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3 Things This Learning Technologist Can't Do
October 6, 2009 - 7:44pm

There are many many things related to learning technology that I have no ability to accomplish, but wish I had.

I'll name my top 3 non-skills. I'd be curious about yours.

1) Rack a Server: The guys and gals I work with are always racking servers. Something about "racking" anything just sounds cool. How satisfying it would be to actual get my hands on the hardware that makes the ones and zeroes that dominate my life actually work. To connect the physical to the digital by connecting up the physical box. Anyone in the server room need a hand?

2) Write Code: The world of programming, scripting, coding, developing, etc. etc. remains a giant mystery to me. We have meetings and then people I work with write programs that make the library systems talk to the course management systems which then exchange data with the student information systems. The write Web front-ends that connect with back-end databases. They converse in Java, take rides on Ruby on Rails, script in PHP, and exchange XML data. I'm so jealous.

3) Admin an Application: Really doing anything on a server would be new to me. I've never installed a server OS, installed an application, virtualized anything, or been in charge of running, patching, and operating anything beyond my own MacBook. I'm sure I'd mess something up, and then nobody would be able to get to their online courses. I have no command of the command line. Hooking up the app to the SAN sounds wonderful (I'm all for storage), but I just exhausted the limits of my knowledge on this particular topic while writing this sentence.

I could go on and on about the things in computing and technology that I'm clueless about. It is sort of amazing that I've worked the past 10 years in academic computing and information systems units yet remain so illiterate compared to many (most) of my colleagues.

One of the best parts of working as a learning technologists is that we get to hang out with people who possess all these skills (and more). Every now and again they even let us hang out in the server room.


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