Representatives of liberal arts colleges from around the country will meet at Hope College on Thursday-Saturday, June 20-22, to consider the use of information technology as a learning tool.

Hope will be hosting the annual meeting of the Consortium of Liberal Arts Colleges (CLAC). Approximately 130 representatives of 59 liberal arts colleges will attend.

The conference's theme is "CLAC 2002: Gadgets, Gizmos and Gigabytes: Great Stuff?" The event will examine whether or not new technologies are useful in education, how to measure their effectiveness and examples of use.

The keynote address, "Literacy for the Just Do It Generation," will consider how the emerging, computational- based environments and traditional text-based contexts might blend to present an engaging way for students to learn. The speaker, Dr. Elliot Soloway, is professor in the College of Engineering, School of Education and School of Information at the University of Michigan, and leads the Center for Highly Interactive Computing in Education. Additional sessions include "Wireless Networking: What's It For?," "Learning Objects: The New New Thing or Same as it Ever Was?" "Paper Waste and Social Norming," and "One Card: Big Brother or Great Service."

CLAC focuses on the uses of computing and related technologies in the service of the liberal arts mission, including academic computing, administrative computing, library automation, Web services, telecommunications and campus-wide networking. The first annual conference was held in 1987.

The conference's participating institutions span the nation, and range from Amherst College in Amherst, Mass., and Connecticut College in New London, Conn., to Harvey Mudd College and Pomona College in Claremont, Calif. In addition to Hope, the Michigan schools attending are Albion College, Alma College and Kalamazoo College.

Corporate sponsors of this year's conference include Ameritech, Apple Computer Inc., CDW, Element K, Gateway Inc., and the Haworth Inn and Conference Center.