I am an IT foot soldier on the front lines at a local community college. My coworkers, IT folks and professors, make sure computers remain our servants and not the other way around. We have two weeks left until semester end, and everyone is looking forward to the summer off. There is, however, an undercurrent of unease. For about two years now, software has evolved with pandemic speed and the hurtling vortex of change finally caught up with us. Can we keep up? Will we wash up on the shore of progress, like some digital flotsam and jetsam? I’m not talking about changes to the software, I’m talking about more and more new software, changes in the popularity of software and the looming power of the Cloud. These changes have profound effects on higher education.
And, to make it worse, the major software (Adobe CS6) we use in our classes has increased in price from $5,000 to $20,000 a year. Yes, you read that right. All the other softwares cost more now, a lot more. There may be a grassroots revolution brewing in freeware, but that’s a conversation for another blog.
These events make me wonder – how much new information can the human mind absorb before it balks? How many changes, adjustments, and slicker and better software can we afford? And, is this multitude of bells and whistles necessary to teach students the basics?
We’ll keep it current and cool with iMacs and Cintiqs but, really, how much fantastic new software is too much?