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Articles: Technology

As students rely more on tablets and smartphones to stay connected, universities are under pressure to make student services easily accessible from mobile devices. “In my experience, students arrive on campus expecting the university to be mobile-ready,” says Karl Horvath, CIO at Gwynedd Mercy University, a 2,600-student school in Montgomery County, Pa. “Gwynedd Mercy is surrounded by 80 other schools, and we are all competing in the same student market. Meeting mobile expectations is a key tool for recruiting and retaining students.”

Certain best practices have been defined by leaders of highly successful tech repair centers.

Part of keeping a campus computer repair center running smoothly is staying aware of what problems are likely to disrupt its operations. Certain best practices have been defined by leaders of highly successful centers; here are seven elements for operating an efficient campus repair center.

A drone at MIT can help visitors find their way around campus.

The very thought of drone aircraft makes many people uneasy. After all, drones carrying out attacks on terrorist groups and conducting police surveillance have been in the headlines recently.

Now, they are showing up on college and university campuses but, to paraphrase Obi Wan Kenobi, “These are not the drones you are looking for.”

Texas Tech faculty can escape to a quiet recording studio with good lighting and acoustics, as well as tech support just steps away, when they need to record lessons for distance learning or a flipped classroom model.

For an increasing number of faculty members, class prep has gone high tech. It’s not about simply reviewing notes and planning course exercises. It also involves stepping in front of a video camera. Whether it’s for distance learning programs or flipped classrooms, colleges and universities now need faculty who are able and willing to teach on camera.

Following are 10 ways to increase the odds of engaging and connecting with students through video.

A website created by Caitlin Pringle Murphy, a University of Mary Washington history major.

Since this past fall, incoming freshmen at the 5,000-student University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg have been offered their own domain to create a personal website where they can showcase academic work, share instructors’ feedback and link to social media, among other digital activities.

There are options beyond operating a university-owned computer repair center. Outside repair companies operating on campuses can save universities money in technician salaries and center administration costs.

Best Buy’s Geek Squad, for example, has run centers on campuses. And the regional tech repair company that operates Harvard’s campus repair center is Micros Northeast.

Most of us would agree that Safe Hiring and Safe Contracting programs are an important part of college operations. These issues may become more difficult, though, when they are associated with employee hiring or contractor selection processes and the accompanying consideration of various risks, particularly those related to previous criminal behaviors. It can be further complicated by the fact that access to students, faculty and secure facilities must also be considered in the evaluation.

 Today, preparing for a course may require students to gather a wide variety of resources, both printed and digital.

Preparing to take a college-level course once meant simply heading to the campus bookstore and purchasing the textbook. Today, preparing for a course may require students to gather a wide variety of resources, both printed and digital. And while the printed items are still available at the bookstore, accessing a variety of digital materials is not always an easy task.

In fall 2012, Sage launched the Achieve Degree program, an online degree designed for students on the autism spectrum or with other special needs, who generally work from home or their local library.

In an online seminar on the Greek rhetorician Isocrates offered at the University of Pittsburgh, 176 students listened to a live stream of a discussion among graduate students taking the on-campus version of the class and then asked questions or made comments via Twitter.

The eight graduate students in the brick-and-mortar class took turns recording lectures once a week for the online students during the course this past fall. And both the online and doctoral students could interact with one another on the discussion board on Blackboard’s CourseSites platform.

Karine Joly says digital content is now the currency for search, social networking and even advertising.

What will 2014 bring to the digital field in higher ed? That’s the million dollar question at the start of this new year. Unfortunately, charting a precise course for success over the next 12 months isn’t possible.

When everything changes so quickly, we can only try to identify what looks like the best route to our destination. To help you with the exercise, let’s see what developments are leading the way.

More college students are using their smartphones as a study tool even though the internet and activities like texting were cited as the biggest distractions to hitting the books, according to a new study by McGraw-Hill Education.

Of the 500 students who responded to the “Impact of Technology on College Student Study Habits” survey, 36 percent said they used smartphones at least some of the time for studying.

Not everyone on campus is ready to use e-books, video lectures and other digital learning materials. But the campus bookstore can help in the adoption of new technology.

“As the course materials information center on campus, college stores are uniquely positioned to be the go-to resources on digital,” says Elizabeth McIntyre, vice president of communications and public relations at the National Association of College Stores. “Stores should take a role in educating the campus community about digital.”

Craig Marshall says digital signage can give students the real-time information they expect.

As the world becomes more connected, it is changing the way we view information and interact with it. By 2014, it is estimated there will be approximately 2 billion computers, 5 billion smartphones, 7 billion people, and 10 billion smart devices. Smart devices are all around us; they are in our home, our car, our office and our schools, virtually everywhere we look.