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Articles: Technology

Early adopters tout virtual reality as the next big thing, and in higher education, 360-degree videos are adding exciting, immersive experiences. The best indicator that the time is right for “VR” can be found in the investments made by two competing tech giants, Google and Facebook.

Oral Roberts University students have to walk an average of 10,000 steps each day.

All first-year students must buy and wear a Fitbit fitness-tracker. While some critics called this requirement an overreach, school officials say Oral Roberts has long had a fitness component as part of its “Whole Person Education,” which focuses on mind, body and spirit.

GIS mapping was instrumental in Dickinson College’s cleanup effort after Winter Storm Jonas blanketed the campus with nearly three feet of snow.

GIS maps maps provide details about certain areas of campus—such as the exact length and location of streets and walkways, and the presence of potential hazards. They can also be stocked with limitless tiers of data—for instance, streets on one layer, buildings on a second, student distribution on the next, and high-crime areas on another.

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.

Artificial intelligence has come out of research labs and onto college and university campuses to aid students and faculty. It remains in the very early stages of making education more effective, accessible and affordable—but it’s beginning to transform learning environments and campus services.

Yale will analyze the cost of carbon at its Peabody Museum of Natural History and 19 other campus buildings to help guide other institutions. (Photo: Patrick Lynch/Yale)

Energy conservation at Yale now goes beyond lower utility bills. The institution broke new ground in higher ed recently with a pilot program to calculate the wider cost of carbon use at 20 of its New Haven, Connecticut, buildings, including the well-known Peabody Museum and the president’s office.

The point of pollution is just one cost, says Ryan Laemel, Yale’s project coordinator. “We pay downstream in the form of added healthcare costs and rising food prices due to declining agricultural productivity, for example.”

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.

Students at California’s Santa Clara University are tapping their campus cards for various on-campus services instead of swiping, with the use of NFC technology. With convenience and efficiency as key drivers, the university plans to transition its NFC offerings to include mobile devices within the next couple of years.

Campus cards accomplish many tasks—from purchasing meals and vending machine snacks to unlocking dorm rooms and other campus facilities. A growing number of colleges and universities now offer even greater convenience, having replaced less-secure swipe cards with “contactless” cards and mobile devices that perform the same functions.

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.

North Carolina State University's solar tree gives students another option to recharge.

North Carolina State University has installed near its library a 16-foot-tall solar tree where students and others can charge laptops, phones and tablets.

Comprising a 1,500-watt solar array atop a recycled steel base, the tree is designed to withstand 140 mph winds and is the first of three planned for this area of campus.

Columbia University students concerned with hunger on campus launched two initiatives this fall—one involving a mobile app—that help provide struggling classmates with meals.

The Emergency Meal Fund allows students on Columbia’s meal plan to donate up to six unused meals per semester. Any Columbia undergraduate or graduate student can register to receive a donated meal, no questions asked.

Students can request a maximum of six per term, and meal passes can be used at one of three residential dining halls.

J. Jeffrey Campbell is the director of the San Diego State University’s L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management School’s Master’s Program.

The online education world is becoming accepted by more institutions than ever, and for good reason. It has the attributes desired to grow an organization’s influence and positive impact without the historical linear rise in costs.

This business model is reserved not just for the for-profit, office park-type campus operations, but also for long-standing renowned educational institutions. I will champion this movement as director of the San Diego State University’s L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management School’s Master’s Program.

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.

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