Thursday at Educause 2015: Campus Computing Project, Google, and CIOs

Educause 2015 showed no signs of slowing down headed into its second day. Prior to a keynote from MIT's Dr. Andrew McAfee, co-author of "The Second Machine Age" and "Race Against the Machine," Educause President and CEO revealed that next year will see the debut of the Diana G. Oblinger Innovation Award, named in honor of the organization's former chief. The details of that award are still being worked out, VP of Data, Analytics, and Research Susan Grajek later told Education Dive.

McAfee's keynote on the second machine age and the rapid growth of artificial intelligence took a more high-level view for the promises and challenges for members at all levels of an organization, but as indicated by the tweets, there was plenty to take away for the higher ed officials in attendance.

Results of the 2015 Campus Computing Survey released

Prior to the keynote, however, Campus Computing Project Founding Director Dr. Kenneth C. Green unveiled the results of his organization's annual survey. This year's release marks the 26th survey in 25 years and featured 417 institutional participants. Green assured those in attendance that the project's 35 corporate sponsors have never seen their institutional data.

As for this year's top five priorities for the next two-to-three years? 

  • Assisting faculty integrate tech into instruction (80%)
  • Hiring and retaining qualified IT staff (78%)
  • Providing adequate user support (78%), 
  • Upgrading/enhancing network security (76%),
  • Leveraging IT resources for student success (74%)
Dr. Kenneth C. Green details the findings of this year's Campus Computing survey
Education Dive/Roger Riddell

Notably on the hiring and retention front, 74% reported salaries aren't competitive, 26% said they saw reduced IT staffing, and 18% experienced funding cuts for professional development. Other findings include overwhelming support for OER, declining confidence in MOOCs (with support for the academic model and doubt for the financial model), and improvement among campus IT security and disaster plans. Additionally, Green noted that assessments of digital resources and services for disabled users show a “lawsuit waiting to happen” for many institutions.

For more details on the survey, check out the Campus Computing Project's site here.

Is higher ed prepared for the 'constant connectivity' generation?

According to Google Chief Education Evangelist Jaime Casap, Generation Z, which has never known a world without constant connectivity, gets an undeservedly bad reputation. In a keynote delivered to a packed ballroom, he detailed the issues that come with addressing that generation's educational needs, including education's sluggish adaptation to a world where all libraries are at our fingertips, as well as the need to better facilitate as seamless a transition as possible between K-12 and higher ed. 

Google's Jaime Casap 

Education Dive/Roger Riddell

Education Dive caught up with Casap prior to the show to learn more about his take on some of education's biggest issues and how Google is working to address them. Check back for more as we continute rolling out even more coverage over the next few days!

Ellucian adds Brainstorm beta partner, releases Banner Human Resources

  • Becker College will serve as a beta partner on Ellucian Brainstorm, a new platform designed to support competency-based programs in higher ed. Specifically, Becker's Center for Accelerated & Professional Studies will benefit from the platform, which also integrates with Colleague and Banner.
  • Speaking of Banner, the latest version of which was officially released Tuesday, development partner Lamar University plans to go live with the latest iteration of the platform sometime in 2016.
  • Howard University will also serve as a partner in the beta for Ellucian Pilot, a new student success tool.

Ingram's VitalSource partners with Cerego

  • VitalSource is joining forces with Cerego to bring adaptive, personalized learning to its content platform, with a product debuting in 2016.
  • VitalSource Bookshelf is available on iPad, Android devices, and Kindle, and users will now be able to utilize Cerego's app for on-the-go studying.

Cengage expands NISOD partnership for adjunct professional development

  • Cengage and the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development are building upon an existing partnership to co-host professional development webinars, podcasts, and blog posts for adjuncts and administrators.
  • Adjuncts reported in the 2015 Cengage Learning Engagement Insights Survey that online tools and resources would be most beneficial for conducting their classes, additionally acknowledging the benefits of using materials from colleagues, according to a release.

Blackboard news galore

  • Blackboard's flagship Learn and open-source Moodlerooms LMS platforms received top industry honors from Campus Technology and G2 Crowd, with particular momentum for Moodlerooms. 
  • Additionally, the company rolled out Version 9.1 of Learn, which features the new Goal Performance Dashboard and Grades Journey features.
  • Blackboard also announced increased support for disabled students using Collaborate, with the company now boasting compliance with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.0 at Level AA, as well as SSB Bart Group Section 508 standards. 

CIOs reconvene to share advice on leading change

You might recognize CIOs Michael Berman (Cal State Channel Islands), Raechelle Clemmons (St. Norbert College), Kyle Johnson (Chaminade University of Honolulu), and Melissa Woo(University of Oregon) from their panel last year on why CIO is the best job on campus. This year, they were back together (sans Ithaca College's Keith McIntosh) to discuss their experiences in leading change at their respective institutions. We spoke with all four panelists in advance and will have a full rundown of what they shared early next week.

Berman, Clemmons, McIntosh, Woo, and Johnson at last year's show.
Education Dive/Roger Riddell


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Filed Under: Higher Ed Technology Policy & Regulation Online Learning
Top image credit: Education Dive/Roger Riddell