Discussion Track 3:  Emerging Tools and Technologies

Facilitators:  John Felts and Chuck Bennett

Session A: Identify trends. Informal introductions, brainstorming, environmental scanning, idea generation of new tools and technologies. What's out there now, on the horizon, and on the far horizon! 
Session B: Identify impact. Which new tools or technologies discussed in the first session offer greatest potential benefits for individual campuses and for the UNC system. 
Session C: Next steps. Determine next steps to ensure system campuses are aware of emerging opportunities identified in other breakout sessions. Brainstorm and identify potential campus collaborative projects. Explore/recommend possible joint funding models within UNC and beyond. 

Session A:  Emerging Trends

Emerging trends were identified, and response pads were used to rate each trend according to the following five categories:

  1. Irrelevant
  2. Somewhat Important
  3. Important
  4. Very Important 
  5. Extremely Important (Paradigm Shift)

An overall numeric rating was assigned to each trend given by (rating index) * (% of respondents giving that rating).

The following trends were identified (overall numeric rating in parentheses, click link to see poll results):

  1. Ultra-portable Computing Devices (472).  High resolution screens, high capacity ROM, fast. 
  2. Next Generation Infrastructures enabled by high bandwidth networks (467).  G-bit and beyond.
  3. High Performance Personal Computers (433).  10 - 100 GHz, multiprocessor.
  4. Digital Libraries (418).  
  5. High-bandwidth Wireless (405).  
  6. Fair Use Endangerment (400).  New tools will threaten current privileges.  
  7. Three Dimensional Applications (390).
  8. Distributed Computing (389).
  9. Streaming Media (383).
  10. eBooks, eJournals (382).
  11. Desktop Video Conferencing (373).
  12. On-line Help Desk (365).  24 x 7, for faculty and students.
  13. Archiving (354).  Similar to digital libraries, but two-way storage with security.
  14. Intelligent Learning Management Systems (352).  Shared and reusable learning objects, data mining.  
  15. Learner-managed Education (271).  No semester boundaries, outcome-based.  


Summary of Rating Results:

Session B:  Impacts of Trends Identified in Session A


Session C:  Next Steps

The following were identified as possible focus areas for the UNC TLT Collaborative (no particular ordering):

  1. Partnerships to achieve high bandwidth connections for off-campus access.  Broadband residential access can benefit industry, commerce, k-12 and higher education.  Representative groups from these constituencies should collaborate to insure that all regions have access to high-bandwidth internet resources.
  2. Seed money grants to promote research and development in technology-enabled innovation.
  3. System-wide and regional conferences for dissemination, professional development and collaboration.  Focused on IT staff and faculty.  Utilize campus dining and residence halls.
  4. UNC on-line eJournal.  Hosted by the UNC Portal, this resource would provide an electronic forum for faculty and IT professional.
  5. Organize a system-wide 24x7 help desk.  Support should be flexible and should respond to current emphasis areas.  An in-house solution would provide maximum flexibility.
  6. Investigate state-wide eJournal licensing and other digital library opportunities.
  7. Seek solutions that would provide effective, available and inexpensive video conferencing for collaboration.  Collaboration can lead to extensive time and expense from associated travel.  H.332 is a possible solution.
  8. Establish moderated content areas on the UNC Portal. Focus on current areas of interest within the system.  Discussion forums should be available.
  9. Establish a Proctored Assessment Network to support on-line teaching.  For early efforts, see http://www.uncwil.edu/pan/, and an early article at http://www.uncwil.edu/pan/pan_article.htm.