As part of preparation for a retreat (which I missed), I was asked for the elevator pitch for the UM School of Information – so I whipped this bit up.
The School of Information is much more than just the study of technology for technology sake. Fifty years ago, it was a challenge simply to create computer based technology and the creative problems that needed solving were how to make technology, faster, more reliable, and more capable. In today’s world, we do continue to improve technology, but the greater challenge is how people will use the amazing technology that we are already capable of building. This problem is no longer merely a technical or engineering problem. The challenge of what we will do with technology is as much about how people can best use technology to how technology can help us make sense of the ever increasing amount of information in our world. To meet this challenge, we need people with a broad range of skills from psychology to graphic design to research methods to programming. We need people who are skilled in many different disciplines rather than people who are highly specialized in a narrow siloed field. The UM School of Information is producing these inherently cross-disciplinary creative workers for a wide range of fields. Graduates of SI are not just ready for a single job, they are ready for many different jobs and challenges both at the beginning and throughout their career.