From the CTO

10 September 2021
By Janet Scannell
Janet Scannell and daughter
Janet Scannell and daughter Allison

I recently dropped my daughter at college, and I was struck by how little the experience of going to college has changed since my day.  We decorated her dorm room, met the roommate, talked about her classes, and walked around the campus. And, sure, there were a few ways in which technology was present but it was largely invisible, as it should be. ITS has been working hard this summer to create that same experience at Carleton. 

The two main articles in this newsletter describe this summer’s changes to spaces and software, as well as resources for using technology to manage a future that will be influenced by lessons from the pandemic and the introduction of FlexWork options. There’s also an article about new web “gateway pages” and upcoming changes to the campus calendar. In addition to these changes, ITS continued our research towards a proposal for new administrative software, and we started network redesign changes that will both increase information security and free up network address space to be sold in sections over the next two years. These projects, and much more, are described in the ITS FY21 Annual Report.

When I was an undergrad in the 1980s, Grinnell College had a basement room with a few computer terminals, and only a handful of people had email accounts. There was no network access (and none was needed for our portable typewriters), there were no computers or projectors in classrooms, and we registered for classes by carrying paper cards around the gymnasium.  

The addition of technology over these past 40 years has created some efficiencies and brought additional learning opportunities. However, what matters most to my twins is the same thing that mattered most to me, namely the people — the roommates, the faculty, the work supervisor, the helpful person in a campus office and so on.  

I love this time of year when our campus community comes alive — when all of us gather to play our part in educating the next generation of life-long learners.  

Welcome back!

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