The W&M Academic Technology Blog features the work of the Academic Information Services (AIS) team at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. With this blog we hope to facilitate conversations about using technology for teaching and learning both at W&M and at other institutions of higher education. To help make those conversations happen, we have a diverse group of contributors who post regularly to this blog, as well as guest contributors, both faculty and staff, who offer their own insights into technology and the academy.

We here at the blog realize that we’re at a particularly critical moment in higher education right now — this is a tumultuous time, and the rate of technological innovation is the most visible and dramatic sign of the times. Along with these technological changes, we also have to face the challenges of the rising costs to students and their families for a college education. Meeting the needs of more and more diverse student bodies also challenge us to meet increasingly differing goals and expectations for our students’ college experiences. Educational technology, as one shelf of our set of tools as educators and academics, can help to alleviate some of the pressures and new challenges that we are all facing at institutions of higher education.

These changes mean that even those of you have been the innovators at using technology to enhance learning may need to double down and be even more creative, and even more resourceful then you’ve been in the past. In some ways, in creating and maintaining this online space, we truly are preaching to the choir. You who are reading this are already the ones who have invested your time and energy and resources in helping lay the groundwork for the change to come. But, in this new world of MOOCs, tablets, and the truly ubiquitous computer, we need your experience more than ever to help navigate the change.

You have already started this work by visiting this website — you have probably also gone to workshops, attended events, bought software — and are continuing to experiment and learn. We hope that the space that we are providing here will help you support each other and that we can find ways to help each other continue develop new skills. This blog, the Academic Technology Newsletter, as well as W&M’s face-to-face meetings and workshops are all designed as ways to expand our ability to share ideas within our community, both at W&M and as part of a larger community of educators around the world.

We hope that you’ll find ideas here that spark your own enthusiasm, as well as find ways that you’ll be able to help someone else have the courage try some new ways to make their teaching more effective. Let us know what we can do to help.