Academic Computing Coordination Group (ACCORD) Gets Going

Babi Mitra, Associate Director, Office of Educational Innovation and Technology

A key recommendation of the ad hoc committee on the reorganization of academic computing services was that the Libraries, DUE and IS&T work together more closely to ensure that faculty have easy and coordinated (seamless) access to all academic computing services. A core group convened by Vijay Kumar and comprising Oliver Thomas from IS&T, Steve Gass from the Libraries, and Babi Mitra from DUE-OEIT has been established for this purpose. The group, now called ACCORD for ‘Academic Computing CoORDination Group’, has been meeting over the past few weeks to craft its charter, mission, scope and process going ahead.

ACCORD held its first workshop in February with 44 representatives from IS&T, the Libraries, OCW, DUE, Sloan, and other DLC’s providing academic technology support. The objective was to help define key activities and concrete deliverables for coordinating academic computing services across MIT. The following themes/issues/needs emerged from that meeting:

  1. Customer view to services: providers, contact info, policies, practices, prices, escalation paths, etc.

  2. Service provider community (revitalized Ed-Tech Partners) for sharing information and strengthening relationships within the provider and with client communities.

  3. Publicizing services to customers.

  4. Services at the edges: in departments, labs, and centers

  5. Service/innovation life cycle: assessment, sustainability, business model (fee v. free, core v. premium)

  6. Thinking beyond "academic computing".

  7. Single sign-on.

  8. Engagement in the planning of new services, e.g., Athena Transition, Stellar, Media repositories, Image Management tools ACCORD is immediately concentrating on three areas:

  • Revitalizing the community of service providers (formerly Ed-Tech Partners) into the "ACCORDiacs". We're actively planning the development of a wiki where we're hoping you will provide profiles to share with other members of the ACCORDiacs. We will also be drafting a "mission" for this new group. We plan to share more details about this with you very soon.

  • Updating the Teaching with Technology website We expect to bring a group together both to make sure the information is up to date and accurate, and to determine what additional usability features it should provide. Again, we will share more specific details with you about this very soon.

  • Reaching out to customers - We're planning to meet with a variety of faculty (and maybe students too) this spring. As those happen we will update you.

For more information please go to http://web.mit.edu/teachtech (this site is under construction and all the parts may not be active) or email accord@mit.edu.