By Dyrli, Odvard Egil
Matrix: The Magazine for Leaders in Higher Education , Vol. 2, No. 2
The exploding development of the World Wide Web promises to transform colleges, universities, and two-year schools by providing administrators, faculty, and students with immediate access to interactive multimedia content on any topic, powerful research tools no other medium can duplicate, options to collaborate with people across the globe, and opportunities to participate in events as they are happening anywhere in the world.
The Web is already being used for countless purposes in higher education, such as communicating with students, providing virtual campus tours, offering programs and courses, hosting online communities of scholars, fundraising, and outsourcing administrative tasks. And new applications are rapidly being developed through a host of technologies including global information systems, language translators, online cameras, on-screen robots, 3D modeling, virtual reality, and "intelligent agents" that work on our behalf, such as making price comparisons among vendors. It has often been said that the Web makes it clear that the successful schools of tomorrow will bear little resemblance to the schools of today.
But unfortunately, although the number of Web pages is now measured in the billions, studies have shown that users tend to rely on only a small number of sites, so there is little wonder that disparities exist between promise and practice. It is therefore easy tot campus decision-makers to make regrettable choices about specific Web applications, if they are unaware that better options exist. As a result, the extraordinary power of the Web will never reach your school unless your administrators and faculty are kept informed about new developments, and that requires more time and effort than most educators can invest on their own.
For these reasons, Matrix seeks to provide that expertise through regularly publishing articles on online technologies pertinent to higher education, with features such as "Written on the Web in each issue. But things are now changing so fast that we decided to expand these offerings through our Web site (www.educatorsportal.com), where we select outstanding higher-education "Sites of the Week."
We also intend to publish this column, "Dean's List," a compilation of those sites that have appeared, each quarter of the year. The next list will cover the months of January through March. Meanwhile, be sure that you and your staff visit Educatorsportal.com frequently to see the sites!
SELECTED SITES OF THE WEEK
The following were the higher-education Sites of the Week selected through the end of December:
American Association of Community Colleges (www.aacc.nche.edu) Services and initiatives benefiting associate degree-granting institutions. American Association for Higher Education (www.aahe.org) Links to association programs, publications, and services promoting change in higher education. American Association of University Women (www.aauw.org) Reports and resources from a major source of funding to benefit women. Association for Institutional Research (www.airweb.org) Issues, policies, and resources for research in higher education. Association of American Colleges & Universities (www.aacu-edu.org) Initiatives and resources to promote liberal learning in higher education. Back to College (www.back2college.com) Tools and information for re-entry and older college and university students. …