Technology And The Future(s) Of The University

Career College Central summary:

  • Introducing innovation in education is easier when the institution is new. Founders can construct their programs however they want to imagine them. That's not so easy to accomplish, however, when the school has been around for decades or even centuries. Faculty and staff practices and processes tend to get entrenched, and introducing too much change can simply lead to internal revolt. Yet that is the conundrum that must be faced by nearly every university and college in the country that wants to thrive in a new world order where learning can take multiple forms and students have numerous options for achieving formal education.
  • Georgetown University, established in 1789, may not necessarily be the first institution to come to mind when thinking about innovation related to higher education. But an initiative introduced in November, called "Designing the Future(s) of the University," is calling on the entire campus community to explore what the Georgetown of 2030 will look like and to experiment with new ways of educating its students.
  • The "(s)" in "Future(s)" is intentional, according to the university, as a way to designate several aspects: the many facets of the conversations, which cover the future of Georgetown as well as higher ed in general; the exploratory nature of the initiative; and an acknowledgement that the answer itself could be that the institution "explores many paths into the future."
  • The endeavor is a joint project of Georgetown's Office of the President, Office of the Provost, and the Center for New Designs in Learning & Scholarships (CNDLS), as well as Information Services.
  • CIO Lisa Davis, who joined Georgetown in 2012 after careers at the United States Marshals Service and the Department of Defense, and a team of panelists presented the project at this year's SXSWedu conference in Austin, TX. Davis recently spoke with Campus Technology about the Future(s) project to explain how it's unfolding, where IT is participating and how the impact of its findings could ripple not just through Georgetown but every other American campus.

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