Adopting and Adapting New Technology
What is the newest “techie” gadget that you have/would like to have, and how do/would you use it to improve the work relationship that you have with your primary clientele?
A tablet PC would easily have the biggest impact on two of my major responsibilities in the UCLA Department of Information Studies: Managing department-wide web content, and overseeing instructional technology needs. It would also touch upon the continuing education program that I administer.
As new information is added to the web or enhanced features are introduced, I could bring the tablet PC directly to my clientele, namely the students, staff, and faculty within the department. With a tablet, I could approach people for their input while they were on break, enjoying some L.A. sunshine, or having lunch. Few would balk because of a combination of the “gee whiz” factor of a tablet, and they would not being required to start up a laptop or log into a computer to evaluate the content, feature, etc. This idea was shared with me by a colleague in the field of user design – don’t bring people into a lab to evaluate your work, but rather go to where the students are when their stress and anxiety is ebbing and they’ll be more amenable to looking at your work.
There are two recent instances where a tablet would have been especially helpful. I worked with a programmer to roll out a credit card payment interface to enroll in the CE workshops that I oversee, and I was limited to testing it myself or seeking out others seated at computers to try it out. A tablet would have made this work more efficient and less time consuming. Also within the past few weeks, faculty members and I have been discussing their varied instructional technology needs for upcoming courses involving software none of us had previously used. In this instance I could have easily downloaded demo versions of each of the software packages as they came up in the discussions and then shared the tablet.
So for me, a tablet PC would help me more easily connect with my constituents.
Candidate, SLA President-Elect
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