Universities are increasing hubs of digital activity; much commendable, some reprehensible. It is dismaying that in some learners' minds the divide between them is murky…
Universities are increasing hubs of digital activity; much commendable, some reprehensible. It is dismaying that in some learners' minds the divide between them is murky rather than clear. Today's students are largely digital natives born into computing and its venues. In many colleges, during orientation the preponderance of incoming students use their new college e-mail accounts to enable in Facebook, etc., easy online communication with others in the institution. Unlike past decades when a student might be handed flyers or read postings on poles and walls, today's students are in a maelstrom of social media, and other new technologies that students are socially pressed to use. In her book Ruling the Waves, Debora Spar suggested that cyberspace is like a frontier town, a place where there are “not a lot of rules or marshals in town” (Spar, 2001). People online often feel relatively unconstrained, creative, and innovative. At the same time, chaos, disorder, nefariousness, and just plain “bad behavior” are rife. New technologies foster the sense of a new normality. Yet just because it is now possible to act in new ways through new technologies does not make those ways acceptable.
Since the advent of the digital campus, numerous changes have occurred. In early developments, we were able to improve efficiencies and eliminate the need for human…
Since the advent of the digital campus, numerous changes have occurred. In early developments, we were able to improve efficiencies and eliminate the need for human intervention to conduct routine activities. The power of processing massive amounts of data moved from mainframes to desktops and mobile computers. The transition to a ubiquitous computing environment was a relatively quick transition and one that has had a profound impact on the work we do and the way we do it. The presence of information technology has actually transformed the teaching, learning, and administrative environment in post-secondary education world-wide.
Angela Baldasare, Ph.D. currently serves as the divisional manager for assessment and research in the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs. Working in the public health sector over the past 8 years, she has overseen the evaluation of more than 150 programs, addressing issues of sexual health and teen pregnancy, domestic violence, child welfare, substance abuse, mental health, and disability.
Jill Beard is a Library and Learning Support Manager at Bournemouth University, a service which includes libraries, learning technology, and academic skills development. She has written extensively over many years on a wide range of subjects and is currently co-editing a book on Digital Library Environments in Higher Education (Ashgate, 2010).