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Articles: Internet

Mobile device page views spiked after North Carolina State University launched its redesigned website, which was optimized for mobile.

Colleges and universities miss a significant opportunity to capture the attention of their primary web audience—teens and young adults—when their websites aren’t designed to perform well on mobile devices. While it sounds like a simple concept, making it happen requires resources, a change in mindset and a willingness to experiment.

Karine Joly says SnapChat may be a useful recruiting tool for colleges and universities.

You’ve tamed Twitter, made inroads with Instagram and finessed Facebook.

Now you can take a break from keeping up with the social networking habits of college students, right?

Think again.

While a few colleges are still trying to grasp the intricacies of the top social platforms, early adopters have been exploring other platforms for communications and marketing.

Among the many hopefuls, SnapChat has started to get real traction on college campuses.

As technology advances and students remain on the cutting edge, colleges and universities have no choice but to keep up. That means ensuring that students can access the information they need, whenever they need it, from whatever device they choose. This creates an array of challenges for institutions, from increased volume of help desk calls, to providing a consistent user experience across devices and operating systems, to controlling access to sensitive information.

Wi-FI, academic technology and data security will see big investments in 2015. (Click to enlarge graphic)

What cutting-edge devices are going to demand campus bandwidth in the near future? The 21st century versions of two old stand-bys: the refrigerator and the wrist watch. Sure, there will still be plenty of laptops, tablets and smartphones crowding the Wi-Fi, but the “internet of things” and wearable technology are coming to campus, forcing CIOs to yet again boost the power of their networks.

Many institutions expect to make significant investments in academic technology, Wi-Fi connections and network security in 2015.

Of the higher ed leaders who responded to a UB survey, nearly half expect overall tech spending to increase at their schools, while another 40 percent said it will stay the same. Perhaps surprisingly, a full 11 percent expect tech spending to decrease.

#ivorytower—The CNN Films broadcast of "Ivory Tower" on Nov. 20 started a social media frenzy, inspiring more than 12,000 tweets as of mid-December.

When the piece first aired publicly, many viewers live-tweeted—for a total of nearly 9,400 tweets on Nov. 20, according to Topsy, a social web search engine. The film’s central question asks, “Is college worth the cost?”

UB Top Products

University Business is proud to announce this year’s Readers’ Choice Top Products. College and university leaders from across the country have nominated the products they are using to operate their institutions more efficiently and enhance students’ experiences.

Cutting-edge higher education institutions across the country are leveraging AV and IT technology to advance the learning experience on their campuses. Five of these institutions were honored at the 2014 AMX Innovation Awards, which were presented this past June at UBTech, higher ed’s leading national technology and leadership conference.

While educators continue debating the use of mobile devices in the classroom, the tide seems to be shifting in favor of a new mobile paradigm as a way to ease students’ transition into the workplace.

If “the medium is the message” as Marshall McLuhan so famously proclaimed in Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, then what is the message of contemporary distributed learning? One can only wonder what McLuhan would say in 2014.

The average college student now spends about $1,200 per year on course materials. (Click to enlarge)

Textbook publishing has long been seen as an impenetrable business, with five major players controlling most of the nearly $14 billion industry. But in recent years, the shift to digital and open-access content has led to a proliferation of free and low-cost alternatives.

Meanwhile, spiraling costs, massive student debt, changing consumer demands and public as well as legislative efforts have pushed the industry toward a true disruption that is now widely considered to be inevitable.

A survey covering 21 social networks found colleges and universities use only four to recruit.

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram continue to be the most widely used online recruitment mediums for higher ed marketers, who may want to consider delving into other platforms now popular among high school seniors.

A graduating senior applying for a position completed a successful phone interview and travelled to a face-to-face interview with the company. Instead of an interview, the candidate was told upon arrival that the company had discovered ‘inappropriate’ posts and behavior in his social media. The candidate was directly rebuked and dismissed without any hope of ever obtaining a position in the company.

Yes, this is a true story from a CEO, who had wished they had looked at social media earlier in the process.

Ben Nelson, CEO of the Minerva Project, says he has created "the most selective undergraduate class in the history of American higher education.”

What if you could create a new kind of university? What would it be like?

For Ben Nelson, CEO of the Minerva Project, it would combine a redefined student body, a reinvented curriculum, rigorous academic standards, cutting-edge technology and an immersive global experience. Nelson launched Minerva in 2011 to provide an Ivy League-like education at a fraction of the cost.

Karine Joly is the web editor behind, a blog about higher ed web marketing, public relations and technologies.

Authentication and identification of active campus network users have always been at the core of the IT applications necessary to run a university.

If you can’t log in, you can’t get your email, register for your course, pay your bills, and so on. That’s why most institutions have strived to offer integrated and secure single sign-on (SSO) solutions to students, staff and faculty. The technology doesn’t get in the way and users don’t need to remember multiple passwords.