Final Report, MIT Committee on EVAT
The recommendations on this page can start being implemented immediately. Other pages contain medium-range and long-range recommendations.
Many of these recommendations are designed to promote and support universal access to the MIT network and to the Web. Routine educational use of the Web or other advanced technologies requires that all students (a) already be familiar with these technologies, and (b) have convenient access. In a similar way, faculty, teaching assistants, support staff, and others contributing to the educational mission must also be familiar with the technologies in question.
- Access. We believe that all members of the MIT community who contribute to the Institute's educational mission should have access to the Internet, and be able to use the Web as needed.
- Every faculty desk and teaching assistant desk should be wired with an ethernet connection capable of 10 Mb/sec communication. At the current time probably half the faculty is so connected. The other half of the faculty could be connected at a cost estimated at $150K and, thereafter, another $150K per year for network services, support, maintenance, and improvement. We do not have an estimate for the cost of wiring TA desks.
- In a similar way, most desks of research staff, probably all desks of administrative staff, and many desks of support staff should be connected with the same bandwidth.
- All classrooms should have a network connection, so that it is there, to be used without the need to make prior arrangements.
- The planning process for classroom construction and renovation should henceforth include a formal phase that considers educational technology needs and opportunities.
- The program of distribution of Web software should continue. MIT needs a clear and consistent source of tools and support for those interested in Web browsing, those interested in Web publishing, and, especially, those who wish to develop interactive educational Web applications.
- We approve the trend toward posting most of the MIT documents that are intended for the general public, and many of those for internal use, on the Web. These Web versions should be the definitive copies; printed versions are then snapshots taken when needed. Examples of such documents include the MIT Academic Calendar, Class Schedules, MIT Bulletin, and Policies and Procedures. This trend makes use of the Web seem normal and natural, and thereby promotes its use for educational purposes. (In a similar way, we advocate the use of e-mail in place of paper notices for many administrative purposes.)
- The internal workshops to familiarize faculty and staff about the Web, run by Information Systems, should be continued.
- We recommend that the CWIS Facilitator, in conjunction with graphical designers, establish and maintain templates and style guides for Web publishing.
- Oversight. Information technology will be increasingly central to MIT's educational missions. Faculty oversight of educational technology priorities and operations is increasingly important.
- We recommend that academic computing, distance learning, and other educational uses of advanced technologies be brought under the purview of a Standing Committee of the Faculty. This could be done either by expanding the role of an existing committee (for example, the Committee on the Library System) or by establishing a new committee. The necessary change to the Rules of the Faculty should be brought to a vote in a faculty meeting in Fall 1995.
This page revised June 12, 1995. Your comments about this report are welcome.
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