EDUCAUSE's vice president for data, research, and analytics, Susan Grajek is one of the key speakers of the plenary sessions of TICAL2015, that will be carried out in Viña del Mar (Chile) from July 6 to 8, 2015. We spoke with her about her future participation in the Conference, check out what she said.
What are your expectations regarding the TICAL Conference and of your participation in it?
I hope to learn more about the unique challenges of ICT in higher education in Latin America because I am always seeking to better understand ICT’s role in higher education worldwide. I hope to help TICAL attendees gain new information about the special challenges facing higher education and ICT leaders today, including learning about the major themes and getting advice about how to address common challenges.
What motivated you to participate in this Conference?
I spoke at the 2013 EDUTIC conference and found it was so helpful. Before the event, I was able to tour Chilean universities and meet with higher education leaders to learn about higher education in Chile. I have the impression that Latin American nations understand that higher education is very important to their future and their success. If I am able to help ICT leaders contribute to the success of their universities, I will consider my participation to have been worthwhile.
What importance do you think TICAL has for the development of the networks and the professionals in the field of ICT?
ICT professionals everywhere learn by sharing their knowledge and experiences. This is particularly true in the field of education, because educators are so open and generous. TICAL provides opportunities for ICT leaders to learn from one another, to gain specific advice to address their particular challenges, to meet new colleagues, and to deepen relationships with colleagues they already know.
What is that unique thing you’d like to share with the people attending TICAL and what would you like to learn about the Latin American experience within the Conference scope of action?
ICT is changing rapidly. Higher education is changing rapidly. This is true all over the world. This makes the profession of ICT in higher education especially important, and more exciting and consequential than it has ever been. It is important for ICT leaders to know this, and to know that many of their challenges are similar to those of other regions of the world. However, every region’s needs for ICT in higher education are also somewhat different. Those differences are due somewhat to differences in how much technology they already have and can afford. But the differences are even more due to the purpose of higher education and how it differs from region to region. That purpose will change the nature of the universities and mean those universities have different expectations and hopes of technology. I hope to learn more about the purpose of higher education in Latin America and how that purpose affects Latin America’s expectations of ICT in higher education.