Jeff Longland

Relax, don't worry – have a home brew!

Archive for November 2005

Imperfect technology in the perfect world?

Over the last couple of years I’ve observed an increasing dependency on technology, in both myself and those around me. We all have high expectations about how technology should work – reliably and without problem. If you’ve ever stood at the front of a room conducting a demo – only to expierience a catastrophic meltdown at the most crucial moment… then you know where I’m coming from.

For example, today I really wanted to listen to a live recording on mtvUber only to receive a very simple, yet elegant Error. Worse, I couldn’t find a help page or discussion board. In this case, I can live without. I’d be of a much different opinion if I couldn’t submit an essay or complete a quiz. What if I could complete the quiz, but every other question saved incorrectly? How would I feel if I learned that the incorrect question issue wouldn’t be resolved for a week? Three weeks? Three months?

How do we reconcile imperfect technology in the perfect world? We’re increasingly reliant on technology and when it fails, anxiety and frustration grow. Many industries have invested substantial time and money in the development of ‘reliable’ technology. ‘Are we there’ in higher education computing? Many vendors in the arena are responsive to the needs of their customers, but is it enough? Is three weeks too late for the student who needs their correct grade tomorrow?

It would seem that I have a lot more questions than answers…


Written by jlongland

November 15, 2005 at 12:06 am

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How to define IPO when work is pleasure?

At Educause 2005 I attended a seminar by Veronica Diaz and Patricia McGee on “Developing and Implementing Successful Intellectual Property Policies for Distributed Learning Environments”

While reviewing example IPO policies from various colleges and universities, many of the policies employed ‘use of institutional resources’ or ‘work completed during operational hours” as criteria for measuring whether content created by a faculty member falls under the institution’s ownership, be it partially or wholly. I’ve worked with many faculty members who live, eat, and breath their interests. I can empathize – I’m utterly obsessed with the work I do. I’m constantly pondering and puttering. My interests and my work are not separate, there’s overlap. In my case, I love technology, be it at home or at work. Defining IPO in black and white terms may work for some people, but for those who live their work – how do we define ownership of our intellectual property?

As emerging technology allows us to be more ‘connected’ to our work/lives on-demand, there will be increasing need for IPO policies that are beneficial to both the institution and the individual – regardless of when or where we’re working.

How we’ll get to that point… that’s for another day. For now is the time to sleep.

Written by jlongland

November 14, 2005 at 1:35 am

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First Post

The title of my my first edublog post is a tip of the hat to Slashdotters. I’ve never managed to get a first post on Slashdot, but now that I have a forum… look out! All I need is an audience. I suppose this is where I’m supposed to give my introductory blah-blahs. I don’t think it’s worthwhile to rattle through my interests, likes/dislikes, occupation, etc. The little details will tease themselves out as I write – is that not the nature of a blog?

I’ve had a few blogs in the past but killed them off because I felt I wasn’t offering any sort of meaningful content. Time will tell how I’ll fare with this endeavour, but I suspect it will go well. Whereas content was the issue previously, now I’m more concerned about when I’ll find the time to write.

I’ve been following the likes of D’Arcy Norman, Brian Lamb, et al for some time and they frequently launch me on various tangents that don’t really belong in their comments. So this will be my place to partake in the blogosphere dialogue. Happy trails!

Written by jlongland

November 9, 2005 at 5:44 pm

Posted in Uncategorized