The 10 biggest higher-ed tech stories of 2010

eCampus News counts down the 10 biggest higher-ed tech stories of 2010.

Campus leaders get better at leveraging the power of social media … Data breaches continue to hit higher education, with possible legal ramifications … A new federal law enlists colleges in the fight against online piracy: These are among the many key developments in campus technology in the past year.

In this special retrospective, the editors of eCampus News highlight what we think are the 10 most significant campus technology stories of 2010. To learn more about each story, click on the headlines below.

What do you think? Do you agree with this list? Did we leave anything out? Share your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of the page.

10. Netflix model helps ease the burden of college textbook costs.

College textbook rental services actually began cropping up in 2008, with startups such as borrowing from the business model of Netflix in letting students rent and return their books instead of shelling out hundreds of dollars a semester. But in 2010 this textbook distribution model really took off, aided by large companies such as Barnes & Noble getting into the act.

9. Colleges stung by the web’s ability to amplify embarrassing behavior.

A number of high-profile incidents in 2010 served as a harsh reminder of how easy it can be for students to send messages or videos that are embarrassing to their peers or faculty members spinning around the web for everyone to see.

8. Campus leaders learn how to leverage the power of social media.

The past year saw higher-education leaders embrace social media more than ever before to engage current students, entice prospective ones, and encourage alumni to open their wallets. And while there are no hard, fast rules when it comes to social media use in academia, attendees of the annual EDUCAUSE conference in October were encouraged to keep experimenting with their tweeting, linking, and posting until they strike the right balance in terms of effectiveness.

7. Data breaches continue to plague higher education … with possible legal repercussions.

In October, higher education saw one of its largest data security breaches ever, as the Social Security numbers, dates of birth, and other personal information for about 760,000 current and former Ohio State University students were accessed by unauthorized network users. The Ohio State incident followed other security breaches at schools such as the University of Maine, Penn State University, and Florida International University in the past year—although it was a breach at the University of Hawaii (UH) that might be the most damaging of all.

6. New federal law enlists colleges in the fight against online piracy.

Thanks to a federal law that went into effect in July, colleges and universities that don’t do enough to combat the illegal sharing of digital movies or music over their computer networks put themselves at risk of losing federal funding.

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