LinkedIn bolsters higher education with new tool for universities

New button available for institutions allows alumni and students to showcase their educational accomplishments and bolster the institution’s reputation.

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Students are the beating heart of any educational institution – and long after they graduate from a college or university, they remain an important and vital representation of that institution and all it has to offer.

Today, colleges and universities may now invite their graduates to showcase their degrees and certificates on their LinkedIn profiles – all with the click of a button. Through LinkedIn’s “Add to Profile” program, educational institutions can embed a link on their websites and in emails sent directly to graduates.

When graduates click the “Add to Profile” button, they’ll have the option to add that achievement directly to the “Education” section of his/her LinkedIn profile by previewing it and hitting “Save”.

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(Next page: How it helps universities gain, or continue, standing)

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Why boosting student employment takes a match-maker

Over 1,000 colleges and universities are turning to a data-driven match-maker to help pair students with the right jobs—and to tweak course offerings to meet employer needs.

career-match-employerMore than ever, colleges are being judged by the kinds of jobs their students land after graduation…and whether or not they land them.

In a rapidly changing global economy, however, preparing students for tomorrow’s jobs is no easy task. To meet that challenge, schools are increasingly turning to technology to help identify needed skill sets and tailor their curricula to an evolving marketplace.

“Universities and colleges are really trying to keep up with what employers need,” said Trudy Steinfeld, assistant vice president and executive director of the Wasserman Center for Career Development at New York University. “Not everybody is going to go on to graduate school or pursue an academic track. Most people are going to work and they have to have the skills that employers are seeking.”

(Next page: Using a data-driven career match-maker)

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New “marketing cloud” aims to change the retention game

Industry giant designs specific solution to try and help higher-ed marketers enhance outreach to drive greater student success.

engagement-studentsTo better help higher education institutions enhance student enthusiasm and retention, Oracle has introduced Oracle Marketing Cloud for student engagement.

The scalable, industry-specific solution is designed to help marketers in higher education institutions of all sizes improve student success by enhancing targeting and engagement, and improving orchestration of student marketing efforts across multiple channels.

Higher education institutions are going through a rapid transformation that is influenced by changes in government and shifting student expectations.

These changes combined with increased competition for enrollment, increasing dropout rates and new funding criteria make it more important than ever for higher education institutions to implement marketing programs that can both attract and retain students and engage alumni.

(Next: How the solution targets student engagement and success)

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Op-ed: 5 actions to rescue universities from extinction

Professor and co-author of A Whole New Engineer: The Coming Revolution in Engineering Education, discusses controversial ideas on why universities are “so dysfunctional;” and details recommendations on how universities can adapt, survive and thrive.

extinction-change-universitiesUniversities are as outmoded as buggy whips.

The cost and value of a college education is increasingly in question or under attack, public university budgets are being slashed, and traditional colleges and universities are challenged by new forms of educational institutions and by students and parents who increasingly just say “no.”

Even the research mission of the university is being challenged by independent researchers with easy access to expert information and good ideas.

But what are causing these upheavals in higher-ed? Here are five specific problems that threaten university education with extinction:

1. Universities produce dull experts, not unleashed originals. The university was created as an assembly of experts in 1088 with the founding of the University of Bologna. This operating system worked well through the better part of nine centuries, but the quality revolution, entrepreneurial revolution, and information technology revolution create a vastly different world from the one mid-20th century.

Today we seek to educate the next Steve Jobs and other unleashed originals, those who can integrate different kinds of thinking, experience, and imagination in creative ways.

(Next page: Faculty ego, hierarchies, the “dark ages”)

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Why educators should use online assessments like gym equipment

Why frequent, low-stakes, online assessments can help improve student learning and retention.

online-assessments-gymYou may think that comparing online assessments to hitting the gym is an odd comparison—but it’s an accurate one when considering strengthening learning pathways in students’ brains.

Take, for example, the principle of deconditioning. To maintain their physical fitness and endurance, athletes must routinely exercise. Stop exercising and their level of conditioning begins to dramatically decline. Studies have shown, however, that athletes who need to take time off from training can still maintain a level of fitness if they exercise once a week.

Several analogous concepts can apply to student learning. One example is Ebbinghaus’ forgetting curve–the fact that learned knowledge is not durable, but can be lost if not rehearsed. “Time on task” is also recognized as a major factor in learning gains. In general, the more quality, focused time spent on an activity, the better the related learning outcomes.

This raises the question of what counts as “quality” – is there a specific way of spending the time or arranging the time that results in better performance?

(Next page: Spaced repetition and the role of online assessments)

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Dell boosts security, access capabilities

New social and mobile authentication capabilities combine convenience and security

dell-securityDell has released Dell One Identity Cloud Access Manager 8.0, which leverages Dell’s new Security Analytics Engine to give organizations control of web-based applications and OpenID Connect-compliant mobile application access activities within the organization.

This control improves security and enables easier, appropriate access across a wide range of application types and access scenarios. Adding new social and mobile authentication capabilities, Cloud Access Manager gives users secure and convenient access to the broadest range of both legacy and emerging applications, while providing IT with the security and control it requires.

Cloud Access Manager 8.0 addresses a number of customer pain points. Organizations today typically have a highly diverse user population as well as partners and customers who require access but are completely outside of IT’s control. All of these users require instant, always-on access to a variety of applications – on-premises, cloud-based and mobile – and IT must be able to provide this access with unparalleled security that enhances business agility, while still protecting critical corporate assets and data.

(Next page: New features and availability)

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University transforms student services with app platform innovation

University of Maryland launches its own app store platform to modernize campus service delivery.

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Consider it almost like Amazon, but for staff and student services on campus.

According to the University of Maryland, which has partnered with rSmart and Internet2, the University will provide access to approximately 130 campus services in one location, from any computer or mobile device.

With search and app-store-like features, the newly launched platform aims to simplify access to services ranging from class registration to email and replicates the communication capabilities and online shopping experiences people are accustomed to using.

“The central question of the cloud-based solution is ‘What would you like to do?,’ and it offers UMD’s more than 37,000 students and 9,000 faculty and staff one-stop shopping for Web apps and services, the ability to personalize their view by picking favorites, opportunities to provide service feedback–including the option to rank UMD services with stars–and more,” said a University spokesperson in a statement.

(Next page: The new platform’s features; building the future of campus services)

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How coding is connecting minorities to tech scholarships

Thanks to coding bootcamp, more than $400,000 in tuition scholarships will be awarded to women, minorities.

dev-bootcampDev Bootcamp is celebrating three years of helping individuals reach career goals with a renewed effort to encourage more women and underrepresented minorities to enter the tech sector.

Since Dev Bootcamp created what it says is the first coding skills bootcamp in 2012, career prospects for software developers have continued to grow. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that hiring of software developers, who earned a median $90,000 in 2012, will grow at twice the rate as the average for all occupations through 2022, spurring demand for more bootcamp-style developer training programs.

“We are proud of the progress we’ve made in opening doors and providing much needed skills training for those who previously knew nothing about coding. We recognize that we can make a greater impact in driving efforts to increase the representation of women and underrepresented minorities in the tech industry, and we are increasing our focus here,” said Anne Spalding, director of Dev Bootcamp’s San Francisco office.

(Next page: Dev Bootcamp’s pledge)

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The new higher-ed STEM: Social, collaborative

Why today’s students must go beyond rocket science; and how it’s a university’s obligation.

engineering-social-fairfieldWhat is the first thing you think of when you think ‘engineering major’? Do you think collaborative; conversational; social media-savvy with a history of experience explaining technical situations in layman’s terms?

It’s ‘the new normal’: Today’s workplace is telling graduates and institutions that simply having a degree oftentimes doesn’t cut it. Non-technical positions are requiring a comfort-level with technology skills. Technical positions are requiring a comfort-level with non-technical skills. This isn’t rocket science. Well, except when it is.

Concurrently, colleges are expected to provide more, for less, to a new-to-us student demographic.

That’s why at Fairfield University’s School of Engineering, a main goal has become infusing students with more than just the school’s traditional social embrace by way of the core.

(Next page: How one university creates “social” scientists)

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20 SXSWedu higher-ed sound bites

SXSWedu offered a wide variety of thought-provoking and innovative higher-ed sessions–see what panelists and attendees had to say.

higher-edDoes the traditional major-minor course design have a chance of surviving as today’s college and university students demonstrate a desire to design their own courses and competencies across a wide range of disciplines?

Can learning management systems evolve with education, or is it time for a new way to bring together instructors, students, and learning materials? How can investing in MOOC design yield benefits when it comes to student engagement and course completion?

During SXSWedu in Austin, Texas, panels of higher education instructors, technology staff, and industry experts debated a variety of technology and innovation challenges facing the university community.

Here, eCampus News features some of the most interesting and thought-provoking statements and sound bites from various SXSWedu sessions focusing on current issues in higher education. In each case, we’ve linked to the session descriptions to provide more information on the content and presenters.

(Next page: The best of SXSWedu)

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