How University Technology Can Help in the Lecture Theatre

It’s Monday morning, your students have had a heavy weekend and you’re surprised when a few nod off in the back of the lecture theatre?

Students need to be engaged, if you ask them to sit through a lecture in a warm lecture theatre in comfy seats there’s a good chance the students on the back row who poured themselves into bed around dawn are going to take this opportunity to catch up on a bit of much needed sleep, not that I’m stereotyping students. But I certainly remember the lectures that were a little more interactive more than the ones that involved the lecturer reading the same lecture he’d given to the previous year, the year before and probably every year since he started teaching the course.

University technology is an accepted part of lecturing these days, most university lecturers will even post their lecture notes online on the schools intranet, but if anything, this can just give a few of the more laid back students another reason to skip the lecture entirely. The trick is to use technology to encourage all the students to come to the lectures rather than it being used as an excuse to skip it entirely, they need an incentive other than the vague threat of being kicked off the course if they don’t keep their attendance up.

With the technology available these days, lecturing from a text book isn’t going to be productive enough, the students in your class have grown up in a technological age, they’re used to the internet and being able to access any information they need or being able to talk to people all over the world with a click of a button, by bringing technology into the classroom you are bringing the lecture into their world which in turn means they are not only more likely to absorb what you’ve got to say, but they’re more likely to come up with constructive arguments and place what you’re saying in a context that’s relevant to them.

Many subjects have been bringing university technology into their class rooms for years, it’s very hard to conduct a lecture on film studies from a text book alone, but the use of technology can be used in any subject, not just as a teaching aid but to bring the lesson to life. The NASA website has a dedicated section for education, a lecture on languages can be more productive with the technology to translate anything instantly, or even to talk to other students around the world, a live web chat could be arranged with an leading figure head in your field, a debate with a local politician would be much easier to arrange if the Politian doesn’t have to leave their office and it delivers the lecture in a format the students are unlikely to forget. As cliched as it sounds, the possibilities really are endless.

So what university technology would you realistically need? A good internet connection and a projector is really all you need. With your lap top hooked up to a lectern and a LCD projector you can bring the entire internet into your lecture and display the website URL to any site you visit for the reference of your students. Interactive whiteboards make this process much more streamlined, by combining the power of a lap top and a projector, they allow you lecture to become truly interactive.

Careers in IT – Information Technology Management

In the previous “IT Diversity” articles I discussed Information Technology’s two main career paths – IT Systems and IT Application Development. While you can spend a lifetime working on the basics in either of these sectors, people often desire to advance their careers and move up the ladder into Information Technology management positions. In this article I will cover some important considerations to keep in mind while pursuing this path, and briefly explain some useful educational programs to help you prepare for the journey.

Information Technology management jobs exist at many levels within an organization. In a large organization, you could serve as an IT manager in just one portion of an IT department (network, help desk, or application development manager, etc); you could be the director of the entire IT department, or a senior executive such as a Chief X Officer (CXO) – where X = I for information, S for security, C for compliance, T for technology, K for knowledge, etc. In a smaller organization, you might find yourself as the only IT manager and be tasked with overseeing all aspects of the Information Technology environment.

Experience required for the various levels of IT Management generally include but are not limited to:

– For any level IT managerial position you will be expected to have in-depth experience in at least one specialized area (i.e., systems, networking, security, application development, etc.)

– For higher level positions, the more cross-functional IT experience you have – the better

– The higher level you seek, the more in-tune and knowledgeable you need to be with the enterprise’s mission, vision, and business processes.

As an IT Manager, several skills and competencies are critical to your success:

– People management: People problems can become an overwhelming concern.

– You likely will not have or maintain the level of expertise needed for all the people you are responsible for, so you need to hire staff who have the right staff expertise.

– Information Technology is critical to the success of most enterprises, so you will often be under-the-gun to keep things working and get new projects completed on time. If you don’t manage your staff properly, treating them with respect, professional courtesy, and making sure that they get continuing education, they will burn out quickly and/or not enjoy their work, and look for employment elsewhere.

– You will need to remove or fire unnecessary or problematic employees. A disgruntled worker can destroy the teamwork required for a successful Information Technology project.

– Collaboration and facilitation abilities: Most Information Technology areas require interaction between the IT staff and the business sector. From experience I can tell you that both of these groups often have very little understanding of each other’s situation.

– The IT staff generally does not understand the reasons or priorities of business processes.

– The business staff rarely understands the capabilities of what Information Technology can or cannot do for them.

– Effective program management abilities will help immensely. Many IT projects are very complex, involving multiple functional areas across different business practices.

– Strategic Planning: Information Technology managers at all levels must be able to identify IT lifecycle needs based on current capabilities, while planning for future IT requirements and upgrades.

– IT Managers must also be capable of convincing their colleagues that the Information Technology department’s needs are essential to the enterprises bottom-line, to ensure proper prioritization of limited resources.

– Maintain IT Currency: Managers must keep abreast of IT developments to keep the enterprise and its technology relevant in both current and future environments. Failing to do so could cause the company to lose its competitive edge.

Once again, this is just a broad brush of what you need to keep in mind if you are considering stepping into an Information Technology Management position. This is a reasonable path for many senior service members that have been in one or more of the many IT career tracks, or for veterans who have served in the IT trenches in either military or civilian environments. In many cases you may have attended senior leadership schools or been in a managerial IT role in the military which helped you develop some of these skills. However, when leaving the military in search of a career in Information Technology Management, you will likely be short of civilian-world business skills.

If you have any questions about the IT field or if you are a service member transitioning into civilian life, feel free to leave a comment or question using the submission form below. I’d love to hear from you!

The Information Technological Ways of the Early Humans

Information technology is all connected with Internet and Computers and though these are innovative inventions but information technology is as old as our brain. Our brain is our information processor and this is all what information technology is about as it tries to keep a track record of all the details and helps to store them in an organized way that make retrieval easy.

So in easy terminology Technology is all about storing, processing and making use of the stored information.
With the expansion of the human population the need to collect data and information and transmitting the information has arisen. The human brain also represents a form of Bio Information Technology as the first humans have also tried to transmit information through mechanical means.

The paintings and pictures on the cave walls were means of transmitting information and the humans have been involved in information technology from early times.

Their transmission tools were the clay that were colored with various pigments with which the early man left images on the cave walls.These pictures tell us stories about their animal hunting culture and also give details about their way of life. Maybe these images were a part of a hunting game and this was their way of passing information to ensure a successful hunting plan.

The invention of the writing system which includes pictograms and sign writing was their way of keeping records. And with passing time the development of more complex societies evolved and changes took place with new concepts of sign language and an alphabetical system which were further developed to keep up with the detailed and efficient record keeping.

Storing and preserving the information was a real challenge for the human race as they had to inscribe it on clay, and animal skins.