Cattier to join College as technology director

by Ester Cross | 7/29/13 10:00pm

An avid outdoorsman and a fine wine connoisseur, Alan Cattier '86 will join the College as director of academic and campus technology services, a position that has been filled by vice president for information technology and chief information officer Ellen Waite-Franzen since November.

Cattier comes from Emory University, where he spent 11 years as director of academic technology services.

Cattier could not be reached for comment by press time.

When he takes over the position on Aug. 1, Cattier will inherit several initiatives currently being implemented by Computing Services, assistant director of educational technologies Barbara Knauff said.

Computing Services hopes to install several lecture-capturing devices at the end of the next academic year. The specialized cameras, which can also capture PowerPoint slides on projectors, will be placed in several science classrooms and serve as study resources for students. The cameras are currently in use at the Geisel School of Medicine.

The office is also working to expand its ability to track email requests and questions sent to Computing Services by the community. The office hopes to increase transparency and identify patterns based on the feedback it receives.

Computing Services is reevaluating the use of Blackboard as the official learning management system. If a decision is made to change the system, Cattier will take the lead in its implementation.

Knauff said Cattier will be required to listen to faculty needs and bring in knowledge from outside instructors to be successful.

As director, Cattier will lead the five divisions of the office, including the education technologies division, which works with faculty to integrate technology into classrooms, and the research computing division, which helps faculty with technologies that support their research. The support center, classroom technology services and communications make up the rest of Computing Services.

Waite-Franzen said the department works closely with the Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning to support faculty with classroom technology use, including Blackboard.

"Technology doesn't really change the curriculum, but it can enhance the teaching and learning environment," she said.

Waite-Franzen said Computing Services wants to strengthen it's support for faculty and students.

"The use of blended learning and online learning is expanding and these groups will be working in this area," she said. "Dartmouth hasn't made a decision on how to participate in the online learning area yet, but I expect that these groups would be involved in supporting these environments."

Prior to accepting a position at Dartmouth, Cattier worked with faculty and students at Emory to develop education technologies, said former colleague Kim Comstock, Emory's business manager of information technology finance and administration.

Cattier's technology team at Emory held courses for faculty to improve their knowledge of classroom technologies and help them prepare presentations.

Cattier also led a support team for the university's massive open online courses. His experience with MOOCs at Emory may help him implement online education at Dartmouth if the College chooses to offer online courses.

In the spring, the College's committee on technology-enabled education made recommendations to the President's Office to implement online education courses on a small scale, committee director and associate provost for international affairs Lindsay Whaley said.

Whaley said that if the College offers MOOCs, it will replicate the online education systems used at other institutions. He said all institutions that have implemented MOOCs relied on their technology administrative departments.

"In every instance, a lot of technology and sometimes the pedagogy expertise was found with campus technology," he said.