EdTech - Technology Solutions That Drive Education https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/rss.xml en 3 Steps for Universities to Start 1:1 Device Programs https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2018/08/3-steps-universities-start-11-device-programs <span>3 Steps for Universities to Start 1:1 Device Programs</span> <span><span lang="" about="/higher/user/9856" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">eli.zimmerman_9856</span></span> <span>Tue, 08/21/2018 - 12:47</span> <div><p>The <strong>number of successful one-to-one device programs in K–12</strong> has piqued the interest of university administrators around the country about how they may be able to integrate their own programs.</p> <p>Some <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2018/07/11-computing-graduates-k-12-higher-education">higher education institutions have already started</a> to create their own versions, which have been met with varying, but overall resounding, success.</p> <p>There has been much <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2017/12/some-colleges-11-programs-are-starting-make-sense">discussion about providing personal devices</a> to college students. However, the uptake has been slow as institutions try to <strong>find adequate resources and create networks</strong> that can handle the increase in devices on campus. </p> <p>To help fellow institutions, early adopters of one-to-one computing in higher education offer lessons learned from their own experiences. Here are their top three recommendations to ensure a successful rollout.</p> <h2 id="toc_0">1. Strong Personal Device Programs Start with Strong Leadership</h2> <p>It’s critical to have an organized, cross-functional team to guide the process from start to finish, says Peter Kostiuk, director of strategic development at <a href="https://www.miat.edu/" target="_blank">MIAT College of Technology</a>. </p> <p>That includes not only committed faculty and students, but also <strong>administrative and IT experts</strong> who understand the financial and technical requirements of one-to-one programs.</p> <p>To create a cross-functional team, it’s important to have structured team goals, perhaps through a team charter, and to establish a rhythm through practices like weekly meetings, according to <a href="https://medium.com/the-ready/a-practical-guide-to-cross-functional-work-e94f7f51d41a" target="_blank">leadership and organization consultant Alison Randel</a>. </p> <h2 id="toc_1">2. Make Sure Your Network Infrastructure Is Prepared</h2> <p>Many colleges will need to upgrade Wi-Fi to accommodate the influx of connected devices. </p> <p>To support its one-to-one rollout, the <a href="https://douglasj.edu/">Douglas J Aveda Institute</a> added a new <a href="https://www.cdw.com/product/cisco-5508-wireless-controller-network-management-device/1781057" target="_blank">Cisco 5500 series wireless controller</a> and <a href="https://www.cdw.com/product/cisco-aironet-2702i-controller-based-wireless-access-point/4106010" target="_blank">Cisco 2702 access points</a>.</p> <p>“We put new <a href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/brand/cisco.html?enkwrd=Cisco" target="_blank">Cisco</a> gear in every classroom, and it’s been <strong>relatively smooth sailing ever since</strong>,” Brent Branch, executive director of the resource team<a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2018/07/11-computing-graduates-k-12-higher-education"> told <em>EdTech</em></a>.</p> <p>Upgrading a Wi-Fi network is <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2018/08/8-key-components-bringing-connected-campus-life">more than just installing access points</a>, however. IT teams will also need to <strong>integrate network optimization tools, back-end support systems </strong><strong>and</strong><strong> a robust security network</strong>. Alternatively, administrators can <a href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/solutions/networking/wireless-network-services.html" target="_blank">bring in a third-party</a> to help create a robust network infrastructure. </p> <p>This process can be expensive, and for some institutions, there may not be a need for a complete overhaul. Before even starting the upgrade process, universities may want to invest in an assessment of their networks, from bandwidth to <a href="https://webobjects.cdw.com/webobjects/media/pdf/Solutions/Security/144928-Risk-Management-Security-Consulting.pdf" target="_blank">security</a>, to understand how best to allocate their resources. </p> <h2 id="toc_2">3. Invest in Training Faculty for Digital Integration</h2> <p>Designing a new device program and a network to support it will be useless if professors are <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/02/tcea-2018-tech-upgrade-begins-professional-development" target="_blank">unable to utilize the technology</a> in the classroom. </p> <p><a href="https://www.maryville.edu/" target="_blank">Maryville University</a> in St. Louis extended faculty contracts by two weeks so it could provide <strong>80 hours of paid professional development</strong> on using <a href="https://www.cdw.com/search/?key=iPads&amp;ctlgfilter=&amp;searchscope=all&amp;sr=1" target="_blank">iPads</a> in the classroom.</p> <p>During that time, professors at Maryville were able to attend seminars on how to use the iPads in class, and learned from each other through conversations about best practices and experiences.</p> <p>The training investment reaped great rewards. Just two years into the program’s implementation, faculty confidence in using technology rose from <strong>10 to 90 percent</strong>, according to <a href="https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/article/2017/05/31/maryville-u-offers-intensive-ipad-training-faculty-members" target="_blank">Inside Higher Ed</a>.</p> <p>While educational seminars are a good place to start, university IT professionals may also want to look at certain K–12 training resources that are transferable to the higher education classroom, considering one-to-one device programs are more common in K–12 at the moment.</p> <p><em>To learn more about one-to-one device programs, read “<a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2018/07/11-computing-graduates-k-12-higher-education">1:1 Computing Graduates from K–12 to Higher Education</a>.”</em></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:Times;&lt;br /&gt;&#10;mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;MS Mincho&quot;;mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast;&lt;br /&gt;&#10;mso-bidi-font-family:Prelo-Book;color:black;letter-spacing:.1pt"><p></p></span></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/higher/author/chris-hayhurst"> <div>Chris Hayhurst</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Chris Hayhurst is a contributor to the CDW family of technology magazines.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Tue, 21 Aug 2018 16:47:48 +0000 eli.zimmerman_9856 41121 at https://edtechmagazine.com/higher Ruckus’ ICX 7650-48ZP Switch Helps Future Proof Your Network https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2018/08/ruckus-icx-7650-48zp-switch-helps-future-proof-your-network <span>Ruckus’ ICX 7650-48ZP Switch Helps Future Proof Your Network</span> <span><span lang="" about="/higher/user/9856" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">eli.zimmerman_9856</span></span> <span>Mon, 08/20/2018 - 15:05</span> <div><p>Network connectivity is critically important for both students and staff, yet most institutions refresh their network and wireless infrastructure <strong>only once every eight to 10 years</strong>. With new wireless technology hitting the market roughly every three years, quite a few colleges may be lagging behind the curve.</p> <p>One solution is the<a href="https://www.cdw.com/product/RUCKUS-48PT-24X1-10G-24XG-SFP-BND/4976176?pfm=srh" target="_blank"> Ruckus ICX 7650 switch</a>, which comes loaded with extra features and capacity that can help colleges stay relevant and supportive of new technology as it advances — even if they don’t require that capacity initially. Admins generally use the ICX7650-48ZP model, which boasts<strong> the highest capacity in the line</strong>, as an access-level switch to onboard new devices and users.</p> <h2 id="toc_0">Support for All Current and Future Devices</h2> <p>All the new switches, including the ICX7650-48ZP, <strong>f</strong><strong>eature a thin design that fits</strong> in a single rack slot. Users can chain together up to 12 ICX switches for increased capacity without requiring any special or proprietary cables.</p> <p>The ICX 7650-48ZP comes standard with <strong>24 ports of multigigabit (IEEE 802.3bz) Ethernet ports</strong> and 24 ports for standard gigabit Ethernet. The gigabit ports support standard PoE+ devices, while the multigigabit ports can drive devices with power requirements up to 90 watts from a 1,500-watt overall pool.</p> <p>Even the pending 802.11ax wireless access ports should only require 45 to 60 watts of power at most. That said, the idea is <strong>to have the ICX support today’s technology</strong>, the next generation’s and the one after that.</p> <p><img alt="ET_Q418_PR_Breeden-product.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/higher/sites/edtechmagazine.com.higher/files/ET_Q418_PR_Breeden-product.jpg" /></p> <p>Ruckus has also built in features to <strong>help the ICX support mission-critical applications</strong>, such as connectivity inside lecture halls or science buildings that house ongoing experiments. Every ICX switch has two hot-swappable cooling fans and two power supplies. Should one go down, the ICX will keep working while a replacement is obtained.</p> <p>An easy-to-use management console gives users full control over everything from connectivity to PoE levels. Together, these attributes make the ICX 7650-48ZP a<strong> great fire-and-forget-it network backbone</strong> — one that should be just as useful on campus years from now as it is today.</p> <h2 id="toc_1">Ports Deliver Maximum Power to Connected Devices</h2> <p>One of the reasons the Ruckus ICX 7650-48ZP access-level switch is so future-proof is that half of its ports go well beyond the standard Power over Ethernet or even PoE+ standards, offering <strong>a full 90 watts of power to connected devices</strong>.</p> <p>It doesn’t take much math to determine that, with <strong>a maximum power pool of 1,500 watts</strong>, you won’t be able to have every device pulling down 90 watts. In fact, if every connected PoE device needed 90 watts of power, your power well would run dry after only 16 ports were connected, and that wouldn’t even take into account anything running on the 24 PoE+ ports.</p> <p>However, <strong>almost nothing today requires that much power</strong> delivered over an Ethernet cable. I’ve tested network surveillance cameras that needed only about 20 watts of power, and even the most advanced, power-hungry 802.11n wireless hubs require about 40 watts. There is some speculation that some of the pending 802.11ax access points might require as much as 60 watts PoE, but even that is a far cry from 90.</p> <p>My lab has a few test devices that can pull as much PoE power as needed and measure that flow for accuracy. I connected four phantom devices to the ICX 7650-48ZP and had them draw 90 watts of power. I also connected several wireless hubs, an LED light rack, two surveillance cameras and a drone. At the same time, an avalanche and reflector device simulated traffic through the switch, <strong>with 100 simultaneous users</strong>.</p> <p>The total power draw was <strong>583 watts</strong>, which the ICX 7650-48ZP had no trouble supplying. Even going from a zero PoE draw to 583 in just a few seconds had no effect on throughput or network operations. And after an hour of running at that level of PoE, the switch was neither measurably hotter nor running any louder than before.</p> <p>It might be a few years before there are enough devices to reliably test a full load of 90-watt devices on the ICX 7650-48ZP. Given how well it did with a very dense power load, it’s a safe bet that future devices won’t be overly troublesome.</p> <h3 id="toc_2">Ruckus ICX7650-48ZP</h3> <p><strong>Maximum Switching Capacity:</strong> 1.128 Tbps<br /><strong>Maximum Ports:</strong> 48<br /><strong>Aggregated Stacking Bandwidth:</strong>2.4 Tbps<br /><strong>Maximum Switches per Stack:</strong>12<br /><strong>Supported Power over Ethernet:</strong> 90 watts PoE/PoE+/802.3bt</p> <p> </p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/higher/higher/author/john-breeden-ii"><img src="/higher/higher/sites/edtechmagazine.com.higher/files/styles/face_small/public/john-breeden-ii.jpg?itok=qht_53sT" width="58" height="58" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/higher/higher/author/john-breeden-ii"> <div>John Breeden II</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href="https://twitter.com/intent/follow?region=follow_link&amp;screen_name=LabGuys&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>John Breeden II is an award-winning reviewer and public speaker with 20 years of experience covering technology.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Mon, 20 Aug 2018 19:05:01 +0000 eli.zimmerman_9856 41116 at https://edtechmagazine.com/higher 5 Steps to Lay the Foundation for Digital Whiteboards on Campus https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2018/08/5-steps-lay-foundation-digital-whiteboards-campus <span>5 Steps to Lay the Foundation for Digital Whiteboards on Campus</span> <span><span lang="" about="/higher/user/9856" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">eli.zimmerman_9856</span></span> <span>Thu, 08/16/2018 - 15:49</span> <div><p>Universities are finding <strong>digital signage and interactive whiteboards</strong> to be a helpful tool in engaging students in new and creative ways. </p> <p>While using a digital whiteboard has many of the same benefits of a traditional one, professors and students are excited at the extra benefits, including <strong>video conferencing, collaboration and content sharing</strong>, according to Phil Hill, a founder of the higher education consultancy MindWires.</p> <p>Interactive whiteboards can be transformative, but first universities must lay the groundwork for an optimal deployment:</p> <ol><li><strong>Ease of use is a must</strong>. Barriers to entry increase the likelihood that the intended users won’t take full advantage of the new system.</li> <li><strong>Invest in the bandwidth</strong> that video conferencing and other interactive features require.</li> <li><strong>Pay attention to how new technologies work</strong> with existing learning technologies.</li> <li><strong>Deploy single sign-on capability</strong> and a robust identity management system to maintain security.</li> <li><strong>Invest time to train</strong> both instructors and students to use available features.</li> </ol><p><em>For more on how universities are preparing to integrate interactive whiteboards, check out our magazine feature, "</em><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2018/08/universities-integrate-smartboards-promote-collaboration-campus">Universities Integrate Smartboards to Promote Collaboration on Campus</a><em>."</em></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/higher/author/tommy-peterson"> <div>Tommy Peterson</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Tommy Peterson is a freelance journalist who specializes in business and technology and is a frequent contributor to the CDW family of technology magazines.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Thu, 16 Aug 2018 19:49:59 +0000 eli.zimmerman_9856 41111 at https://edtechmagazine.com/higher Artificial Intelligence Is Poised to Expand in Higher Education https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2018/08/artificial-intelligence-poised-expand-higher-education <span>Artificial Intelligence Is Poised to Expand in Higher Education </span> <span><span lang="" about="/higher/user/9856" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">eli.zimmerman_9856</span></span> <span>Thu, 08/16/2018 - 08:42</span> <div><p>“Are you replacing me with a robot?”</p> <p>Bryan Fendley, an artificial intelligence expert and the director of instructional technology and web services at the <a href="http://www.uamont.edu/" target="_blank">University of Arkansas at Monticello</a>, has heard this line for years. “Faculty members are worried <strong>they’re going to be traded in for a computer</strong> or the internet,” he says. </p> <p>Their concerns aren’t unusual. <strong>Seventy-three percent</strong> of Americans believe AI will eliminate more jobs than it will create, according to <a href="https://www.northeastern.edu/gallup/pdf/OptimismAnxietyNortheasternGallup.pdf" target="_blank">a poll by Gallup and Northeastern University</a>. </p> <p>Still, <strong>74 percent</strong> say AI will have a positive effect on their lives. And on campus, staffers are already using AI to gain efficiencies in administrative areas, such as admissions, and to give students faster, more personalized feedback.</p> <p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/register?newsletter" target="_blank"><strong>SIGN UP</strong>: Get more news from the <em>EdTech</em> newsletter in your inbox every two weeks!</a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Artificial Intelligence Serves Faculty as Time-Saving Assistants</h2> <p>An early example of a successful application is <a href="https://pe.gatech.edu/blog/meet-jill-watson-georgia-techs-first-ai-teaching-assistant" target="_blank">Jill Watson</a>, an AI teaching assistant at <a href="https://www.gatech.edu/" target="_blank">Georgia Tech</a>. Ashok Goel, a professor of computer science and cognitive science at the college, initially created this AI system to help him <strong>respond to the many questions he receives from online students</strong>.</p> <p>After several iterations, he gave Jill a live debut in his class. Now, she communicates with class members on routine questions, and students say <strong>her responses are indistinguishable</strong> from human assistants.</p> <p>A more pedagogical application is equally compelling: Erik Anderson, a computer science assistant professor at <a href="https://www.cornell.edu/" target="_blank">Cornell University</a>, developed a program that helps math teachers use AI to determine <strong>how students arrived at incorrect answers</strong> with colleagues from the <a href="https://www.upenn.edu/" target="_blank">University of Pennsylvania</a>, <a href="https://www.washington.edu/" target="_blank">University of Washington</a> and <a href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/brand/microsoft-interstitial.html?enkwrd=Microsoft" target="_blank">Microsoft</a>.</p> <p>“The AI reverse-engineers the student thought process,” says Anderson. “It provides a much more nuanced view of what the student is doing.” He hopes that as the technology improves, it will understand more complex mathematical calculations and grade homework intelligently, giving students <strong>detailed feedback and awarding partial credit</strong>.</p> <p>The ability to <strong>supplement, rather than replace, instructors</strong> is one of the biggest potential benefits of AI. “Eventually, this could not only reduce teachers’ grading time, but give them more insight on how to better teach concepts,” says Anderson.</p> <h2 id="toc_1">Allay Faculty Fears of AI by Inviting Them to the Table</h2> <p>AI-driven assistants and predictive analytics are familiar, but when it comes to emerging and yet-to-emerge applications, both educators and IT pros may be challenged to <strong>figure out how to integrate them</strong> into existing systems.</p> <p>“Universities shouldn’t sensationalize AI,” says Fendley. “If you can get past the shock and normalize what AI can be on your campus, it will go a long way in helping you talk about AI and doing positive things with it.” Joseph E. Aoun, Northeastern University president and author of <a href="https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/robot-proof" target="_blank"><em>Robot-Proof: Higher Education in the Age of Artificial Intelligence</em></a>, says AI could prove to be a valuable support tool<strong> if faculty and curriculum development experts have a voice in its adoption</strong>. </p> <p>“We will need to re-envision the curriculum, invest in experiential education and put lifelong learning at the heart of what we do,” Aoun says. “AI can serve as an enabler … so that teachers will have more time to devote to helping students integrate their learning.”</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/higher/author/erika-gimbel"><img src="/higher/sites/edtechmagazine.com.higher/files/styles/face_small/public/people/erika-gimbel.jpg?itok=COBsR_2x" width="58" height="58" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/higher/author/erika-gimbel"> <div>Erika Gimbel</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Erika Gimbel is a Chicago-based freelance writer who specializes in B2B technology innovation and educational technology.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Thu, 16 Aug 2018 12:42:43 +0000 eli.zimmerman_9856 41106 at https://edtechmagazine.com/higher An Effective Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Starts with the Right Training https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2018/08/effective-virtual-desktop-infrastructure-starts-right-training <span>An Effective Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Starts with the Right Training</span> <span><span lang="" about="/higher/user/9856" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">eli.zimmerman_9856</span></span> <span>Wed, 08/15/2018 - 10:21</span> <div><p>One year into our deployment of virtual desktop infrastructure at the <a href="https://www.uark.edu/" target="_blank">University of Arkansas</a>, the technology has <strong>transformed our computer labs and our IT culture</strong>. </p> <p>This success is one of the milestones we wanted to achieve as we work toward our ultimate goal: giving students, faculty and staff <strong>access to applications anytime, anywhere and on any </strong><strong>devices</strong> they choose to use. </p> <p>Our project began with an effort to stand up VDI for the university as a whole and to replace desktops with thin clients in our computer labs. The initial phase was challenging because we deployed several technologies simultaneously: <a href="https://www.cdw.com/product/VMware-Horizon-Advanced-Edition-v.-7-license/4097682" target="_blank">VMware’s Horizon 7 VDI solution</a>, <a href="https://www.cdw.com/search/?key=vSAN%20software-defined%20storage&amp;searchscope=all&amp;sr=1" target="_blank">vSAN software-defined storage</a>, and <a href="https://www.cdw.com/product/Palo-Alto-Networks-VM-Series-VM-1000-HV-Perpetual-Bundle-for-VMware-NSX-s/3754766" target="_blank">VMware’s NSX network virtualization and security platform</a>. What’s more, everything was enabled to support graphics processing units. </p> <p>We quickly learned that deploying a patch to solve a bug in one system could trigger a problem in another area, such as the graphics cards, and that fixing the graphics cards could then cause a problem in NSX. That spurred us to enhance our internal skills and <strong>look to our vendors</strong> for extra support to overcome these hurdles.</p> <p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/register?newsletter" target="_blank"><strong>SIGN UP</strong>: Get more news from the <em>EdTech</em> newsletter in your inbox every two weeks!</a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Skills IT Teams Will Need for a Successful Virtual Desktop Transition</h2> <p>The U of A has a lean central IT staff that works in conjunction with small, distributed IT teams in departments and colleges across campus. For our VDI project, we relied on these in-house resources, augmented by <strong>training and consultation from our vendors</strong>. </p> <p>In the process, we’ve learned that specific skill sets, expertise and attitudes are critical to the success of any VDI implementation.</p> <p><strong>Ability to recognize skills gaps:</strong> Be aware of what you lack in-house and know where to go for help. The close relationships we had with our vendors (<a href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/brand/vmware.html?enkwrd=VMware" target="_blank">VMware</a> for virtualization, <a href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/brand/dell.html?enkwrd=Dell" target="_blank">Dell</a> for hardware and <a href="https://www.cdw.com/search/?b=NVD&amp;key=nvidia&amp;ln=2&amp;enkwrd=NVIDIA" target="_blank">NVIDIA</a> for graphics acceleration cards) <strong>helped to bridge those gaps</strong> during the VDI deployment. Without that support, we might have opted to consider new hires or contract an outside service.</p> <p><strong>Virtualization expertise: </strong>The university has deep experience with server virtualization in the data center. That gave the IT staff a leg up on the VDI deployment and made it easier to gain VDI-specific skills.</p> <p><strong>Comprehensive understanding of the infrastructure:</strong> This includes servers, storage, backup and networking. Our system has, in VMware terms, <strong>two cloud pods in different data centers</strong> that work together to balance the computing load and provide high availability. IT leaders must know the institution’s infrastructure capabilities, long-term infrastructure strategy and how the pieces fit together before embarking on an enterprise VDI deployment.</p> <p><strong>OS </strong><strong>expertise</strong><strong>:</strong> The university has a <a href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/brand/microsoft/windows-10.html?enkwrd=Windows%252010" target="_blank">Windows 10</a> computing environment and staff with deep expertise in the OS, and can maximize its capabilities. For instance, when we first made the transition to VDI in the computer labs, the thin clients took <strong>between 90 seconds and 2 minutes</strong> to boot up and load applications, far exceeding the patience of the average user. Working with the interplay between VMware and Windows 10, our OS (and now VDI) expert <strong>reduced that delay to 15 seconds</strong>. </p> <p><strong>One-team IT: </strong>The success of our VDI deployment was, and continues to be, dependent on central IT and distributed IT working together as one team. VDI allows for <strong>common infrastructure with distributed control of services</strong> — the best of both worlds for the campus community. Central IT handles infrastructure maintenance, while distributed teams tailor the application delivery and user experience to specific colleges and departments.</p> <p><strong>Communication with users:</strong> The university’s communications staff eased transitions for users and IT alike by telling students, faculty and staff when changes would occur and how they would affect users. We transitioned computer labs to thin clients over spring break, so the labs looked significantly different when students returned. However, the communications effort had prepared them for the change, and the switch went off flawlessly.</p> <h2 id="toc_1">IT Teams Continue to Add New Skills Even After Deployment</h2> <p>A key driver of our VDI project was <strong>a desire to use IT staff resources more effectively</strong>. During the deployment, central and distributed IT teams worked together to replace hundreds of PCs with thin clients and configure back-end technology. Because central IT staff was managing the thin clients, distributed staff was free to focus on more high-value activities that directly benefit their colleges and departments. </p> <p>As the VDI environment matures, both IT teams <strong>continue to build on the training they received</strong> from VMware at the outset. Because of what we have learned from our partners, from each other and from the implementation itself, both of our IT teams now have new skill sets. The deployment also integrated our teams in ways we hadn’t seen before. </p> <p>Perhaps because the VDI project posed a steep learning curve for everyone — while also providing significant benefits in resource efficiency and enhanced services to the university community — it <strong>built bridges between various IT groups</strong> and brought positive change to our culture. </p> <p>Our next step is to bring our enhanced skills and continuing vendor support to bear on the university’s pilot of <a href="https://www.cdw.com/product/VMware-Workspace-ONE-Advanced-upgrade-license-1-device/4852807" target="_blank">VMware Workspace ONE</a>, which can deliver an individualized desktop and application set on almost any device.</p> <p>This would give our users the flexibility they want, while maintaining the security our IT staff recommends. Perhaps the most important goal for the VDI project is that, when a student logs on, the system will <strong>query the student information system</strong> for the classes he or she is taking, the professors teaching those courses and the required applications. </p> <p>It will then serve up those apps on an individually customized portal — a giant leap toward a seamless, personalized educational experience.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/higher/taxonomy/term/11466"><img src="/higher/sites/edtechmagazine.com.higher/files/styles/face_small/public/people/Stephen%20Herzig.jpeg.jpg?itok=mV88U5hC" width="58" height="58" alt="Headshot" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/higher/taxonomy/term/11466"> <div>Stephen Herzig</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p class="MsoNormal">Stephen Herzig is the director of Enterprise Services at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Wed, 15 Aug 2018 14:21:44 +0000 eli.zimmerman_9856 41101 at https://edtechmagazine.com/higher Fall 2018 https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/magazine/issue/2018/8/fall-2018 <span>Fall 2018</span> <span><span lang="" about="/higher/user/9856" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">eli.zimmerman_9856</span></span> <span>Wed, 08/15/2018 - 08:48</span> <div class="pw-widget pw-size-medium pw-layout-vertical" data-layout="vertical" data-url="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/magazine/issue/2018/8/fall-2018" data-title="Fall 2018" data-via="EdTech_HigherEd" data-button-background="none"> <span> <span>Aug</span> <span>15</span> <span>2018</span> </span> <a class="pw-button-twitter cdw-taboola-social"></a> <a class="pw-button-facebook cdw-taboola-social"></a> <a class="pw-button-googleplus cdw-taboola-social"></a> <a class="pw-button-linkedin cdw-taboola-social"></a> <a class="pw-button-reddit cdw-taboola-social"></a> <a class="pw-button-flipboard cdw-taboola-social"></a> <a class="pw-button-email cdw-taboola-social"></a> <!-- Pinterest button is in EdTechk12 theme's vertical template --> </div> <div class="pw-widget pw-size-medium pw-layout-horizontal" data-counter="true" data-url="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/magazine/issue/2018/8/fall-2018" data-title="Fall 2018" data-via="EdTech_HigherEd" data-button-background="none"> <div> <a class="pw-button-twitter cdw-taboola-social"></a> <a href="https://twitter.com/search?f=realtime&amp;q=https%3A%2F%2Fedtechmagazine.com%2Fhigher%2Frss.xml%3Fitok%3DW5PBvf2U%26destination%3D%2Fhigher%2F%253Fitok%253DW5PBvf2U%26_exception_statuscode%3D404" target="_blank"><span class="pw-box-counter cdw-taboola" data-channel="twitter"></span></a> </div> <div> <a class="pw-button-facebook cdw-taboola-social"></a> </div> <div> <a class="pw-button-googleplus cdw-taboola-social"></a> </div> <div> <a class="pw-button-linkedin cdw-taboola-social"></a> </div> <div> <a class="pw-button-reddit cdw-taboola-social"></a> </div> <div> <a class="pw-button-flipboard cdw-taboola-social"></a> </div> <div> <a class="pw-button-email cdw-taboola-social"></a> </div> <!-- Pinterest button is in EdTechk12 theme's horizontal template --> </div> <div class="pw-widget pw-size-medium pw-layout-horizontal" data-url="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/magazine/issue/2018/8/fall-2018" data-title="Fall 2018" data-via="EdTech_HigherEd" data-button-background="none"> <div> <a class="pw-button-twitter"></a> <span class="pw-box-counter" pw:channel="twitter"></span> </div> <div> <a class="pw-button-facebook"></a> <span class="pw-box-counter" pw:channel="facebook"></span> </div> </div> Wed, 15 Aug 2018 12:48:23 +0000 eli.zimmerman_9856 41096 at https://edtechmagazine.com/higher Universities Use Blockchain to Streamline Student Services https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2018/08/universities-use-blockchain-streamline-student-services <span>Universities Use Blockchain to Streamline Student Services</span> <span><span lang="" about="/higher/user/9856" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">eli.zimmerman_9856</span></span> <span>Tue, 08/14/2018 - 10:54</span> <div><p>Speculation about the potential uses of <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2017/09/experts-see-new-ways-track-learning-experiences-blockchain">blockchains in education</a> has been building for some time, but we’ve now moved squarely into<strong> the era of implementation</strong>. Blockchains — digital records of individuals’ academic degrees, professional certifications and other official records — are an intriguing concept for institutions that have l<strong>ong relied on transcripts and diplomas</strong> to attest to academic achievement. </p> <p>The attraction? Blockchains are <strong>tamper-proof, easily accessible and convenient</strong> for prospective employers, graduate schools and others that need to verify credentials. Proponents argue that blockchains also put the ownership of credentials back into the hands of individuals, rather than institutions. Users can request their official records just once and then share them whenever and with whomever they choose. </p> <p>For example, students can download a blockchain app from their college, add the college as a blockchain issuer and use the app to <strong>generate public keys, each associated with a specific individual</strong>. Then, the college emails each student an attachment containing the digital diplomas, which students import into the app. Institutions may also choose to add additional layers of security, such as login protocols or encryption.</p> <p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/register?newsletter" target="_blank"><strong>SIGN UP</strong>: Get more news from the <em>EdTech</em> newsletter in your inbox every two weeks!</a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Colleges Expand Blockchain Beyond Digital Diplomas</h2> <p>Colleges are starting to take advantage of the technology. Some are using <a href="https://www.blockcerts.org/" target="_blank">Blockcerts</a>, an open standard for digital credentials developed by <a href="https://www.learningmachine.com/" target="_blank">Learning Machine</a> and the <a href="https://learn.media.mit.edu/" target="_blank">Massachusetts Institute of Technology Learning Initiative</a>. One advantage of Blockcerts is that they can be <strong>created and verified across any blockchain</strong>.</p> <p><a href="https://www.learningmachine.com/case-studies-mit">MIT</a> began issuing digital certificates to some of its graduates in 2017. It worked with Learning Machine to design a digital diploma that <strong>shares the look and feel of MIT’s traditional paper diplomas</strong>, which lends authenticity to the credential and maintains consistency with institutional branding.</p> <p>This past spring, <a href="https://campustechnology.com/articles/2018/06/11/southern-new-hampshire-u-issues-blockchain-credentials-to-college-for-america-grads.aspx" target="_blank">Southern New Hampshire Universit</a>y issued its College for America students their bachelor’s or associate degrees in a digital format based in blockchain, alongside a traditional paper format. </p> <p>The first community college to offer digital diplomas, <a href="https://www.cnm.edu/news/the-blockchain-era-is-coming-and-cnm-is-on-higher-eds-leading-edge" target="_blank">Central New Mexico Community College</a>, started in late 2017. CNM has taken blockchain one step further by <strong>accepting cryptocurrency payments based in </strong><strong>blockchain</strong>.</p> <p>Expanding this technology beyond digital diplomas is a sign of things to come. In July, IBM and Columbia University announced a new partnership, the <a href="https://engineering.columbia.edu/press-releases/columbia-ibm-center-blockchain-data-transparency" target="_blank">Columbia–IBM Center for Blockchain and Data Transparency</a>, which will house research and education that explores even more ways to use this emerging technology. </p> <h2 id="toc_1">Blockchains Support Broader Competency Assessment</h2> <p>Blockchains dovetail with the shift toward a more <strong>comprehensive approach to academic credentialing</strong>. The idea is to move beyond a limited reliance on formal diplomas to encompass a <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2018/02/university-leaders-should-expect-a-shift-in-measurement-of-learning-outcomes">broader set of experiences and expertise</a> that graduates may possess.</p> <p>As competency-based education increases, there is a need for a <strong>reliable, consistent way to capture a wider range of knowledge-building activities</strong> that may be just as valuable as classroom hours. Such experience might include study abroad, internships or on-the-job expertise that professionals acquire before they return to campus to pursue new degrees or certifications. </p> <p>To that end, one ed tech startup, N2N Services, is developing a blockchain-based ledger that would let individuals <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/oracle/2018/07/12/edtech-startup-to-release-blockchain-based-lifelong-learning-ledger/#6a0d22646e39" target="_blank">share verified work projects</a>. Expanding the scope of information that institutions and employers use to evaluate candidates would <strong>streamline application processes</strong> and give both parties a more holistic way to capture and express an individual’s qualifications and expertise.</p> <p><em>This article is part of EdTech: Focus on Higher Education’s UniversITy blog series.</em></p> <p><a href="http://www.edtechmagazine.com/higher/university" target="_blank"><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/sites/default/files/university-400.jpg" /></a></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/higher/author/nicci-fagan"><img src="/higher/sites/edtechmagazine.com.higher/files/styles/face_small/public/people/Nicci.jpg?itok=xnL9k1ke" width="58" height="58" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/higher/author/nicci-fagan"> <div>Nicci Fagan</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href="https://twitter.com/intent/follow?region=follow_link&amp;screen_name=nffagan&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Nicci is the director of Central and Eastern U.S. higher education sales for CDW•G.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Tue, 14 Aug 2018 14:54:09 +0000 eli.zimmerman_9856 41091 at https://edtechmagazine.com/higher 8 Key Components to Bringing a Connected Campus to Life https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2018/08/8-key-components-bringing-connected-campus-life <span>8 Key Components to Bringing a Connected Campus to Life</span> <span><span lang="" about="/higher/user/9856" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">eli.zimmerman_9856</span></span> <span>Mon, 08/13/2018 - 14:05</span> <div><p>As the uses of technology <strong>expand for both social and academic purposes</strong>, campus <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2018/06/universities-look-improve-bandwidth-streaming-demand-rises">Wi-Fi strength and reliability</a> has become a much more important factor for students when deciding where they would like to go for school.</p> <p>Students today don’t just live online; they also learn online. Many universities are <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2018/06/colleges-adapt-it-infrastructure-expand-internet-things">investing more heavily </a><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2018/06/colleges-adapt-it-infrastructure-expand-internet-things">into</a><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2018/06/colleges-adapt-it-infrastructure-expand-internet-things"> their networks</a>. Administrators and IT leaders are on <strong>working doggedly to improve their infrastructure</strong> as students continue to add strain with an increasing number of devices per person.</p> <p>But on many campuses, work remains to be done. For higher education institutions <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2018/05/4-strategies-make-your-connected-campus-success">striving to be a connected campus</a>, administrators should focus on <strong>being able to provide </strong><strong>students</strong><strong> these offerings</strong>:</p> <p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/register?newsletter" target="_blank"><strong>SIGN UP</strong>: Get more news from the <em>EdTech</em> newsletter in your inbox every two weeks!</a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">1. Build a Robust Wi-Fi to Handle Any Student Demand</h2> <p>At many universities, IT networks have sprawled over time, often <strong>without a cohesive strategy to guide investments</strong>. As a result,<strong> disparate legacy hardware</strong> can limit the performance of the wireless network and make it difficult to perform upgrades without massive rip-and-replace efforts. </p> <p>By <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2018/08/universities-enjoy-full-benefits-network-upgrade">centralizing networking strategies</a> and investing in state-of-the-art solutions, colleges can give students and faculty the robust, reliable connectivity they need. </p> <h2 id="toc_1">2. Adopt Network Optimization Tools to Keep Networks Humming</h2> <p>As networking investments grow, so do monitoring and troubleshooting tasks. <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2018/04/Colleges-Use-Data-Analytics-to-Improve-Network-Performance">Network optimization tools</a> can <strong>aggregate data from across the network</strong> to alert IT professionals when problems arise. </p> <p>Often, such tools help IT staff <strong>diagnose and correct potential problems</strong> before students and faculty even notice them, thereby increasing user satisfaction and reducing the maintenance backlog. </p> <h2 id="toc_2">3. Integrate Digital Signage for Engaging Communication</h2> <p>Increasingly, higher education institutions are <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2018/07/video-walls-bring-campus-highlights-big-screen">adopting digital signage solutions</a> to share information across campus, enhance classroom experiences, provide <strong>wayfinding services and facilitate emergency announcements</strong>. </p> <p>According to <a href="https://www.digitalsignagetoday.com/articles/6-ways-to-use-digital-signage-in-higher-education/" target="_blank">Digital Signage Today</a>, up to <strong>seven out of 10 colleges</strong> have already implemented digital signage, for reasons ranging from <strong>saving money on printing</strong> to needing a convenient way to encourage students to fill out course evaluations. </p> <h2 id="toc_3">4. Improve Academic Opportunities with Digital Collaboration Tools</h2> <p>Through video, voice, instant messaging and file-sharing tools, colleges can <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2018/08/universities-integrate-smartboards-promote-collaboration-campus">empower students to seamlessly collaborate</a> inside and outside the classroom. Such tools also let faculty and students facilitate <strong>virtual visits from experts in the field</strong> and access files from any machine on campus. </p> <p>Significantly, collaboration tools make it possible to deliver the <strong>distance-learning programs</strong> that have become such an important component of many students’ education.</p> <h2 id="toc_4">5. Offer a Modern Experience with Learning Management Systems</h2> <p>These systems have been <strong>a staple of the IT environment </strong>at most colleges for a decade or more. However, as the capabilities of consumer technology have expanded, some LMS tools have stagnated by comparison. </p> <p>In the higher education edition of its 2017 “<a href="http://cdn.nmc.org/media/2017-nmc-horizon-report-he-EN.pdf" target="_blank">Horizon Report</a>,” the New Media Consortium suggests that next-generation LMS solutions, designed to support more flexible online learning spaces, may be <strong>coming to the higher education market</strong>. </p> <h2 id="toc_5">6. Help Professors Immerse Students with Audiovisual Tools</h2> <p>Audiovisual solutions help professors share information in a visual format, incorporate video and music into lectures, and display student work. Wireless AV tools that seamlessly pair with <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2018/07/more-students-rely-mobile-devices-complete-online-classes">mobile devices</a> can <strong>encourage adoption and reduce wasted instructional time</strong>. </p> <h2 id="toc_6">7. Streamline Troubleshooting with a Back-End Support System</h2> <p>Connected campus solutions require data center support, including appropriate networking, processing and storage. For some colleges, the <strong>public cloud will be a good fit</strong> for some of these infrastructure needs. Others are <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2018/04/Colleges-Simplify-and-Streamline-IT-with-Hyperconverged-Data-Centers-" target="_blank">incorporating </a><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2018/04/Colleges-Simplify-and-Streamline-IT-with-Hyperconverged-Data-Centers-" target="_blank">hyperconverged</a><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2018/04/Colleges-Simplify-and-Streamline-IT-with-Hyperconverged-Data-Centers-" target="_blank"> infrastructure</a> — which combines compute, storage and networking into a single, on-premises solution — to power hybrid cloud models. </p> <h2 id="toc_7">8. Protect Student Data with Robust Security Solutions</h2> <p>The more connected that campuses become, the <strong>more they must be mindful of security</strong> — for example, <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2018/05/security-spending-on-internet-of-things-hits-new-high">ensuring that Internet of Things devices </a>don’t compromise the network. In a 2017 survey from the <a href="http://www.centurylink.com/asset/public-sector/reports/cde-connected-campus-report-cm170599.PDF" target="_blank">Center for Digital Education</a>, <strong>36 percent of colleges</strong> say they will need to beef up cybersecurity to facilitate their connected campus plans.</p> <p><em>To learn more about the steps to transitioning to a connected campus, read the CDW white paper "<a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/resources/white-paper/building-blocks-connected-campus-0" target="_blank">Building Blocks for the Connected Campus</a>."</em></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/higher/author/edtech-staff"> <div>EdTech Staff</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Mon, 13 Aug 2018 18:05:10 +0000 eli.zimmerman_9856 41081 at https://edtechmagazine.com/higher Expand the Student Experience with Immersive Video-Wall Programs https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2018/08/expand-student-experience-immersive-video-wall-programs <span>Expand the Student Experience with Immersive Video-Wall Programs</span> <span><span lang="" about="/higher/user/9856" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">eli.zimmerman_9856</span></span> <span>Fri, 08/10/2018 - 14:36</span> <div><p>On an increasing number of university campuses, <strong>video-wall technology</strong> is helping administrators find new, exciting ways to connect with students.</p> <p>After the <a href="https://www.uidaho.edu/" target="_blank">University of Idaho</a> installed nine <a href="https://www.cdw.com/product/LG-55LV35A-5B-55-LED-backlit-Video-Wall-Display/3453812" target="_blank">55-inch thin-bezel LG displays</a>, professors found that students were much more engaged during lectures.</p> <p>“The addition of the <a href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/brand/lg.html?enkwrd=LG" target="_blank">LG</a> video wall has <strong>truly elevated the learning environment</strong>, quality of instruction and overall classroom experience,” Greg Clifford, classroom technology service manager at the University of Idaho said in an<a href="https://www.digitalsignageconnection.com/university-idaho-engineers-dynamic-new-learning-environment-advanced-lg-video-wall-technology" target="_blank"> LG case study</a>. “All parties involved have seen remarkable improvements, and we’re extremely pleased with the results — tangible and intangible — that LG’s displays have produced.”</p> <p>As university administrators begin to invest more in these high-powered displays, there has been <strong>a proliferation of creative uses for video walls</strong> that could inspire colleges just getting started with their integration plans.</p> <p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/register?newsletter" target="_blank"><strong>SIGN UP</strong>: Get more news from the <em>EdTech</em> newsletter in your inbox every two weeks!</a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Students Are On Board with Realistic Digital Ship Simulator</h2> <p>At the <a href="https://www.sunymaritime.edu/" target="_blank">State University of New York Maritime College</a> in Throggs Neck, N.Y., future tugboat captains command a “vessel” that cost <strong>$1.5 million </strong>to build and has never once touched the water.</p> <p>It’s not a real ship, but a simulator. Made from more than three dozen <a href="https://www.cdw.com/product/Samsung-PM55H-PMH-Series-55in-LED-display/4620667?RecommendedForEDC=3081232&amp;RecoType=RP&amp;cm_sp=Product-_-Session&amp;ProgramIdentifier=3" target="_blank">55-inch Samsung LED displays</a>, the simulator takes the shape of a tugboat pilothouse. It’s so realistic that the<strong> U.S. Coast Guard awards students sea time</strong> based on their experiences with the video wall.</p> <p>“When we take people through it on tours, I have to tell people that the room isn’t moving,” says James Rogin, the college’s director of professional education and training. “I tell people, ‘If you feel like you’re getting seasick, just close your eyes.’ <strong>It sounds silly, but it’s that realistic</strong>.”</p> <p><img alt="Transportation_Optimized.png" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/higher/sites/edtechmagazine.com.higher/files/Transportation_Optimized.png" /></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11px; line-height: 20.8px;">Video walls help SUNY Maritime students train in real-world sailing scenarios without ever leaving the shore. Photo: Samsung for Business</span></p> <p>In aggregate, the video displays provide a <strong>360-degree view of several different ports</strong>, allowing students to test their skills in challenging weather and varying sea conditions.</p> <p>“Freshmen are exposed to the simulator before they go out to our training ship over the summer,” Rogin says. “They’ll go over helm orders and how to steer, how to execute commands. They’re the officers, and <strong>they’re actually controlling the bridge</strong> like they would the bridge of any modern ship.”</p> <h2 id="toc_1">Video Walls Expand the Student Experience</h2> <p>At <a href="https://www.stanford.edu/" target="_blank">Stanford University</a>, the recently built HANA Immersive Visualization Environment (HIVE) system, a cluster of 13440x5400-resolution <a href="https://www.cdw.com/search/Monitors-Projectors/?key=video+display&amp;searchscope=all&amp;sr=1&amp;w=D" target="_blank">video displays</a> covering a span of 10 feet by 24 feet has <strong>professors and students clamoring</strong> to use the new tech for their academic projects. </p> <p>Empowered by the new visual tools, the Stanford community has witnessed the Big Bang, experienced congenital heart disease and studied Michelangelo’s <em>David</em> — all <strong>without stepping off campus</strong>.</p> <p>“Researchers are creating <strong>tremendous amounts of data </strong>through computations, simulations, measurements, sensor readings and so forth," Margot Gerritsen, director of the Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering told Stanford News.</p> <p>"A laptop screen doesn't do that justice. We have to have a way to visualize data in ways that <strong>allow us to see the big picture</strong> and also zoom in on the detail.”</p> <p><em>To read more about how universities are using video walls on their campuses, read “<a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2018/07/video-walls-bring-campus-highlights-big-screen">Video Walls Bring Campus Highlights to the Big Screen</a>.”</em></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/higher/author/calvin-hennick"><img src="/higher/sites/edtechmagazine.com.higher/files/styles/face_small/public/people/calvin-hennick.jpeg.jpg?itok=xXXtEq5w" width="58" height="58" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/higher/author/calvin-hennick"> <div>Calvin Hennick</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href="https://twitter.com/intent/follow?region=follow_link&amp;screen_name=calvinhennick&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Calvin Hennick is a freelance journalist who specializes in business and technology writing. He is a contributor to the CDW family of technology magazines.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Fri, 10 Aug 2018 18:36:48 +0000 eli.zimmerman_9856 41071 at https://edtechmagazine.com/higher Universities Work to Optimize High-Performance Computing Resources https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2018/08/universities-work-optimize-high-performance-computing-resources <span>Universities Work to Optimize High-Performance Computing Resources</span> <span><span lang="" about="/higher/user/9856" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">eli.zimmerman_9856</span></span> <span>Wed, 08/08/2018 - 14:04</span> <div><p>For higher education institutions, <strong>high-performance computing is essential</strong> to enabling academic and scientific research arms to support and improve pathways for their researchers. </p> <p>To help uncover issues in their networks and maintain optimal performance, universities are <strong>starting to ask the right questions</strong>: Who is using the network? For what? How much bandwidth are projects consuming?</p> <p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/register?newsletter" target="_blank"><strong>SIGN UP</strong>: Get more news from the <em>EdTech</em> newsletter in your inbox every two weeks!</a></p> <h2 id="toc_1">How to Design for Optimal Performance for Research</h2> <p>For universities looking to utilize their research findings, the first step is <strong>understanding the weaknesses</strong> in their HPC network.</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.buffalo.edu/" target="_blank">University at Buffalo</a>, with funding from the <a href="https://www.nsf.gov/" target="_blank">National Science Foundation</a>, developed software to <strong>monitor HPC resources</strong> to help with optimization. </p> <p><strong>XD Metrics on Demand (XDMoD)</strong> runs in all NSF-funded HPC centers, where it collects data on and reports to NSF about utilization and job-level performance, explains Thomas Furlani, Director of the university’s <a href="http://www.ccr.buffalo.edu/" target="_blank">Center for Computational Research</a>. There’s also an <strong>open-source version</strong> used by a few hundred academic and commercial HPC centers worldwide. </p> <p>In addition to gathering data such as CPU capacity, disc I/O rate and cache, XDMoD <strong>runs application kernels daily</strong> to measure quality of service. </p> <p>“Since we run them every day, <strong>when something gets out of sync, we can tell that the performance has dropped</strong> and ask what happened between then and now to cause the system performance to be poor,” Furlani says. “We don’t want to wait for users to notice problems. This allows us to find them before the canaries in the coal mine.”</p> <h2 id="toc_0">Strong University HPC Network Can Extend Data's Reach</h2> <p>Even with a strong network, most university research holdings <strong>tend to be treated as data islands</strong>. There’s no central inventory of projects, so data rarely extends beyond its primary use.</p> <p><a href="http://www.montana.edu/" target="_blank">Montana State University</a> set out to change that, using its <a href="http://www.montana.edu/uit/bridger/" target="_blank">Bridger </a><a href="http://www.montana.edu/uit/bridger/" target="_blank">High Performance</a><a href="http://www.montana.edu/uit/bridger/" target="_blank"> Research Network</a> to <strong>conduct a data census</strong> with the goal of turning their data islands into lakes. </p> <p>In one project, Ross Snider, an electrical and computer engineering researcher at MSU, is working with colleagues at the <a href="https://ucsd.edu/" target="_blank">University of California, San Diego</a> to study marmosets’ vocalizations. The researchers use BridgerNet to <strong>share the hundreds of gigabytes of data</strong> they capture. </p> <p>By studying how marmosets use discrete signals to communicate, the researchers hope to create algorithms that can <strong>detect audio signals</strong> in order to improve the next generation of human hearing aids.</p> <p>When MSU Vice President and Chief Information Officer Jerry Sheehan and his team learned of the project, they connected Snider with opportunities for <strong>university outreach to K–12 students</strong>. </p> <p>A Family Science Night event at the university gave 500 students the opportunity to learn about Snider’s research by <strong>viewing content</strong> from <a href="https://www.cdw.com/product/Flir-Vue-Pro-336-Thermal-Camera-30Hz-Black/5068446" target="_blank">thermal-imaging camera</a>s and audio-imaging software depicting the marmoset vocalizations. </p> <p>“That opportunity to engage and inform doesn’t happen if we don’t know about Ross’s data,” says Sheehan. “That <strong>fusion of research, instruction </strong><strong>and</strong><strong> outreach</strong> doesn’t happen if we can’t bring together programs.”</p> <p>To learn more about high-performance research networks, read <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2018/07/big-data-networks-connect-higher-education-researchers" target="_blank"><em>Big Data Networks Connect Higher Education Researchers</em></a>.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/higher/k12/author/melissa-delaney"> <div>Melissa Delaney</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Melissa Delaney is a freelance journalist who specializes in business technology. She is a frequent contributor to the CDW family of technology magazines.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Wed, 08 Aug 2018 18:04:28 +0000 eli.zimmerman_9856 41066 at https://edtechmagazine.com/higher