Information Technologist Response, Smith College


Q. What roles and responsibilities do you currently assume regarding
the use and instruction of technology?

As a Statistical Consultant for the social sciences, education, and
school of social work, I assist faculty, students, and staff with data
gathering, analysis, and presentation. People come to me with a wide range
of questions and concerns including where to find data on various topics,
how to construct testable hypotheses, which statistical software to use
and how to use it, and advice on how to present data and results. I usually
work with people individually, teaching them the statistical, computer,
or data finding skills they require to complete their projects. To assist
my constituents, I experiment with different statistical software and teaching
tools and search for new data over the Internet.

Q. What goals for Collaboration do you have?

I am interested in working with faculty and students to conduct research.
I would also like to help faculty introduce new techniques and software
for teaching statistics into their classes. I know that the faculty at
Smith are very interested in using the Internet in their classes and have
this year begun to use Blackboard to develop a web based component for
their classes. Faculty and students are also very interested in using multi-media
computer techniques in their research and classes.

Q. What technologies could enhance student and faculty research/teaching/learning?

A range of multi-media technologies would be very useful for student
learning and faculty teaching and research. Students learn best in a variety
of ways. Some students rely on visual cues while others depend on auditory
skills. Other students learn best by doing. Multi-media technologies that
now make it easier to bring images, video clips, music, guest lecturers
and interactive experiences into the classroom will enhance knowledge by
providing different learning opportunities for different kinds of learners.
Faculty could also draw on these different technologies to conduct and
present their ideas in the most illustrative framework.

Echoing these sentiments, a colleague of mine who runs the Center for
Foreign Languages and Culture at Smith wrote to me the following, "I believe
Smith needs greater access to DVD technologies, greater and more direct
support of student projects and general computer literacy, a network system
which truly allows any user to log on to any appropriate server from anywhere
including off campus, and more cohesive support of faculty curriculum projects.
Much of this can be achieved through improved communication amongst the
support groups on campus."

Lois Joy
Statistical Consultant
Smith College