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Articles: Technology

What is the most important factor in ensuring an e-textbook initiative is successful, and is there anything administrators tend to miss in planning that, if handled better, would result in a more successful program?

“We’ve seen that successful programs often start as small pilots. Instructors might begin with simple e-books and then move into more powerful adaptive learning software. Many of them then launch inclusive access or immediate access programs that save students money and deliver materials on day one.”

One decision to be made in launching or expanding an e-textbook program is whether the office managing it should be on the business or the academic side.

Here are two options. 

Campus store

Since the retail manager negotiates the costs of digital course materials anyway, many institutions choose this administration model. Cornell University houses its e-textbook program in The Cornell Store.

ESL ASSIST—Computer science student Yihan Liu,  who is from China, signs out an Amazon Dot Echo from his Arizona State residence hall. He plans to use the device to improve his English. (Charlie Leight/ASU Now).

Arizona State has partnered with Amazon to offer free Echo Dot smart speakers to about 1,600 students, most of whom live in the new Tooker House residential hall.

Here’s what colleges paying attention to the potential of digital signage as a revenue source—directly or indirectly—are doing to make it work.

In what ways could colleges use digital signage installations to generate revenue, and are there any roadblocks you have seen preventing them from doing so?

“Digital signage can engage students while providing an avenue for revenue. At the campus bookstore, digital technology can leverage analytics to trigger meaningful content. For example, if a student picks up a baseball cap on sale, a digital display above the item can recommend additional merchandise such as sweatpants or a t-shirt.”

After a decade of living abroad, in fall 2016 I returned to the US and accepted a position as Assistant Professor at a state university in the Midwest. Eager and hyper-alert, I began noticing that American students, both graduate and undergraduate, were encountering significant difficulties in writing academic papers. I was dumbfounded. Having spent many years in Russia and China teaching non-native English speakers to read, write, and communicate in academic English, the ineptness of these American students baffled me. They, after all, spoke English as their native language.

Binghamton University has extended its reach to the business sector with the Koffman Southern Tier Incubator, a supportive environment for entrepreneurs and startup companies.

Video analytics has been considered the next big thing in campus security. But the surveillance technology, also known as video content analysis, is just beginning to catch the eye of higher ed security administrators.

What is the biggest roadblock to widespread use of video analytics technology?

“ROI. Understanding how to design and implement solutions that work with the analytics system—and not against it—make the difference. Campuses offer a diverse environment with a range of challenges. Proper design and deployment can yield a measurable return on investment.”

—Jammy DeSousa, senior product manager, security products, building technologies and solutions, Johnson Controls

Increasingly sophisticated cameras may enhance security, but they also raise privacy concerns.

Administrators must confront these issues when upgrading surveillance technology and tracking the analytics it generates, advises Larry Consalvos of IXP Corporation, the company that provided software, consulting and project management for Cal State, Northridge’s systems.

Jack Sharman and Brandon K. Essig are partners in the white collar criminal defense and corporate investigations practice at the law firm Lightfoot, Franklin & White LLC. Clint Speegle is an associate in the firm’s NCAA compliance practice. 

A recent decision by U.S. District Court Judge Philip Simon granted a preliminary injunction in favor of a male University of Notre Dame student.

Now hearing-impaired students can see real-time captioning of spoken events, also referred to as live captioning.

What roadblocks are colleges coming up against in expanding access for hard-of-hearing students during class and at live events?

“While budgets and regulatory awareness can be roadblocks to accessing university classes and events, technology is the greatest challenge to delivering live captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing community.

 Crowd-powered captioning Like with crowdfunding, the future of live captioning may be powered by a group.

With professional captionists costing as much as $100 per hour, a lower-cost solution is in the works to allow groups of average typists to provide real-time captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing. Legion:Scribe is making that happen.

Whether it’s on-site or remote, captions will vary in quality, says Margaret Camp, director of student accessibility services at Clemson University.

Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is considered the most accurate level of transcription, which is “utterance-for-utterance,” she says.

The captionist types everything heard. However, this level of accuracy costs twice as much as another form of live captioning, called “meaning-for-meaning.”

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