Hyperconvergence in campus IT-Why taking a software approach is best

New technologies often fundamentally change how IT procures and operates infrastructure and Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) is no exception. HCI is the combination of compute and storage into an easy-to-manage solution that doesn’t require dedicated storage experts to keep it running.  The business case for selecting HCI over traditional infrastructure has long since been made (PDF).

Just like other new technologies, customers often do not know about system upgrades or refresh cycles that will occur in the future when they initially purchase these solutions. We are now at a stage where HCI solutions from multiple vendors have been proven in the field by thousands of organizations for at least one refresh cycle. With many organizations’ first HCI refreshes behind them, we have enough information to examine what happens when upgrading or refreshing HCI solutions.

Perhaps the most important lesson to come from analyzing data center HCI refreshes and upgrades is that not all HCI solutions are created equal. Much of the promised value of HCI requires an HCI solution with the fewest restrictions possible. Unfortunately, hardware or appliance-based HCI as implemented by many vendors didn’t live up to the flexibility claims that would have allowed customers to actually capitalize on this value when it came time to upgrade or refresh their HCI solution.…Read More

World-renowned futurist Michio Kaku: This is what higher ed should be teaching students right now

“The jobs of the future will be those that focus on intellectual capitalism, not commodity capitalism,” said Futurist, Physicist and Bestselling Author Michio Kaku during the recent 2017 EDUCAUSE conference keynote, held in Philadelphia, Pa.

This was the big reveal to the thousands of EDUCAUSE attendees ranging from college and university faculty to CIOs, and from some of the world’s leading tech companies to some of the country’s most prominent higher ed provosts and presidents—all anxiously awaiting what the crystal ball of the postsecondary future had to say through Kaku’s educated guess.

The Good News…Read More

6 ways video technologies are fundamentally shaping higher education

Video technologies’ continue to have a profound impact on higher-ed classrooms as educators and students report increases in achievement, engagement and active content creation, according to a new survey from Kaltura.

Ninety-nine percent of institutions report they have teachers regularly incorporating video technologies in their curriculum. More than half are using video for student assignments, with 21 percent reporting that more than half of their students actively create video (up from 10 percent in 2016). Seventy-three percent of higher education institutions use video technologies for remote teaching and learning.

The survey gathered responses from more than 1,000 educators, administrators, students, IT and media staff, and instructional designers.…Read More

6 musts when selecting an A+ identity and access management solution

Summer is over, and most colleges and universities are back in session. As with every year, the biggest challenge for IT departments presents itself during the lead-up to the first day of class and the first couple of weeks that follow. Unlike other industries, the education sector has specific identity and access management (IAM) needs. Provisioning accounts for new students and teachers, de-provisioning accounts of students and staff who have left, providing users secure access to the right resources, frequently changing users’ roles, and tracking changes to meet regulatory requirements are just the start.

With IT becoming an important part of the classroom, choosing an IAM solution that can meet all these demands is crucial for the day-to-day function of colleges and universities. Here are some pointers to keep in mind while shopping for an IAM solution that’s a fit for the education industry.

1. Dynamically Provision Accounts for Students …Read More

3 ways community colleges can slash costs with this technology

Higher education is experiencing more turbulence than ever before–changing and making business and finance models increasingly complex. As it stands now, higher education systems operate off a combination of tuition, philanthropy, investments, public funding and research dollars.

Yet, with enrollment patterns steadily declining and both state and federal funding decreasing, colleges and universities nationwide are struggling to keep education affordable for students, while also maintaining revenue and enrollment levels.

Where does this hit the hardest? Smaller community colleges outside of major urban areas can have less access to capital, so they suffer more financially than their four-year university counterparts. As the majority of community colleges are public institutions or not-for-profit organizations, they rely almost completely on state funding for their entire budget and annual planning.…Read More

University’s webstore harnesses this tech for success

Like many other universities, the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, Ill., has an e-commerce site for downloads and access to academic software. Like many other e-commerce sites, the U of I’s WebStore ran its shop from department-owned, physical servers until it switched to virtual machines, hosted in a data center; in this case the university’s own.

We sat down with Phil Nyman, lead training specialist at U of I’s Technology Services department, to see how his organization handled one of the effects virtualization had on their operation: specifically, how they managed physical USB-key licenses when they had no physical ports in which to plug them.

Q: Tell us a little about Univ. of Ill. Technology Services’ role in the WebStore.…Read More

IT leaders expect steady increase in digital materials

Technology leaders at the K-12 and higher ed levels said they expect more digital learning tools in their schools and on their campuses, but they also expressed concerns over having enough manpower to handle increased technology demands.

The information comes from a new report, the Education Operations Health Index, based on two decades of SchoolDude data and survey results, and it offers a glimpse at the state of technology, school facilities and operations nationwide. The report covers technology management, preventive maintenance, deferred maintenance, community use of facilities and energy conservation.

Positives in the index include an increase in schools moving to digital curriculum, schools more capable of supporting an array of devices, and IT departments being set up well to handle cybersecurity concerns.…Read More

Poll: How has technology impacted the future of work?

A majority of Americans would like to see technology companies take a more active role in improving U.S. education by creating apprenticeship programs and providing more technology resources, according to new data.

The new poll from OZY and SurveyMonkey tracks how technology is impacting post-secondary education and the workforce in the U.S. It also gauges how survey participants feel about free public higher education, online learning, classroom teachers, and more.

Here are some of the results:…Read More

University builds virtual reality CAVE for a new higher ed era

K-16 instructors perennially face the challenge of helping students understand complex processes and relationships, especially those that make sense only after they are explored in more than one frame of reference.

The differences between a partial and total solar eclipse on the Earth, for example, are best understood by visualizing observations not just from the surface of the Earth but also from the position of the Moon. The outcomes of historic battles may be better understood by exploring the relative ground positions of each opposing force. The full metaphysical message being conveyed by the frescoes in a cathedral is better understood with respect to the pieces’ locations relative to each other in the building.

Field trips or physical models can help immerse students in some topics’ different perspectives, but often budgets, time, or modeling details limit these tools’ usefulness. Thus, instructors are investigating Virtual Reality (VR) as a means for bringing students into interactive, immersive contact with their subjects.…Read More

2017 education survey reveals 135 percent increase in remote teaching and learning

Kaltura, a video technology provider, recently published its fourth annual State of Video in Education report, a comprehensive international study that examines the evolving use of video in education. A total of 1,000 respondents undertook the online survey between May and June 2017.

The results reveal a boom in the use of video for remote teaching and learning with 66 percent of respondents stating that their institutions now use these capabilities, up from 28 percent in 2016.

Interestingly, 39 percent of those surveyed state that students studying remotely at their institution are already using video-based solutions to join live classes and lectures, while a further 49 percent are keen to add these capabilities to their offerings. Remote video capabilities are also being used to let presenters who are not based at the institution to teach and lecture to students, with 54 percent of all respondents saying that they are already benefiting from this.…Read More