Matt Stockfeld joined Nebraska Methodist College (NMC) in 2005 and works as the head of the Educational Technology Department. Read on to learn more about his job and the department.
1. When did you join NMC? What was your title?
May 2005. I'm now on 15 years at the college. I started as the Assistant System Administrator, which was interesting to me because we didn’t administer any system and we didn’t manage our own servers.
2. What made you want to join Ed Tech? What were you doing before this?
I was an Applications Training Manager in town. As an IT trainer, I was doing training sessions for NMC employees - and teaching them everything from Photoshop to Mircrosoft Office to basic web development and Publisher. I was told by an NMC employee that there was an open position in the Ed Tech department. Because I trained many of the college employees, I already knew a lot of folks when I started.
3. What job responsibilities do you have as Director of Educational Technology?
We’re kind of like I.T. (Information Technology) instead of ET (Educational Technology) in a way. We’re not traditional Ed Tech; it’s complicated in a sense that we support a variety of things from the Nursing Skills Lab to WebEx and web apps, to a number of other applications. In IT, we would typically support the infrastructure itself. Traditional IT doesn’t help you work in the application themselves, but we often do.
We also support all the hardware as far as triage. We work collaboratively with Methodist Health System IT to support the IT needs of the college. I work with NMC's VP of Business and Operations on strategic planning and budgeting for the technology of the college.
I do a lot of the day-to-day stuff too. I’m very much so in the trenches. I field help desk tickets every day, and I do a lot of work with SQL and data as well as My Methodist and Brightspace. I have a great team around me, and we do our best to support needs.
4. How does Ed Tech helps students succeed at NMC?
We field about 4,000 tickets per year. Support-wise, we get to help everybody at the college. We do our best to support all the systems that students and faculty work in.
We also try to make sure that every interaction is a positive one, and that they leave us in a better mood than they came to us with. My number 1 strength is Empathy (Strength Finders). We take as much time as we can to try to help students. We’re always here for them. We try to respond in a timely and courteous fashion.
5. What is your vision for Educational Technology at NMC?
Overall, my vision is to meet the very changing needs of our students, staff and faculty. Technology grows exponentially so we have to do our best to make sure we’re meeting the demands of the healthcare field. Personally, I’m a firm believer that between AI, virtual reality and augmented reality, they’re going to be so pervasive that we won’t be able to escape it.
6. Are there any big projects in the works?
We're launching Brightspace, a new learning management system. It’s moving to a cloud-hosted provider with less downtime, more intuitive feature set and enhanced capabilities in course technology. It starts in summer of 2020.
The iPad initiative will begin soon as well. More info will be coming out about this. It allows for a common base-line in technology, making sure all students have equitable access to technology resources for learning.
7. Technology is always changing. How do you see NMC adjusting to that trend?
We have a strong partnership with the health system and try to monitor the needs of the healthcare market. We also keep in touch with the evolution of technology from day to day whether that’s through information on websites, podcasts or vlogs. I like to check out Wired Magazine and Technology Review, a great resource created by MIT.
8. What is something that students, faculty and staff may not know about Ed Tech but really should?
We’re involved in projects across the college. We don’t just support students - we support all faculty and staff. At any given time, we have a wide range of projects that we’re involved in.
Most people also don’t know where we’re located. We are located on the Leinart first floor in the Southwest corner. We don’t bite. We’re not mean. Stop by and say hi!
9. What is your favorite part of your job?
We get to work with everybody, which is cool because you meet people who don’t know other people at the college. To us, that’s just weird because we get to work with everyone. We get to mend fences. We get a lot of people coming to us needing something and then we hang out with them. You get a real feel for the college because you get to know everyone.
10. What is your favorite NMC memory?
Honestly, there are way too many to pick from. We used to be located down the hill, and there were outside modular classrooms. I was called to scare a squirrel out of a classroom. Everyone was up on their chairs as I tried to scare the squirrel. He ended up running out of there, and I didn't get rabies. That happened more often than you'd think.
11. What do you like to do in your free time?
I like to go boating. We take our ski boat out on Branched Oak Lake outside of Lincoln.I also love summer, sunshine and camping - we have a camper. I like Husker football. I’m a die-hard fan. It's been rough, but I've learned to cope with misery.
12. Is there anything else you'd like to add?
NMC is the people. It’s all about how we treat each other and work with each other. And being appreciative and supportive — that’s what makes this place great. It’s like a big family.