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Cross-border Collaboration


Just last week, our very own PI, Dr. Ann Beheler presented at a technology conference unlike any other she has presented at in the past. What was so special about this conference, you may ask?  Well, this particular event happened to be in Banff, Alberta, Canada. The Cybera Cyber Summit 2014 was a two day summit that took place September 24-25, 2014. According to their website, the “Summit demonstrated how educators, researchers and innovators in the province can pool resources on technological development”.

Dr. Beheler was invited to present about how the National Convergence Technology Center has gathered a collective of resources and has shared them across the nation, through our own grant programs like the Convergence College Network, as well as leveraging other programs, such as the DOL TAACCCT grant. Showing examples of how equipment, labs, curriculum and other educational resources are being shared among our CCN member schools and DOL NISGTC grant partners, provided an example for how Canadian higher education institutions might also work together to share technology and resources.

Here is the synopsis for the presentation:

Shared IT Solutions for Post-Secondaries

There are many IT solutions available for post-secondary institutions to increase efficiencies and collectively share novel new technologies, such as virtual labs and federated identity for research collaborations. How should these organizations begin to organize their shared services? How can they inspire active adoption by other colleges and universities? And how can academics and researchers benefit from these tools?

Wendy Petersen will describe federated identity tools offered through the Canadian Access Federation, and how these will simplify the ability for researchers to collaborate on shared, remotely-accessible projects.

Ann Beheler will provide examples of shared services — such as equipment, lab development and course content — being successfully deployed among a group of 40+ colleges in the USA as part of a National Science Foundation initiative.

The presentation was very well received, and Dr. Beheler met with several of the colleges and universities who attended to discuss shared services. The need for collaboration and technology sharing at home and abroad is obvious.

One of the most wonderful things about the technology we teach our students today is that it brings people together. Can you imagine the time and energy it would have taken to share information between a school in Texas and a school in Alberta just a few short decades ago? Would an opportunity such as this have even presented itself? Technology is making it easier for colleges here in the US to work together to produce intelligent, workforce ready students. It’s not surprising that the need for this type of collaboration would cross international borders as well.

If you are interested in  learning about how your college or university in the US can participate in the Convergence College Network, please contact Mark Dempsey.

If you are interested in learning about connecting with those in charge of the in the collaboration initiative in Canada, contact Ann Beheler.

Download the PDF presentation:
Sharing Curriculum, Equipment, Laboratories, Processes and Best Practices

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