up early become the center of discussion on a more emotional level. They also shouldn’t curb their enthusiasm for things they’re excited about, she said, adding that extroverts can stand to curb theirs a little. Extroverts should be aware of how much they’re talking in meetings and tone it down so others have a chance, making sure they also engage introverts one-on-one and give them advance notice to prep, because you’re probably never going to get an introvert’s best ideas in a group meeting. They like to think and process before they share their best ideas.
Campus Computing Project unveils 2016 survey results
In an afternoon session, the Campus Computing Project's Casey Green detailed the results of his organization's 27th "National Survey of Computing, eLearning, and Information Technology in US Higher Education." The web-based survey was completed by 339 institutional participants, with 76% of 2016 participants having also completed the 2015 survey.
The top five issues remain largely the same as last year, but with "Hiring and retaining qualified IT staff" rising to the top, followed by "Assisting faculty with instructional integration of IT," "Upgrading/enhancing network and data security," "Providing adequate user support services," and "Leveraging IT resources to support student success.
Among new questions this year: How do campuses spend student IT fees?
Check back in the coming days for a closer look at the survey's results.
Educause reveals 2017 Top 10 IT Issues list
Educause previewed its own list of top higher ed IT issues Wednesday afternoon, to be officially published in January. The organization's list, compiled and voted on by about two dozen panelists in higher ed IT leadership roles, is also grouped into five thematic areas: Information Security, Focused and Relevant Priorities, Strategic Use of Data, Next-Gen Enterprise IT and Digital Transformation of Learning.
New to the top 10 this year: strategic leadership, higher education affordability and next-gen enterprise IT. Keep an eye out as we roll out more details in our coverage of this year's show.
New CBL platform from Cengage's Learning Objects
- Learning Objects, acquired last year by Cengage, now has a full Competency-Based Learning (CBL) Platform available, aimed at offering a streamlined approach to the development of these programs.
- The platform offers competency dashboards, personalized learning activities, extended transcripts and evidence portfolios, and it was created with supporting self-paced programs offering modular credentials around learning goals that have been mapped to assessments and activities.
- According to a press release, the platform can also integrate with other systems based on IMS standards, and it can support instructor-led or independent learning in traditional, flipped, fully online or blended course formats.
CDW-G report offers insight engaging more women in STEM fields
- A new report from CDW-G, "Women in STEM: Igniting Engagement," examines a trend of stagnation in women attaining STEM degrees, based on a survey of 300 women.
- According to the report, current and former female students in higher ed STEM programs experienced a lack of female role models, negative stereotypes and discomfort asking questions in class.
- Among solutions suggested by respondents are bringing in more female role models to speak, connecting university women with influential women in STEM, and creating internship opportunities for female STEM students.
McGraw-Hill Education launches new Enterprise & Services group
- McGraw-Hill Education announced the formation of a new Enterprise & Services group, focused on working with with higher education institutions to improve college readiness, increase retention rates, and boost career readiness.
- According to a press release, the group will take advantage of the company's efforts in outcomes, data and learning science on an institutional level, helping administrators at a time when they face increasing pressure to improve key metrics amid budget constraints and increasing change.
- Among efforts already under way are the implementation of the ALEKS PPL adaptive tool at over 150 institutions, as well as an agreement with retention data analytics vendor ZogoTech.
Hobson's Starfish Enterprise Success Platform grows
- The technologies behind Starfish Retention Solutions and the PAR Framework, both acquired by Hobsons in the past two years, have been combined to power an expanded Starfish Enterprise Success Platform.
- According to a press release, the broadened offering gathers predictive analytics, data visualizations, intervention management and efficacy, early alert, case management and academic planning functionality to help higher ed leaders improve student retention with better-informed decisions and heightened ability to connect advisors and students.
- The release notes that as much as 30% of institutions' annual budgets is spent on academic support, student services and institutional support, utilizing, on average, 80 interventions and three to four planning and advising software tools.
Blackboard acquires Fronteer to expand accessibility, partners with Dropbox
- Blackboard on Wednesday revealed its acquisition of U.K. ed tech firm Fronteer, which produces the accessibility-focused Ally product.
- Ally provides integrates with a number of LMS platforms, providing assistance with improving course material accessibility by checking posted materials for issues and using machine learning algorithms to create files in additional formats including Semantic HTML, Tagged PDF, Audio, ePub and Electronic Braille.
- Additionally, Blackboard and Dropbox are partnering on a collaboration effort that aims to make it easier for students and instructors to upload and share documents, according to another press release.
Ellucian survey shows 77% of students want institutions to use personal info to enhance experience
- A new survey from Ellucian, administered by Wakefield Research, shows 77% of college students want institutions to improve their college experience using more personal information.
- Colleges and universities ranked No. 1 when students were asked to identify institutions that effectively use their personal data to provide a better experience, followed by doctors' offices and financial companies like credit card providers or banks.
- Humorously, a quarter of students also expressed willingness to share their least-favorite childhood photos if it resulted in admission to college.
D2L expands personalization, chooses Amazon Web Services for cloud infrastructure
- With its Autumn16 release of the Brightspace LMS, D2L is focusing on helping educators further improve personalization efforts with instant feedback via Intelligent Agents, new Virtual Classroom features, new Video Assignment features and more.
- In a release, CEO John Baker said Brightspace Autumn16 was created for "a world that is personalized: geared to their interests, delivered on their time, in formats they choose."
- According to another release, the learning technology company has chosen Amazon Web Services to provide its strategic public cloud infrastructure, utilizing built-in services like Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3), Amazon CloudFront, Amazon Elasticsearch and more.
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