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Learning Management

Future Shock

A doubting student of Italian once challenged "If English is supposed to be the lingua franca, how come there's no word in English for lingua franca?" Though English is still the most widely spoken language in the nation and elsewhere--the number of Spanish speaking citizens and visitors in the US is expected to grow exponentially in the decade ahead.

Engaged students are successful students. That is a well known fact on college campuses. The trick is encouraging that engagement, particularly for community college leaders. "About 80 percent of our students are low income," says Stephen Head, president of Lone Star College-North Harris (Texas). "Many of them are also the first in their family to attend college."

Call it the marathon without a finish line: As new network demands such as mobile computing and rich media increase, campus IT strategists are trying to keep running ahead, to ensure that their networks can meet the need.

A picture is worth a thousand words, especially when trying to convey complex ideas. At Purdue University (Ind.), a home-grown smartphone app lets students easily incorporate mobile video components into class assignments and share them with teachers and other students.

Called DoubleTake, the app was developed by the university's information technology staff and is available through the iTunes App store. An Android-based version is in the works as well.

The growing trend toward three-year degrees in America has not been a quiet transition. Many of the major media outlets have covered the seemingly sudden phenomenon that will undoubtedly change the landscape of American higher education. Experts and politicians have sounded off on how the new model will redeem struggling institutions and answer problems associated with rising tuition costs.

As distance education programs expand at many colleges and universities, administrators are faced with a question: Is it better to have a centralized distance education office, or should individual departments handle distance education on their own?

Our annual surveys provide information on the landscape of ITIT and campus policies. In 2010 we added questions on going mobile. For the category "Mobile apps are an important part of campus plans," we got a very strong response. We see this as very much driven by student expectations - an expectation, if not an entitlement.


Change in academia tends to occur gradually, but the University of Missouri- Columbia turned that conventional wisdom on its head when it implemented a lecture capture system that students and faculty alike embraced with unprecedented speed.

The search for a lecture capture system began in the spring of 2009, after several faculty members approached the technology department saying they wanted to implement lecture capture for their classes, said Danna Vessell, the university's director of educational technologies.