Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Higher Education

Today I experienced my first teleconference. I met with the Technology Advisory Council for Colorado Mountain College. The technology was an interesting feature of the meeting. It was interesting to see how the distance changes the conversation. I don't know if all of the people were as inexperienced as I - something that would change their approach. My first reaction is that this arrangement makes it easier to speak up. I felt a certain anonymity. The participants were located in 4 or 5 different locations. In addition to the feeling of anonymity, I felt a certain kinship with the people in the room with me. I felt that we were kind of on the same team - more connected that "them" out there. Again, this was my first experience. It might be a unique. I may never have this feeling of kinship or anonymity. We'll see.

The other part of this experience was the conversation that we had. CMC is trying to find out what schools and businesses need in regard to training - for their staff or prospective staff. This question made me think about how my staff work, how they solve problems and how they move along on their career path. What I came up with is that we don't spend much on formal training. When we do pay for formal, linear, sit down training, it is project based. It is aimed at a particular technology or capability we are developing. Generally we purchase this training as part of a software or hardware purchase. Aside from this training my staff and I get, we learn along the way. We basically teach ourselves by finding resources on the web and learning from each other. I must say that I have the privilege of working with some very talented people - people who have some incredible intelligence and background. As such, they are very capable and doing research and have a lot to offer one another. I don't know how unique this is compared to others' experience.