Last week, several seminary staff members (the Learning Design and Technology team: Kris Payne, Dan Ruth, and Ryan Torma; Jana Ratkovich and Nunu Vongsouvan from Computer Services; our webmeister, Jim Dudley, and I) spent a day at Carleton College, attending GusDay 10. This is an annual event “designed for the technology staff from the Minnesota Private Colleges and other like-minded institutions to gather and share successes, challenges, strategies, and friendships.” The Carleton staff, all decked out in colorful shirts to go with a Hawaiian conference theme, provided warm hospitality, good food, and door prizes. Kris Payne continues to be the lucky winner at GusDay. Last year she won an iPod, this year she took home a reconditioned laptop.
There were a number of interesting sessions on topics ranging from Windows 7, project and software management, cloud computing, and web design. Kris, Dan, and Ryan presented on “Creating Engaging Online Courses.” The Learning Design and Technology group has created lots of excellent content to support online classes at Luther and their session was one of the few that is addressing this need in the region. http://www.luthersem.edu/orientation/default.aspx?im=171
One of the nice things about Gus Day is the chance to visit other campuses and see what resources their tech staff are supporting and what the priorities are for their campus culture. It’s also a great chance to network. New ideas and ways to collaborate are increasingly important in these times of budget challenges. A highlight of the Carleton campus tour was our visit to the server room where our host waxed eloquent on the server racks, the fiber-optic cabling, the voltage, and other details that make “his baby” unique. We saw first-hand how providing uninterrupted access to the computer side of learning and communicating requires knowledge, resources, and creativity.
This is true at Luther Seminary. Our team of tech experts is doing a great job, working with the challenge of reduced budgets and competition for resources. Thanks be to God for all the men and women who work hard to make our access to technical resources seem easy.
— Jennie Bartholomew, e-services librarian