Academic Tech News, Week of 9/28

Becky Weintz

It’s been a couple weeks since our last post so we’ve included some news from last week as well.

Ranking and Networking – 10/2
“LinkedIn has officially joined the jam-packed college rankings party. And with 313 million users, the job networking site has a big data sample both for creating the rankings and for marketing them. The new ranking system tracks the success of college graduates in eight broad career paths, adding weight for jobs deemed “desirable.” It lists the top 25 institutions in each career category.”
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Optimism About MOOCs Fades in Campus IT Offices – 10/1
“MOOC fever is cooling, at least among campus information-technology administrators, according to the 2014 edition of the Campus Computing Survey, an annual report on technology in higher education. While a little more than half of last year’s respondents thought MOOCs “offer a viable model for the effective delivery of online instruction,” just 38 percent of this year’s participants agreed with that statement.”
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Stable Priorities, Unstable Times – 10/1
“Despite the ebbs and flows of recent ed-tech trends, the top institutional IT priorities have seen little change over the past few years. The top four priorities of the 2014 survey, chosen by about three-quarters of the chief information officers and other IT officials who responded to the survey, all relate to services such as helping faculty and students use technology in and outside the classroom and hiring capable IT staffers. Those priorities are consistent among all sectors of higher education, from community colleges to private research universities.”
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Have ideas for ways OU IT can better help you utilize technology services on campus? Email academictech@ou.edu with your suggestions or leave them in the comments!

Microsoft Unveils New Operating System, Dubbed Windows 10 – 9/30
“The OS will be available to consumers, but it was designed, in particular, for use by the world’s businesses. According to Myerson, businesses will be able to manage all their Windows 10 machines by way of a single central piece of software, and they will have the option of creating their own “app store” for use by employees across these devices.”
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Adobe joins the Chromebook party, starting with Photoshop – 9/29
“This streaming version of Photoshop is designed to run straight from the cloud to your Chromebook. It’s always up-to-date and fully integrated with Google Drive, so there’s no need to download and re-upload files—just save your art directly from Photoshop to the cloud. For IT administrators, it’s easy to manage, with no long client installation and one-click deployment to your team’s Chromebooks. ”
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What You Need to Know About Yik Yak, an App Causing Trouble on Campuses – 9/26
“Anonymous posts on a smartphone application called Yik Yak are facilitating conversations on college campuses, but the dialogue is not always fit for the classroom. Discussions on the app sometimes dredge up racist, sexist, and other degrading content, and students at multiple colleges have been arrested for using Yik Yak to post threats to campus safety.”
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Build It Yourself – 9/24
“Apple remains an enigma to schools and universities that want to go all-in with its products. If the company wanted a larger slice of the education market, the hard work is already done. Its smartphones, computers and tablets are a staple in virtually every lecture hall, and the devices are supported by the largest mobile app ecosystem. Yet as Google inches toward what could become a viable learning management system, Apple appears firmly uninterested in that segment of the ed-tech software market.”
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Where Does the LMS Go From Here? – 9/23
“Asked how they would redesign their learning management systems, 46 percent of students said the features needed to improve — far outpacing any other response. The students listed alerts, methods of communication and mobile access as some of the features that needed to be revamped.”
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Also, from Adam Croom, Director of Digital Courses here at OU, an in depth look at the growth in Learning Management System themes on the WordPress platform:
Is LMS a new market for WordPress themes? – 9/30
“I occasionally peruse Themeforest to see what new offerings they had available and I’ve been surprised by the number of education offerings, in particular LMS imitator themes, have popped up over the last year. In fact, they’ve gone ahead and created an entire Education category for all the WordPress themes that are now available. To be the point a bit, two new LMS themes have become available just since August. One that went live at the beginning of September is titled “LMS | Responsive Learning Management System” and is designed by an incredibly popular author on Themeforest, designthemes.”
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Becky Weintz
Becky Weintz

Originally from the East Coast, Becky Weintz moved from Washington D.C. to Oklahoma City in November of 2010 and began working for OU IT shortly thereafter. Prior to working for OU, Becky worked for TIG Global, an interactive marketing agency, managing website builds and online marketing campaigns for hospitality clients. She was lucky enough to be selected for a position in TIG Global’s London office and spent almost two years there enjoying the London sunshine and traveling around Europe visiting clients. Now she spends most of her time communicating all the great things about OU IT, working to finish her Masters of Education and hiding from tornadoes in her basement.

1 Comment

  1. Becky–Thanks for adding my blog post to your roundup. Much appreciated!

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