When it comes to implementing new technology, college instructors wear many masks of enthusiasm and awareness.
For better or worse, each mask affects those instructors’ relationships with the IT department at their school.
Lisa A. Stephens and Joseph Moreau say there are three main categories of masks that instructors wear when it comes to coping with new technology.
Stephens, Sr. Strategist, SUNY Academic Innovation, SUNY System Administration and University at Buffalo, and Moreau, CTO & Vice Chancellor, Technology Foothill-DeAnza Community College District say the fanatic instructor always “wants the cool new tool.”
The fanatic attends technology tradeshows and exudes unbreakable enthusiasm for a new technology when he or she returns to his or her home base.
The fanatic also tends to want that technology implemented immediately, and without constructing a plan.
Moreau says the fanatic will often go to IT with a new technology and report that the sales person who sold them the technology said no help was needed during the implementation.
“It’s never as easy as people think,” he says. “I always tell people – beware of the demo. It’s just a demonstration of functionality, not of compatibility, scalability, enterprise readiness, or security. Take it for what it’s worth. There’s always something that needs to be connected, integrated [by IT], secured, powered up, authenticated, etc.”
How to Work With the Fanatic
Moreau says when the fanatic knocks at IT’s door, IT should engage him or her in a mutually beneficial conversation.
He says IT members should address the fanatic’s ideas with language like, “we’re looking for your best interest,” or, “we want to protect you.”