Technology ó whether it is the cell phone we use to text a friend or the computer used to access Facebook, technology has become an integral part of life.† But not all uses of technology are so leisurely; in fact, technology has become a crucial part of teaching information in faster and more productive ways than was previously deemed possible.† With such a quickly evolving world, brand new technologies are quickly becoming obsolete.† In order to keep up with demand for newer and better technologies, schools must upgrade on a regular basis just to stay current.
Thatís where the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE) comes in. According to their Web site http://www.nitle.org, they are a ìnon-profit initiative dedicated to helping undergraduate-centered colleges use technology effectively to strengthen undergraduate education.”† Essentially, the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Educationís goal is to utilize technology in the classroom so that teachers may better convey concepts to students.† With a better grasp of the concepts, students may learn more in shorter periods of time, effectively enriching undergraduate education.
But how does one improve the use of technology in the classroom, or even find the right technology to use from something so seemingly far away as† National Institute? Joseph King, the Executive Director of the Institute, hopes to engage with specific sectors of the liberal arts community and develop strategic partnerships with other organizations. By knowing what is actually needed, what is possible and having real connections in the business world to access the necessary technology,† NITLE can effectively improve the integration of useful technology in the classroom.
However, how does one create the connection between NITLEís corporate partnerships and the liberal arts community?† By asking the liberal arts community itself.† With this aim in mind, NITLE recently asked for 17 higher education leaders to serve on it’s newly created advisory board for two years, one of which is Woosterís own President Cornwell.
Cornwell said, ìI agreed to serve on NITLEís board because I think it is both important and fun to stay current with emerging technologies and to think critically about their relevance and implications for liberal education.”† He hopes not only to give input on the real need of liberal educators, but also ìto bring insights back to Wooster.”
As President Cornwell well notes, however, ìThe one constant about technology is innovation; the landscape of technological tools is constantly changing.† Some students and faculty are drawn to the leading edge by disposition.† Others let fads come and go and adopt technologies after they have become more mature and refined … It is a constant challenge that will always be with us,” said Cornwell.