NYU’s social media evolution

When Nick Jensen attended New York University – he graduated in 2011 – he was frustrated with the university’s lack of social media presence, SocialTimes reports. After speaking up to the right people at the right time, he was hired to serve as marketing/communications/social tech manager of a new office in the Office of Student Life dubbed “HashtagNYU,”which was launched in the winter of 2012. In fact, according to Jensen, there are many social media connections to NYU. For example, a co-founder of Twitter (Jack Dorsey) went to NYU; the founder of Foursquare (Dennis Crowley) attended NYU; and touch-screen technology was invented at NYU. HashtagNYU consists of three full-time employees – including Jensen – and 15 student interns. They crank out social media content for nine social media platforms…

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What you can learn at the University of Social Media

There are a lot of lessons that you won’t learn in the classroom: A master’s program is not an across-the-board answer for all; it really depends on your field of study, The Huffington Post reports. When it comes to something quantitative like accounting, an MBA will likely give you a high ROI. If you’re going into a field that is more focused on coming up with creative ideas or sales pitches, hands-on experience may be a more effective teaching tool. Learning how to interact and collaborate with people is essential for success. Anyone who works in an office can attest to the fact that good people skills are a necessity. Soft skills are essential to becoming successful: A broad knowledge is key when it comes to successful networking. It is life experience and self-education that develop these skills; for example, following key entrepreneurial influencers, or writing a daily blog to develop writing skills. Information is more readily available than ever; access to education is literally in the palm of your hand.

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For-profit colleges giving big to helpful House members

House Education Committee Chairman Rep. John Kline, who saw a dramatic upsurge in campaign contributions from for-profit colleges in recent months, is pushing legislation that would help the industry preserve its access to federal student loans, USA Today reports. The measure, “Supporting Academic Freedom through Regulatory Relief Act,” was introduced July 10 by the Minnesota Republican and two other members of the education panel and would bar the Obama administration from moving forward with rules to cut off federal student aid to schools whose graduates have high debt ratios and low repayment rates. Kline’s committee approved the bill Wednesday.

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Colleges try to verify online course attendance

Colleges are ramping up strategies to ensure that the student who gets the grade for taking an online course is the same person who does the homework and completes the exams, Florida Today reports. The impetus is a federal law, passed in 2008, requiring colleges that are eligible for federal student aid for online programs to take steps to discourage financial aid and academic fraud. Federal regulations require students to have secure logins and passwords for online course offerings, but industry experts expect more stringent standards to come. “We don’t know when and how, but they’re probably going to tighten up,” says David Richardson, CEO of Louisville, Ky.-based Learning House, founded in 2001 to help schools develop online degree programs and courses. … More than 6.7 million students took at least one online class in fall 2011, up about 9 percent from the previous fall, says an annual survey released in January by the Babson Survey Research Group.

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With ‘best solution’ already on board, Calvary Bible College chooses CAMS Enterprise upgrade after 2-year ERP search

St. Louis — July 23, 2013 — Capping its third decade as a Three Rivers Systems client, Calvary Bible College and Theological Seminary has selected CAMS® Enterprise, the company’s flagship disruptive academic management solution as its new enterprise resource planning system. A disruptive technology is an innovation creating a new market and value network to “disrupt” an existing market by displacing earlier technology.

A CAMS user since 1997 when the college abandoned its home-grown system for Three Rivers Systems’ DOS product, Calvary Bible upgraded to CAMS Windows in 2002 and CAMS Windows online registration thereafter. The college later conducted two years of due diligence prior to moving to CAMS Enterprise.

According to Aaron Heath, Calvary Bible College’s manager of information systems, “We knew we had a great system in CAMS, but good financial stewardship required us to look at other options because a lot has changed in student information systems in the past decade.”

Heath said other systems the college auditioned were not nearly as advanced as CAMS Enterprise. “Some lacked a housing component, others required manual rather than automated work flow and there were those that had to be hosted offsite by the vendor. It became clear we already had the best solution; we just needed to upgrade to CAMS Enterprise,” he said.

CAMS’ degree-audit function played a big role in the decision as well. “With CAMS Enterprise’s online registration, students must visit with their advisors first, and with degree audit, we can also limit classes students can sign up for based on their specific needs. This eliminates confusion, dropped classes and other administrative headaches while boosting productivity for all,” Heath said. Support for online courses also helped CAMS solidify the win for CAMS Enterprise.

CAMS Enterprise is a unique solution for higher education. Totally browser-based and designed from the ground up to leverage the Web, it is unlike older conventional systems that use the Internet as an afterthought. CAMS is fully optimized for mobile apps, so students and faculty alike can interact with their institutions around the clock from mobile devices on the go, anytime and anywhere.

A fundamentally different academic ERP unlike others, CAMS Enterprise is an easy-to-use and implement, totally integrated, Web-native management system with everything in one place — admissions; student information; financial aid; student services; fiscal management with HR and payroll; fund-raising; alumni relations; document management; learning management; a full suite of portals; and more for managing the entire student life cycle.

CAMS’s out-of-the-box configuration and self-service customization remove all barriers to success seen with conventional system. These along with CAMS’ affordable licensing and easy implementation result in the lowest total cost of ownership of any academic ERP and yield the quickest and highest ROI.

About Calvary Bible College
Calvary Bible College is an accredited, independent, nondenominational institution providing undergraduate and graduate education which prepares Christians to live and serve in the church and the world according to a biblical worldview. The Calvary campus is located in Kansas City, Mo., a large Midwest city with a variety of employment and ministry opportunities, along with strong ties to active family and church life involvement. Kansas City sits atop bluffs overlooking rivers and river bottoms areas, near scenic lakes, parks, fountains, shopping, restaurants, outdoor markets, live entertainment and professional athletic teams.
About CAMS Enterprise
CAMS Enterprise’s disruptive technology makes it a fundamentally different academic ERP unlike all others that were designed for the past and are incapable of operating efficiently in the modern world. CAMS Enterprise is an easy-to-use and implement, totally integrated, Web-native management system with everything in one place — admissions; student information; financial aid; student services; fiscal management with HR and payroll; fund-raising; alumni relations; document management, learning management, a full suite of portals, and more for managing the entire student life cycle. With an out-of-the-box configuration and self-service customization, CAMS Enterprise removes all barriers to success seen with conventional systems. CAMS’ affordable licensing, off-the-shelf configuration and easy implementation translate into the lowest total cost of ownership of any academic ERP while yielding the quickest and highest ROI.

About Three Rivers Systems Inc.
Three Rivers Systems Inc. is the only privately held, independent, debt-free, one-stop company focused solely on high-quality academic ERP solutions exclusively for higher education. For more than 25 years from its St. Louis headquarters, the company is keenly focused on innovation and service to its worldwide customers. Always innovating, the company invests significant revenues back into product R&D to improve existing products while developing new ones so users always get the exact functionality, industry experience and accurate project management they need. Its business model and products are designed to ensure institutional effectiveness, more-efficient business processes, student success and satisfaction.

Contact: Ron Kalb, Three Rivers Systems Inc., Director of Communications, 636-779-1518 (office), 702-498-8916 (cell), ronk@threeriverssystems.com

Products or service names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.


Solving an Education Crisis with Video: Mediasite Webcasts Increase Pass Rates in South African Schools

University of the Free State prepares 60 underperforming schools for exit exams via daily Mediasite webcasts by Sonic Foundry

MADISON, Wis. — July 23, 2012 — Pass rates have jumped from 26 percent to 100 percent in some rural South African high school classrooms thanks to a video-learning initiative between The University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, The Free State Department of Education and Sonic Foundry, Inc. (NASDAQ: SOFO), the trusted leader for video content management and webcasting solutions.

The university’s ICT Innovation in School Education Department (ICTISE) provides support on core subjects such as mathematics , physical science, life science, economics, accounting and geography — to 60 at risk rural high schools in the Free State Province in preparation for their final exit exams.

To combat a potential lack of qualified teachers, highly qualified teachers who have received 100% pass rate from around the Free State province record lectures in the ICTISE studio using Mediasite. The schools receive three hours of webcasts each day, as well as preparation and support for Grade 12 exams and revision. Teaching development training programs are also provided.

“Some of the rural schools have access to very little or no technology so the teacher cannot show the students, for example, the use of a digital map in geography,” said Sarietjie Musgrave, Head of ICTISE at the university. “Sometimes our expert teachers bring students to our studio on campus and use them in the broadcast.”

Whenever possible, the webcasts are live to increase interaction between teachers in the studio and students in the rural high school classrooms. All the lessons are also available on-demand.

In addition to supporting students, the University of the Free State uses Mediasite to train teachers and school administrators on how to integrate technology into their classrooms. The university has prepared lessons on how to use document cameras, how to integrate the Internet into teaching and learning and many other topics the rural schools teachers have expressed interest in. The university also uses Mediasite to record lectures at its main campus in Bloemfontein for students in satellite campuses to view.

“We find Mediasite very easy to use and it’s very easy to train these schools to use the technology, despite their lack of information and communications technology skills. Mediasite hits all the right buttons: easy to use; great customer support; it’s clean and clutter-free and it’s easy to interact with,” Musgrave said. “All these things together make Mediasite the perfect solution for us.”

“Online video-based learning is one of the fastest growing trends in education and allows for quick and cost-effective communication between experts and students. It’s rewarding to support University of the Free State as they push the boundaries of classroom technology to connect rural high schools to highly-renowned experts – something that would have been very challenging even a few years ago,” said Gary Weis, chief executive officer of Sonic Foundry. “It’s exciting for us to be a part of this collaboration to enhance student achievement in South Africa, and realize a shared vision of education for everyone.”

UFS was recognized for a 2013 Rich Media Impact Award from Sonic Foundry for Rapid Deployment, which honors outstanding achievement in advancing or accelerating the adoption of rich media programs. Watch the nomination video at www.sonicfoundry.com/FreeStateRMIA.

Trusted by 1,200 colleges and universities, the patented Mediasite webcasting and video content management system quickly and cost-effectively automates the capture, management, delivery and search of live and on-demand videos and rich media.

About Sonic Foundry®, Inc.
Sonic Foundry (NASDAQ: SOFO) is the trusted market leader for enterprise webcasting solutions, providing video content management and distribution for education, business and government. Powered by the patented Mediasite webcasting platform and webcast services of Mediasite Events, the company empowers people to advance how they share knowledge online, using video webcasts to bridge time and distance, enhance learning outcomes and improve performance.


Students want more class assignments available on mobile devices

Eighty-eight percent of students say they have used a mobile device to study for a test at the last minute.

“Who completed the reading?”

It’s a question some instructors likely ask every week. If students are being honest, only 10 percent of the class would raise their hands, according to a new survey. But a majority of students believe that response would be very different if the material was available on mobile devices.

The survey, conducted by Wakefield Research and digital course materials company CourseSmart, asked 500 American college students about their dependence on devices, their opinions on eTextbooks and their views toward the rising price of a college education.

The results revealed that most students own digital and mobile devices, and would prefer that content be delivered that way.

Fifty-three percent of respondents said they would be more likely to complete required reading in time for class if it was available digitally or could be accessed on a mobile device. Eighty-eight percent of students said they have used a mobile device to study for a test at the last minute.

That’s a 10 percent jump from the number of students who admitted to mobile cramming last year.

“The results of this survey underscore just how much students have embraced mobile devices and digital course materials to enhance their productivity, efficiency and performance, all of which impact students’ educational success and financial prospects in this highly competitive, globally connected world,” Sean Divine, CEO of CourseSmart, said in an announcement of the survey’s results.

See Page 2 for how often students use their digital and mobile devices.


The MOOC that roared

Georgia Institute of Technology is about to take a step that could set off a broad disruption in higher education: It’s offering a new master’s degree in computer science, delivered through a series of massive open online courses, or MOOCs, for $6,600, Slate reports. The school’s traditional on-campus computer science master’s degree costs about $45,000 in tuition alone for out-of-state students (the majority) and $21,000 for Georgia residents. But in a few years, Georgia Tech believes that thousands of students from all over the world will enroll in the new program. … John Backus, the chief executive of Atlantic Ventures, which invests in a number of higher-education companies, asks: “Why would you go to XYZ college, pay three to four times the amount, when you can get a master’s degree more cheaply and from a better school?”

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Big data, redux

We’ve repeatedly called on the University to be more transparent. Its disclosure of students’ social security numbers was not what we had in mind, the Cavalier Daily reports. The 18,700 or so students who recently received Aetna Health Insurance mailers with their social security numbers stamped on the envelopes’ fronts will likely agree. Between last summer’s opacity and this summer’s recklessness, it might take until summer 2014 for our school to strike a sane middle ground when it comes to what information it shares and what information it protects. This month’s mailing error was not the first time the University has failed to exercise due diligence to protect vulnerable data. Last June, officials accidentally posted more than 300 transcripts, some containing social security numbers, on a University website. And in 2006 a computer programming error caused a spreadsheet listing the social security numbers of 632 students to land in other students’ email inboxes. Given the importance of respecting sensitive information in a so-called “digital age,” one would expect an institution as large and as eminent as the University to have protocols in place to ensure private data stays private.

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Can your social media image affect your chances of getting into college?

How many admissions officers are using the internet to screen applicants? What kind of online behavior affects a student’s admission to the college of their choice, and how can students prepare their online footprint for inspection, CBS New York reports? According to Kaplan Test Prep, who tracks such things, schools are “increasingly discovering information on Facebook and Google that negatively impact applicants’ acceptance chances.” In a 2012 survey, 27 percent of admissions officers said they use Google to screen applications, and 26 percent reported looking at Facebook pages. Google taps into not only Facebook, but a student’s activity on Twitter, Google Plus and personal online blogs. Use of online media among recruiters is even higher than admissions counselors, with 87 percent of colleges citing Facebook as one of their resources, 76 percent using Twitter, and 73 percent viewing a students’ YouTube clips. … Does looking at students’ online materials constitute an invasion of privacy? It’s easy to make a case that any material you have shared with the world via online publishing can no longer be called “private.” However, 69 percent of schools that have crafted a policy on the matter are declaring social media off-limits.

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