FOMO on campus: The struggle is real

As Sean Quinn, a senior at the University of Florida, sat in a visual communications course one morning last September, FOMO was slowly tightening its grip.

Editor’s note: This article first ran in January 2014 and we at eCampus News thought it deserved another round. Share your views by leaving a comment below and by joining the conversation on Twitter @ecampusnews.

fomoJeff Darlington, a reporter for NFL Network, was speaking to the university’s sports media class that day over Skype, and Quinn was missing out. Finally, he caved, logging onto Twitter to follow the course’s hashtag and get a taste of Darlington’s guest lecture.

“Major #FOMO on my friends’ #SportsMediaUF class tweets,” he tweeted. “Wish I could’ve taken it again.”

For students like Quinn, FOMO, or “fear of missing out,” may just be a passing moment, or simply the anxious cousin of the popular phrase “YOLO” (You Only Live Once). For others, it’s more than a hashtag, and they are increasingly turning to Twitter and Facebook during class time to help with the anxiety it causes.

Joseph Nowsinki, a psychologist who argues that fear of missing out should be taken seriously as a mental health issue, says FOMO can manifest as an addiction to staying connected to others.

That’s an itch that is far easier to scratch when you have networks comprised of hundreds of your peers available at any moment right on your phone. Like any addiction, it can have real and lasting consequences on a student’s education.

“It goes beyond simply being ‘connected’ and is a form of social anxiety that can become debilitating,” Nowinski said. “Fear of missing out can evolve into an addiction, and like all addictions it definitely can take over a person’s life and interfere with other activities and responsibilities, including studies.”

Nearly four in 10 college students said they can’t go 10 minutes without checking one of their mobile devices, according to a 2011 study conducted by CourseSmart.

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Homestay: Do you know about this crisis?

Homestay is aiming to use its website to place the growing number of study abroad students with the right accommodations

homestay-abroad-studentsBetween now and 2020, the amount of students studying languages abroad is expected to increase from 4 to 7 million.

At the same time, overcrowded colleges and universities frequently face housing and accommodation shortages for even national students.

“Institutions are setting targets to have 15 percent of their student population come from international borders,” said Alan Clarke, CEO of Homestay.com. “Many are currently at 3 percent. What that brings with it is a requirement for students to find off-campus accommodation because there is probably a lack of sufficient accommodation on campus.”

Homestay is hoping to help ease that burden.

The Ireland-based company was founded in 2011 when its founders realized there wasn’t a technology that could easily support placing study abroad students with host families. It can also connect others looking to go abroad with a place to stay, but a large focus remains on changing the way students are placed in homestays.

The current techniques used by most universities are “intensely manual,” Clarke said.

(Next page: Matching 50 students with new homes with the click of a button)

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Apps and analytics: The key to student engagement?

Bolstering engagement with students could hinge on how colleges and universities use real-time analytics.

analyticsInsight into how, when, and even why students interact with campus technologies has become a linchpin in maximizing efficiency, saving money, and optimizing the student experience in higher education.

Could these insights — analytics — be the key to bolstering student engagement on college campuses too?

Campus Quad, creators of a real-time mobile communication platform designed specifically for colleges and universities, has answered this question with a definitive “yes,” and their higher-ed customers, so far, agree.

The Campus Quad mobile platform — available on any Apple or Android device — was launched in fall 2013 as a new way to facilitate student-to-student and student-to-school communication. This unified mobile app condenses the myriad ways in which a college interacts with students, communicating with the campus community about upcoming events, emergencies, and measuring exactly how students are engaged with the platform along the way.

Real time analytics is the key, Campus Quad customers say, to adjusting how a college or university interacts with its students via mobile device the same way schools have used analytics to identify struggling students before they fail a class or drop out of college.

“While analytics may be today’s buzzword, the collection and evaluation of data is critical to creating rich learning opportunities for students,” Thomas Black, associate vice provost of Student Affairs and university registrar at Stanford University. “Delivering that data to frontline practitioners to analyze stakeholder satisfaction, assess communication strategies, and measure achievement of program objectives is even more powerful.”

See page 2 for how colleges have simplified online interaction with students…

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Connection Capital completes £10m Management Buy-Out of leading e-safety, classroom, network and user management software provider Impero

Connection Capital, the leading private client investment business has announced the completion of the £10m Management Buyout of Impero, the leading e-safety, classroom, network and user management software provider based in the UK.

Clients of Connection Capital committed £4m to a combined debt and equity package alongside independent UK bank BLME, which is one of the most active in the UK mid-market

Impero was founded in 2002 and is a fast growing software business which has developed a comprehensive package solution for schools, colleges, and universities offering flexible networking and e-safety functionality together with powerful classroom management software solutions designed to promote a better, safer and more dynamic learning environment.

Its core software product, Impero Education Pro, offers real-time visibility of users’ computers in one central view, allowing teachers better control of the classroom and of pupil behaviour. It gives them the ability to monitor performance; ensuring that pupils remain focussed on set tasks whilst also monitoring or blocking access to websites, folders, applications, hardware and games.

Impero has also worked closely with organisations including the Anti-Bullying Alliance, Beat and students themselves to develop a dictionary of abusive terms and ‘urban slang’ that can be monitored to indicate inappropriate behaviour. The program scans pupils’ messages for any words or acronyms deemed inappropriate and then sends a report of violations to teachers. It also includes a new e-safety feature called ‘Confide’ which gives students a voice with which to report internet violations or bullying concerns, confidentially.

Impero Education Pro is already being used on over 1.6 million workstations in schools in 181 local authorities across the UK with significant scope for further growth. The business boasts sales in 37 other international markets, including the US where the company’s software is already used on nearly 200,000 workstations and where it aims to match its 25% UK market share within four years.

Connection Capital is a leading private equity investor in the UK SME market. Connection has backed the CEO of the business, Jon Valentine who is the founder and original architect of the software, to acquire the remaining two thirds of the business from his two partners. Jon will lead the rapidly growing company, which has increased its headcount from 8 to 80 since 2010, into the next phase of its development, supported by an able management team which has been significantly strengthened during the investment process.

Julian Carr, Partner at Connection Capital comments: “Jon has grown Impero into the leading classroom management, network management and e-safety software provider in the UK education market in an impressively short period of time. The fact that the business has achieved significant sales into the US is testimony to the strength of this market-leading product. We look forward to supporting Jon in developing the company further and increasing market share in the UK, USA and its other 37 international markets. The UK needs more innovative businesses like Impero.”

Claire Madden, Co-Founder of Connection Capital comments: “The SME market in the UK is very buoyant and this is an excellent example of the type of quality, highly attractive growth investment opportunity we can offer our clients.”

Jon Valentine, CEO of Impero Software comments: “This is great news for Impero. With the support of Connection Capital and BLME we can continue to grow and develop the business across Europe, the USA and other international markets.”

Jervis Rhodes, Head of Corporate Banking at BLME commented: “BLME is pleased to be supporting a market leader such as Impero to expand and develop their services in the UK and overseas. It is a challenge for many mid-market companies to secure reliable financing and gain bank support for management buy-outs. BLME is addressing this by providing competitive financing where we see attractive opportunities.”

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Iveda and ProphetStor Collaborate on Providing Software-Defined Storage for Cloud Video Hosting

News Release
For Immediate Release

Iveda and ProphetStor Collaborate on Providing
Software-Defined Storage for Cloud Video Hosting

Federator SDS TM to Maximize Operational Efficiency for Sentir™ Video Management

MESA, Ariz. and MILPITAS, Calif., May 28, 2014 — ProphetStor Data Services, Inc., a leader in Software-Defined Storage (SDS), and Iveda® (OTCQB:IVDA), the pioneer in cloud video hosting technology, today announced an agreement to collaborate on a software-defined storage infrastructure for providing enterprise class cloud video surveillance to its customers.

Iveda is implementing ProphetStor Federator SDS TM to orchestrate existing storage silos and commodity hardware into a high performance, intelligent storage system for the Sentir Intercloud platform. This allows Iveda to provide its customers with a leading video management platform optimized across public and private cloud deployments for device provisioning, video streaming, and cloud video analytics.

“We choose ProphetStor because its Federator SDS solution greatly simplifies storage infrastructure management through software-defined storage,” said David Ly, Chairman and CEO of Iveda. “Leveraging Federator SDS with our Sentir video management platform allows us to maximize our storage capabilities, minimize the infrastructure cost, and optimize cloud service operations across the board for our customers. With the partnership, we are ready to provide the first Big Video Data in the industry.”

Iveda and ProphetStor are partnering on the architecture design and technical specifications for a Big Video Data cloud storage infrastructure to serve as the template for internal operations. Federator is providing automatic discovery and abstraction of physical storage resources into virtual pools classified by capabilities and performance, along with centralized management, automated storage provisioning, and dynamic monitoring and scheduling of resources to meet storage demands. The resulting template will serve as the basis to build infrastructure and provide services to consumers, mobile users, as well as companies and institutions in the residential, small-medium business, enterprise and government market.

“Inefficient storage management is a real concern since it is the cost bottleneck in private and public clouds. ProphetStor is pleased to partner with Iveda to optimize their storage environment and to play a key partner role in their cloud video service offerings,” said Eric Chen, ProphetStor CEO. “With a proficient, scalable, and future-proof storage infrastructure in place, Iveda can enable new and innovative services that meet the demands for volume, complexity, and responsiveness of the real-time, large scale video services marketplace.”

About Iveda
Iveda (OTCQB:IVDA) is a premier cloud video hosting service provider, a technology innovator, and a provider of enterprise-class Video Surveillance as a Service (“VSaaS”) solutions. The Company has received a SAFETY Act Designation from the Department of Homeland Security as a Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technology Provider.

The Company is headquartered in Mesa, Arizona and has a wholly-owned subsidiary in Taiwan (MEGAsys). Its common stock trades on the OTCQB under the symbol “IVDA”. For additional information call (800) 385-8616 or visit www.iveda.com.

Additional Resources:
• Follow Iveda on Twitter and Facebook
• Connect with Iveda on LinkedIn

About ProphetStor Data Services, Inc.
ProphetStor Data Services, Inc., a leader in Software-Defined Storage (SDS), provides federated storage solutions to enable data centers to scale out and cut storage costs greatly for both commercial and open source solutions.

ProphetStor was founded in 2012 by seasoned storage experts, with extensive experience in cloud computing platforms, software based networked storage, data services, and BC/DR solutions.

Headquartered in Milpitas, California, ProphetStor has branch offices in Asia-Pacific regions to serve international customers. For more information, visit www.prophetstor.com.

Additional Resources
• Follow ProphetStor on Twitter, Facebook and Google+
• Connect with ProphetStor on LinkedIn

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ProphetStor Federator is a trademark of ProphetStor Data Services, Inc. in the US and other countries. Iveda is a registered trademark and Sentir is a trademark of Iveda Solutions, Inc. All other company and product names contained herein may be trademarks of their respective holders.

For more information, contact:
Seetha Subramany Carrie R. Foote
ProphetStor Data Services, Inc. Iveda
(408) 508-6255 ext. 708 (480) 307-8704
seetha.devi@prophetstor.com cfoote@iveda.com

Herman Chin
for ProphetStor Data Services, Inc.
(408) 508-6255 ext. 702
pr@prophetstor.com

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Schoology Wins Top Award for Best Overall Education Technology Product at SIIA CODiEs

NEW YORK – May 28, 2014—At the 2014 CODiE awards, known as the “Oscars” for education technology, Schoology took home three awards including the top honor of Best Education Solution. CODiEs, awarded by the Software Information and Industry Association (SIIA), recognize leading products in the business software, digital content, and education technology industries. Schoology not only won its category as Best K-12 Course or Learning Management System, but went on to win both the Best PK-12 Solution and the top award, Best Education Solution. Click to tweet.

All CODiE winners of the 28 education categories are automatically considered for the top three awards: Best PK-12 Solution, Best Postsecondary Solution, and ultimately, the Best Education Solution. These top award recipients are determined by the highest combined scores from two rounds of industry judging. Schoology took home two of these top awards: Best PK-12 Solution and Best Education Solution. See all the winning products here.

“We are thrilled to be recognized with three awards at the 2014 CODiEs among all the excellent products entered into this year’s contest,” said Jeremy Friedman, CEO of Schoology. “We share this honor with our community of educators from around the world. The insight, dedication and enthusiasm from our user community have helped make Schoology the award-winning product it is today.”

“SIIA’s 2014 Education CODiE Award winners are some of the most innovative, high-impact education products out there,” said Karen Billings, vice president of the SIIA Education Division. “We congratulate all of this year’s CODiE Award winners, and thank them for the contributions they have made to the education industry.”

Schoology manages curriculum, assessments, grading and other classroom management tasks and is also a communication platform for educators and students in K-12 and higher education. In traditional, online or blended classrooms, Schoology improves learning outcomes not only because of its ability to manage and integrate resources but also in helping teachers evaluate student mastery on educational standards.

About Schoology
New York City-based Schoology—used by more than four million users in over 50,000 K-12 schools and universities around the world—combines dynamic learning management, an easy-to-use collaborative interface and next-generation API integration into one innovative solution. Schoology transforms learning into a media-rich interactive experience where students, teachers, parents and administrators work together to raise student achievement worldwide. Available as a free stand-alone product and as a fee-based integrated enterprise-class solution deployed in schools or across districts, Schoology is user-centric and scalable for any blended learning environment. More information at schoology.com or @schoology.

About SIIA
SIIA is the leading association representing the software and digital content industries, representing approximately 700 member companies worldwide that develop software and digital information content. The SIIA Education Division serves and represents more than 200 member companies that provide software, digital content and other technologies that address educational needs. The Division shapes and supports the industry by providing leadership, advocacy, business development opportunities and critical market information. For more information, visit www.siia.net/education.

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‘The EDvantage’ Infographic Reveals Other Side of Finals Week Story

Arlington, Va. (May 29, 2014) – While students are putting in long hours studying for final exams, a new infographic reveals faculty are working just as hard preparing and grading the exams their students are taking. The EDvantage, a free online resource hub for educators, releases an infographic highlighting the habits of higher education faculty members during finals week. The infographic offers insights into the pressures professors face and the ways they deal with the stress.

The infographic reveals that 58 percent of faculty dedicate 5–19 hours per class preparing final exams, and the same percentage reported spending 10-30 minutes grading each student’s exam. During that time, 24 percent of faculty admit to drinking 10-15 cups of coffee.

“Finals week is often so focused on the students that work the faculty are doing is overlooked,” said Josh Owens, director of The EDvantage. “This infographic shines a spotlight on the hard work put forth by faculty and shows that finals week is not just a stressful time for students.”

Data for the infographic were gathered from a May 2014 survey conducted with faculty members in U.S. two- and four-year colleges and universities by The EDvantage. Launched in October 2013, The EDvantage curates high-quality resources, including videos, articles, and supplemental learning guides, so instructors can spend less time searching and more time teaching.

The full infographic is available for download at theedvantage.org.

About The EDvantage
The EDvantage is a free online resource hub for educators. The online portal curates high-quality resources, including videos, articles and supplemental learning guides, so instructors can spend less time searching and more time teaching. Designed to provide educators with creative supplements, The EDvantage is a dynamic resource for professors and high school teachers looking to expand their lessons beyond the traditional textbook. Resources embrace views from across the ideological spectrum, encouraging the development of critical thinking skills. The EDvantage is a project of the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University. For more information, visit www.theEDvantage.org.

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Media Contacts:
– Josh Owens, The EDvantage, jowens@ihs.gmu.edu, 703-993-8855
– Saul Hafenbredl, C. Blohm & Associates, saul@cblohm.com, 608-216-7300, ext. 25

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5 ways to use Instagram for higher ed

Higher Ed administrators and officials can use Instagram to promote their university and broadcast events

InstagramInstagram is not just for teens and celebrities posting pictures of their favorite food, pets, and vacation spots.

Like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, administrators and officials can use Instagram to promote collegiate activities, beautiful university attractions and landmarks, and important alumni events.

Watch this clip for more on how you can implement Instagram in higher ed.

(Next page: 5 ways to use Instagram for higher ed)

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Infographic: Impact of social media in education

College students love social media, but can also find it to be a distraction in the classroom

social-media-studentsSocial media has many uses in education.

It can be used for recruitment, attracting students to a specific campus through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Youtube. It can be used for safety, serving as network of warnings and alerts during emergencies. It can be used simply to better communicate with the student body.

But for all of social media’s benefits, some professors are still wary of the medium. According to the results of a survey of 8,000 faculty members conducted by Babson Survey Research Group and Pearson, more than half of faculty use social media in a professional context, a ten percent jump from last year’s 45 percent. Slightly more than 70 percent use social media for personal purposes.

At the same time, only four out of 10 faculty members reported using social media in the classroom.

Nearly 60 percent of the respondents said that online and mobile technologies create a better learning environment, but more than half of faculty said they think the technologies are more distracting than helpful for academic use. There is evidence to support those concerns.

And a new infographic, released by Edynco, claims that many students feel the same way.

(Next page: Four reasons why students have a love-hate relationship with social media in the classroom as well)

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