Update: Roger Schonfeld asked me to clarify: “We are a bit confusing – ITHAKA is the larger not-for-profit organization, of which Ithaka S+R, our strategic consulting and research service, is but one of several services.”

On Friday, with fresh snow on the ground, I trekked uptown to the Mellon Foundation for my first ever telepresence presentation. It felt very strange to be presenting my slides to an almost-empty room–the oddity of the technology meant that I had to look at a big image of myself, not of the audience, which was located in I think 5 or 6 different states.But it worked fairly well all things considered.

Anyway, the Q&A was much more interesting, I thought. Bryan Alexander gave a recap of the whole afternoon here.

Roger Schonfeld, of Ithaka, which is similarly dedicated to “ help[ing] the academic community use digital technologies to preserve the scholarly record and to advance research and teaching in sustainable ways” , saw on Twitter that I was at Mellon and invited me to walk across the courtyard and say hi–this is on 62nd street in Manhattan. So we chatted a bit about Taylor Walsh’s new book, Unlocking the Gates, from Princeton University Press, which I gather Ithaka supported her to write. It’s a great detailed look at the spread of open courseware programs from the institutions’ point of view. I plan to look back at the book in more detail soon.

“Ithaka S+R focuses on the transformation of scholarship and teaching in an
online environment, with the goal of identifying the critical issues facing our
community and acting as a catalyst for change.
We pursue projects in programmatic areas that are critical to academic work:
Sustainability of Digital Resources, The Role of the Library, Practices & Attitudes
of Faculty Members and Students, Teaching & Learning with Technology, and
Scholarly Publishing.”

3 Responses to “Conversation with the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education”

  1. I find it helps to have a small group in the room with me when presenting online, and even include them in QandA… Also, sitting nice and close to the camera – Youtube webcam style, makes for slightly more engaging presentations for those on the receiving end of the wire. Those video conferencing admins should watch Wesch’s Anthropological Introduction to Youtube, and get a few critical tips on their work hey. Strange lighting in that room too.. pack your own light next time :) even your own camera to record, seeing as the old war-room tech forgot to include that feature.

  2. Anya Kamenetz says:

    Thanks Leigh, those are great suggestions.

  3. What a great talk and conversation, Anya. Many thanks!

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