This 3D ‘sci-fi technology’ is revolutionizing universities

Critical uses for 3D printing expand to all departments; faculty say it’s the future

3D-universities-technologyIn just the span of one year, a relatively new technology is beginning to transform every department within colleges and universities, thanks to its versatility, general affordability, and ‘wow’ factor: 3D printing. And from campus libraries to chemistry departments, faculty and students are reaping the benefits of what was once considered science fiction.

“If you can think of it, you can print it,” said Tony Frankino, assistant professor of biology in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at the University of Houston (UH), who believes that 3D printers are transforming university teaching and research.

The concept of 3D printing has been around since the 1980s, but advances in the technology–along with reduced costs–have made the printers more practical for everyday use in academia.…Read More

How millennial culture is driving change in higher education

Though MOOCs and web-based learning tools are on the rise, many students still do need something tangible to be successful

online-education-millennialsAs a recent college graduate and Millennial, I’ve been a first-hand witness to the changes that are occurring in higher education.

Sparked by the generation’s need for constant collaboration – and convenience – the changes occurring today are unprecedented, but perhaps not all that surprising.

The publishers, universities, faculty, and administration that have made up the last half-century of education are trying to adapt to this new generation of snapchatting, instagramming, show-me-this-instant students.…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

This innovation is rocking higher-ed IT

New cloud infographic reveals the technology is transforming institutions

cloud-technology-institutions Cloud computing is nothing new, but how higher education institutions are using the technology has certainly become innovative. By using data storage for everything from student loan information to class schedules, having an ease of sharing between universities, and moving critical systems to better implement BYOD practices, higher education is quickly becoming the leaders in cloud technology…but what are some specifics in how they use it?

“The reality for IT in higher education is that the overall environment continues to increase in complexity with issues such as BYOD,” says Vivántech. “Limited resources at private colleges and reduced state allocations at public institutions result in calls for IT departments to do more with same or less budget.  Day-to-day pressures of managing IT services leaves less time to focus on strategic plans. Recruiting and training specialized skill sets such as DBA’s is becoming more difficult. These issues, in conjunction with elevated expectations of students and faculty, are pushing institutions to find better and more cost effective ways to provide technology services.”

One of the major ways to complete these goals is with cloud technology.…Read More

Tech-savvy doesn’t mean internet-savvy

A commitment to quality instruction on how to access, evaluate, and synthesize online information needs to be a top priority

tech-savvyMany people, pundits and educators alike, operate under the assumption that the current generation of students is the most technologically savvy in history.

While today’s young people certainly are surrounded by technology, and they use it in their everyday lives, this is not the same as mastering technology as a task-specific learning tool, especially for gathering online information for research reports, reviews, and syntheses.

While the vast majority of students may consult their smart phones dozens of times a day to view Facebook and Instagram or to send text messages, far fewer know how to access and evaluate quality information online to help them complete academic tasks and assignments.…Read More

‘Brogrammers,’ ‘hogrammers,’ and the gender gap

Only two in 10 computer programmers are women, according to federal statistics.

A small California college has bolstered women’s representation in computer sciences, but tech industry bias persists

[Editor’s note: This piece was originally published in 2012. At the time, a large number of readers agreed that the gender gap existed. We thought the story worth a re-post to ask you if you thought any and/or enough progress has been made in closing this gender gap. Is this even still a problem? Weigh in through comments, email me at, or find me @eSN_Meris on Twitter.]

The rise of the brash, stylish, computer-geek-turned-cool-guy known simply as a “brogrammer” among popular technology startups threatens to further alienate women from enrolling in computer science courses, where for years they have been vastly underrepresented, higher-education officials said.

Mainstreaming of the label “brogrammer”—a combination of bro and programmer—began among technology companies appealing to recent college graduates who are experts at writing computer code. It has since seeped into higher education, where students said it has reinforced the archetype of a tech-savvy student ready for post-graduation life in the technology industry: A man.…Read More

5 technologies for student recruitment

Getting personal means making connections through technology

recruitment-students-collegeWith Millennials increasingly becoming more reliant on technology as a means of communication, colleges and universities eager to recruit the best and brightest are using innovative tools, both online and on campus, to attract potential students.

According to the 2014 Social Admissions Report—a survey of college-bound high school students designed to identify trends in digital, social and mobile tools represented in a student’s college search and enrollment process—as new tools are created to help people organize, share and collaborate online more students are using them as a way to aid their college search, leading colleges to use these tools in their recruitment process…or they should.

From creating communities of current students at college on social media platforms like Facebook, to creating customized acceptance videos, higher education is using the digital technology at-hand to attract increasingly creative and tech-savvy generations.…Read More

What will change everything for higher education is nothing new

Online, AI technologies will wipe out old models of higher-ed…but it’s happened before

socrates-education-technologyWith the expansion of online technologies, like MOOCs, data aggregation, and computing powers capable of adaptive processes, higher education is changing. But to what extent, and is it here to stay? And…is it anything new?

Those were some of the main questions discussed during the Future Tense—a partnership of Slate, the New America Foundation, and Arizona State University to discuss emerging technologies, policy and society—discussion hosted in Washington D.C., “Hacking the University: Will Tech Fix Higher Education?

“If 2012 was the year of the MOOC, according to the New York Times, 2013 was something of a reality check,” said the partnership. “MOOCs were meant to give people all over the U.S. (and the world) access to the best lecturers and classes from some of America’s top universities. But their first iterations have been beset with problems—lack of student engagement, high dropout rates—leading critics to question their long-term value.”…Read More

5 must-watch higher education TED talks

The future of higher ed and the role of technology are highlights of these insightful TED talks

TED-talks-education By now, most internet junkies know about the incredible talks given through TED (Technology, Education, and Design), but outside of education talks given by Bill Gates and the ever-viral talk by Liz Coleman, what are some of the best, and potentially overlooked, discussions on higher education and technology?

Recording and posting various talks on different topics, given by experts in different fields, TED began in 1984, but has lately risen to new popularity with a worldwide following.

However, the popularity of TED talks has grown to the point where many cities, and even colleges and universities, host their own TED education talks, often revealing deeper, more specific discussions on relevant topics in higher education, and especially online learning.…Read More

10 technology hallmarks for every campus

These campus musts may seem like no-brainers, but they’re critical for success

technology-campus-hallmarksWith so many technology options available today to help support and promote an institution’s campus culture, students and faculty, it’s not surprising that many IT and campus leaders feel overwhelmed with what they should invest in now and what they should implement later, especially with tight budgets.

But from having a good social media strategy to planning for Big Data collection, there are at least 10 technology hallmarks every campus should plan for immediately, if not implement as soon as possible.

Many of these hallmarks may seem simplistic, but can get caught in the solution shuffle if you’re not careful; for example, providing high-speed wireless broadband that can support multiple devices, or offering continuous IT support to students and faculty.…Read More