Teaching and Technology: The Impact of Unlimited Information Access on Classroom Teaching: Proceedings of a National Forum at Earlham College

By Evan Ira Farber; Forum on Teaching and Technology | Go to book overview

EMPOWERMIENT AS INFRASTRUCTURE: PLANNING THE CAMPUS

THOMAS J. HOCHSTETTLER

As an academic administrator, I deal on a daily basis with issues of empowerment at a very fundamental level. Let us descend for the moment from the heady realm of ethical and moral dilemmas confronting academicians, dilemmas centering on whether technological innovation by itself in any way adds value to the educational process, or more importantly, adds or ever could add a modicum of wisdom to the sum total of human experience. For me, it is enough to know that, ranked against all the tools that have been used to educate people since time began, the technological advances of the last two or three decades hold at least some relative promise of furthering the human quest for understanding. More to the point, no administrator at this point in history could conceivably survive by ignoring the possibility that computer technology might play a role, indeed a very large role, in the life of a college or university. When I speak of empowerment, therefore, it is empowerment of a very basic kind. It is an empowerment that is afforded the scholar simply through having access to the widest possible range of tools. In short, it is the empowerment that comes from solid, responsive infrastructure.

At Bowdoin College, I am charged not only with line responsibility for computing on campus but also with the task of

Hochstettler is Dean for Planning and General Administration and Lecturer in History, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine.

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