Campus News

First Educational Technology Manager Hired at Bowdoin College

Story posted May 15, 1999

May 1, 1999, BRUNSWICK, Maine -- Peter Schilling, formerly of The College Board, has been appointed the first educational technology manager at Bowdoin College.

As educational technology manager, Schilling will coordinate the integration of technology into teaching and learning. This will involve organizing programs to teach the faculty to work with new technology, overseeing the establishment and use of multimedia production facilities and coordinating hardware and software purchases.

How to effectively use new technology in education is a major challenge facing colleges and universities. "It is forcing institutions to develop new administrative structures to manage the use of technology in a thoughtful way, by coordinating library, computing and media services to best support teaching and make the most effective use of resources," said Sherrie Bergman, College Librarian.

Dean for Academics Charles Beitz established the Educational Technology Task Force in late 1996 to concentrate on this issue. "At a time of rapid technological change, it is particularly important for colleges like Bowdoin to understand how technology can help (and also how it can hinder) the learning experience for our students," Beitz said. "This is the crux of ETTF's mission--not so much to change the core relationship of teacher and student, but to encourage experiments in the use of technology to make that relationship more educationally effective."

At the recommendation of the task force, Bowdoin became one of a growing number of institutions that are meeting the technology challenge by dedicating a full-time staff member to the work. "Our search committee, chaired by Sherrie Bergman, worked long and hard to identify the right person to lead our educational technology initiative, and when we found Peter, we knew we'd succeeded," Beitz said. "He combines academic graduate training and teaching experience with impressive accomplishments in the development of new media for teaching and communications. On top of that, he is wonderfully imaginative and will be a stimulating and helpful colleague. We're lucky he's here."

The work of the task force and education technology manager is being supported by a $1 million gift from Bowdoin alum Stanley Druckenmiller. Schilling will help administer grants for teaching projects involving technology, and the outcome of each project will be analyzed to assist in the creation of future projects. The money will also be used for the purchase of hardware and software. In the beginning a major thrust will be to help the faculty create a base level of academic information on the Internet and make this information easily accessible to students, Schilling said.

Prior to coming to Bowdoin, Schilling served as Publisher of College Board Online and Senior Editor for New Media at Simon and Schuster Secondary Education Group. His academic interests and knowledge are varied. He holds a bachelor's degree in English from Georgetown and a doctorate from Columbia University. He has written on Kierkegaard and late-Modernism, is a contributor to the "Encyclopedia of African American Culture and History" and is currently writing on how the Internet is changing higher education.

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