All Hands on Tech: Q&A with the University Executive Director of Academic Technology

Beth Gordon Klingner, PhD, discusses her new role as the University Executive Director of Academic Technology and the future of pedagogical technology at Pace.

In March, Matthew F. Bonilla, Interim Vice President and CIO, and Sheying Chen, PhD, the associate provost for academic affairs, announced the appointment of Beth Gordon Klingner, PhD, to the new position of University Executive Director of Academic Technology at Pace.

How does this new position differ from your previous role as the Assistant Dean for Instructional Technology?

I was the Assistant Dean for Instructional Technology in Dyson College, which meant that everything I was doing was only officially for Dyson. Unofficially, I was helping others from different areas of the University. Now I’ve got a broader vantage point.

What are your top three priorities in this new position?

To keep the communication flowing between ITS and the academic areas to ensure that academic technology decisions including planning, purchasing, and implementation are being done in the most effective ways to enhance the teaching and learning experience; to promote the use of ePortfolios for students to enrich and support their academic, extra, and co-curricular work and career development; and to provide leadership and strategic planning for all academic technology initiatives.

I know you’re deeply involved with the promotion of ePortfolios and have done a lot with faculty workshops. What else do you see in the future of academic technology at Pace?

I’d like to further promote ePortfolios for use as a student job search tool—students can use their portfolios to showcase their academic work, projects they’ve done, and their career interests. ePortfolios are also great for faculty and staff. They’re also a great vehicle for student development. Student clubs and organizations could benefit from this technology.

I’m also working closely with the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology (CTLT) and we’re collaborating with the Library and the tech folks at the schools. I have actually been collaborating with all of these areas over the years on a variety of initiatives including online/blended learning, ePortfolios for students and faculty, and iPads.  This new position will formalize the collaboration that has already been occurring and will make it easier to share successes and address challenges across the University.

How do you assist the faculty with programming?

I will be working closely with the schools and colleges at Pace to help support the development of new online and blended programs.  For example, I have done this kind of work with the Masters in Homeland Security, which is an innovative blended degree program for working professionals in the field.

How will you be involved in bringing new instructional technology to the Pace Community?

We hold iPad user groups monthly for the faculty. They’re learning not only to use the iPad, but also how to incorporate it into the classroom. It’s already being used in several classes and we hope to use it in more.  [Note: If you’d like to learn more about iPads in the classroom, click here to read entries from the iPad User Blog.]

How are new technologies being implemented in the classroom? What sort of responses have you received to the new technologies?

This is an exciting time at Pace because we have made such a dramatic leap in terms of classroom technologies.  At this point, all of the classrooms have at least a base level of classroom technology. This summer we will be doing further upgrades to enhance some rooms and to also upgrade rooms that are not listed as traditional classroom spaces, but yet are used for class and student group meetings.  We will continue to seek faculty/student input on how best to improve our current classroom technologies and thanks to the Student IT fee, we will be able to keep Pace at the cutting edge in terms of instructional technologies. Examples of this are the implementation of ECHO 360 (lecture capture) capabilities available in all classrooms and the expansion our work with iPads to enhance the overall learning experience.