Guess what? Higher-ed innovation & student success starts with wi-fi

Before mobility became essential for student wellbeing, recruiting, and retention, we deployed a wi-fi network at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock that was adequate for meeting institutional requirements and academic demands. Fast-forward several years and our hodge-podge of antiquated equipment from multiple vendors couldn’t handle modern needs. Today, as we’re finishing up a major refresh, we’d like to share nine steps that were critical to gaining the right outcome for us.

Step 1: Articulate the primary goal–it’s more effective than it may seem
Despite sounding like a no-brainer, honing our business drivers into a concise primary goal proved effective because the exercise informed many of the ensuing steps. For us, the primary goal was modernizing our wi-fi to be a differentiator for attracting and retaining today’s mobility-empowered students by offering a home-like user-centric wireless experience to permit students to connect any device quickly, easily, and securely.

Step 2: Seek formal student involvement–what you learn can save the day
Like many institutions, we have a student IT advisory board that typically attracts those with a technology affinity. However, our wi-fi refresh would touch every student, regardless of their interest in the mechanics of making it work.…Read More

5 critical tips for implementing mobile technology

Tips include those for educators, IT staff and admin

mobile-technology-students Long gone are the days when having a phone in class was cause for dismissal, with professors and students eager to implement mobile technology into the classroom. The problem is, not all implementation is effective.

From knowing why IT woes occur on your campus to learning why apps aren’t always the saviors they’re marketed to be, these 5 tips can help educators get the most out of mobile learning.

Have any tips you’d like to share? Do you think mobile learning in class is all it’s cracked up to be? Leave your comments in the section below, email me at, or find me @eSN_Meris on Twitter.…Read More

Apps and analytics: The key to student engagement?

Bolstering engagement with students could hinge on how colleges and universities use real-time analytics.

analyticsInsight into how, when, and even why students interact with campus technologies has become a linchpin in maximizing efficiency, saving money, and optimizing the student experience in higher education.

Could these insights — analytics — be the key to bolstering student engagement on college campuses too?

Campus Quad, creators of a real-time mobile communication platform designed specifically for colleges and universities, has answered this question with a definitive “yes,” and their higher-ed customers, so far, agree.…Read More

5 ways mobile devices have (and haven’t) changed studying

With smartphones, students will study nearly anywhere — including on the toilet

mobile-devices-studyingCollege students now own an average of seven mobile devices, and spend nearly four hours a day interacting with their laptops, tablets, and smart phones. The bandwidth needs can be a headache for IT officials, but many universities continue to encourage their use through Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiatives.

Is the ubiquitous nature of mobile devices changing the studying habits of students?

Earlier this year, StudyBlue, an online studying platform, surveyed 1,000 students to learn how today’s students study, and how mobile devices factor into their learning.…Read More

Are campuses really mobile ready? And what does that mean?

New national survey reports on IT trends for campuses in 2014

campuses-mobile-resnet It’s not news to say that the IT demands placed on campuses across the country are skyrocketing, thanks to student, and administrator, need for mobile devices and communications access. But with the economy still in recovery, and technology use increasing at a beyond-rapid rate, are campuses really IT-ready? And how do you gauge readiness?

In a new report, “2014 ACUTA/NACUBO/ACUHO-I State of ResNet Report: ResNet Trends & Practices Across Higher Education,” more than 400 higher education institutions were surveyed to help admins and chief business officers address issues as the unprecedented growth in bandwidth and connectivity demands, budget restrictions, planning, policy considerations, staffing, and support.

The report is the third installment of a five year tracking study, and this year includes a wider scope, representing nearly twice as many stakeholders, with over three times the number of chief business officers responding compared to last year.…Read More

The business of ed-tech: From blue lights to mobile apps

Once ridiculed, mobile technology is bolstering campus safety through innovative apps

mobile-appsIt was in a 2009 safety committee meeting with University of Florida (UF) officials that Jordan Johnson first mentioned the potential impact of mobile technology in bolstering campus safety.

Johnson, then the UF student body president, was met with blank stares and quizzical looks. He acknowledged web-connected smartphones would need to be more ubiquitous on campus before they became a vital part of safety and security measures, but the reaction was less than welcoming.

“It was mainly making a forwarding-thinking comment,” said Johnson, who proposed the use of mobile technology to boost security after a rash of attacks on UF students. “I know they didn’t really take me seriously though. It was pretty clear the idea was seen as ridiculous.”…Read More

5 new ways students are choosing their colleges and universities

Survey reveals social choosing habits of graduating high school students; gives advice to colleges and universities

students-choose-collegeGone are the days when students chose their postsecondary education institution based off of U.S. News & World Report publications. In this mobile-enabled culture, today’s students are redefining how colleges and universities should market their offerings by using diverse online resources and social media word-of-mouth.

The 2014 Social Admissions Report, a survey of college-bound high school students, is designed to identify trends in digital, social and mobile tools represented in a student’s college search and enrollment process.

“Year after year new tools are created to help us organize, share and collaborate online,” said Uversity—a platform for social networking and higher education. “Inevitably when these tools hit the mainstream the debate begins as to the impact of these networks on the college search and recruitment process. Through thousands of student surveys and national focus groups, the Zinch, Chegg and Uversity teams have collaborated to complete the third installment of The Social Admissions Report.”…Read More

INFOGRAPHIC: The rise of mobile technology in higher education

Current stats, advice from experts give colleges and universities a grasp of higher-ed’s mobile influence

mobile-technology-educationAccording to numerous industry reports, as well as simple observation, mobile technology is booming in higher education. But do students still prefer laptops to tablets? What affect do tablets have on campus websites? How can universities create a killer app? Thanks to recent statistics, higher education can get a better handle on the influence of mobile technology.

In this infographic, you’ll find the most up-to-date information on the prevalence of mobile devices on campus, and how everything from the IT issues surrounding mobile devices to how faculty respond to the inclusion of mobile devices can affect implementation.

For example, did you know that even though use of tablets and smartphones is increasing, students still rate laptops as the most useful device? However, though laptops are currently students go-to device, tablets drive more traffic to campus websites than smartphones, accounting for 70 percent more page visits over smartphones.…Read More