[Humanist] 24.896 new ways of organizing?

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Wed Apr 20 07:22:06 CEST 2011

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 24, No. 896.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Tue, 19 Apr 2011 09:00:48 -0700
        From: Lawrence Hanley <genedebs1 at mac.com>
        Subject: Organization/Reorganization of Academic Technology

Typically, "educational technology" in higher ed has been integrated into traditional bureaucratic, hierarchical administrative structures.  E.g. centralized control, top-down management, casting of  faculty into "users" and "clients," technology use reduced to hardware/software problems and solutions, etc.  All of this despite the decentralizing, self-organizing, crowd-sourcing (etc.) dynamics central to the social web. (e.g. the last holdout against Wikinomics might be the university.)

At the same time, most U.S. and U.K. public universities are facing enormous financial pressures.  "Re-organization"  has become the rallying cry of administrators and politicians.

As my own university launches into a conflicted and turbulent period of task forces, reorganization, consolidation, etc., my question: are there alternatives to the "top-down," bureaucratic organization of academic technology in universities and colleges, e.g. is there a way to "reorganize" academic technology away from command-and-control forms and practices?  Does anyone know of current plans, proposals, efforts to re-think the organization of academic technology in ways more attuned to the structures, relations etc. of the social web - - and so, theoretically, to preserve or even amplify the kinds of (faculty/student/etc.) creativity, autonomy, community fostered by the social web? 

Thanks in advance - - 

Larry Hanley
Assoc. Prof.
Department of English
San Francisco State University
profhanley at gmail.com  

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