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Articles: Technology

Andy Murray’s Wimbledon victory set the record for the most related tweets in the UK—placing his Centre Court championship in the ranks of President Obama’s election night speech, the Pope’s inauguration, and—go figure—the Spice Girls reunion at the Olympics.

Now, the Campus Insiders website is using this fascination with social media to lure readers to sports highlights and analysis. It has 37,000 likes on Facebook and 2,400 Twitter followers.

College-age students have grown up with mobile phones, and they’re used to having them work when and where they want. With a 342-acre campus that has more than 11,000 students and more than 430 buildings; making mobile phones work everywhere is a tall order for Yale University.

There's already an array of networks, online discussion boards, and forums where administrators are sharing best practices for MOOCs.

Michigan State University’s first massive open online course—Metropolitan Agriculture Value Creation—attracted 400 people from around the globe interested in learning about new ways to produce food in urban areas. Launched in March 2012, the course was built on a WordPress website and students communicated with one another via Facebook and Twitter.

When Cornell University joined the edX consortium last May, the impetus came not only from professors who wanted to offer MOOCs but also from prospective students who were asking admissions officers about whether the university provided these courses.

“They were hearing from high school students that if you are going to be a modern university, you have to participate in this,” says Joe Burns, Cornell’s dean of faculty and member of a committee that considered whether the university should affiliate with a consortium.

Tracking help requests at Carthage College has resulted in time and money savings­—as well as happier users.

The Library and Information Services (LIS) department at Carthage College (Wis.) has provided support services to the campus community since 2001. Part library information desk, part IT and media help desk, LIS’ 22 staff members answer nearly 10,000 questions a year, ranging from where to find a book to figuring out why a student’s email account suddenly stopped working or helping a faculty member put a course online.

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have undeniable appeal: they can support hundreds of thousands of students, are accessible to all, are taught by top faculty at prestigious universities, and, of course, are free…at least for now.

Using collaborative marketing, contracting, and course development strategies, colleges are redefining online education.

Before 2012, students who wanted to pursue an online degree at one of Florida’s public colleges or universities would have to navigate through a maze of websites, trying to cobble together a set of classes that would meet the requirements for their program.

The team that first explored bringing a shared services model to the University of Michigan couldn’t help but notice some vast inefficiencies when it broke down the $325 million being spent on IT. Excluding the university’s massive health system, the analysis revealed multiple networks, data centers, and server closets, with 35 different email systems and more than 150 organizations maintaining computers for faculty and staff.

The State University of New York (SUNY) may have the most talked about shared services program in the nation. As part of an effort to try to reduce administrative costs and funnel the savings toward academics and student services, the system’s administration has been working to adopt a shared service model across its 64 campuses. That model has even included shared presidents.

Working in Groups
Vaddio’s GroupSTATION, designed for mid-to large-size meeting spaces, allows up to 20 people to share a PowerPoint presentation, stream a training video from YouTube, or collaborate with remote participants. Users can connect a laptop or tablet directly into GroupSTATION, which consists of two main components: a table-based MicPOD dock, and a wall-mounted sound bar that incorporates an HD camera in its center. The MicPOD Dock functions as a microphone, speakerphone, and user interface.

Vanishing boundaries, emerging opportunities. That was the overarching theme in Orlando this June as approximately 1,000 attendees gathered at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin resort for learning, networking, and fun. Some traveled far to UBTech 2013—with attendees from Brisbane, Australia; London; and Rio de Janeiro—and others came in from a few dozen colleges and universities in Florida.

It’s hard to follow higher education news these days without seeing a reference to MOOCs. The online learning platforms from edX, Coursera, Udacity, and others were launched to great fanfare over the last two years. Proponents praise them for their potential to change education, while critics chalk them up as more hype than hope.

While it’s not yet on the radar of most development professionals in higher education, crowdsourcing has become a very noticeable part of the online fundraising landscape for younger donors

Yale created site to give commencement guests access to event schedules, interactive maps, parking information, and directions via their smartphones

Students, faculty, and staff turn to campus help desks when their work has come to a standstill because technology isn’t behaving as they think it should. IT support centers at colleges and universities across the nation are ditching paper and turning to software solutions to help get frustrated users back on track more effectively and efficiently.