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Articles: Internet

Poorly designed websites can turn students off to a college or university, a new report warns. (Gettyimages.com: Anatolii BabiiI)

When it comes to website design, universities continue to make common key mistakes that turn away potential students. A report says schools often miss the mark when trying to appeal to a generation raised on short, easy-to-digest communication popularized by social media.

David Seelow is the founding director of the Center for Game and Simulation-based Learning at Excelsior College.

Watching preschoolers play on touchscreen devices makes it clear that the future college students of America are the connected generation. Higher ed must embrace game-like learning just as progressive Silicon Valley companies have, or risk bored, disengaged, unprepared students in the classroom and in the workplace.

Whether in information technology, marketing or even academics, rarely does anything get done before knowing what other institutions did. In higher education, benchmarking data is often one of the first steps on the path to action.

Here are some reasons to switch to a passive optical network. (Click to enlarge graphic)

Unlike wine or cheese, networks don’t tend to improve with age. That’s why some higher ed institutions are looking toward passive optical LAN—unlike copper cabling that’s been in place for decades, a fiber-based passive optical network offers faster, cheaper and more secure networks.

Thanks to a new VoIP-based phone system, Eastern Oregon University no longer needs outside consultants to work on system infrastructure.

Have you ever made a call with a soft phone? You have if you’ve ever Skyped or used FaceTime. It also means you’re on the cutting-edge of phone communications.

Casper College in Wyoming upgraded its phones by moving from two separate systems to a single VoIP-based one, which makes switchboard operator Cindy Burgess’ job easier.

Providers’ advice on easing the transition to a new IP-based phone system.

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.

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.

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.

Academia’s cyber preparedness (or lack thereof) has received less media attention than that of certain retailers and financial institutions, but nonetheless the cyber risks confronting universities are pervasive and alarming. Consider recent breaches suffered by educational institutions. At the University of Maryland, an outside source gained access to a secure records database that held information dating back to 1998, including names, social security numbers, dates of birth, and university identification numbers for over 300,000 people affiliated with the university on two campuses.

In just three years, enrollment at Lone Star Community College grew by about 50 percent. The six-campus system, located in the north Houston metro area, now has more than 95,000 students and has experienced explosive data growth, as well—from 40 terabytes to 1.6 petabytes.

Have you heard about Periscope yet? If you follow tech early adopters, journalists, celebrities or even politicians on Twitter, you might have already seen Periscope notifications for live broadcasts in your feed.

Acquired for $100 million by Twitter in March 2015, the live-streaming mobile app could be either the next big thing or the latest social media fad (remember SecondLife?). But when you work in digital communications and marketing for a university, you can’t afford to ignore change.

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