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The Wired Tower: Perspectives on the Impact of the Internet on Higher Education Hardcover – July 1, 2002

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Product Details

  • Series: Financial Times (Prentice Hall)
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Financial Times Prentice Hall; 1st edition (July 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0130428299
  • ISBN-13: 978-0130428295
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,730,430 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The Wired Tower makes sense of the changes that are being wrought by the Internet and related technologies, and explores which aspects of Internet-related change offer the greatest long-term promise in higher education, which are superficial, and which should be rejected.

Editor Matthew Pittinsky and his diverse contributors widen our perspective on the Internet, viewing it as the latest in a series of "macro-level" changes that have repeatedly transformed higher education and broadened access to it. Drilling down to implementation issues, they offer specific guidance on course redesign, and on the cost, policy, and staffing implications of the wired campus. Finally, Neil Postman offers an essential counterweight to technological optimism, posing skeptical questions academics should ask before buying into technological and business-based paradigms in higher education.

With original contributions from:

* Matthew Pittinsky, Chairman, Blackboard Inc.
The key forces shaping the Internet's effects on higher education and how e-learning can reinforce traditional academic values
* Arthur Levine, President, Columbia University Teacher's College
What to preserve, what to change, and how the forces reshaping higher education can reinvigorate its historic mission
* Greg Cappelli, Equity Analyst, Credit Suisse First Boston
The education "industry:" market size, trends in Internet usage, economic/demographic pressures, and new for-profit institutions
* Martin Irvine, Professor, Georgetown University
Internet-based learning: an international perspective and region-by-region review
* Carol A. Twigg, Executive Director, Center for Academic Transformation
The nitty-gritty of technology-driven course redesign, frameworks for improving quality and reducing cost
* Donald Spicer, CIO, University of Maryland
Supporting innovation on the wired campus: IT management challenges
* Neil Postman, author, The End of Education; Chair, Department of Culture and Communication, NYU
A skeptic's view: five crucial questions to ask before you adopt new technologies

The effects of the Internet on colleges and universities: revolution, evolution, or both?

  • Wide-ranging perspectives on technology in higher education
  • Viewpoints from leading academics, administrators, and business and investment professionals
  • Five transformative Internet-based learning practices most likely to succeed
  • Contributors include Neil Postman (author of The End of Education) and Arthur Levine, President, Columbia Teacher's College

The Internet is changing higher education—but how? Which changes are revolutionary—and which are evolutionary, arising from deeper changes? Now, The Wired Tower brings together today's leading thinkers and doers to assess the new realities of the Internet in higher education.

Blackboard Inc. Chairman Matthew Pittinsky identifies four key drivers of technology-related change in higher education: the renewed focus on teaching and learning, technology's movement from "back office" to "front office," the search for new funding, and the pressure and opportunity to serve new enrollments and markets.

The book includes a provocative, skeptical contribution from leading social theorist Neil Postman, and concludes with a preview of the Internet-based learning trends likely to have the most profound impact.

About the Author

Edited by Matthew Serbin Pittinsky
With Contributions by:
Arthur Levine, Martin Irvine, Greg Cappelli, Carol A. Twigg, Donald Spicer, and Neil Postman

About the Editor

MATTHEW SERBIN PITTINSKY is Chairman of Blackboard Inc. As Blackboard's founding CEO and chief education strategist, Pittinsky has been a visible and widely respected leader helping to shape the higher education e-learning industry. With more than 2,300 schools, colleges, and universities in 140 countries using its software, Blackboard is one of the largest technology companies connecting the power of the Internet to education

Mr. Pittinsky has served on numerous panels and presented at industry conferences for organizations such as the Harvard Business School, the Software Publishers Association, and EDUCAUSE. A first time book editor, he has authored numerous articles and has been quoted in major media outlets, including The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and BusinessWeek.

In 2001, Ernst & Young named Pittinsky and Blackboard co-founder Michael Chasen "Entrepreneurs of the Year for Emerging Companies" in Washington, D.C. In addition, they were both honored as "Young Innovators" by the Kilby Awards Foundation, a distinction shared by Vint Cerf, Marc Andreessen, and Linus Torvalds.

Mr. Pittinsky earned his masters degree in education policy at Harvard University Graduate School of Education. He serves on the advisory boards of SMARTHINKING and Syllabus2000, and on the Board of Trustees of American University.

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Dr. M.C. Armantrout on December 1, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Pittinsky, the current chair of Blackboard, Inc.(a highly useful e-learning platform) recognizes that the Internet offers a dramatic shift from traditional education because of the global possibilities. He also warns that for institutions to join the ever-increasing distance delivery of college and technical coursework, they must know how technology will solve problems rather than complicate the educational services. Distance learning via technology requires active learners who willingly embrace the varying modes of instruction. Traditional, site-bound services may not be able to match the increasing world-wide demand for college and technical coursework. Projections for 2025 suggest that 160 million students will be seeking education. Compare that to the current 45 million people enrolled today.This book offers a heads-up approach to institutional leaders in determining whether or not Internet courses of study are feasible. I highly recommend this book for administrators and instructors as a first-read before rushing into a high/hidden cost program.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By edonline on November 13, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I was disappointed in this book. I assumed that the author would draw on a wealth of experience as the provider of Blackboard, the most common software for e-learning. Instead, the book was mostly an apologetic for why "brick and mortar" universities are superior to e-learning, and how they can add some e-learning features to maintain their dominance in the educational realm by becoming "brick and click" schools. The book does include some helpful facts and statistics, but I had hoped to find more than that. I was seeking creative ways to improve and develop e-learning. It didn't find that. The book might be helpful for some educators who are interesting tweaking the traditional university model, but not for people who are interested in more significant change.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Randolph S Barkhouse, Retiree, Dalhousie University on January 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The book is one of the better ones I've read on the topic, and timely in view of the Internet's 20th anniversary and recent closures of e-learning initiatives, such as that of Fathom by Columbia. Perhaps one could quarrel with the title, particularly in light of comments in Chapter 6. "The Networked Tower" would give the title a longer shelf life.
More emphasis could be given to the difficulty in changing the culture of traditional institutions in their course delivery methods. Tenure and promotion rules don't yet value innovations in teaching with technology at most universities.
Chapter 6 on organizational structure and the CIO position could emphasize the desirability of academic credentials for holders of that position. Experience in the trenches of academic life is important both for what it teaches and for credibility with faculty being encouraged to adopt new methods. This chapter is one of the best in a fairly good book.
The book would benefit from a chapter or two giving some contrarian views to balance the optimism a bit. Perhaps that will be in a sequel volume.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 12, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Matthew Pittinsky has published the slightly stale presentations and speeches that educators and theorists delivered several years ago. What might have seemed like cutting edge thinking at that time is now missing the boat for the most part. Higher education is still grappling with how to deal with what has become a buyers' market for education. Faculty, who are stuck in the paradigm of a sellers' market and protected by the cloak of tenure, are the critical players in the e-learning scenario. Pittinsky hasn't found an answer to the real problem: who will hold faculty responsible for the fiscal strength and market share of higher education? As in so many instances, online learning has crystallized the issues of who teaches, who learns, and the bottom line for strong and productive higher education institutions.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By the_student on June 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wired and wireless! This book discusses network technology in colleges and university. It is written for educators and decision makers. It provides a base level of technical understand and explains important concepts necessary to decision making. This text helps decision makers and educators set realistic goals for technology that will ultimately help with adoption.
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