EDUCAUSE discussion groups good resource for professional development
By Emily Rushton
There are many ways to participate in professional development during the course of an employee’s career – and one way can be through joining an EDUCAUSE discussion group.
University Information Technology (UIT) is a member of EDUCAUSE, which aims to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology. The non-profit association offers member-driven electronic discussion groups that can be an effective way for managers and employees to engage in professional development together.
Most of the discussion groups interact throughout the year via web or phone discussions, which are archived and fully searchable. EDUCAUSE promises that discussion group participants will find an open, informal environment and a responsive and engaged network of professionals. Types of discussion groups vary and cover a wide range of topics, including cloud computing, data administration, IT diversity and more.
Dave Huth, director of Enterprise Data Architecture for UIT, has found the discussion groups that he’s participated in to be valuable.
“Generally they focus on the top IT worries in higher education institutions,” he said. “There used to be just ten groups or so, but now there’s a whole lot more.” There are currently more than 50 active EDUCAUSE discussion groups, with the option for participants to create new groups if they don’t see a particular topic covered that they want to discuss.
“I would recommend that people take a look and see what’s out there,” said Huth. “Subscribe to groups that are directly related to what you’re interested in and give them a chance. Participate, send a message, and see what happens.”
To check out the entire list of EDUCAUSE discussion groups available, visit the website.
In addition to being an EDUCAUSE member, UIT is part of several other organizations as well – see the full list here.