By DSG Group on October 25, 2018
On October 17, 2018, our Dean of Humanities announced the launch of Humanities Technology — “HumTech” — as part of an expanded approach to technology support for the Humanities at UCLA. As the Dean’s announcement states, the name “HumTech” more accurately “… reflect[s] this organization’s role as the technology solutions and support center for the Humanities Division.” As the head of HumTech, I am excited to share a bit more about what this means, what we do, and where we’re headed.
What we do
HumTech will continue to offer solutions, training and support in two key areas: (1) meeting the core technology needs for humanistic work; and (2) leveraging technology for humanities teaching and learning. Our most popular offerings include:
Technology for teaching and learning
- Teaching with technology – consultation, training, tool selection and testing, CCLE help;
- Media production and training for hybrid/online teaching – course content, flipped classroom;
- Online testing – quiz/test design, anti-plagiarism tools, drop-in testing space;
- Course sharing support and classrooms – to cross-enroll remote students from other UCs;
- Technology-enhanced learning and experimental spaces;
- Digital course content development;
- Help for students on digital course assignments.
Core technology solutions and support
- Websites, web design and development, web clinics;
- Web hosting;
- Collaboration tools and training – Google Apps, Box, Zoom, Slack, etc.
- Virtual servers and development environments;
- Application development – programming and maintenance of web applications;
- Digital project development – scoping, design, estimates, programming, project management;
- End-point setup, support and training for desktops and devices;
- Loaner equipment – digital cameras, laptop cart;
- Help desk support for everyday technology questions and needs.
In addition to being fun and catchy, our brand and slogan encapsulate what we’re here to do and how we plan to do it.
We start by getting to personally know the faculty, staff and students in the Humanities at UCLA. Through personal connection, we come to know how humanists use technology, so we can offer solutions and support that work best for humanities outcomes. Our focus on core technology is not “traditional IT”. It is on how to curate traditional IT for Humanities IT. And through personal relationships, we foster both HumanIT and humanity.
Our charge is to know technology and to know where technology is known. Just as our faculty and students are domain experts in the humanities, we are domain experts in technology. Our role as technology domain experts is to partner with academic domain experts to deliver humanities excellence. We also see our role as knowing where to find the optimal technical knowledge and domain expertise on campus, and to personally connect you with those experts. Our knowledge of technology, and of where technology is known, means that our faculty, students and staff can stay focused on the humanities.
IT starts here
The first step for any humanist with a technology need or question should be HumTech. We know technology, we know the humanities, and we know where the resources are on campus (and beyond). The measure of success for HumTech will be the number of times that humanities faculty, staff and students start with HumTech for their technology questions. I believe that making that starting step in HumTech’s direction is the key to saving time and maximizing effort. The solution may not end with us, but if we are doing HumTech right, it should start with us.
Where we are headed
HumTech is a part of the Humanities Division, and where the Humanities goes, so goes HumTech. Keeping up with the breadth and depth of technology use in the Humanities will be the ongoing challenge. My goal for HumTech is to become a broker of solutions and support tailored to humanities ways of doing and thinking, and for each member of the HumTech staff to bring domain expertise to humanities work. My job is to build trust in the HumTech brand as the best first step for any humanities technology question. Trust, expertise, solutions, and humanities excellence is where we are headed. I look forward to the HumTech future!