Introduction

Our Task Force was charged with considering questions of vision, infrastructure, and integration strategies related to teaching and learning technologies at Virginia Tech over the next ten years. Three guiding questions framed our work:

  • What should students know and be able to do to actively engage life in the modern world over the course of their lives?
  • What should Virginia Tech’s aims be to enable students to meet their learning needs today?
  • What does Virginia Tech need to do to support students’ learning needs for the foreseeable future?

Ideas, pedagogies, technologies, organizations, and infrastructures were organizing frameworks  used in the visioning process. We were also cautioned that “it’s not about the technology, it’s about the teaching and learning.”

Two brief videos reinforce and amplify the essence of our charge.

The first video is from the late Steve Jobs’ final public presentation, the unveiling of the iPad2. Regardless of one’s take on Jobs, Apple, or the consumer culture such devices can feed, the excerpt raises some interesting questions. Can Virginia Tech help to invent a just, prosperous, and beautiful future that will make our hearts sing? What blend of technology-enhanced research, active learning, service, and organizational architecture might encourage that invention?

The second video is by Dr. Michael Wesch, Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State University. It too vividly demonstrates the human essence of our charge. The machine is not simply using us. The machine is us, and we create our networks together.

The Task Force on Instructional Technology thanks you for visiting this site, and we invite you to explore the work we’ve included here. Each top-level heading on the menu bar is a link that will take you to a major section introduction. Subsidiary topics may be accessed directly from the drop-down menu underneath the top-level headings. For further information on how to explore and experience this report, please see “Navigating This Site.”

We also invite you to participate in this conversation by commenting on the work and/or linking to it. Comments are moderated, but we encourage a lively, civil, and thoughtful diversity of opinion, and we welcome your contributions. For comments or questions about the website itself, please contact the site administrators (replace AT with @): Dr. Jennifer Sparrow (sparrowj AT vt.edu) and Dr. Gardner Campbell (gardner.campbell AT vt.edu).

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