10 technology hallmarks for every campus

6. MOOCs.

Whether you love them or hate them, it’s not just big name universities like Harvard or Stanford that offer MOOCs anymore, as even small universities in the middle of Amish country are beginning to offer MOOCs.

From developing your own online learning platform, to using larger platforms like Coursera or edX, offering MOOCs can not only strengthen your campus brand, but provide options for students and faculty looking to further their lifelong learning.

[Read: “3 pros and 3 cons of MOOCs.”]

7. Online course management system.

From sending in-class emails to checking grades, course management systems, like Blackboard, offer faculty and students a fairly intuitive way to manage courses more efficiently.

Benefits to using these systems usually include checking grades online; accessing old assignments, quizzes and surveys; facilitating group work through blogs and wikis; and even developing and maintaining student organizations.

8. Big Data…

Future-proofing universities are beginning to deploy storage solutions to help manage the unstructured data in physical, virtual and cloud environments. More modern storage solutions are also open source for a high learning curve but low cost.

“My priorities are to ensure not only that the department [of meteorology] can store hundreds of terabytes of research data efficiently and securely, but that good performance is maintained as the I/O load from our growing compute cluster increases,” reported Dan Bretherton, high-performance computing manager at the University of Reading, in a press release.


No one wants to go through what the University of Maryland recently experienced with multiple data breaches in one month, which is why technology-savvy campuses must take precautions to keep data safe.

These precautions can range from scanning existing databases on the university’s servers to determine where personal information is located and then, depending on the database, destroy the personal information or add more digital security; as well as put cybersecurity systems through a series of penetration tests to highlight security shortcomings.

[Read: “University data breach prompts ‘top-to-bottom’ IT review.”]

10. Social media done well.

“Colleges and universities are using social media more than ever before to connect with alumni, students, prospective students, and their communities. But there’s a big difference between who’s doing it well and who’s just doing it to, well, just keep up in a U.S. News & World Report kind of way,” explains Jill Carlson, marketing manager at Argyle Social for a Social Media Explorer article. “And the universities that are dominating social media seem to have a few things in common.”

Carlson notes that one of the major ways campuses use social media well is by serving up both “cake” and “broccoli,” or balancing the content that is important and good for the school (broccoli) and the content that is fun and delicious (cake). “If you share enough cake, your audience will consume the occasional broccoli,” she advises.

Broccoli often includes news of awards and published research, while cake includes human interest pieces, crowd-sourcing content, and contests.

For more of Carlson’s tips, read here.

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