This site was created by Jasmine Robinson, Director of Web Services for the San Mateo County Community College District.
As part of my final project for the California Community College CISOA (Chief Information Systems Officers’ Association) Certification, I found myself researching State provided solutions for Instructional Technologists. There were so many things that I did not know existed and were available freely to our colleges. After completing my presentation I knew I needed to expand the project into a website so everyone could benefit. This is an unfunded, hobby project built on my personal time and not directly associated with the State Chancellor’s Office.
My goal is to help raise awareness of the tools available, share best-practices and to grow the collaboration of colleges using these tools.
So many times on listserves we randomly ask “What did you do for this problem?” or “How do you like this product?” Sometimes we are so overwhelmed by features of products available to us that maybe we only use 10% of its functionality. There are so MANY places you can find information that you end up spending hours, days, weeks, researching until you feel like you’re making an informed decision.
There’s an expectation that IT administrators stay on top of new technologies and can quickly provide recommendations for every technical problem. If IT administrators had a place where we could quickly find vetted solutions or if we simply knew which colleges already had that tool, then less time would be wasted on researching solutions. The problem lies in that we do not know what the other 114 colleges are doing and we end up reproducing efforts. Attending conferences, participating in consortiums and listservs are of tremendous value but we each maintain our own mental list of who to contact at other colleges. It makes sense, that we would combine efforts and have a central location as a starting point.
The website has multiple sections:
- Accessibility: A listing of state-provided accessibility tools & sites
- .EDU Email Perks: A listing of discounts available to students, faculty & staff with .edu email addresses
- Instructional Technology: A listing of technology resources focused on teaching and learning.
- State-Created Services: The State Chancellor’s Office is sometimes faced with initiatives or unique challenges that require the development of new and innovative solutions to be developed from scratch.
- State Discounted Tools: Listing of solutions vetted by the State Chancellor’s Office who provide discounts to California Community Colleges based on state negotiated pricing.
- State License Software: Software purchased by the state and made available to you for free or subsidized.
- Support Resources: Documentation, Training, and Communities for Higher Education Solutions.
- News: Parsed feeds of TechEdge and Chancellor’s Office Newsletters
- College Technology Plans: A listing of all 114 California Community Colleges and their technology plans (for the ones that I could find). Each plan is indexed using Natural Language Processing APIs, that allow you to automatically and intelligently parse chunks of text into groups. It can extract names, organizations, products, etc… into individual “entities” and then you can link the “entities” to Google’s knowledge graph to quickly pull description data and even trends. At a glance, you can quickly see which colleges tech plans are updated, what the overlapping themes are and find out which technologies each college is using.