Information Technology

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.

Pausing for Investigation

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Utah authorities investigate allegations that public colleges rigged searches for lecture capture technology.

How Will Students Communicate?

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College technologists and e-mail providers say that, in the campus context, reports of the death of e-mail have been greatly exaggerated.

Blackboard's Next Phase

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Blackboard built its e-learning empire on its learning management system, trading legal blows with some competitors and gobbling up others as it raced to satisfy demand for a technology that had rapidly become de rigueur in higher education.

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