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Technology and education is focus of UI symposium Nov. 6-7

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The director of a national effort to help evaluate the effectiveness of new technology in education will be the keynote speaker for a symposium on "Learning Opportunities in a Digital Age" at the University of Iowa Thursday, Nov. 6 and Friday, Nov. 7.

Stephen C. Ehrmann, director of the Flashlight Project of the American Association of Higher Education, will present a public lecture at 1:45 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6 in the Main Ballroom of the Iowa Memorial Union (IMU).

Ehrmann's lecture, entitled "Yesterday, Today, Half Past Today: Effective Technology Strategies in Education," is the kickoff event for the day-and-a-half symposium.

"Learning Opportunities in a Digital Age" begins at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6 with opening remarks by UI President Mary Sue Coleman. Other events include panel discussions with faculty, students, and staff about the use of technology and what it means for education.

The symposium, which is free and open to the public, is organized by the UI Center for Teaching, Information Technology Services (ITS), University Libraries, the Division of Continuing Education, and the Office of the Provost.

Tom Rocklin, director of the Center for Teaching, says the symposium is designed to foster discussion among faculty, staff, administrators and students about broader policy issues in using technology.

The use of telecommunications, the Internet, computers, CD-Roms and other technology has blossomed on college campuses within the past decade in the United States, but much of it has been introduced in response to a perceived demand to be "up-to-date."

"We know we're investing in technology, and we know we're investing in it for educational purposes," Rocklin says. "If that's the case, we better start talking about what the educational value of technology is, that is, what opportunities we want to seize and what pitfalls we want to avoid."

Ehrmann says he hopes his interactive talk will spark discussion about how technology is used to deliver education and about the effects technology has in teaching and learning.

"We'll think together about education at a time when reading and writing were radical new educational technology and at a time when campuses were a new and somewhat threatening departure," he says. "Then we'll think about ways in which the future might be seen in embryo today."

The Flashlight Project was begun in 1994 by the Annenberg/CPB Project to assess the use of technology on college campuses and its effectiveness in improving teaching and learning. The project, now affiliated with the American Association for Higher Education, has created several evaluation tools to address such issues.

Here is the schedule of events for the "Learning Opportunities in a Digital Age" symposium Nov. 6-7 at the UI. All events will take place in the Main Ballroom (second floor) of IMU.

Thursday, Nov. 6

-- 1:30 p.m. Opening Remarks. Mary Sue Coleman, UI president;

-- 1:45 p.m. Keynote address, Stephen Ehrmann, American Association of Higher Education. Talk: "Yesterday, Today, Half Past Today: Effective Technology Strategies in Education";

3 p.m. Break;

3:15 p.m. Panel Discussion: "The View From Inside: Faculty and Students Respond"; Moderator: Nancy Hauserman, professor of Management and Organizations; Panelists: Meghan Henry, vice president of the UI Student Government; John Lohman, a UI graduate student and former student government president; Nancy Kaplan, associate professor, School of Communication Design, University of Baltimore; Lauren Rabinovitz, UI associate professor, American Studies/Communications Studies;

4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Reception and special session of ITS Technology Fair.


November 7, 1997

9 a.m. "A Local Sampler: Computers, Communication, Teaching and Learning at Iowa" led by Tom Rocklin, director, Center for Teaching;

9:45 a.m. "Progress and Plans: University of Iowa Leaders Discuss our Future"; Moderator: W. H. "Joe" Knight, Vice Provost; Panelists: Sheila D. Creth, University Librarian; William Decker, associate vice president and director of Information Technology Services; Emmett Vaughan, dean, the UI Division of Continuing Education;

11 a.m. Break;

11:15 a.m. Breakout groups: Discussion among faculty, staff, students and administrators of collegiate opportunities in the areas of technology, teaching and learning;

12:30 p.m. Lunch (Speaker to be announced);

1:45 p.m. Reports from Breakout Groups;

3 p.m. "Information Technology at Iowa; Where are we and where are we going?" A report on the North Central Association (NCA) reaccreditation initiative;

Christopher Squier, associate dean, College of Dentistry and chair, NCA Self Study Committee

3:45 p.m. Closing Remarks; John Folkins, associate provost for Undergraduate Education.

For more information, visit the symposium's website at

Or contact the Center for Teaching at (319) 335-0757; email: