Bruce Aarsvold

Administrator

Chief Technology Officer in Gustavus Technology Services

The Challenge of Supporting Information Technology

Our campus's acceptance and reliance upon technology as a support tool for the learning process is creating many exciting opportunities and challenges. Daily, we use and take for granted technologies that were not available five years ago and daily, we are frustrated by their immaturity as a medium. While hoping for more substance and reliability, we quietly acknowledge that multimedia classrooms, residential networks, the web and the Internet are tools we can use to redefine and expand the traditional concepts of the classroom, the campus and the learning process.

As a campus we are challenged by the task of peering into this new landscape and pulling from it the raw materials that will make the learning experience for our students more rewarding. Faced with limited resources, we ponder their placement trying to achieve maximum value while hoping that today's decisions will not limit what we can accomplish tomorrow. With decades, not centuries of experience, we attempt to align these new technologies in support of our students, faculty and staff in a way that supports our mission and our community.

It is clear to me that our success in dealing with the challenges and opportunities of technology will not be measured by the hardware or software in our inventories, but by our ability to communicate and collaborate on defining common goals. Technology, in and of itself, contributes little to the educational process. It is only when used as a tool in support of the collective vision and mission of the institution that it and we can reach our full potential.

I invite your comments and conversations, formal or informal, good or bad as we continue the process of supporting technology, this year, next year and in the years to come.