Survey: Students want more digital engagement on campus

The increasing number of internet-ready devices flowing to college campuses gives institutions the opportunity to create more engaging and dynamic learning environments, according to a new survey.

More than half of surveyed students bring at least two of their own internet-connected devices with them to campus, according to the TopHat survey of more than 500 college students. Because students use technology for almost every aspect of their lives, universities should focus on offering access to engaging and interactive materials.

The survey shows that students want interactive digital course materials; 36 percent of students said they learn best from an interactive digital text, compared to only 19 percent who said they learn best from a static PDF course pack.…Read More

Wow: This app measures campus cellular download speeds

Researchers at Rochester Institute of Technology developed a new smartphone app that allows users to measure the actual download speeds of cellular providers and compare results in the specific geographic area. It also has security capabilities that can protect users’ identities.

RIT Cellular Metrics, the new app, simultaneously maps coverage areas and details the performance levels of cellular carriers in the area. The app is free and available through the Google Play store for Android devices.

“We developed a custom app because we wanted to know exactly which carrier—AT&T, Verizon, Sprint or T-Mobile—had the fastest connection speed at a given location, not just which had faster speed or better coverage on a regional level,” said Clark Hochgraf, associate professor of telecommunications engineering technology in RIT’s College of Applied Science and Technology and a member of the research team.…Read More

In the event of an emergency, could you reach your traveling students, staff, and faculty?

Imagine a scenario where a group of faculty and students are traveling. Pretty typical, right? Now imagine that destination unexpectedly becomes the epicenter of a 6.4 magnitude earthquake. Immediately, the you ask yourself: Do we have anyone there? Who are they? Are they ok? How can we quickly confirm the faculty and students’ safety? How can we provide support for those who need it? What will we tell their frantic families?

This is every administrator’s worst nightmare. On any given day, you likely have faculty that are halfway around the world facilitating research; student athletes traveling to sporting events in another state; or even a choir traveling across town for a concert. Regardless of the distance traveled, as an administrator you have a legal and moral responsibility to ensure their safety and security always–whether there is an incident or not.

Incidents can scale from something as simple as someone getting sick or having an allergic reaction to unexpected political unrest. Regardless, you need to be asking yourself, am I ready? Do I know where all the traveling students, faculty, and staff are right now? Do I have the systems in place to quickly communicate with my students and staff? Do they know who to reach out to for help?…Read More

These states offer good jobs that don’t require 4-year degrees

Nearly half the states in the U.S. have good blue-collar jobs that pay without bachelor’s degrees, according to a new state-level analysis of the 30 million jobs in the economy for those with less than a bachelor’s degree.

The report and companion website, from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce (Georgetown Center) in partnership with JPMorgan Chase & Co., also reveal that more good jobs have been going to associate’s degree holders than workers with no more than a high school diploma in nearly every state since 1991.

“Good Jobs That Pay without a B.A.: A State-by-State Analysis” finds that 34 states added good non-BA jobs between 1991 and 2015. Texas, Arizona, and states in the South and West experienced the fastest growth in these jobs.…Read More

Higher ed’s 3 digital literacy resolutions for the new year

A new year has arrived, and thoughts have turned to resolutions we hope to uphold. Now is an opportune time to reevaluate the skills students are learning and will rely on as they move on to life after graduation.

While the courses students take will expand their breadth of knowledge and grow their intellect, many of the post-graduation skills students need are what we call “soft skills.” Soft skills can enhance students’ learning and improve their assignments, and they also can improve students’ chances of employment upon graduation. Perhaps the biggest soft skill? Digital literacy.

The New Media Consortium’s 2017 Digital Literacy Impact Study offers a detailed insight into what digital literacy means for today’s students, what employees are looking for, and how higher education institutions can improve digital literacy.…Read More

Survey: Students sing praises for digital learning tech

Ninety-four percent of students in a new survey said digital learning technologies have helped them retain new concepts, and 53 percent said they prefer classes that use such tools.

McGraw-Hill Education’s fourth annual Digital Study Trends Survey, compiled by Hanover Research, includes responses from more than 1,000 college students.

Sixty percent of surveyed students said they think digital learning technologies have improved their grades, and one-fifth said those technologies significantly improved their grades. Students in STEM majors were the most likely to say technology has positively impacted their grades.…Read More

Higher ed’s ‘shadow IT’ headache

Technology is shaping the future of higher education–there’s no denying it. Edtech touches every component of campus life, creating an IT infrastructure that rivals that of an enterprise.

Much like the CIO of a sprawling tech company, the CIO of a higher education institution is tasked with the same to-do list–maintaining and supporting each department’s technology needs, meeting industry regulations and compliance standards, etc.

However, where these two CIOs diverge lies in the wrangling of shadow IT.…Read More

CAOs tell all on their top 4 IT priorities

A resounding majority of chief academic officers (CAOs) (86 percent) said they believe digital learning tools and resources make learning more efficient and effective for students, according to a recent survey.

In the same survey, Provosts, Pedagogy, and Digital Learning Survey, 92 percent of those CAOs said adaptive learning technology has great potential to improve learning outcomes for students. Nearly 90 percent said they would like their faculty to use adaptive learning technologies more in entry-level and gateway courses.

Despite this enthusiasm, less than one-third of surveyed CAOs said they believe their campus investment in data analysis and managerial analytics, as well as IT resources and support services, for students and faculty has been very effective.…Read More

#1: These are the top 10 workforce skills students will need by 2020

[Editor’s note: This story, originally published on June 20th of this year, was our #1 most popular story of the year. Happy holidays, and thank you for tuning into our 2017 countdown!]

Today’s workforce, as nearly everyone knows, is increasingly global. And with that global nature comes fierce competition–students will need an arsenal of workforce skills in order to stand out from their peers.

According to a recent McGraw-Hill Education survey, just 40 percent of college seniors said they felt their college experience was helpful in preparing for a career. Alarmingly, that percentage plummeted to 19 percent for women answering the same question.…Read More