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Articles: Software

Before a campus goes virtual, there are real issues to consider.

Virtual desktop technology allows students and staff to access sophisticated software on a laptop or mobile device. It also can strengthen network security and lower expenses by reducing the need for actual computers and lab space on campus.

The University of Central Florida, a campus of 60,000, decided to virtualize applications rather than entire desktops.

UCF Apps lets users access the specific software needed for coursework. After downloading and installing a Citrix receiver client, students can log in and get the apps that have been provisioned to their account based on their area of study.

In regard to desktop virtualization, what aspects of implementation do higher ed institutions tend to overlook?

“It’s easy to overlook security when implementing new technologies, and a good example of this is desktop virtualization. It’s an efficient way to deploy the same functionality across multiple machines, however, you’ll most likely need to adjust security practices to fit the new virtual environment.”

—Slawek Ligier, vice president of Security Engineering, Barracuda

Portfolio providers: What are some uses for ePortfolios that you believe aren’t as common at colleges as they should be?

“We’d like to see more colleges using ePortfolios with guided learning pathways through a program or institution to assess learning at key points. The full potential for ePortfolios to encourage more integrative, deeper learning won’t be realized without a deliberate plan, ongoing assessment and higher stakes (such as program completion or graduation).”

—Webster Thompson, president, Taskstream

Kelly Walsh, CIO of The College of Westchester in New York, is a UBTech conference speaker. He writes the “Emerging Ed Tech” blog.

The growing availability of custom and commercial software applications allows colleges and universities to transform classroom laboratory experiences into virtual equivalents that offer advantages over their physical precursors.

Tony Ellis is vice president of industry advancement for the National Association of College Stores.

The traditional model of course content creation and distribution—textbooks written by faculty and publisher-produced—is being disrupted.

New digital players and learning content formats—such as courseware, open educational resources and adaptive (or personalized) learning—promise lower costs and better outcomes.

Michael R. Nelson, a professor of internet studies at Georgetown University and former White House staffer, will deliver at keynote speech at UBTech 2016 in Las Vegas.

Michael R. Nelson, a professor of internet studies at Georgetown University, says innovation is about much more than just a good idea. It requires finding new ways to combine existing ideas, products and services into something that people will want. At the heart of that process is collaboration.

Built in high-traffic areas around campus, The Zones at Boise State University have walk-up help desks where students can get their technology questions answered.

From stand-alone help desks to spaces in bookstores and other high-traffic areas, technology services are becoming more visible on college campuses. Many colleges and universities have modeled new help desks after the Genius Bar in Apple Stores.

Before switching to a new LMS, campus administrators should determine a learning strategy and the functions needed to support it.

Stable, reliable and adaptable. Those are the key descriptors for a successful learning management system. When the current LMS doesn’t provide a needed functionality, schools can often add new features or configurations to achieve the desired outcome. But in some cases, it’s time to scrap the old system.

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.

From the professor’s podium, all the technology throughout the room can easily be switched back and forth for use.

College and university instructors across the country are incorporating technology into their classes with little effort. As classroom control systems have advanced, they’ve also become more user-friendly, making a wider variety of teaching methods possible.

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.

At Grand Valley State University, faculty are asked to write a script before using the video-hosting platform to record a lecture.

While video’s presence in higher learning is undoubtedly expanding, the frequency and extent to which it is being used varies widely—even within institutions. Here are best practices for effectively integrating video into course collections at the campuswide level.

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.

Richard Baraniuk talked about how free, digital textbooks are created in his open keynote at UBTech. (Photo: David Bergeland)

UBTech open keynote speaker Richard Baraniuk, of Rice University, talked about an initiative to create a library of free, high-quality textbooks for college courses and how that can impact the debt crisis facing students.

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