Survey: Ed-tech vision stunted by stagnant budgets

Eighty-eight percent of faculty see challenges moving away from the traditional lecture model.

Higher-education technology leaders have long called for a shift to more technology-based learning—so what’s stopping the revolution? Results of a recent survey identify limited budget and outdated infrastructure as the primary obstacles impeding transition to a new learning model.

Responses revealed a strong pull toward increased use of technology: Two-thirds of students expressed desire for more technology in their classrooms, and 76 percent of IT staff reported that faculty requests for help with ed-tech implementation have increased in the last two years.

The survey, administered by major technology vendor CDW-G in May and June of 2012, asked 1,015 students, faculty, and IT staff about new learning models in high schools and higher education. CDW-G released the survey results June 26 as a report entitled “Learn Now, Lecture Later.”…Read More

Campus IT’s No. 1 worry: Protecting student, faculty data

College campuses have seen a major increase in the number of mobile devices since 2009.

Eight in 10 colleges and universities allow students to access the school network with any mobile device they bring to campus, but less than half have an official policy for enforcing certain security standards before a smart phone or computer tablet can use the school’s internet connection.

Those findings – along with a range of others showing campus technologists fret over student and faculty data security – were detailed in an April 16 report from CDW-G that listed higher education’s most persistent IT concerns.

Most college and university IT officials surveyed said their campus had taken basic information protection measures like installing web security filters, or using encrypted storage and data loss prevention programs as the number of people who access college networks has increased by 41 percent since 2009.…Read More

Higher ed cautiously embraces the cloud

Only 5 percent of colleges say they aren’t considering cloud computing options.

There’s a nightmare shared by college IT directors who have moved some of their online services to off-campus cloud computing networks: Becoming the focal point of a massive cloud data breach, and having to answer to administrators, students, and parents about what went wrong.

Even this disastrous scenario hasn’t kept higher education from moving—however tentatively—toward the cloud, at a higher rate than many industries.

Read more about cloud computing in higher education……Read More

Students give video lectures high marks

More than half of students said streaming lectures improved their grades.
More than half of students said streaming video lectures have improved their grades.

College students gave video lectures high marks in a recent survey, although many students supported the technology because it freed up more time for napping and hanging out with friends.

And three in 10 said their parents would be “very upset” if they knew just how often their child missed class and relied on their course web site.

A majority of students who responded to the survey, conducted by audio, internet, and video conferencing provider InterCall, said they would only attend a live lecture if an exam were scheduled for that day, or to borrow notes from a classmate. The survey didn’t indicate the percentage of students who took this position.…Read More

IT officials: Only one in 10 campuses have ‘cutting edge’ technology

Fourteen percent said professors simply 'won’t use' technology that is available to them
Fourteen percent of students said their professors simply 'won’t use' technology that is available to them.

Most college students say their schools understand how to use education technology in the lecture hall, but only 9 percent of campus IT officials describe their institution’s technology adoption as “cutting edge,” according to a survey released July 19.

The survey of more than 1,000 IT staff members, faculty, and college students, conducted by CDW Government Inc. (CDW-G), shows that three out of four students surveyed approved of their college’s use of technology, while highlighting two findings that concerned some technologists: only a sliver of respondents defined their campus technology as “cutting edge,” and far more IT staffers push for education technology than do instructors.

According to CDW-G’s report, 47 percent of respondents said their college campus uses hardware that is “no more than three years old,” and 38 percent said their campus’s technology infrastructure is “adequate, but could be refreshed.” Only 9 percent said their education technology is “cutting edge,” and 5 percent described their computer systems as “aging.”…Read More

Colleges turn to unified communications to save costs, boost productivity

More schools are implementing unified communications solutions.
More schools are implementing unified communications solutions.

More K-12 schools, colleges, and universities are turning to unified communications as a way to streamline campus communication and save money in unpredictable economic times, a new survey suggests.

Unified communications is the convergence of enterprise voice, video, and data services with software applications designed to achieve greater collaboration among individuals or groups and improve business processes. Component technologies include video, audio, and web conferencing; unified messaging; and more.

The benefits that education technology stakeholders see in implementing unified communications are the same that executives in the government and business sectors see, according to the second annual Unified Communications Tracking Poll from CDW Government Inc. (CDW-G), which provides products and services to education and other sectors.…Read More

Botnets continue to threaten campus networks

A network of more than 70,000 botnets were recently discovered in government and business computers.
A recently discovered botnet of more than 70,000 machines included many government and business computers.

Web security experts say campus IT officials should stop using students’ Social Security numbers as identifications, because about 5,900 known botnets have stolen valuable information from computers in many sectors, including higher education.

Shadowserver, an organization that tracks botnet incidents in governments, education, and the private sector, unveiled the running tally of botnets days before security firm Symantec released a report March 2 showing a 5.5 percent hike in spam eMail last month, spurred mostly by botnets. Spam now accounts for 90 percent of all eMail sent within the U.S., Symantec said.

A single botnet, called Grum, is responsible for 26 percent of worldwide spam, according to the Symantec report. The harmful spam messages were mostly disguised as pharmaceutical eMails.…Read More