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Articles: Technology

Equipped for Response—In 2015, more than 600 instructors and 20,000 students used clickers at  The University of Arizona. The Office of Instruction and Assessment’s resources page offers a primer with clicker best practices and strategies, including tips on writing good questions.  Photo: Thomas Veneklasen Photography/Arizona Board of Regents

Colleges and universities have used student response systems for years to take attendance, administer pop quizzes and register informal polls in larger classes where verbal discussions are limited. But as technology improves, student response systems are becoming more versatile than ever—and instructors are increasingly creative in using them.

“I know the idea of bringing your own device is becoming more prominent, but I still think pulling out a phone, tablet or laptop is distracting. You always lose students for a measurable amount of time, and that’s the primary concern.”

Dwight Farris, instructional technologist, The University of Arizona

Karine Joly: The open-source Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project (http://UBmag.me/amp) is spearheaded by Google and backed by several content publishers, e-commerce websites, advertising networks and analytics solutions providers.

There’s no doubt mobile devices anchor our technology-enabled lives. We may not use their small screens on the go, all the time, but when we do, we have high expectations—if a web page takes more than a few seconds to load on mobile, many of us move on to another website. Patience has never been in shorter supply.

The smartphone has become ubiquitous on college campuses. In the U.S., some estimates indicate that 95 percent of 18- to 24-years-olds have a smartphone, and that number will continue to grow.

Students and instructors use their smartphones every day to communicate with friends, family and colleagues, manage their schedules, consume content, and much more. Their engagement with these devices is often very personalized, sending and receiving information that is meant specifically for them as individuals.

La Verne University’s Wilson Library wanted to develop a digital display to make students aware of library resources, as well as post information on school clubs and community events. Because other universities have found digital signage as an effective medium for communicating with their respective university communities, Amy Jiang, Associate Professor and Librarian contacted other schools to see what had been purchased for similar purposes on other campuses.  

Overwhelmed by tweets posted every minute of the Presidential campaign? Confused by cable TV hosts conjuring new, often contradictory, poll results?

You’re not alone. Whether you are a voter, campaign strategist, college student, or professor, the old lessons of political campaigns haven’t been very useful in this new era of politics and the media. Call it a Triumph of Technology, where there’s more information bombarding you than ever before. Information on candidates is now a commodity, available anywhere, anytime.

Adaptive learning uses computers for interactive teaching, with the materials adapted based on each student’s needs.

Translating traditional lectures to an adaptive learning format takes time, expertise and budget dollars. To make a smooth transition from traditional to adaptive learning, here are six challenges to implementation and what early adopters have done to clear those hurdles.

The College-Bound Student E-Expectations Survey asked 3,000 college-bound high school seniors and juniors about their digital habits and expectations—from the start of the recruiting cycle. Here’s a selection of the top insights from the study.

Almost all U.S. colleges and universities now award certificates, digital badges and other forms of microcredentials. Driving this fast-growing trend are workforce millennials who want to learn, for instance, how to operate an Amazon delivery drone or repair a self-driving car without having to earn another degree.

The nine schools recognized as Summer 2016 Models of Excellence have found that innovation leads to innovation when it comes to student success. Administrators who find new opportunities to provide support encourage students to be creative in making the most of a higher education.

As colleges and universities look for ways to deliver more online services to students and faculty, they also want the best performance from their IT investments. For many, that means moving to the cloud. Whether your goal is lower operating costs or better application performance, it’s still a good business decision.

Thanks to a concept called the Internet of Things, anything—really, anything—can and will be hooked up to a network.

While little pockets of IoT are springing up in higher ed—both in the form of institution- and student-owned devices—campuswide installations are predicted to be a few years away. That’s not an excuse for sitting back and waiting for smart coffee makers to pop up in every residence hall, however.

What is the biggest misconception higher ed leaders have around the need to prepare for campuswide IoT?

“It won’t concern them … it’s just an IT thing. Technology underpins everything in higher education, administration, academics and IT. The IoT is about every connection on campus and it can drive improved outcomes—intelligent connections deliver efficient operations and improve safety and security, while video and collaboration provide better teaching and learning.”

—Renee Patton, U.S. public sector director of education, Cisco

Out in front with OER: Tidewater Community College created the first degree program—in business administration—to use only open-educational resources.

A few dozen community colleges will get financial backing to design degree programs based wholly on free, open educational resources (OER) in a sweeping effort to make higher ed more affordable. Full-time community college students spend about $1,300 a year on textbooks, ultimately representing about a third of the cost of their associate degrees.

More than 1,100 campus tech leaders and innovators from across the nation flocked to Las Vegas for the June 6-8 event, descending upon The Mirage Convention Center for three days of insight and inspiration.

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