“Others have opinions & epiphanies; I try to bring data to the discussion…”
-Kenneth C. Green, Ph.D., Founding Director, The Campus Computing Project
We are so excited to have the very funny, very knowledgeable Kenneth C. Green, Ph.D., as one of our keynote speakers at The Saylor Foundation Digital Education Conference in April. Dr. Green is the Founding Director of The Campus Computing Project, which is the largest ongoing study of the role of technology in higher education. In addition to consulting with higher ed presidents, provosts and administrators on their technology needs and programs, Green serves as the senior research consultant at Inside Higher Edand directs the publication’s national survey of higher ed officials. Green also blogs and tweets as Digital Tweed and @DigTweed, respectively.
Dr. Green and his work have been featured in numerous publications including The Washington Post, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, and The Wall Street Journal. He received the first EDUCAUSE Award for Leadership in Public Policy and Practice in 2002 for creating The Campus Computing Project. Dr. Green’s most recent paper on MOOCs is available here.
Dr. Green’s full bio is available here. If you’d like to learn more about The Campus Computing Project, please visit the organization’s website.
We conducted an email interview with Dr. Green to get a sneak peek of what to expect at the conference. Below you can find out about his career and hopes for higher education:
SF: Why higher ed? What interested you in technology and higher ed research?
GREEN: I went to grad school specifically to learn how to use data — to bring data — into campus planning, policy, and decision-making. I was fortunate to spend a decade working with Alexander Astin, truly the father of “big data” in higher education. Astin did pioneering research in this arena, building on an annual survey of some 300,000 college freshmen that began in the 1966 (and continues on today). Astin’s work was clearly “big data” — large, merged data files; multivariate analysis, etc. well before the emergence of “Big Data” as we discuss it today. My interest in and my research on campus IT planning and policy issues emerged in the wake of the much discussed (and for some, much-hyped) “technology revolution in higher ed” that began with the arrival of PCs and Macs in the mid-1980s.
SF: What are your hopes for higher ed/technology in the next 10 years?
GREEN: Over the next decade I hope that higher ed can narrow the gap between the expectations for and the implementation of IT in learning, instruction, and campus operations. No question that the technology continues to get better, more interesting, and offers great potential to foster more engagement for learners and better information for campus officials. But we continue to make too many decisions on the basis of opinion and epiphany, rather than evidence. I hope to see more and better evidence to aid and inform our efforts, and concurrently, that that we use data as a resource, rather than as a weapon.
SF: What higher ed tech trends are you excited about?
GREEN: I remain excited about the power and potential of technology to engage learners and to inform institutional leaders. And I am concerned about what appears to be an emerging trend, in some sectors of higher education, towards the “Potemkin Campus”— the decline of the institutional infrastructure required to support students and faculty.
SF: If you could take one book (or only have one e-book or audible with no wifi access) with you on a deserted island, what would it be?
GREEN: Tolstoy’s War and Peace. It has it all: a massive and engaging treatise on people, families, history, politics, organizations, and more. An added value if you really are on a desert island is that War and Peace is a long book — very long! I still have the two-volume Penguin paperback edition I bought when wandering in Europe several decades ago.