Brian YoungA major focal point of the “Colorado College Plan: Building on the Block” is building off of the great student-centered liberal arts tradition, and one way we can bring energy and innovation into the plan is through the creative development, integration, and thoughtful use of technology. Our students are indeed “digital natives” and we will explore the use of interactive emerging technologies such as digital caves and 3-D simulation centers where students can engage in unique, active learning experiences across various disciplines. At CC we will take advantage of emerging technology solutions such as digital-wear/technology-rich clothing so students can collect and capture field-based research while immersed in the Rocky Mountain ecosystem. We will seek to build out a new high-speed, wired and wireless “learning network” that connects our students to each other and to the greater globe of knowledge.

Technology will not only play a role in the lives of our students but also in the lives of the entire Colorado College family — students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and friends. Just as we seek to create a distinctive learning environment on our campus, we will push the boundaries of technology to launch a CC community that connects our global family. We want to spark the imagination of our collective minds and create a space where alumni and students can connect on career advice and receive mentorship opportunities. We want to reshape the concept of massive open online courses (MOOCs) to provide open online access to vignettes of knowledge from our celebrated faculty. Our goal is to continually pique the interest of the entire Colorado College family whether in Colorado Springs or halfway around the globe.

Technology is inevitably linked to innovation, and this is where we have tremendous opportunities. As we build our future we can harness the creative power of CC students, faculty, staff, and alumni within a newly created Innovation Institute. This space can become a hub of excitement and knowledge creation as we grapple with societal and environmental challenges. We have a real opportunity to blend hardware, applications, and technological thinking into this institute as we seek to provide real-world solutions and “big-idea thinking” for the global good.

As I reflect on Building on the Block, I get energized by the possibilities technology will play in not only helping to build on the block, but also in connecting the block to our greater CC family.

Brian A. Young is CC’s new vice president for information technology/chief technology officer.