Sunken Garden

Technology Task Force

Meeting Notes - March 5, 2015

Present: Marisa Spatafore (chair); Ed Breault, Tom Dolen, Brandon Gainer, Richard Hansen, Cecilia Hui, Sharon Luciw, Joe Moreau, Cheryl Owiesny, Joan Peña-Ferrick, Lorrie Ranck, Jerry Rosenberg; Hirochika Ishikawa (DASB); Vanessa Smith (notes)

New staff/faculty computer standards

Luciw shared the proposed new faculty/staff hardware standards spreadsheet from ETS. Luciw said the standards have been expanded to accommodate users’ needs. Moreau and ETS supervisor John Vandercook came up with new categories for typical uses and minimum hardware specs for each.

Dolen asked if individuals determine their own needs. Luciw said the standard is determined during hardware refresh. Moreau said ETS set new standards to get a better handle on costs as bond resources become scarce; Windows prices are dropping while Apple costs are increasing. Moreau hopes that providing additional options will keep costs down by encouraging users be thoughtful about their needs. 

Hansen asked if more faculty are requesting laptops, and Moreau said yes. Hansen asked if more sizes are available. Moreau said needs are different, so ETS has given more options for display size and weight. Hansen also asked if the user is responsible for damages to hardware. Moreau said it depends on the circumstances, but issues are rare. Hansen gave an example of his keyboard going out, which was covered by the Apple warranty. Rosenberg said if the issue is with the battery, warranty should cover it. 

Moreau added that Apple and Dell handle warranties differently. Bond funds can cover certain things, but not others. For example, additional three-year warranties cannot be paid with bond money. ETS has tried to work with Apple on warranty pricing. Luciw requested that members email additional questions and comments. 

Approval of notes from Dec. 4, 2014 

Notes were approved with no corrections. 

Review draft technology section for Educational Master Plan 

Spatafore explained that she is serving as co-chair on the Educational Master Plan Committee while Mallory Newell is on maternity leave. Spatafore then presented a draft technology section for the Educational Master Plan. 

Dolen asked if distance learning and hybrid classes will be added; Spatafore said that the technology section referred to the tools used to support instruction, and not programs themselves, which could appear elsewhere in the document. Gainer requested more time for members to review the section; Spatafore asked that any input be sent to her by the end of the day on the following Monday. Gainer said the Speech Department, in particular, has a need for recording devices in the classroom. Spatafore said that issue is better addressed in the technology plan; Moreau agreed. 

Committee mission review 

Spatafore gave an overview on the background and charge of TTF and asked for input on moving the committee forward. She said that TTF does need a faculty co-chair, but it could be better to see in what direction the committee is headed first; nevertheless, volunteers were welcome and she would consult with the Academic Senate president on the matter. Dolen added that there has been a faculty co-chair since the inception of the committee. 

Moreau said that the priority of both TTFs has shifted away from large, districtwide projects, as the processes for approving those has changed. He added that ETAC had reviewed their mission during a retreat, and the group hopes for more explicit links between ETAC and the TTFs at both colleges.

Gainer said that technology training should be a part of the committee’s charge. TTF should consider what support is given to faculty teaching online courses.

Ranck said that is part of what the committee review is for. What is the relationship between TTF and other groups on campus? For example, there is an online advisory committee that could serve as such a resource. Much is happening on campus, but news of such activities does not always travel. 

Spatafore reiterated that it is important to note that technology is a tool, not the thing itself. Hansen asked about the Foothill TTF. Moreau said that group has a similar structure, but he was unsure if they are doing a similar mission review. 

Spatafore said that “task force” implies something temporary and encouraged consideration of a name change. Owiesny noted that the group had started more than a decade ago. Hansen added that Foothill has a larger distance learning program, but TTF started at De Anza. He also said that the recent reorganization of TRG was unsettling because faculty had no input in that decision. Spatafore said that while this was not the venue to discuss that claim, faculty and, ultimately, students would be better served by the changes.

Rosenberg said now is a good time to discuss the committee’s charge. Dolen asked where TTF goes from here, and how does the group’s mission fits into accreditation.  

Owiesny said she had previously been part of a distance learning committee, but stopped receiving information about the meetings. Ranck said a committee does still exist, and she would share the information with Owiesny.

Spatafore said there is no intention to disregard the previous good work done by TTF, and suggested a retreat for members to discuss steps to move the committee forward and become more effective.

TTF took several minutes to look at the mission review worksheetSpatafore suggested that TTF tell College Council that the group is reexamining the mission and guiding principles.

Ishikawa asked about the difference between ETAC and TTF. Spatafore explained that ETAC is at the district level, while both colleges have a Tech Task Force. The colleges take a different approach to TTF. Ishikawa said the vision should be geared more towards students. Instructors should use technology as a tool for education. The guiding principle “support for delivery of services” should be a priority.

Owiesny said she used to come to TTF to learn what’s coming up, and the status of technology projects (upgrading Wi-Fi, for instance). Peña-Ferrick said people talk about projects during TTF, but there is little follow-up.

Rosenberg said the guiding principles noted on the website and mission review worksheet remain unchanged. He agreed that the group needs more feedback. Hansen suggested removing “retention” from the vision statement. He also mentioned having a representative on ETAC. Spatafore said that both Ranck and Hui are on ETAC.

Breault said that TTF should look at the other governance groups’ missions and roles, and determine where TTF fits in. Peña-Ferrick asked why there is not more communication between the two college TTFs.

Spatafore asked for follow-up ideas to be sent via email, and added that information about next steps would be forthcoming. 



Technology Task Force
Building: ADM 153
Contact: Vanessa Smith
Phone: 408.864.8948
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Last Updated: 5/6/15