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Best practices in higher-education technology use: August 2012

Here are some of the best practices in higher-education technology use featured in the July/August edition of eCampus News.

Students at the University of Wisconsin now can earn college degrees based on competency, not credits; Ohio State is revamping its classroom technology to meet students’ digital demands; two West Coast schools are taking an innovative approach to disaster planning; and dozens of schools this fall will see if eBooks can bring down textbook costs: These are among the best practices in higher-education technology use featured in the July/August edition of eCampus News.

Our July/August edition is now available in digital format on our website. You can browse the full publication here, or click on any of the headlines below to read these highlights:

Earning a degree with competency, not credits

Students at the University of Wisconsin now can earn college degrees based on proven competency in a subject, making UW the first publicly funded school to launch a competency-based degree program…

Ohio State unveils new ed-tech plan

Ohio State University officials have announced a major plan to revamp the school’s classroom technology capabilities to meet students’ demands in a digital age. The two-year initiative, called Digital First, is a “first-of-its-kind program” that will transform the campus, said Michael Hofherr, senior director for learning technology…

Campuses take innovative approach to disaster planning

West Coast IT leaders begrudgingly admit it: An earthquake wouldn’t be a temporary inconvenience—a bad trembler could knock out critical infrastructure for weeks, unless the school has a partner. That’s why IT officials from the University of Puget Sound and Pomona College are hosting backup computer equipment for each other, allowing either campus to access student, faculty, and course information in hours rather than weeks if a disaster should occur…

Colleges taking a team approach to eTextbooks

Reining in exorbitant textbook costs is no longer a campus-by-campus venture: A unified approach, powered by the Internet2 consortium’s NET+ cloud-based collaborative purchasing program, could make low-cost electronic textbooks available now, ed-tech leaders hope…

Cell phones help connect students with learning

Instructors at Alvin Community College in Texas are using projectors and document cameras in their classrooms to bring the world to their students, and they’re using the Blackboard learning management system, blogs, and wikis to keep students engaged outside of class. But it’s the faculty’s use of a technology that has become ubiquitous among students—cell phones—that has made the biggest difference…

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