EDUCAUSE 99 in Australasia: Doing IT Right - "People and Technology"Mary Peat
EDUCAUSE is the association for managing and using information resources in higher education and it accomplishes its mission of enabling higher education's transformational changes by providing members with diverse opportunities for education and peer interaction. In particular, EDUCAUSE seeks to develop higher education's present and future leadership by supporting a curriculum that balances the need for technical, managerial and leadership skills and one that enhances the knowledge of trends in higher education. This year's conference was held in Sydney at the Hilton Hotel. The conference was supported by CAUDIT (Council of Australian University Directors of Information Technology), CAUL (Council of Australian University Librarians) and EDUCAUSE.
The theme for the 1999 EDUCAUSE in Australasia (18-21 April, 1999) was Doing IT Right - "People and Technology". The conference provided an opportunity for IT professionals, librarians, academics, educators and administrators to interact and discuss the effective management and planning of IT and its role in the delivery and management of higher education and research as we move into the 21st Century.
There were four streams - IT infrastructure for strategic support; Education without boundaries; Collaborative solutions; and Bringing IT Together. Within the Education without boundaries stream there were some interesting uses of the web in the delivery of teaching. In particular OTEN has developed a virtual classroom suitable for most of its courses. It is easy to use and the display classroom can be viewed at http://vc.tafensw.edu.au/ (go to sample classroom). The classroom idea could be used in many tertiary settings. On the library front, there were some stimulating papers on how libraries are filling the need to help both students and academics use the Internet more usefully. A recurring theme from the conference was the still pressing need to train/teach/support students and staff in the use of IT within teaching and research and it would seem we still have a long way to go.
The program, including abstracts of many of the papers, can be found at http://www.usyd.edu.au/cause99/
UniServe Science News Volume 13 July 1999
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