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Articles: Technology

Artificial intelligence has come out of research labs and onto college and university campuses to aid students and faculty. It remains in the very early stages of making education more effective, accessible and affordable—but it’s beginning to transform learning environments and campus services.

Yale will analyze the cost of carbon at its Peabody Museum of Natural History and 19 other campus buildings to help guide other institutions. (Photo: Patrick Lynch/Yale)

Energy conservation at Yale now goes beyond lower utility bills. The institution broke new ground in higher ed recently with a pilot program to calculate the wider cost of carbon use at 20 of its New Haven, Connecticut, buildings, including the well-known Peabody Museum and the president’s office.

The point of pollution is just one cost, says Ryan Laemel, Yale’s project coordinator. “We pay downstream in the form of added healthcare costs and rising food prices due to declining agricultural productivity, for example.”

Most campus leaders surveyed by UB expect tech spending to increase or stay the same.

Today’s rapidly evolving technology has higher education on the move, literally and figuratively. Mobile devices are powering a shift to more learning on the go while other tech advancements enable big changes in how colleges deliver academic programs and grant credentials.

Carine Joly: Podcasting's resurgence will have an impact on higher ed in 2016/

What does 2016 have in store for digital professionals in higher education? New and revisited technologies promise to drive online marketing for colleges and universities. Watch five trends to help you set a course.

Like many of my peers in higher education IT, we at Barry University support an open, collaborative learning environment. And that means embracing campuswide mobility and a bring-your-own-device policy. To minimize the risks associated with mobility and BYOD, we now use an Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) defense. It’s a vital and necessary precautionary measure to protect the university’s network from mobile devices that we neither own nor manage.

Students at California’s Santa Clara University are tapping their campus cards for various on-campus services instead of swiping, with the use of NFC technology. With convenience and efficiency as key drivers, the university plans to transition its NFC offerings to include mobile devices within the next couple of years.

Campus cards accomplish many tasks—from purchasing meals and vending machine snacks to unlocking dorm rooms and other campus facilities. A growing number of colleges and universities now offer even greater convenience, having replaced less-secure swipe cards with “contactless” cards and mobile devices that perform the same functions.

Helping faculty adopt instructional technology is a top IT priority in higher ed.

Although it has been a boon to commercial services such as Amazon, IBM, Microsoft and others, cloud computing hasn’t completely caught on in higher education. That’s according to the 2015 “Campus Computing Project” report, released in October at the Educause conference in Indianapolis.

North Carolina State University's solar tree gives students another option to recharge.

North Carolina State University has installed near its library a 16-foot-tall solar tree where students and others can charge laptops, phones and tablets.

Comprising a 1,500-watt solar array atop a recycled steel base, the tree is designed to withstand 140 mph winds and is the first of three planned for this area of campus.

Columbia University students concerned with hunger on campus launched two initiatives this fall—one involving a mobile app—that help provide struggling classmates with meals.

The Emergency Meal Fund allows students on Columbia’s meal plan to donate up to six unused meals per semester. Any Columbia undergraduate or graduate student can register to receive a donated meal, no questions asked.

Students can request a maximum of six per term, and meal passes can be used at one of three residential dining halls.

J. Jeffrey Campbell is the director of the San Diego State University’s L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management School’s Master’s Program.

The online education world is becoming accepted by more institutions than ever, and for good reason. It has the attributes desired to grow an organization’s influence and positive impact without the historical linear rise in costs.

This business model is reserved not just for the for-profit, office park-type campus operations, but also for long-standing renowned educational institutions. I will champion this movement as director of the San Diego State University’s L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management School’s Master’s Program.

Fifteen fictitious people created by Hope College administrators have guided the web team in creating a site with easy, logical navigation. The personas represent prospective and current students and faculty, staff, parents, alumni and community members.

When making decisions about Hope College’s website redesign, project team members found themselves looking at a photo of Adam, an 18-year-old freshman, to gauge what he might think is the most logical place for a piece of content—or whether he thinks the content should be there at all.

Numbers drive action in higher education. Whether they represent SAT scores, marketing leads, submitted applications, admitted students, tuition dollars, GPA, fundraising targets or graduating class size, numbers are used throughout your institution to make decisions and assess success.

When you measure what you do, you end up doing what you measure more than anything else.

Amy Collier joined Vermont’s Middlebury College in July as its first associate provost for digital learning.

In an emerging trend that illustrates the growing importance of digital strategy in higher education, a handful of universities have named a chief digital officer to their leadership teams to merge the worlds of instruction and IT.

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.

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