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Higher Ed News
Updated: 14 min 31 sec ago

App revolutionizes digital credentials, wins higher ed industry award

22 hours 17 min ago

Digital platform pioneer Credly, in partnership with Lumina Foundation, the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and the American Council on Education (ACE), announced today the winner of a special ideation challenge aimed at generating breakthrough ideas to help bridge the skills gap for education and industry association leaders.

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What will learning look like in 2025?

22 hours 17 min ago

Dawn breaks on a gorgeous morning in summer 2025. Peter has been waiting for this for months. It's New Student Orientation Day at My University, Peter's customized version of four formerly separate independent colleges that functionally merged several years earlier.

He readies himself quickly and by 8:30 a.m. carefully opens the box he recently received from Student Life. He takes out the virtual reality (VR) visor, adjusts it, and touches the switch. Instantly, he is on campus, being welcomed by Perpetua, his personal orientation leader. VR has made it possible for each student to have a fully individualized campus that is populated with other students (also in VR mode) who may be physically located anywhere but whose lived experience is in the VR university. Perpetua escorts Peter to the session, where she introduces him to several other students. All of them will get to know each other well, as they all will be enrolled in the same set of courses and will participate in many other activities together.

Peter's small group joins other students for the program. Several skits and presentations that cover the usual topics for new student orientation provide virtual interactive roles for new students to play. After the orientation session, Peter and his friends are told to check their Personal Learning Space for important updates. Peter discovers that while he was orienting, the smart registration and student information system had identified him through a visor-based retinal scan, analyzed his academic file, and already handled registration and filed all his course materials in his personal cloud storage. Bidding Perpetua and his new friends goodbye, Peter leaves the VR campus and goes about his day.

Two days later, Peter is ready to attend class. He finds that the learning experience is equally immersive. Through state-of-the-art real presence, each student interacts with other learners and the faculty member. It's as if Peter's living room has turned into a holodeck. Course content is fully immersive, so he is virtually present during the building of the pyramids, or the Gettysburg battle, or Martin Luther King’s "I Have a Dream" speech. In a real sense, the classroom has become his green screen. Peter's competency evaluations will also take advantage of VR when possible, and so they may entail running virtual what-if scenarios of alternative outcomes to famous historical events, or doing careful real-time comparisons of artifacts that reside in different museums, or performing with musical players in virtual orchestras at a level of sophistication that the composer Eric Whitacre can only dream of today. Peter often attends class while standing or sitting on a mat that allows him full range of motion to physically engage in the learning by walking around each virtual set.

The experience of Peter's faculty in 2025 is equally transformed. Georgia Tech's nearly decade-old experiment with a robotic teaching assistant based on the IBM Watson platform has morphed considerably. Only the most diagnostic data about each student is transmitted to faculty on dashboards organized by course. Artificial intelligence (AI) systems handle the routine interactions. Monitoring student achievement is more akin to monitoring key telemetry in an intensive care unit or a jumbo jet: underlying smart analytic systems process the data and report only a handful of key essentials. Faculty can measure the level of difficulty of the content in real time depending on how quickly students master the material. (One can almost imagine an individualized Star Trek Kobayashi Maru test within each discipline or course.) Faculty concentrate their individualized interactions with students on a combination of teacher/tutor, mentor, and case manager communications.

Farfetched? Impossible to achieve in the next eight years? Maybe. But consider that computer-based teaching assistants were already in limited use in 2016. The New York Times distributed cardboard VR viewers as a way to immerse its readers into a storytelling experience. My vision of such rapid innovation, far from being the result of some blue-sky process gone wild, is grounded in experiences we have already had and approaches already adopted. Let me explain.

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6 growing trends taking over academic libraries

Fri, 03/24/2017 - 1:00am

Spreading digital fluency is now a core responsibility of academic libraries, and Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT) are poised to amplify the utility and reach of library services like never before. These are just two of the revelations part of the New Media Consortium’s (NMC) University of Applied Sciences (HTW) Chur, Technische Informationsbibliothek (TIB), ETH Library, and the Association of College & Research Libraries’ (ACRL) Annual Horizon Report: 2017 Library Edition.

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University experiences explosive growth in campus video use thanks to new platform

Thu, 03/23/2017 - 1:00am

Sonic Foundry, Inc., a video creation and management solution, announced that Kansas State University has standardized on Mediasite to create online learning content and serve as the central repository for all academic video files on campus. With Mediasite, the university has undertaken a focused, campus-wide video content management initiative to preserve the thousands of hours of

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5 technologies to avoid in the classroom-and what to use instead

Thu, 03/23/2017 - 1:00am

The most popular article on eCampus News is a surprising one to the editors: “6 apps that block social media distractions.” This story, which seemed counter-intuitive for us to write (being a tech-cheerleading publication in nature), has held the top spot by a massive margin for almost three years now; which had the editors considering the question, “Are there technologies that should simply be avoided in the college classroom?”

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9 innovative design ideas for student learning spaces

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 1:00am

According to an innovative study, colleges and universities need to create layered, blended and personalized places that support a variety of interactions and digital platforms, rather than creating specialized spaces, such as computer labs. Furthermore, the study found that mobility has transformed the way students learn, and therefore requires careful attention to physical spaces now more

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5 college and university best practices for record management

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 1:00am

The continuous uptick of information and data flooding educational institutions shows no signs of easing up. With increasing use of technology platforms, it’s no surprise that institutions are desperate to manage the escalating flow of information. A key component to managing the inflow of records is to manage the outflow, in this case, record retention.

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Teachers: Khan-style online tutorials go 2.0 with new technology

Tue, 03/21/2017 - 1:00am

Video tutorials in the style made famous by Sal Khan of the Khan Academy changed the face of education, empowering anywhere, anytime learning. However, they were Tutorials 1.0. We now have Tutorials 2.0. The LightBoard has arrived.

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Report: Colleges and universities doing incredible job meeting growing student demands

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 12:46pm

Bandwidth on college campuses has nearly tripled since 2012, with more than 71 percent of schools now offering at least 1 GB, and one in four offering 7GB or more, finds the ACUTA/ACUHO-I 2017 State of ResNet Report. Just as universities are rising to meet challenges posed by the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) phenomena, the Internet of Things (IoT) trend is growing quickly and is now taking a foothold on campuses around the country, causing bandwidth demand to reach new, unprecedented levels.

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5 things CIOs need to know about IoT

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 1:00am

UNL will share their experience with tapping into IoT to make the student experience the center of IT service management.

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Are “high demand” programs setting your institution up for failure?

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 1:00am

Conversations around the planning table for new programs often hinge around the word “demand.” Employer demand usually gets the first mention, and hopefully student demand gets a nod as well. Yet instead of plugging an institution into the heartbeat of their local economy, sometimes “high-demand” programs actually set the institution up for failure. Consider data

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10 digital ways to reach Millennial students

Fri, 03/17/2017 - 1:00am

A list of implementations that can easily be integrated into your higher education digital marketing campaigns to generate immediate positive impact with Millennial students.

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University’s digital series tackles fake news, authoritarian rule

Fri, 03/17/2017 - 1:00am

Authoritarian rule and fake news are among the topics for the University of Michigan Teach-Out Series, a new open online opportunity for global learners.

U-M President Mark Schlissel kicked off an Academic Innovation forum March 13 with the announcement of the first four global community learning events on the edX platform, intended to encourage public discourse about relevant issues.

"The University of Michigan Teach-Out Series is precisely the type of idea we hoped would emerge from the creativity of our faculty and staff through our Academic Innovation initiative," Schlissel said.

The four offerings that will begin on a Friday and run through Sunday night include:

• Democratic to Authoritarian Rule (March 31)
• Fake News, Facts and Alternative Facts (April 21)
• Reach Out and RELATE: Communicating and Understanding Scientific Research (May 5)
• The Future of Obamacare - Repeal, Repair or Replace? (May 12)

Teach-outs are modeled after the historic U-M teach-ins, which started in 1965 in response to military action in Vietnam. Faculty who had considered taking a stance against President Lyndon Johnson's escalation of troops into the country instead brought together experts for a marathon educational event.

As a result, similar teach-ins were held at 35 other campuses, and years later the model inspired the first Earth Day event, which had its origins at U-M.

Those who have orchestrated the Michigan Teach-Out Series hope to leverage technology to bring a global audience of learners to U-M.

"The University of Michigan Teach-Out Series can be a model for a new era of engagement between institutions of higher education and the global communities they serve," said James Hilton, U-M vice provost for academic innovation. "Part of our public mission is to create opportunities for citizens to be informed, because the more informed people are, the more informed debate can be."

Academic Innovation leaders refer to the teach-outs as digital just-in-time community learning events, designed to take place over a short, fixed period of time.

"These are intended to be relatively small scale experiences which enable a wide variety of global learners to join our campus community in exploring a topic which is timely for all of us," said Timothy McKay, the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Physics and director of the Digital Innovation Greenhouse within the Office of Academic Innovation. "We hope learners across the world will see them as an opportunity for a healthy conversation—a give and take of ideas and information."

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Incredible gains in student retention noted by universities using edtech strategies

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 1:00am

At the heart of today’s college completion conundrum is the challenge of helping more first-generation college-goers, especially low-income students and students of color, start and finish strong. While first-generation students compose nearly one-third of students entering two- or four-year colleges and universities in the US, only 11 percent of low-income, first-generation students earn a bachelor’s degree within six years. The first-year experience is especially problematic for these students—the Pell Institute found that low-income, first-generation students were almost four times more likely to leave college after the first year than more affluent peers.

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Technology trends that help keep our campus safe

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 1:00am

History was made on August 1, 1966, when Charles Whitman reached the top of the UT tower and opened fire, killing several people with which he had no personal connection. The UT tower shooting was the first mass campus murder in America. As we observed the 50th anniversary of this tragedy last year, we’ve lost count of how many school shootings and threats to campus safety that has since come to pass.

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Are Apple devices in higher ed all they’re cracked up to be?

Wed, 03/15/2017 - 1:00am

A new survey reveals that that Apple devices may just be easier to manage than other devices--and user preference seems to be a driving force behind higher adoption rates.

Jamf's third annual global survey of IT professionals on Apple adoption rates covers enterprise, K-12 and higher education organizations.

Ninety-four percent of higher education organizations have iOS users and 80 percent use Macs.

A majority of higher-ed institutions saw an increase in various iOS adoptions over the preview year--87 percent reported an increase in both Mac adoption and iPad adoption.

Next page: The key areas and tasks where higher-ed respondents said Apple devices outperform other devicesNext Page ...
User preference (64 percent), security (51 percent), and less maintenance (45 percent) are the top three factors driving Mac adoption in higher education, according to the survey.

In higher education, Macs appear easier to manage than PCs on five critical tasks: deployment (65 percent), security (64 percent), device configuration (53 percent), software and app deployment (54 percent), and support (61 percent).

iPads are easier to manage than other tablets when doing the following in higher education: deployment (60 percent), security (52 percent), device configuration (56 percent), software and app deployment (56 percent), and support (53 percent).

Ninety-one percent of businesses use Macs and 99 percent use iPhones, iPads or both, meaning students who are skilled in the use of these devices in college should be able to transition to a similar business environment with ease.

User preference is driving Apple’s penetration in the enterprise, and this demand for Apple is being met through device choice programs. Nearly half of organizations surveyed (44 percent) offer employees a choice between Mac and PC, with the majority (71 percent) offering a choice between iPhones and other mobile device brands.

IT departments are more adept at managing mixed-device environments, and when asked how managing Apple devices stack up against the competition, IT respondents ranked Mac and iOS devices as easy, if not easier, to manage than other device brands.

“Not only is Apple gaining momentum in the enterprise due to user preference, but IT is finding that with the right mobile device management solution, Mac, iPhone and iPad are easier to manage and enable a better overall experience for users,” said Dave Alampi, vice president of product management and marketing, Jamf.

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These 10 tips helped save an entire IT department

Wed, 03/15/2017 - 1:00am

In 2010, the Information Technology Services team at the University of Wisconsin—La Crosse got the news that no IT department wants.

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Community colleges begin linking digital badges, ePortfolios and recruiting matches

Tue, 03/14/2017 - 1:00am

Digital credential pioneer Credly and Portfolium, an ePortfolio platform that makes a student’s academic and co-curricular experience searchable by employers, announced today a new partnership that enables learners to demonstrate evidence of their learning and competencies to potential employers. The new integration allows Portfolium users to access and display digital badges earned through Credly in their ePortfolio, and enables employers to search and find candidates based on badges that match specific job opportunities and targeted skillsets.

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Why some colleges and universities are restricting access to 3D technology

Tue, 03/14/2017 - 1:00am

A number of factors, including lack of guidance and management issues, lead educators to restrict students' access to 3D printers, according to a survey from Y Soft Corporation, an enterprise office solution provider.

Surveyed educators overwhelmingly cited motivation, creativity and use of technology with STEAM subjects as reasons their schools use 3D printers in the classroom.

Forty-two percent of those surveyed said it is "very common" for students in their institution to have access to 3D printing, and 58 percent said it is "very exceptional" to have such access.

The survey asked educational 3D printer owners a broad set of questions about 3D printing use to determine how educators include 3D technology in their classrooms. Most institutions who own 3D printers own between 2 and 5 (38 percent), with 28 percent of institutions owning between 6 and 20.

Overall, 35 percent said student access to 3D printers is fairly or very difficult. Thirteen percent of those surveyed said it is very easy for students to access 3D printers and 52 percent said it is fairly easy as long as a process is followed.

Respondents said 3D printers are lacking in three main areas, and those areas prompt educators to restrict students' access to the devices:
• Inability to manage and control access to the 3D printer. Consequently, 3D printers are locked in a room requiring special access, available only during special hours, or alternatively, the student has to ask the teacher/teacher aid to print the model. Therefore, the 3D printer is often under-used.
• Educators are not able to manage 3D printing time and materials costs in order to allocate expenses per classroom or department. Also, in schools where pay-to-print systems exist for paper printing, no similar systems exist for 3D printers.
• Lack of guidance on adding 3D printing to classroom curriculums.

“We hear from schools that they buy 3D printers, but often lock them up so students and users cannot access them because there is no way to manage access and costs associated with their use,” said Tim Greene, IDC Research Director. “It defeats the purpose of the 3D printer in education which is meant to motivate student learning. In the end, the printer goes unused.”

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A teacher’s perspective on a first-time blended class

Mon, 03/13/2017 - 1:00am

For the first time ever, I am instructing a blended class.  My expectations were nothing short of idealized excitement.  Students would be laser-focused during our face-to-face time, and the freedom to complete work on their own time would encourage ownership and agency.  In addition, by removing some basic skills study from the classroom, we could

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