Lately I've been running around telling a mythical story about a made up Research Program and their quest to install a coconut telegraph. Not a word of it is true, of course. It's just a parable about responsibility centered management and what I think the impact will be on how information technology standards are driven at ASU.
Monday, October 24, 2005
Aging University Technology Officers desperately seeks feedback on draft version of the outline for the Current Assessment document for the asu.edu section.
Please post comments on the associated discussion tab, or make changes/additions to the outline by directly editing the wiki. As always, feel free to use the askUto or utoWiki email addresses.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
The latest version of Dickson's Database Diagram was posted to the wiki last weekend. You may remember previous versions of Dickson's Tuftian masterpiece, posted here on the blog in September.
But where the previous versions attempted to document what the current state of ASU's system is, this new version attempts to predict what will be different if we replaced the existing SIS and HR systems here at ASU with Regents Vanilla.
Since this version will be helping to guide our decision making, please take a look at it if you think you are in a position to evaluate it and direct your comments to the wiki.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
So, as you might imagine, a bunch of people have been forwarding me the article from Friday's Wall Street by Gary McWilliams, "Laptops in classrooms not working out as hoped".
It quotes Dennis Adams, a University of Houston computer systems professor, as saying:
"You can be in the front of the classroom and your hair could catch on fire and they'll never see it because their eyes are glued to the 14-inch screen at the end of their nose,"
The article goes on to assert that, because the laptop/wireless combination allows students to do other things in class, there is "a rising backlash against classroom computer use from professors and schools". Responding to faculty complaints, several schools have even investigated wireless blocking mechanisms, only to find that blocking the net is an arms race that can't be won.
So is this article the death knell for ASU 1:1? I don't think so...
Sunday, October 16, 2005
Last week I had a great meeting with the moderation team. Given how many moderators there were (24), I figured it was fruitless to try and find a perfect time so I took a chance and scheduled a meeting for the dinner hour 5:30 - 7:00 on Tuesday. Pretty thoughtless when you think about it, but I didn't. If I had, I guess I would have expected to be in the room alone.
But I wasn't alone. Not even close. A full 21 of the 24 showed and the other 3 sent regrets. For a new guy in town with noone working for him, I was extremely excited by the turnout. And not only was it a great turnout, but I thought the group had some excellent ideas on how to move the wiki based planning process forward...
Friday, October 14, 2005
As promised, I've got two new email addresses to help get more input for the strategic planning process.
The first one is AskUto@asu.edu. If you:
- have a question about technology at ASU,
- you're frustrated by a technology failure,
- wish we had a service we don't have,
- or you can’t understand why we do it the way we do?
then send an email to AskUto@asu.edu. We'll get you an answer and your input will be used to guide the strategic planning process.
The second address is UtoWiki@asu.edu. If you want to contribute to the Strategic Plan -- say you have content for the strategic planning process -- but you don’t have the time or inclination to submit it to the wiki directly, just send it in an email to UtoWiki@asu.edu.
Include or attach your article, and give us an idea of what section it fits into. We’ll put it in the wiki for you, and either attribute the article to you, or if you prefer, we’ll keep your identity secret.
All input is welcome. Looking forward to hearing from you.
Dear Asu Person,
Want to contribute to the Strategic Plan, but can't work the wiki? If you have content for the strategic planning process but either don't have the time or inclination to submit it to the wiki directly, just send an email to UtoWiki@asu.edu.
Include or attach your article, and give us an idea of what section it fits into. We'll put it in the wiki for you, and either attribute the article to you, or if you prefer, we'll keep your identity secret.
Thanks for your input…
Dear Asu Person,
Have a question about technology at ASU? Frustrated by a technology failure? Can't understand why we do it the way we do? Wish we had a service we don't have?
Let someone who cares know what your issues are...
Just send an email to AskUto@asu.edu. You'll get an answer and have some impact on the strategic planning process...
Thanks for your input...
PS - Some examples of things you might ask...
Why can't I as a student have a space in myASU where I can archive my documents?
Why can't I set up my ASU account in 5 easy steps, as opposed to the convoluted START process, which requires an activation code when I try to use it from off campus?
Why can't I register for classes via the Web?
Why isn't there a link on the main ASU page where someone can walk through the registration process in 5 easy steps?
Saturday, October 08, 2005
... have a way of cutting to the chase. You know, you've been gone a while, doing a bunch of different things that you're excited about, you meet a bunch of new people who show polite interest in what you're doing. But your old friends push you a little harder, trying to get to the meat.
So when I was back in Iowa, I met a bunch of old pals that asked me how things were going down here in the desert. We talked scorpions of course, and dry heat (so's your oven!!! hahaha!!!), but they really wanted to know how things were going.
"Done anything?" they ask, in that way only old friends have. "Have they run you out of town yet?". You know, those 'right to the point' kinds of questions that clarify one's thinking. I guess two months in is a good time to take stock, so this is what I told them.
Friday, October 07, 2005
You may have noticed that the blog was sort of quiet this past week. Last week was a complicated week for me - I spent several days in Iowa, going to a funeral for a friend on Friday, and a Ph.D. defense on Monday. A combination of death and rebirth if you will.
Jamie Wade succumbed to brain cancer last week after a year long fight. His funeral was a somber occasion, made the more difficult because Jamie's was a life interrupted in its prime. He leaves behind his wife Marti and their two daughters, Maggie, a college freshman, and Ann-Charlotte, still in high school, as well as extended family and many friends. U.S. District Court Judge Mark Bennett delivered a moving eulogy that recalled what a multi-faceted person Jamie was. A wise counselor and a good friend, Jamie will be sorely missed.
On Monday, Bryan Walter successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation in the HCI program at Iowa State University. Bryan did a terrific job in his defense, and it left me excited about the value of a graduate education. Bryan is currently enjoying flying around the country presenting this work and generating a host of job opportunities. He's going to be a dynamite addition to whatever team he chooses to join.