Page 60 - Campus Technology, October/November 2019
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60 CAMPUS TECHNOLOGY | Oct/Nov 2019 C-LEVEL VIEW Impactful Technologies and the Power to Influence Change Veteran education technology leader Ellen Wagner talks about the potential of new and emerging technologies to create institutional change — and the factors that influence adoption. By Mary Grush LEARNING ANALYTICS, augmented reality, artificial intelligence and other new and emerg- ing technologies seem poised to change the business of higher education. Yet, we often hear comments like, “We’re just not there yet” or “This is a technology that is just too slow to adoption” or other observations that make it clear that many people — including those with a high level of expertise in education technol- ogy — are thinking that the promise is not yet fulfilled. Here, CT talks with veteran education technology leader Ellen Wagner, to ask for her perspectives on the adoption of impactful technologies — in particular the factors in our leadership and development communities that have the power to influence change. Campus Technology: What do you find, when you look at the adoption of new and emerging technologies — particularly those that reputedly have the potential to create the biggest changes at our institutions? What factors influence acceptance and adoption on our campuses and within our development communities? Ellen Wagner: Digital learning professionals working across the full array of institutions, enterprises and agencies that make up the learning and development ecosystem know how important it is to stay ahead of the curve on trends likely to influence the indus- try as a whole. This is especially true about staying abreast of new competencies and skills that will likely be needed to keep up with the capabilities that new digital tech tools enable. In the current era, some learn- ing professionals are beginning to speak of artificial intelligence as the next big thing in our organizations; others of us are just beginning to make peace with the idea that our futures will demand that we develop more than a passing familiarity with analyt- ics dashboards and evaluation methods. I expect that more than a few of us will become increasingly conversant with tech- niques of data-driven decision-making. But so far, the current bubbling angst about changes on the horizon bears many similari- ties to prior periods of bubbling angst that eventually calm down after a few incremen- tal changes appear in the workplace. 

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