Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Hitting the Books on Instructional Technology

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Hitting the Books on Instructional Technology

Article excerpt

When Ramon Harris weighed the prospect of hiring consultants to teach faculty members and administrators at several historically Black institutions instructional technology strategy and practice, he discarded the idea in favor of another approach -- one meant to be less expensive but equally effective as using consultants. That approach took flight in the fall of 1999 when Harris, an executive with the Washington-based Executive Leadership Foundation (ELF), and Dr. Shirley Waterhouse, a Florida-based instructional technologist, began writing a book on instructional technology for higher education institutions.

This past spring, the ELF published A Ten-Step Guide to Establishing Instructional Technology, a 229-page resource guidebook to help administrators, information technology professionals and professors use the Internet, computers and other information technologies in the classroom. The guidebook comes with a CD-ROM.

"What we saw was that there was very little material on helping institutions effectively use technology in the classroom. We recognized that schools had developed their infrastructures, but they needed guidance on taking the next step, which is to enhance the teaching and learning experience," Harris says.

In May, Harris and Waterhouse, who is director of educational technology at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona, Fla., presented the guidebook during a three-day workshop for officials from 12 historically Black schools. The workshop was part of the ELF's ongoing Technology Transfer Project (TTP), an initiative that provides information technology assistance to historically Black colleges and universities. Harris, who is director of the TTP, says the project has focused largely on a core group of 13 schools since getting under way in 1999. The foundation is the outreach arm of the Executive Leadership Council, a nonprofit association comprised of leading Black executives at Fortune 500 companies.

The TTP's core group of schools include Morehouse College, Hampton University, Lincoln University, Bethune-Cookman College, Bennett College, North Carolina Central University, Talledega College, Morris Brown College, Oakwood College, Fisk University, Jarvis Christian College, Wilberforce University and Wiley College.

Terry Jordan, the chief information officer of Wiley College, gives the new guidebook high marks. …

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