The eCampus News 2014-15 Readers’ Choice Awards



Remind is a free communication platform built for educators. The product enables an educator to safely and efficiently interact with students and parents about important information relating to the classroom and school activities. Customers say Remind is safe and easy because teachers can engage students and parents without needing to upload cell phone numbers and without having to give their personal phone numbers out. “One way this service has been used on our campus is during field trips,” said Katie Rector, Lead Instructional Design Specialist at Oklahoma State University. “A faculty member can send out a reminder about where to meet the bus to everyone in the group in one step. Faculty also uses it to remind students about upcoming tests and assignments and about changes to the schedule or course.”


NetSight by Extreme Networks

NetSight is a single pane of glass management system that provides wired and wireless visibility and control from the data center to the mobile edge. The intelligence, automation, and integration of a school’s management software enable the IT organization to optimize the efficiency of network operations and reduce total cost of ownership. NetSight provides centralized visibility and granular control of enterprise network resources end to end. “No one else had the full level of policy that Extreme Networks had; a few vendors could do some policy but they didn’t have the management platform to push it out across the network,” said Dave Hayler, Director of IT Infrastructure & Systems at Appalachian State University. “Extreme Networks provides the ability to identify traffic that is taking the network down, write a policy that would attack that traffic and within minutes push a policy to every switch in the network to eliminate it. We rely heavily on the Extreme Networks policy function – it just works. If we see a problem with malicious traffic, we just write a policy and push it to the edge, and even if it’s just an individual or two, we can quarantine them with just a few clicks of a mouse.”


Respondus 4.0 from Respondus

Respondus 4.0 is a powerful application for creating and managing exams that can be printed to paper or published directly to Blackboard, ANGEL, Desire2Learn, Moodle, Pearson eCollege, and other learning systems commonly used on college campuses. “Respondus allows instructors to create a test from a Word or Plain Text document that will upload directly into a Blackboard class,” said Michael Jernigan, educational technology specialist at Crowder College in Missouri. “Respondus also can extract a test from Blackboard and create a printed form of the test to use as a backup plan. It does a lot more, but those two features are the most used at our college. It’s a time saver like no other.”



Web governance problems continuously plague educational institutions, as many departments view sites as their own, rather than as a collective part of the institution. As a result, usability suffers as users find sites graphically and textually diverse, and difficult to navigate. That’s where Siteimprove comes into play. “We use this suite of tools to monitor quality control, accessibility errors and make SEO improvements. Siteimprove scans our site continuously and reports dead links, spelling errors, accessibility errors and SEO problems that continue to crop up due to so many users contributing content to www through our CMS,” said Jason Slater, associate director of web communications at Union College in New York. “We’re able to present a more polished site and we have eliminated 80 percent of the accessibility errors originally discovered earlier this year which could have presented legal challenges. The suite is incredibly powerful and yet easy enough to hand off to student interns to do the majority of the maintenance.”