7 trends in education operations health

University IT teams say they struggle to find a balance between accommodating more devices on campus while dealing with limited IT resources, according to a new survey on education operations.

The Education Operations Health Index, an annual report from Dude Solutions based on operations statistics and a 25-question survey, gauges sentiments from K-12, higher education, and industry to determine general dispositions toward education facilities.

The survey can help institutions self-assess and make better decisions.…Read More

Ithaca College embarks on solar project

NY-Sun initiative with NYSERDA supports solar project that will meet 10 percent of campus electricity needs

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and Ithaca College announced that construction is underway on a 2.9 megawatt (MW) solar electric project that will provide enough electricity to meet approximately 10 percent of the college’s energy needs. The project will produce clean, renewable and sustainable energy for the college, lower its energy costs and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

Richard Kauffman, Chair of Energy and Finance for New York State, said, “Increasing the use of solar energy is a critical component of Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy vision, and through our NY-Sun initiative, the State has achieved unprecedented solar growth. I applaud the efforts of Ithaca College, along with those of residents, businesses and organizations across New York, whose solar projects help us achieve our aggressive renewable energy goals, combat climate change and build a clean energy economy.”

The Ithaca College project, which is expected to be completed by summer, will feature a solar array of more than 9,000 panels on 15 acres of land in the Town of Seneca, Ontario County, approximately 40 miles from campus. The solar installation will generate an estimated 3.55 million kilowatt-hours of electricity in the first year of operation, the equivalent of powering 500 average-sized homes in New York. The solar panels will offset 888 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalents annually, which is comparable to taking 187 cars off the road.…Read More

Is poor facilities management costing higher ed billions?

Report from facilities management company says colleges and universities could drastically improve the allocation of faculty and space.

facilities-managment-educationHigher education, nationally, could save roughly $14.7B by tightening the use of their facilities and better manage course scheduling. That’s just one major finding of a recent report that aims to help the higher education arena cut costs and ease tuition burdens by examining facilities management.

Ad Astra Information Systems, L.L.C.—a company that offers data-informed software solutions and professional services to help allocate space and faculty resources, forecast student demand, and accelerate student completions—has collaborated with more than 800 campuses and many state systems toward what the company says is “effective stewardship of instructional resources and improving student outcomes.”

This report from the company reflects national averages derived from its Information Systems’ Higher Education Scheduling Index (HESI) database of 114 colleges and universities. The performance metrics track allocation of faculty and space on these campuses.…Read More

A multi-modal approach to emergency alerts

A free workshop on emergency alerts will be presented at the EduComm Expo this fall.

emergency-alertEduComm Expo (ECE) will feature a free half-hour on-floor workshop entitled, “Emergency Alerts: A Multi-modal Approach to Reaching the Entire Campus,” at its educational conference taking place at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta Sept. 30-Oct. 1.

The Wed., Sept. 30 workshop, to be presented by Amanda Grabowski, Business Systems Analyst, University of Michigan, from 2:30-3:00p.m., will discuss the variety of ways in which to broadcast emergency alert notifications to effectively reach the entire university community, specifically:

• How to assess audience needs and set goals for wayfinding directories and off-screen takeaways, as well as where touchscreens should reside.
• What assets are required to get started with a wayfinding design and how to map out wayfinding paths and network considerations for hosting and maintenance.
• A review of project phases including needs assessment, asset validation, location and mapping, creative design/build, implementation, testing and maintenance.…Read More

New safety app used by more than 100 higher education institutions in U.S.

Rave Guardian App bringing added safety, protection to more than 13,500 students, faculty and staff at Georgia Regents’ main campus and medical centers.

rave-safetyRave Mobile Safety (Rave) announced Georgia Regents University (GRU), located in Augusta, Ga., has deployed the Rave Guardian Campus Safety App to better protect its more than 13,500 students, faculty, and staff.

Rave’s Guardian App now protects students at more than 100 higher education institutions across the United States.

“At Georgia Regents University, we are committed to providing our students, faculty and staff with the tools they need to make our campus as safe as possible,” said William McBride, chief of police at Georgia Regents University. “With Rave’s Guardian App, we are giving our entire campus a very intuitive, powerful tool to increase their safety. It’s reputation as the industry standard made partnering with Rave a very easy decision for our community.”…Read More

Here’s why the campus still matters

Students create viral videos on the benefits of a college campus

campus-students-videosWith the advent of educational technology, a number of benefits have been touted for online learning and its independence from a physical campus. However, according to some college students, there are a number of benefits to being on campus that are still relevant for today’s savvy students.

Herman Miller Education, a furniture and interior design company, recently asked students from campuses across the U.S. ‘Why does your campus matter?’ Outside of the obvious business and marketing perks to hosting this competition, students created thoughtful videos on the topic, voicing their opinions on the relevance of a physical campus that, perhaps, general media and proponents of online education are quick to dismiss.

For example, first place winner Kevin Czarnik, a Kendall College of Art and Design student, described in his video, “A Space for Creativity,” that “campus informs and shapes my creative and academic endeavors.”…Read More

Program takes eWaste off universities’ hands, replaces it with cash

The United States produces about 2 million tons of eWaste – obsolete electronics and accessories like empty inker cartridges — each year.

In 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency estimated that the United States produced 2.37 million tons of eWaste – obsolete electronics and accessories like old computers, dead phones, and empty inker cartridges.

Only a quarter of those materials were recycled, meaning more than 1.7 million pounds of eWaste that could have been reused or broken down into parts was just disposed of or incinerated.

College campuses, with their abundance of printers, computers, and tech savvy students, can be one of the main sources of this waste. Now FundingFactory, a recycling program for schools and nonprofits, has created a new initiative targeting universities’ eWaste recycling habits.…Read More

Arizona State University, Canon work to create a more sustainable university

ASU’s partnership with Canon began in 2006.

Seven years into a system-wide sustainability initiative, Arizona State University is on track to become completely carbon neutral by the year 2025. And it’s not just the campus environment that’s being saved — the university has reduced costs by $2 million a year.

The project, called Sustainable Digital University, is a partnership with Canon, the imaging and electronics company. Through the arrangement, the university uses discounted Canon technology to reduce both costs and the number of printing and copying devices on campus.

For example, a Canon multi-function device can copy, fax, print and scan, potentially replacing four different machines. Canon also plans on introducing digital replacements for traditional print methods.…Read More

Students’ reliance on Wi-Fi multiplies

A new survey shows that college students consider Wi-Fi access essential to their educational success.

A recent survey by the Wi-Fi Alliance and Wakefield Research discovered that 90 percent of college students consider Wi-Fi access to be essential to their educational success.

As reported in an Online Colleges illustrated infograph, 79 percent of students said that without Wi-Fi service, college would be much more difficult. About three in four students reported that Wi-Fi service helped improve their educational performance and earn them better grades, while 44 percent said they used Wi-Fi to increase their productivity, often using Wi-Fi service to get a head start on an assignment while class is still in session.

Wi-Fi availability is a major determining factor of where students travel to complete their assignments. Fifty-two percent of students said they often travel to coffee shops well-known for reliable connections, while 42 percent reported frequenting bookstores. Thirty-three percent of students said they often study in restaurants that boast solid Wi-Fi connections.…Read More

Virtualization taking root on campus

Virtualization saves colleges money while conserving resources.

Virtualization technology is taking hold in higher education, helping colleges reallocate existing resources to save space, time, energy, and money—while often extending the life of older computers.

Using virtualization, specialized software tricks a single desktop or server into thinking that it’s many systems simultaneously, each with its own independent operating system.

A single computer or server is able to project mirrored images of its operating system onto other platforms, but these platforms are independently capable of completing different tasks simultaneously. The virtualized environments look identical to the standard computer to which users are accustomed, and users are free to access applications and programs normally.…Read More