Information Technology

Open Courseware in the Liberal Arts

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Saint Michael's College thinks persuading its faculty to use free courseware from peer institutions could improve its liberal arts curriculum.

Uphill Battle on Digital Preservation

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WASHINGTON — In a report released in February, 17 librarians, scientists, and technologists spent 116 pages detailing the challenges of preserving culturally valuable digital artifacts. But at a symposium held Thursday to discuss the findings, it was perhaps Derek Law, chair of JISC Advance, a British advocate for technology in higher education, who articulated the problem most succinctly:

Minor Bumps for iPad

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Apple's new iPad computing tablet may have hit a few snags in its introduction to the college market. But experts say the network compatibility problems that have arisen on some campuses probably will not bear on the device's ability to penetrate higher education. And a new survey indicates that even before the media frenzy that accompanied its release earlier this month, Apple had made inroads with students interested in buying an e-reader.

FIPSE'S Freefall Continues

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A textual analysis of Education Secretary Arne Duncan's speeches would turn up innumerable uses of a few key words: reform, improvement and, increasingly, innovation. The status quo in education at all levels is not sufficient, Duncan and his colleagues in the Obama Education Department frequently assert, which is why the administration has created (or sought to create) several new competitive funds aimed at stimulating new ideas.

Competing in the Cloud

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Outsourcing has been part of the higher-ed business model for long enough that contracting a third party to run the campus bookstore or dining hall is not going to raise any eyebrows. But with the digitization of campus bureaucracy and the introduction of "cloud computing" as a windfall for scholars and IT departments, the outsourcing of information services has become a topic of much excitement — and skepticism — on college campuses.

In Search of Innovators

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WASHINGTON -- Higher education researchers collectively lamented the barriers to real innovation at colleges and universities here Thursday, while acknowledging that precious few agreed-upon strategies for transformational change have gained any real foothold within the “industry.”

Sharing Risk, Sharing Reward

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For such a mundane undertaking, reforming a campus’s back-office information system can be an expensive and risky prospect for a university CIO.

Larry Conrad knows this. Back when he was the chief information officer at Florida State University, Conrad remembers being called into the president’s office as he was about to preside over the implementation of a new information system -- known as an enterprise resource planning system, or ERP.

'The Warcraft Civilization'

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Virtual worlds have been making headlines in higher ed for a number of years now. From The Sims to Second Life, all-encompassing video games have caught the attention (favorable or otherwise) of faculty and administrators as well as students.

No Laughing Matter

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Historically, cartoons are not a significant driver of communications and marketing strategy in higher education.

But one cartoon -- by Randall Munroe, whose popular Web comic is known as xkcd -- has resonated so strongly in higher ed circles that it has some marketing officials taking a hard look at what experts still believe to be their strongest marketing asset: the institutional website’s home page.

The Thinking LMS

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U. of Phoenix plans to 'hyper-personalize' learning experience for all 400,000 of its students by building an online learning platform that thinks.

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