Can coaching help college presidents to cope?

The college presidency, Mark Twain once said, is the “greatest of all callings” for its potential to shape young minds. It is certainly not the easiest calling today. The responsibilities and challenges beyond the ”day job” of running the institution are immense. Nearly half of presidents say they lack time to think and reflect, according to the American Council on Education’s most recent American College Presidents Study.

Yet time to reflect is critical for presidents in an era of tremendous flux in higher education, with each institution plotting its future course without confidence in what academia will look like in 10 or 20 years. For the college president, dealing with ambiguity, absorbing new skills and technologies, and adapting to change can’t be done within the space of policy meetings, planning sessions, donor lunches, or sporting events.

A new source of help…Read More

Why you should approach “fluidity” in mobile technology–because miracles can happen

In September 2012, while speaking at a global conference on educational transformation in Toronto, I predicted  that I would witness two computational miracles in my lifetime. The first of these miracles had already occurred. Over the span of just 15 years, I had watched the power of a Cray Research Supercomputer be placed in the palm of a student’s hand via a smartphone. The second miracle, I said then, would come in the next few years: Student information systems (SISs) would be placed in the palms of all students’ hands, allowing them to personalize their educational experience and navigate their own pathways to success.

I had a front-row seat to that first miracle. I started my engineering and computer career at Cray Research and spent 12 years mesmerized by the power of supercomputing while training others how to run and operate such computational power. Next, I worked at Sungard Higher Education, now known as Ellucian, where I watched supercomputing move inside classrooms and eventually to smartphones.

In 2014, I made one more transition–to Oral Roberts University (ORU). The Board of Trustees and president quickly made clear that we had a mandate to use technology to provide the entire world with “whole-person education,” educating students in mind, body, and spirit. Just a few years later, ORU celebrated the grand opening of its world-class, state-of-the-art Global Learning Center. The center will provide mobile connectivity from anywhere in the world to ORU’s whole-person education initiatives and our SIS.…Read More

WPI to host institute on project-based learning

Nearly 40 schools applied for program that leverages real-world experiential education

project-basedWorcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) will host an intensive program this summer to collaborate with other colleges and universities looking to engage students in project-based learning at their own institutions.

The 2015 Institute on Project-Based Learning will run from June 25 to June 27 on WPI’s campus. Offered in partnership with the Association of American Colleges and Universities, the Institute aims to help colleges and universities identify innovative ways to engage students in powerful learning experiences that not only prepare them for the real world, but have demonstrated value for graduates in the job market.

While WPI received applications from 38 institutions, it was able to admit teams from 18 local, national, and international colleges and universities.…Read More

Video applications skyrocket university admissions

Goucher College’s innovative video application process has proven to be a major success. What are their best practices and what kind of students did they attract?

video-admissions-work-311Does your institution think video admissions are just a flash in the pan gimmick? Well, it might be time to reconsider that stance. One of the first colleges to utilize video submissions as a decisive factor in their admissions process has just completed their risky experiment; and according to not only student feedback but hard data, it was an innovation that paid off big-time.

Launched last September, Baltimore, Maryland-based Goucher College became the nation’s first college to offer self-produced video as the crux of their admission decision through their Goucher Video App. For students applying via the GVA, all they needed to submit was the two-minute video, a brief application form, a signed statement of academic integrity, and two works of scholarship.

“We wanted to do something bold…and find a different way to access a student’s potential to achieve in college,” said Christopher Wild, an admissions counselor and project manager who  worked with the GVA from its inception to reviewing the applications. “Video is a great way to get to know students and learn who they are in a way that is comfortable for their generation.”…Read More

10 hottest technology topics for CIOs

10 of the hottest disruptive technologies in higher education, as revealed by EDUCAUSE and enthusiastic CIOs

technologies-higher-educationThe annual EDUCAUSE conference is where innovative higher education CIOs go to learn about new industry trends and compare notes on the latest breakthroughs.

This year was no exception as 7,300 IT leaders from more than 50 countries gathered in Orlando along with 260 educational technology exhibitors. Discussions took place in session rooms, on the exhibition floor, after the keynotes, and throughout the hallways.

These are the common threads that permeated those discussions; the ten hottest topics for CIOs in higher education:…Read More

Accreditation is bigger than a chicken-and-egg problem

How to end the chicken-and-egg accreditation games around access to federal dollars

accreditation-higher-educationSylvia Manning, former president of the regional accrediting agency, the Higher Learning Commission, who was also infamously embroiled in the closure of Altius Education, has published a paper with the American Enterprise Institute on—ironically—how to make way for innovation through accreditation.

In this report, Manning describes a chicken-and-egg conundrum of accreditation: new institutions cannot get accredited unless they have students, but in order to have students, you need to attract them with access to financial aid. In other words, she explains, it “is not possible to both preserve the time test of accreditation and hurry up accreditation for new institutions.”

Manning draws a useful analogy between this chicken-and-egg problem and construction/occupancy permits: “In higher education, accreditation is the occupancy permit that allows a school to operate, yet there is no building permit equivalent to facilitate new entrants coming into the market.”…Read More

Being a social CIO at a liberal arts college

David J. Hinson, former EVP & CIO at Hendrix College and eCampus News advisory board member, explains what it’s like to be a Chief Information Officer at a liberal arts college

liberal-arts-collegePerhaps the most important role that a Chief Information Officer has, is to be an advocate for the role of technology at the senior leadership level.

We live in a world of ubiquitous connectivity, knowledge, and entertainment. How do we incorporate that “new normal” into the residential college experience?

A significant component of what I do is focus a lens on what technology means for today’s students, and to insert that perspective into the priorities of the College.…Read More

How Office Mix is a powerful tool for blended or flipped learning

15 features that make the free Office Mix software a resource for any teacher involved in flipped or blended learning

office-mix-learningOffice Mix is a free addition for PowerPoint 2013 that lets you turn PowerPoint documents into interactive online lessons or presentations. It takes any existing or new PowerPoint presentation to a whole new level, making it easy to create resources for flipped or blended learning. Here are 15 reasons Office Mix should be part of your “teaching toolbox.”

1. You can leverage existing resources.

Many teachers have existing PowerPoint presentations on a variety of topics. These presentations can be revisited and reused by quickly converting them to a Mix. With little time and effort, an existing teaching resource that is only moderately effective in a flipped or blended learning environment can become a much more effective learning resource. The difference between these two types of resources is outlined in the article “It’s called blended learning (not blended teaching) for a reason.”…Read More

Choosing college: What we don’t know

Rachel Fishman, a policy analyst for the Education Policy Program at the New America Foundation, explains how students make their college-going and financing decisions

colleges-educationEvery September, over one million newly minted high school grads load up the family car with their possessions and head to State U or a private liberal arts college to spend the next four years coming of age in a cozy campus environment.

Homecomings, studying on the quad, sitting in a classroom taught by a bespectacled professor with a tweed coat and patches on his elbows, and attending football games and frat parties during the weekend are common images in mainstream media and movies about college life.

The problem is that this image of college is far from accurate. And it prevents researchers and policymakers from crafting policies that will improve the outcomes of all students, not just this traditional archetype.…Read More

4 keys to survival in a rapidly changing ed-tech market

Connor Gray, chief strategy officer at Campus Management, shares four strategies for ed-tech leaders to adapt to new innovation

HR-PI-institutions(Editor’s note: This article is part of “Industry Insights,” a new column in which ed-tech executives offer advice and opinions for campus leaders to consider.)

When Borders Books opened in Ann Arbor, Mich., more than 40 years ago, the company was ahead of its time. The Borders brothers had created an inventory system that tailored each store’s offerings to its community. As recently as 2010, the company boasted 511 superstores in the U.S.

What a difference a year can make. When Borders liquidated its remaining stores in 2011, among the reasons cited for its demise was the company’s failure to foresee the rise of eBooks.…Read More