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Articles: Technology

Students learning to investigate aircraft accidents can sift through the debris of simulated crashes on eight acres of land at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s campus in Prescott, Ariz.

Last month, the institution, which has 150 locations around the world, launched a virtual version of the lab. While not meant to replace the real-life lab, it may offer remote students a more extensive experience of simulated accidents, its designers say.

IT officials at any institution considering outsourcing help desk support will need to weigh the pros and cons to determine whether budget and IT operations mesh with an external provider

The IT department at Widener University in Chester, Pa., was at a crisis point. Unexpected IT staff turnover and high demand for more technology resources intersected, leaving the university grappling with how to provide help desk support. The school had walk-in centers that were open into the evenings, but overall, coverage wasn’t keeping up with demand.

The need for a strong social media presence for universities and colleges continues to grow with each passing semester. Unfortunately, budget sheets don't always recognize the resources necessary to maintain several social media accounts 24/7. Here, we talk to UBTech 2014 conference speaker Jennifer Dombrowski, manager of learning management system communications at Grand Canyon University, about "How to implement a social media marketing plan with limited resources."

In 2011 the largest reported data breach in the university world was suffered by a Virginia institution of higher learning, which reported more than 176,500 records breached. More recently, in late 2012, a Florida university suffered a breach involving data on more than 200,000 students and some of the university's top employees. The same week hackers posted online thousands of personal records from 53 universities around the world.

A look at the big picture of mobile use throughout campus revealed  hundreds of service plans, and it became clear that consolidation was in order. Now there are just 12 accounts.

When was the last time you took a good, long look at your wireless bill? What it contains might surprise you. An international roaming plan used for a trip last year that you neglected to cancel, perhaps. Scores and scores of unused minutes that roll over into infinity. Or 411 calls made despite your smartphone’s ability to search the web.

In taking a look at a year’s worth of wireless invoices, administrators at the University of Massachusetts found the system was spending a lot of money it didn’t have to.

A bookstore renovation gave officials the chance to reimagine how  technical support is provided to students and make changes for the better.

Tech support is rarely fun—even, apparently, if it’s a lot closer than an overseas call center. Despite 24/7 help desk availability and in-person technical consulting, Computing Services and Systems Development (CSSD) staff at the University of Pittsburgh believed their services were being underutilized by the main campus’ 26,000-plus students.

I recently had the opportunity to meet with dozens of mobile web leaders from some of the most respected universities. While speaking with experts at schools from Harvard to Princeton, I learned that we’re all struggling with the same challenges in mobile. Fortunately, as we share best practices across campuses around the world, mobile capabilities in higher education are at their most exciting time yet.

Though more than 8 million people have taken a MOOC in the past three years, the number of students to take advantage of MOOC-for-credit programs is even smaller.

Despite growing interest in the higher ed community about the potential of credit being offered for MOOCs, the number of institutions that have rolled out such programs is small.

And though more than 8 million people have taken a MOOC in the past three years, the number of students to take advantage of MOOC-for-credit programs is even smaller.

Between scouting for new recruits, traveling to tournaments, and practicing for game day, the athletic department staff at University of California, Irvine (UCI) is always on the go. For years, the department has been heavily invested in social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, but keeping fans informed on the road had proved a challenge. So back in 2011, UCI equipped all 80 of its athletics staff with iPhones, loaded with a full suite of social media and communications apps.  

A 2013 Noel-Levitz E-Expectations Report of incoming college students found that 78 percent have regular access to a mobile device. And while that number has probably crept higher for 2014, what about the approximately one in five college students who don’t have that access?

For many low-income and first-generation college students, owning a smart phone, tablet or laptop is simply not a reality. What is a reality is that this situation creates educational barriers for these students.

Joel Bauman is vice president for enrollment management at Stetson University.

Walk into any high school auditorium, mall or fast food restaurant and see Millennials obsessed with their smartphones, tablets and laptops. But are they really that consumed? In a survey conducted by Intel Labs, 61 percent of young adults believe their relationship with technology is dehumanizing. That statistic is clear to many enrollment managers struggling to increase, or even maintain, enrollment.

Jeff Vredevoogd, director of Herman Miller Education, leads the firm’s efforts to expand the understanding of evolving learning trends in higher education.

Campus leaders are increasingly confronted with transformation—from students acting as consumers to universities acting more like businesses to the rapid evolution of faculty.

Yet perhaps the most prominent change is the proliferation of technology-based learning methods. Online courses have created a new world of education—one where learning can occur anytime and anywhere.

Karine Joly is the web editor behind www.collegewebeditor.com, a blog about higher ed web marketing, public relations, and technologies.

Learn what every higher ed digital analytics professional will soon be talking about.

John Fragola (left) and Peter Grady use iPads to monitor the heat inside Dana English Hall on the Mount Carmel campus at Quinnipiac University. Both are licensed HVAC mechanics in the facilities department.

Members of the facilities crew at Quinnipiac University were spending a lot of time traveling back to their shop during the workday.

This situation, of course, was not unique to Quinnipiac, but department officials at the school set out to eliminate the trips workers had to make to retrieve new work orders, find information about equipment in manuals or look up floor plans. The central Connecticut institution has a 212-acre main campus, and two branches that are a half-mile and about five miles away.

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.”

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