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Articles: Enterprise

Students may forget their campus cards in their rooms or figure they don’t need their wallet for a short walk around the quad. But the one thing they are likely never to be without is a phone.

Professional and continuing education students at Oregon State University can earn a digital badge for completing a course, workshop or certificate program.

More colleges and universities now offer digital badges as a form of micro-credential or “subdegree” to students who pass individual courses or certifications, and want to show potential employers what they’ve learned. The programs target professionals needing a skills boosts and hobbyists.

Picture this: sticky notes on every screen. And if there are none on the monitor, lift up the keyboard. Nothing there? Try opening the pencil drawer.

In just three years, enrollment at Lone Star Community College grew by about 50 percent. The six-campus system, located in the north Houston metro area, now has more than 95,000 students and has experienced explosive data growth, as well—from 40 terabytes to 1.6 petabytes.

Have you heard about Periscope yet? If you follow tech early adopters, journalists, celebrities or even politicians on Twitter, you might have already seen Periscope notifications for live broadcasts in your feed.

Acquired for $100 million by Twitter in March 2015, the live-streaming mobile app could be either the next big thing or the latest social media fad (remember SecondLife?). But when you work in digital communications and marketing for a university, you can’t afford to ignore change.

In today’s 24/7, always-on world, students, faculty and other key stakeholders expect institutions of higher education to be on the cutting edge of technology. As CIO of Western Oregon University (WOU), a vibrant campus of 4,992 undergraduates and 1,066 graduate students with our main campus in Monmouth, I know that when it comes to technology, leading universities must deliver unsurpassed learning capabilities that extend well beyond the classroom.

Campuses are aggregating bandwidth demand to purchase more capacity at lower costs through state networks and other consortia.

Higher education has a long history of collaboration among institutions. Today, colleges and universities are leveraging the power of that collaborative spirit to bring high-capacity bandwidth to the market’s most insatiable users: traditional college-age students.

The setting: AAA Four Diamond Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, a 230-acre Spanish Revival resort. The conversation: technological innovation and leadership as well as institutional and student success, with UBTech’s attendees learning management insights, getting technology updates and networking with each other.

In March, Twitter unveiled its newest acquisition, a live video streaming app called Periscope. Following closely on the heels of a rival app called Meerkat, Periscope made waves by enabling anyone with a mobile device (iOS or Android) to broadcast from virtually anywhere. The apps allow viewers to interact with broadcasters through a chat feature.

Karine Joly: Used correctly and purposely on the home page, videos are a fantastic opportunity to capture attention long enough to draw visitors into calls to action.

Who watches online videos today? Maybe a better question is, who doesn’t? Video is an engaging, emotional and effective way to communicate and influence. So it was just a matter of time until video got prime real estate on a school’s home page.

When Barry University officials discovered their network had become infected with malware that was making callbacks to a command center in Russia in 2013, an external security contractor was hired to conduct a forensic analysis of the incident, and intrusion prevention detection software was purchased to monitor the system.

The University of Michigan’s very decentralized campus means it has multiple IT departments, numerous technologies and plenty of cloud applications. “We basically use everything you can think of when it comes to the cloud,” says Don Welch, chief information security officer. “Colleges here have their own relationships with providers, and their own strategies with information storage. So it’s a big task to set central policies, but it’s important to take on that role.”

“Security is always a top concern. Other highly regulated industries—such as financial services, insurance and healthcare—have mandatory government regulations to guide them, but it is often unclear to higher ed which data can or cannot be stored in the cloud. I’ve seen universities adopt a hybrid

Web analytics by itself won’t do everything a school might want, says Alan Etkins, a research and analytics associate at consultancy Ruffalo Noel Levitz. “It will give you counts, it may give you hypotheses, but it won’t give you full understanding [of metrics].” He recommends that those serious about web analytics integrate tools to enhance the data.

Survey tools, for example, provide deeper insights, he says. A few that Etkin likes are: •

Kevin Carey

Online degrees are poised to shake up the academy, says Kevin Carey, director of educational policy at the New America Foundation. That they haven’t yet is not the fault of technology as much as it is the perceived value of a traditional college diploma. That document tells little more than the applicant attended classes at a particular institution. Carey says digital assessments and data gathering from a “University of Everywhere,” pioneered by projects such as edX and Coursera, will provide far more insight on a graduate’s potential for success.