The Conference on Information Technology in Tertiary Education (CITTE) is a biennial event held under the auspices of the associated IT Directors of higher education institutions in South Africa. CITTE provides a forum for scholars and technical specialists alike to exchange knowledge on the modes and principles of applying IT to the purposes of higher education.
Few practitioners would dispute that the challenges of meshing information technology with tertiary education are of no small magnitude, while the rewards of doing so successfully are - or are said to be - glittering. Facing and mastering these challenges in a context of rapid globalisation - an uneven phenomenon, made more uneven still by the sum of the responses to September 11 2001 - is particularly complex in a developing society marked by deep disparities in wealth and access to positional goods. It is for this reason that the conference organisers have selected, as a special theme, Information Technology in the African Context, and particularly invite contributions in this area.
More broadly than this, the conference aims to bring together people from both the scholarly and technical domains, on the broad principle that the deeper the mutual understanding between these two worlds, the greater the benefit to higher education.
It is the intention of the conference organisers that, while a high standard of scholarship will be maintained in formal papers and presentations, it is nevertheless appropriate to create spaces for relatively informal and practical sharing of ideas and solutions. Focus area 3 is designed to accommodate more informal and practically orientated sessions in which practitioners can present and comment on technical victories and defeats.
Papers and presentations are solicited in three focus areas: Focus area 1: Information technology and the goals of higher education. This area poses questions such as: How are collaborative on-line learning communities designed and supported? What roles do learners, facilitators and designers play in collaborative on-line learning environments? How can software tools be used in processes associated with the conversion of content, which is ubiquitous, into knowledge? How can cognitive development be supported in collaborative learning systems that include different technological tools and communication devices? Are our educational paradigms still adequate? Have they ever been?
Focus area 2: Riding the tiger: managing IT in higher education. Rising demands for services and contracting budgets place IT managers in a squeeze that becomes tighter each year. What works best? What approaches should we adopt to application development strategy, to technology lifecycle management, to managing demands for highly disaggregated access to public goods such as bandwidth? What staffing strategies work in a deeply distorted labour market? What approaches to IT governance work best in an environment of unprecedented, rapid, and unpredictable change? How do we protect long-term interests without compromising on the short term? How do we win today while making sure that we’re in an even stronger position to win tomorrow?
Focus area 3: The technical challenge: triumphs and defeats. This is primarily intended for the sharing of concrete experiences in the many fields in which IT staff work: system implementation, client support, network management, student computing, training, and so on.
Expressions of interest and proposals for papers or presentations should be submitted to the committee chair at the email address firstname.lastname@example.org. Requests for general information should be directed to email@example.com. The deadline for abstract/proposal submissions is 30 June 2002.
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