EdTech Magazine - Technology Solutions That Drive Education https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/rss.xml en What Do You Want Your Esports Program to Achieve? https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/12/what-do-you-want-your-esports-program-achieve <span>What Do You Want Your Esports Program to Achieve?</span> <span><span lang="" about="/higher/dashboard/rickyribeiro-5" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="shailaja.neelakantan_fM4b">shailaja.neela…</span></span> <span>Thu, 12/05/2019 - 09:19</span> <div><p>As esports matures, colleges are discovering that this popular activity isn’t a one-size-fits-all endeavor. Institutions have plenty of room to customize a program and the accompanying investment. While <strong>some colleges are betting big on esports</strong> — <a href="https://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/os-bz-full-sail-esports-arena-20190305-story.html" target="_blank">Full Sail University</a> opened its $6 million arena in May — it’s entirely possible to build a thriving program for far less. </p> <p>The biggest factor in determining the scope of a program is identifying your primary goal. That typically falls into one of three buckets: recruitment, retention or curriculum. <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2018/11/why-esports-should-be-your-it-teams-radar">Most esports programs</a> will touch each of these to some degree, but generally speaking, <strong>one goal will drive the program</strong> more than others.</p> <p><em><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/07/when-building-esports-arena-cpus-are-important-consideration-perfcon" target="_blank"><strong>MORE FROM EDTECH</strong>: When building an esports arena, CPUs are an important consideration.</a></em></p> <h2>Recruitment, Retention and Curriculum Are Top College Esports Drivers</h2> <p>When recruitment is the aim, a college is looking to build one of the best teams in the country and, to do so, <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/resources/white-paper/its-game-esports-education">attract strong players</a>. Most colleges going this route will <strong>dedicate a space exclusively to the team</strong> and invest in equipment of a caliber that allows players to be truly competitive.</p> <p>Increasingly, esports teams can provide the same recruiting boost that traditional sports do, drawing players who may choose a college primarily on the basis of its competitive standing in their chosen sport. In fact, <strong>high-performing esports teams are starting to drive the same uptick in enrollment</strong> that historically has followed national athletics championships. </p> <p>If the focus is on retention, the classroom or facility space is more likely to be open to students who aren’t on the esports team. For example, a college might host <strong>campuswide tournaments that emphasize social engagement </strong>rather than intercollegiate competition. Retention-oriented programs often exist alongside academic programs, such as major or minor degrees in game design or esports management.</p> <p>Programs with a curricular emphasis may be embedded within an academic department. <strong>The esports space is likely open to all students</strong> and, in some cases, may include broadcasting equipment for students learning how to film and produce events. Because<strong> streaming is such a huge part of esports</strong>, broadcasting students may hold internships that give them experience on camera or behind the camera while players are competing.</p> <p>Curriculum-oriented programs may also have roles for students studying marketing, event planning or esports management. <a href="https://www.su.edu/esports/" target="_blank">Shenandoah University’s esports program</a>, for example, offers majors, minors and certificates in a variety of <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/06/esports-can-increase-stem-equity-higher-education">academic specialties</a>. <strong>Business schools are also getting in on the act.</strong> With the global esports industry projected to pass the <a href="https://resources.newzoo.com/hubfs/2019_Free_Global_Esports_Market_Report.pdf?utm_campaign=Esports%20Market%20Report&amp;utm_source=hs_automation&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_content=76220213&amp;_hsenc=p2ANqtz-8YI4mcxvOhi2zE1zQ34CNxiWIICJx05bkKuxNasE0tCxwblbKQMZhZfVEDjZh9RhOjtnktPf3giMb2-Jwf6qHZKxitIrvbCamCkmbCrDCitkwuj7g&amp;_hsmi=76220213" target="_blank">$1 billion mark</a> this year, it’s something that business majors should have on their radar. After all, corporations do: <a href="https://esportsinsider.com/2019/05/state-farm-league-of-legends-esports/" target="_blank">State Farm</a> and <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/mattrybaltowski/2018/09/19/mastercard-enters-esports-space-in-global-partnership-with-riot-games-league-of-legends/#6b55d3da72f6" target="_blank">Mastercard</a>, among others, have entered into multiyear esports sponsorships.</p> <p><em><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/08/game-building-collegiate-esports-program-ground" target="_blank"><strong>MORE FROM EDTECH</strong>: Game On: Building a collegiate esports program from the ground up.</a></em></p> <h2 id="toc_1">Take Advantage of Esports’ Flexibility to Customize Your Program</h2> <p>Another distinction is whether a program is varsity or nonvarsity. <a href="https://nacesports.org/what-is-e-sports/" target="_blank">The National Association of Collegiate eSports</a> defines <strong>a varsity team as one that has a full-time employee who runs the program</strong>, whether that’s a coach or director. <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/10/esports-coaches-share-lessons-learned-path-building-new-program" target="_blank">Ottawa University</a> fast-tracked a program by hiring its first coach less than a year after the chancellor expressed interest in the endeavor.</p> <p>It’s important to note that all of these aspects of esports programs are valuable in their own right. <strong>Having a competitive team is great</strong>, but just as many institutions want to develop an esports program that serves the entire campus and <strong>gives students diverse opportunities to participate</strong>. As the field continues to mature and grow, we’ll see colleges dream up new ways to support team activity and deliver relevant academic programs.</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/higher/higher/higher/higher/higher/higher/higher/higher/higher/higher/higher/higher/higher/higher/higher/higher/higher/author/joe-mcallister" hreflang="en"><img src="/higher/higher/higher/higher/higher/higher/higher/higher/higher/higher/higher/higher/higher/higher/higher/higher/higher/higher/sites/edtechmagazine.com.higher/files/styles/face_small/public/people/JoeMcAllister.jpg?itok=wnB4yNmz" width="58" height="58" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/higher/higher/higher/higher/higher/higher/higher/higher/higher/higher/higher/higher/higher/higher/higher/higher/higher/higher/author/joe-mcallister"> <div>Joe McAllister</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Joe McAllister is a learning environment advisor at CDW•G.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Thu, 05 Dec 2019 14:19:34 +0000 shailaja.neelakantan_fM4b 42826 at https://edtechmagazine.com/higher SQL Server 2008’s End of Life Opens New Role for Database as a Service https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/12/sql-server-2008s-end-life-opens-new-role-database-service <span>SQL Server 2008’s End of Life Opens New Role for Database as a Service </span> <span><span lang="" about="/higher/dashboard/rickyribeiro-5" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="shailaja.neelakantan_fM4b">shailaja.neela…</span></span> <span>Tue, 12/03/2019 - 15:46</span> <div><p>Is SQL Server the push you need to move to the cloud? Last July, <strong>Microsoft put a stake in the heart of SQL Server 2008</strong>, ending even extended support. SQL Server 2012 and 2014 are in extended support now, and SQL Server 2016 is less than 18 months from the same status. </p> <p>IT and network managers with applications dependent on <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2016/03/what-higher-ed-needs-know-sql-server-2014-vs-microsoft-azure-sql-database">SQL Server </a>have an uphill climb to keep their database infrastructures up to date, even in <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2015/12/colleges-face-security-risks-microsoft-prepares-sql-server-2005-end-life">a mature product </a>like this one. The <strong>concern isn’t limited to the software</strong>; server OSs, CPUs, memory and disk are all part of the biannual SQL upgrades I’ve been seeing.</p> <p><strong>There is an alternative: <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/04/optimize-cloud-deployments-close-skills-gap-perfcon">cloud-based Platform</a> as a Service database services</strong>. This isn’t just the cloud version of the Infrastructure as a Service approach that IT managers in all sectors are embracing. Database as a Service is an opportunity to eliminate an entire layer of management and responsibility by moving from IaaS to PaaS. </p> <p><em><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2016/03/4-steps-lower-your-risk-sql-server-2014-migration" target="_blank"><strong>MORE FROM EDTECH</strong>: 4 steps to lower your risk with a SQL server 2014 migration.</a></em></p> <h2 id="toc_0">SQL Server’s End of Life Puts the Spotlight on Database as a Service</h2> <p>Many IT managers are already looking at the possibility of <strong>shifting workloads to cloud service providers</strong>. Although larger institutions are accustomed to running in-house data centers, that’s beginning to change. Many administrative and collaboration applications can be outsourced, which frees IT staff to focus on strategic applications on the academic and research sides of the house. In higher education, the huge shift to <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/02/microsoft-office-365-delivers-unified-experience-ohio-state-university">Microsoft Office 365</a> is testament to how much <strong>IT groups want to get someone else to do the hard work of providing email and collaboration services</strong> to students and faculty.</p> <p>Unfortunately, many <strong>administrative applications have complex infrastructures</strong>, including multiple tiers of servers and callouts to local application programming interfaces. The task of shifting an entire application, especially a homegrown one, can seem insurmountable. This is why IT managers are running into end-of-service limits on SQL Server to begin with: Touching and updating the application has turned into an unpleasant and dangerous task to be avoided until absolutely necessary. </p> <p>The obvious solution to these woes is either to pick up the entire application, doing <strong>a “lift and shift” to a cloud service provider</strong>, or to switch to a new version or even a new application that’s more cloud-friendly from the start. That’s the best practice, the way to <strong>optimize price and performance</strong>, and the approach that will achieve the biggest gains from a cloud shift. But what can you do when that’s not possible and you have to get onto a supported database version?</p> <p>Shifting to PaaS database services could, in theory, be as simple as signing up for a database service, changing the address of the SQL server and forcing <strong>Transport Layer Security encryption</strong> on the connection. Your existing applications could run and, aside from a much longer (and perhaps slower) pipe between the application server and the database server, everything would be just the same as it was the day before. </p> <p>To evaluate whether this will work for you, consider three factors.</p> <p><em><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/02/solid-state-storage-boosts-speed-and-cuts-downtime-campus-it" target="_blank"><strong>MORE FROM EDTECH</strong>: Solid-state storage boosts speed and cuts downtime for campus IT.</a></em></p> <h2 id="toc_1">Performance, Security and Cost Are Factors in Database as a Service</h2> <p>Performance will always be the biggest issue. If the database server shows thousands of queries per second (<strong>check the SQLServer:Databases object in perfmon as a starting point)</strong>, lots of logins and logouts, and extremely large transaction sizes, the latency (and possible bandwidth limits) between your data center and the cloud may be too high for good application performance. </p> <p>Huge databases aren’t a problem — <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2016/02/product-review-veeam-availability-suite-solid-cloud-ready-backup-solution">cloud providers</a> have that figured out, although migration can be a pain — but inefficient use of the database will be magnified and degraded by a cloud between application server and database. The key to determining whether <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2014/01/colleges-chart-gradual-migration-cloud">a cloud shift</a> will work is to <strong>understand the overall architecture</strong> and how the application uses the database. </p> <p>From a security perspective, <strong>moving data off-campus always sends up red flags</strong>. With all of the compliance requirements in higher education, the custodial requirements for even data that is not personally identifiable information are significant. </p> <p>Fortunately, <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2013/03/what-software-service">cloud</a> PaaS database providers do a good job of logging and auditing, if you take the time to set things up properly in the first place. <strong>A thorough security review, especially of access controls</strong>, is an absolute necessity before moving the data. Adding TLS (for data in motion) and Transparent Data Encryption (for data at rest) are likely first steps.</p> <p>Costs and licensing are also important. Inefficient databases in your data center may be slow, but inefficient databases in the cloud are slow and expensive. <strong>Shifting to PaaS saves hardware, storage, backup, licensing and management costs</strong>, but replaces them with service charges. </p> <p>No matter which database you select, you need to <strong>properly size and scale it within the PaaS framework</strong> to achieve your performance goals. Fortunately, PaaS providers generally let you move up and down levels, so you can find your sweet spot for price and performance. </p> <p><strong>Performance, security and costs are key when looking at PaaS databases</strong>, but they’re not all you’ll need to consider. Other factors include data migration, database access to secondary applications, management and support, backup policies, and a new support model. </p> <p>Moving a database to PaaS and leaving the application in your data center is often the least desirable option, especially when compared to shifting an entire application to the cloud. But if <strong>SQL Server retirement</strong> is <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2015/12/colleges-face-security-risks-microsoft-prepares-sql-server-2005-end-life">forcing this on you</a>, it’s an option — and it may be a first step toward a larger cloud migration.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/higher/author/joel-snyder" hreflang="en"><img src="/higher/sites/edtechmagazine.com.higher/files/styles/face_small/public/author/Joel_Studio_Headshot_180.jpg?itok=TYcy4rmk" width="58" height="58" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/higher/author/joel-snyder"> <div>Joel Snyder</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Joel Snyder, Ph.D., is a senior IT consultant with 30 years of practice. An internationally recognized expert in the areas of security, messaging and networks, Dr. Snyder is a popular speaker and author and is known for his unbiased and comprehensive tests of security and networking products. His clients include major organizations on six continents.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Tue, 03 Dec 2019 20:46:25 +0000 shailaja.neelakantan_fM4b 42821 at https://edtechmagazine.com/higher ‘Data Analytics Can Save Higher Education’, Say Top College Bodies https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/11/data-analytics-can-save-higher-education-say-top-college-bodies <span>‘Data Analytics Can Save Higher Education’, Say Top College Bodies</span> <span><span lang="" about="/higher/dashboard/rickyribeiro-5" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="shailaja.neelakantan_fM4b">shailaja.neela…</span></span> <span>Tue, 11/26/2019 - 13:41</span> <div><p><strong>Georgia State Universit</strong>y has <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/04/georgia-state-tackles-racial-disparities-data-driven-academic-support">a proven record</a> of <a href="https://success.gsu.edu/approach/" target="_blank">using predictive analytics to improve student retention</a> and <a href="https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/social-sector/our-insights/how-to-improve-student-educational-outcomes-new-insights-from-data-analytics" target="_blank">graduation rates</a>, and many other higher education institutions are using <strong>tools of data analysis</strong> to parse student data to figure out who is at risk of dropping a course or flunking out.</p> <p>These <strong>data points can include such things as attendance, Wi-Fi usage, library visits, timely tuition payments and, of course, grades</strong>. Schools can give students in need an extra push or nudge them toward a more suitable program of study.</p> <p>But while these efforts are laudable, they are still small projects, and colleges and universities have failed to follow through on the <strong>talk about using Big Data</strong>, three noted higher education bodies observed in a recent statement. This failure could negatively affect schools’ bottom lines. </p> <p>Consider this: Improvement in <strong>student retention alone can earn colleges approximately $1 million annually</strong>, <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2017/07/better-retention-could-boost-annual-college-profits-1-million-study-finds">according to</a> RPK Group. If universities expanded data analytics to mine <a href="https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/social-sector/our-insights/how-higher-education-institutions-can-transform-themselves-using-advanced-analytics" target="_blank">the wealth of information at their disposal</a> they could use this data to innovate in student recruiting, institutional efficiency and cost-containment. As state spending on higher education continues to decline and student enrollment falls sharply, data analytics could be a budget booster for universities.</p> <p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/08/what-can-real-time-data-analytics-do-higher-education-perfcon" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM EDTECH</strong>: What Can Real-Time Data Analytics Do for Higher Education?</em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Stakes “Too High” to Not Use Data Analysis</h2> <p>Data analysis “could save higher education,” noted the <strong>Association for Institutional Research (AIR), EDUCAUSE, and the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO)</strong> in a <a href="https://changewithanalytics.com/statement/" target="_blank">joint statement</a>.</p> <p>The three organizations, which together represent 2,500 colleges and universities, outline six principles that they believe if followed will address some of the institutional, ethical, practical and bureaucratic flaws that beset the analysis of Big Data. They say following their guidelines will accelerate “<strong>the meaningful use of analytics</strong> and take advantage of the power of data to make the decisions and take the actions that just may save higher education.” </p> <p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2018/05/colleges-tackle-retention-problem-emerging-tech" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM EDTECH</strong>: Colleges Tackle the Retention Problem with Emerging Tech</em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_1">Big Investments for Big Rewards</h2> <p>Universities need to make <strong>substantial investments with not just money but time and talent</strong> to effectively mine data, the joint statement says. Equally important, the data needs to be shared institutionwide — analytics shouldn’t take place in silos or be seen as the individual properties of separate offices within an institution. </p> <p>Analytics works best when <strong>clear, measurable outcomes</strong> are targeted. What worked for Georgia State may not work for another college. Alongside making sure these elements are in place, it’s important to ensure that faculty, staff and students develop data literacy skills to effectively parse the data to engender performance improvement in all areas. </p> <p>This kind of cohesive strategy can bring in <strong>more money for the university</strong>, the three higher education bodies noted. </p> <h2 id="toc_2">Be Ethical When Using Sensitive Student Data</h2> <p>While <strong>monetary gains from data analytics can be a big draw</strong>, the three education bodies say they cannot stress enough that training and awareness among personnel who are mining sensitive student data is crucial. </p> <p>Take the Georgia State University example. While there is no doubt the institution has had success using predictive analytics to improve graduation rates, <strong>vital questions have been raised about whether the process is reinforcing racial stereotypes, perpetuating inequality and invading privacy</strong> at the majority-black university, noted the Hechinger Report. </p> <p>Predictive algorithms “might be reinforcing historical inequities, (and) funneling low-income students or students of color into easier majors,” according to the <a href="https://hechingerreport.org/predictive-analytics-boosting-college-graduation-rates-also-invade-privacy-and-reinforce-racial-inequities/" target="_blank">Hechinger Report</a>. A blind pattern hunt from data can seriously risk students’ career and confidence. </p> <p>It’s vital to have “<strong>a deep understanding of the assumptions underlying the analytic methodologies,</strong>” noted the AIR, NACUBO and EDUCAUSE joint statement.</p> <p>Precautions about ethics, education and expertise aside, the most significant point the associations made is that <strong>universities need to get on board with data analytics now.</strong></p> <p>“For every semester we don’t do everything we can to ensure student success — including using analytics to increase student progress and completion — students leave our campuses without graduating, discouraged and more in debt than when they entered,” the three organizations noted. <strong>“The time to act is now.”</strong></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/shailaja-neelakantan"> <div>Shailaja Neelakantan</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Tue, 26 Nov 2019 18:41:37 +0000 shailaja.neelakantan_fM4b 42816 at https://edtechmagazine.com/higher The Wi-Fi 6 Syllabus: 3 Core Concepts for Campus Use Cases https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/11/wi-fi-6-syllabus-3-core-concepts-campus-use-cases <span>The Wi-Fi 6 Syllabus: 3 Core Concepts for Campus Use Cases</span> <span><span lang="" about="/higher/dashboard/rickyribeiro-5" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="shailaja.neelakantan_fM4b">shailaja.neela…</span></span> <span>Tue, 11/26/2019 - 12:22</span> <div><p>Wi-Fi 6 is gaining digital ground. In September, this sixth-generation wireless standard was <a href="https://www.sdxcentral.com/articles/news/wifi-6-gains-certification-inches-closer-to-mass-adoption/2019/09/" target="_blank">certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance</a>. Also known as High Efficiency Wireless (HEW) or 802.11ax, <strong>the next iteration of Wi-Fi promises faster speeds</strong>, simultaneous connections and reduced device battery usage.</p> <p>With <a href="https://media.erepublic.com/document/CDE18_WHITE_PAPER_Cisco-HigherEd_V.pdf" target="_blank">77 percent of postsecondary campuses</a> now adopting Internet of Things technologies to improve access and enhance student engagement, <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/03/higher-education-invests-wi-fi-technology-smart-campus-projects-perfcon">smart campus Wi-Fi solutions</a> are critical to deliver on performance promises and meet evolving expectations.</p> <p>But simply ripping and replacing current network devices with Wi-Fi 6 solutions won’t earn top marks for ROI. As noted by <a href="https://www.cbronline.com/news/iot-adoption-microsoft" target="_blank">CBR Online</a>, while <strong>85 percent of organizations already use IoT solutions</strong> and are looking to implement wireless tech trends, they often struggle to connect IT rollouts with measurable returns.</p> <p>The answer? To effectively leverage the future of wireless technology, start with a Wi-Fi 6 syllabus that covers <strong>three key concepts for campus use cases: design, infrastructure and implementation.</strong></p> <p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/11/5g-and-wi-fi-6-whats-difference-and-where-do-they-belong-campus-perfcon" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM EDTECH: </strong>5G and Wi-Fi 6: What’s the difference, and where do they belong on campus?</em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Apply Design Thinking to Wi-Fi 6 High-Capacity Access Points</h2> <p>As noted by Cisco Distinguished Systems Engineer Rob Barton,<strong> Wi-Fi 6 uses “fundamentally the same mechanism” as previous generations </strong>(802.11a, b, g and ac), making it backward-compatible and interchangeable with existing technology. </p> <p>What sets Wi-Fi 6 apart is a shift away from competition-based algorithms that permit only serial connections — 802.11ax solves the problem “by letting <strong>multiple users transmit at the same time on different resource units</strong>.” This allows up to 4,000 simultaneous client connections, reducing the strain on networks now tasked with handling 60,000 to 70,000 devices, on average.</p> <p>Here, design thinking is critical to maximize campus impact. While it’s possible to simply duplicate existing Wi-Fi networks using sixth-generation infrastructure, this ignores <strong>the ability of 802.11ax to increase total device volume</strong>. By deploying next-generation access points at scale, campus IT teams can both improve connection stability for IoT devices and diversify the type of devices present. </p> <p>Using what’s known as targeted wake time (TWT), <strong>even battery-powered devices such as parking lot sensors or wireless security cameras can be connected to new Wi-Fi 6 networks</strong> and powered on only at specific intervals to deliver key data — then returned to dormancy until their next scheduled wake.</p> <h2 id="toc_1">Account for Infrastructure Needs in Wi-Fi 6 Deployments</h2> <p>Barton puts it simply: When it comes to bandwidth on campuses, there’s never enough. </p> <p>This will be even more critical as <strong>the number of connected devices continues to rise</strong>. While campuses such as <a href="https://campustechnology.com/articles/2019/09/19/seneca-college-transitioning-to-wifi-6.aspx" target="_blank">Seneca College </a>have already started their Wi-Fi 6 transition — just months after the new standard’s certification — connecting modernized admin buildings, residence halls and advanced research facilities means accounting for the sheer number of mobile devices, already-placed sensors and cloud-connected technologies populating new Wi-Fi networks.</p> <p>As a result, <strong>colleges need a twofold approach to infrastructure assessment:</strong></p> <ul><li>Find the right fit: As <a href="https://www.networkcomputing.com/wireless-infrastructure/wi-fi-6-adoption-it%E2%80%99s-all-timing" target="_blank">Network Computing</a> points out, with <strong>Wi-Fi 6 still in the early adopter stage</strong>, not all APs and routers are created equal. IT staff will be well served by evaluating industry leaders to find the best-fit backbone for new Wi-Fi and IoT deployments.</li> <li>Build out bandwidth: <strong>Last-mile connections are always the weakest link in network infrastructure</strong>. If current ISP bandwidth can’t meet increased throughput demand from always-connected IoT devices, new Wi-Fi 6 solutions won’t deliver on their potential. Before large-scale adoption starts, make sure campus connections are up to the challenge.</li> </ul><p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/11/keep-wi-fi-6-mind-when-planning-network-upgrades" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE</strong></em></a><em><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/11/keep-wi-fi-6-mind-when-planning-network-upgrades" target="_blank"><strong> </strong></a><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/11/keep-wi-fi-6-mind-when-planning-network-upgrades" target="_blank"><strong>FROM</strong></a><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/11/keep-wi-fi-6-mind-when-planning-network-upgrades" target="_blank"><strong> </strong></a></em><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/11/keep-wi-fi-6-mind-when-planning-network-upgrades" target="_blank"><em><strong>EDTECH</strong>: Keep Wi-Fi 6 in mind when planning network upgrades</em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_2">Assess Implementation Strategies for Wi-Fi 6 Networks</h2> <p>Wi-Fi 6 implementation doesn’t happen in isolation. According to <a href="https://www.pcmag.com/article/368072/wi-fi-6-may-be-faster-but-its-also-more-challenging-for-it" target="_blank">PC Magazine</a>, while new Wi-Fi standards will transform current wireless networks, the cellular equivalent (5G) also plays a critical role in deploying IoT at scale. </p> <p>Consider security: While Barton notes that <strong>WPA3 protection offered by Wi-Fi 6 networks outpaces that of 5G</strong> for identity and access management, campuses need comprehensive solutions that permit seamless connection transfer between Wi-Fi and cellular networks as students move on and off campus but require the same level of secure access. Here, both dedicated identity access management tools and basic protections, such as two-factor authentication, can help bridge the security gap.</p> <p>Barton also points to <strong>an increasing mismatch across data volumes and processing potential</strong>. With smart devices generating more data, more quickly, as campuses ramp up the number of simultaneous connections, distance from application to information becomes a critical concern. </p> <p><strong>Cloud architects will play a critical role</strong> in effective implementation as more campuses adopt cloud technologies and edge computing becomes the de facto standard, says Barton. In this environment, widely distributed Wi-Fi 6 APs will reduce the time required for apps to communicate with cloud resources and return critical results.</p> <p>Wi-Fi 6’s newly minted official status means <strong>there’s no need to rush campus deployment</strong>, especially if IT teams lack strong links between next-generation networking standards and measurable smart device ROI. The best bet is to follow the syllabus. Start with design thinking: How do Wi-Fi 6 advantages align with current and future campus objectives? Next, shore up infrastructure to meet new AP bandwidth demands. </p> <p>Finally, consider the <strong>implementation overlap between 5G, IoT and Wi-Fi 6 </strong>solutions.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/higher/taxonomy/term/11901" hreflang="en"><img src="/higher/sites/edtechmagazine.com.higher/files/styles/face_small/public/people/Bonderud-Headshot.jpg?itok=DLb_Z2cB" width="58" height="58" alt="Bonderud" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/higher/taxonomy/term/11901"> <div>Doug Bonderud</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Doug Bonderud is an award-winning writer capable of bridging the gap between complex and conversational across technology, innovation and the human condition. </p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Tue, 26 Nov 2019 17:22:28 +0000 shailaja.neelakantan_fM4b 42811 at https://edtechmagazine.com/higher Colleges See Equity Success With Adaptive Learning Systems https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/11/colleges-see-equity-success-adaptive-learning-systems <span>Colleges See Equity Success With Adaptive Learning Systems</span> <span><span lang="" about="/higher/dashboard/rickyribeiro-5" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="shailaja.neelakantan_fM4b">shailaja.neela…</span></span> <span>Mon, 11/25/2019 - 11:02</span> <div><p>At <a href="https://www.cscc.edu/" target="_blank">Columbus State Community College</a>’s Bridge to College Math course, there is no professor at the front of the room lecturing students. Instead, students sit in pairs at carrels — one at a computer and another with a notebook — as two math instructors make their way through the room. </p> <p>As this happens, <strong>a central workstation monitors the students’ computer screens</strong> to keep track of their learning progress. Instructors then analyze this information and tailor teaching to each student as part of an<a href="https://www.mheducation.com/ideas/what-is-adaptive-learning.html" target="_blank"> adaptive learning system</a> — powered by AI and advanced algorithms — introduced at this Ohio community college seven years ago.</p> <p>The <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2018/12/how-universities-can-create-their-own-active-learning-classrooms">system</a> has transformed Columbus State’s <strong>course completion rates</strong>, especially for historically disadvantaged students. Overall course completion among all students rose to nearly 74 percent in 2018, up from 67 percent in 2012. And semester-to-semester retention rates among black students increased to 81 percent in 2018, up from 68 percent in 2015. What’s more, the college shrunk the <strong>yawning gap in course completion success between white and black students</strong> to 13.7 percentage points in 2018 from a 22 percentage-point gap in 2012. </p> <p>“Columbus State’s adaptive learning approach showed that systemic change could be achieved at scale,” notes a new <a href="http://info.mheducation.com/closing-the-equity-gap-2019.html" target="_blank">white paper </a>from McGraw-Hill called “The Equity Equation.” The paper showcases institutions like Columbus State, <a href="https://www.asu.edu/" target="_blank">Arizona State University</a> and <a href="https://www.triton.edu/" target="_blank">Triton Community College</a> in Illinois, among others, which are<strong> improving educational equity</strong> by applying new learning methods and tools that adapt to individual student needs. </p> <p>“I used to teach one class of 100 students, but now I teach 100 classes of one student each,” said Doug Williams, the adaptive learning coordinator at <strong>Arizona State University</strong>, in the white paper, describing the effect of using such a technology-driven system to improve learning outcomes.</p> <p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2018/11/6-steps-help-universities-implement-adaptive-courseware" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM EDTECH</strong>: 6 Steps to Help Universities Implement Adaptive Courseware</em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Developing a Continuous Learning Process</h2> <p>Adaptive learning systems — like <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/search/?key=IBM%20Watson&amp;ctlgfilter=&amp;searchscope=all&amp;sr=1" target="_blank">IBM Watson</a> and <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/search/?key=Microsoft%20Power%20BI&amp;searchscope=all&amp;sr=1" target="_blank">Microsoft Power BI</a> — have the advantage of continually assessing college students’ skill and confidence levels. This helps instructors provide precise direction to fill knowledge gaps and adapt to each student’s individual learning styles, customizing education like never before. It’s almost like one-on-one tutoring. And it gives students confidence.</p> <p>A Triton student identified as <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZUg5Ht2Nl8" target="_blank">Adrian</a> in the white paper, is described as <strong>someone who has historically struggled with math</strong> in high school. Based on that experience, he was convinced he just wasn’t good at the subject. But Triton’s adaptive learning classroom techniques have completely flipped the script for him.</p> <p><https: watch="" www.youtube.com=""></https:></p> <p>“Now I’m in Calculus, getting an A,” he’s quoted as saying in the white paper.</p> <p>Enthused by the effect on students like Adrian, more colleges see adaptive learning’s value in improving equity and boosting completion rates. A little more than <strong>50 major higher education institutions</strong> now lead the way in using these tech-driven teaching methods, according to Dale Johnson, director of adaptive learning initiatives as ASU.</p> <p>“Higher education will become one of mass personalization. … We expect that we are at a tipping point where the majority of institutions will now implement adaptive learning over the next five years,” he said.</p> <h2 id="toc_1">University Instructors See an Increased Role in Tech-Assisted Learning</h2> <p>College faculty members are overcoming their <strong>initial reluctance about using tech-driven instruction</strong>. Some worried that it would lead to a chaotic classroom. Others were apprehensive they would be able to gauge whether the class as a whole was making progress. And some thought their roles would become redundant. </p> <p>However, many are realizing that instructors matter even more in <strong>adaptive classrooms</strong> than they might in traditional ones. That’s because they are able to now respond to students on a more direct and individual basis than before. </p> <p>Adaptive learning classrooms “provide a unique gateway to a personalized, individualized, instructor-driven online classroom,” write Amy Sloan and Lindsey Anderson of <a href="https://www.google.com/aclk?sa=l&amp;ai=DChcSEwip7LHUqvnlAhWJtbMKHXtaAt8YABADGgJxbg&amp;sig=AOD64_2A1wuxVz2Y1jDheq0oVq6_ZW9vOg&amp;q=&amp;ved=2ahUKEwjUvKfUqvnlAhVpTt8KHezaC5EQ0Qx6BAgYEAE&amp;adurl=" target="_blank">Colorado Technical University</a>, which adopted the technology for its online courses in 2012, in an <a href="https://er.educause.edu/articles/2018/6/adaptive-learning-unplugged-why-instructors-matter-more-than-ever" target="_blank">EDUCAUSE article</a>. However, “instructors must <strong>enhance the personalization</strong> offered by the AL technology by implementing strategic, targeted instructional approaches,” write Sloan and Anderson. </p> <p>Colleges are also doing their part to build faculty confidence using adaptive learning. ASU requires that<strong> teachers take the adaptive technology-based course </strong>they’ll be teaching. “That was very important, because if you’re going to trust the technology, you have to understand it at that level, at the student’s level,” said Johnson.</p> <p>Policy watchers and philanthropists have noticed the <strong>potential of adaptive learning and are responding</strong>. </p> <p>“A growing body of evidence proves that adaptive learning platforms can be a tool to create equity,” said Stacey VanderHeiden Guney, former director of <strong>Every Learner Everywhere</strong>, a recently launched initiative funded by the Bill &amp; Melinda Gates Foundation to help colleges and universities adopt <strong>intelligent adaptive learning platforms</strong>. The initiative will start small, with a set of two-year and four-year institutions in Texas, Ohio and Florida. It has ambitious plans to expand to at least 200 institutions by 2022.</p> <p></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/shailaja-neelakantan"> <div>Shailaja Neelakantan</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Mon, 25 Nov 2019 16:02:34 +0000 shailaja.neelakantan_fM4b 42806 at https://edtechmagazine.com/higher At UConn’s New $1M Cybersecurity Lab, Students Learn to Hack https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/11/uconns-new-1m-cybersecurity-lab-students-learn-hack <span>At UConn’s New $1M Cybersecurity Lab, Students Learn to Hack </span> <span><span lang="" about="/higher/dashboard/rickyribeiro-5" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="shailaja.neelakantan_fM4b">shailaja.neela…</span></span> <span>Fri, 11/22/2019 - 16:29</span> <div><p>Kazem Kazerounian, dean of the <a href="https://uconn.edu/" target="_blank">University of Connecticut</a>’s <a href="https://www.engr.uconn.edu/" target="_blank">School of Engineering</a>, says the school’s recent addition of a cybersecurity lab isn’t just another computer lab — it’s the future.</p> <p>“This is a lot <strong>more than an undergraduate lab </strong>for us, a lot more than a science experiment. It is [teaching] the skill sets our engineers need to be successful in this war against the bad guys,” Kazerounian tells the <em><a href="https://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-news-connecticut-uconn-cyberlab-20191016-xcjhrxoinngkflrt6lpnhuwoju-story.html" target="_blank">Hartford Courant</a></em>.</p> <p>At UConn, students this fall began taking classes in the <a href="https://www.cse.uconn.edu/news/front-page/altschuler-cybersecurity-lab/" target="_blank">$1 million lab</a>, funded by alumni (and brothers) Stephen Altschuler and Samuel Altschuler. <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/10/hackers-evolve-attacks-methods-higher-education-breaches">Cybersecurity</a> courses will be mandatory for freshman majoring in computer science. By 2021, the university <strong>expects 100 students to be enrolled</strong> in cybersecurity courses each semester.</p> <p>Right out of the gate, students are learning how to <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/10/6-ways-fortify-your-campus-against-phishing-attacks">steal wireless network users’ login information</a> using a fake banking website.</p> <p>As scary as that sounds, the students’ mission is actually to learn how to prevent or deal with cyberattack threats rather than to carry them out. UConn students are learning these and other hacking techniques — like <strong>password cracking, wired network sifting and wireless hijacking.</strong></p> <p>“We are in an age where the threat of cyberattacks has gotten more pervasive. As an institution, we need to be training the <strong>next generation of engineers </strong>to combat this threat, which is why this gift from the Altschuler brothers is so important for the School of Engineering and the University,” said Kazerounian to <em><a href="https://today.uconn.edu/2019/03/brothers-establish-uconns-first-cybersecurity-instructional-lab/" target="_blank">UConn Today</a>.</em> </p> <p><em><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/11/how-schools-and-universities-can-thwart-cyberattackers" target="_blank"><strong>MORE FROM EDTECH</strong>: How Schools and Universities Can Thwart Cyberattackers</a></em></p> <h2 id="toc_0">A Hands-On Approach to Cybersecurity Education</h2> <p>UConn’s cybersecurity courses are fully hands-on and will be entirely practice-based rather than lecture oriented, says Ben Fuller, an assistant professor who designed the course material. If the idea of <strong>hacking in the wild </strong>sounds unsafe, have no fear. Students don’t learn by hacking into actual operational networks. They learn over a monitored system and on an isolated network separate from that of the school.</p> <p>The course’s first-year curriculum covers such areas as <strong>cyber hygiene in software and hardware</strong>, website security, the secure configuration of networks and networked systems, security in network routing, and vulnerabilities in commercial, off-the-shelf devices and IoT devices.</p> <h2 id="toc_1">A Steep Rise in Cyberattacks on Businesses and Consumers</h2> <p>Why the push for a more comprehensive cybersecurity curriculum? </p> <p>Hacking is only becoming more and more pervasive. In July, a data breach at <a href="https://www.capitalone.com/facts2019/" target="_blank">Capital One</a> bank affected more than 100 million people in the U.S. and <strong>put at risk about 140,000 Social Security numbers</strong>, as well as about 80,000 linked bank account numbers. <a href="https://www.courant.com/breaking-news/hc-br-uconn-health-data-security-incident-20190222-llnpkdofond4vb2r4pj5ltucxu-story.html" target="_blank">Several</a> higher education institutions, including UConn itself, have also <a href="https://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-yale-data-breach-lawsuit-20181017-story.html" target="_blank">already</a> been victims of data breaches by cyberattackers.</p> <p>A <strong>Zogby Analytics <a href="https://www.hartfordbusiness.com/article/survey-businesses-report-58-rise-in-email-cyber-attacks" target="_blank">survey</a></strong> reveals 58 percent of more than 400 business executives reported an increase in suspicious phishing emails — messages claiming to be from a senior manager or a vendor seeking payments — in the last year. About 47 percent of employees who received those fake emails were duped and transferred company funds. About 37 percent of those<strong> losses ranged between $50,000 to $100,000</strong>, according to the survey. Meanwhile, data breaches are also threatening the security of more U.S. consumers. An <a href="https://www.munichre.com/hsb/en/press-and-publications/press-releases/2019/2019-04-23-hsb-survey-finds-data-breaches-target-more-consumers.html" target="_blank">April survey </a>by HSB found that 21 percent of consumers said they had been the victim of identity theft, compared with 18 percent two years earlier.</p> <p>It’s no wonder that the <strong>National Academy of Engineering</strong> has declared the security of cyberspace to be one of <a href="http://www.engineeringchallenges.org/" target="_blank">14 major engineering challenges</a> of the 21st century. </p> <p>“[Hackers] affect everything from<strong> Fortune 500 companies</strong> to local governments —and, yes, research universities,” says UConn President Thomas Katsouleas.</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/shailaja-neelakantan"> <div>Shailaja Neelakantan</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Fri, 22 Nov 2019 21:29:49 +0000 shailaja.neelakantan_fM4b 42801 at https://edtechmagazine.com/higher 5G and Wi-Fi 6: What’s the Difference, and Where Do They Belong on Campus? https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/11/5g-and-wi-fi-6-whats-difference-and-where-do-they-belong-campus-perfcon <span>5G and Wi-Fi 6: What’s the Difference, and Where Do They Belong on Campus?</span> <span><span lang="" about="/higher/dashboard/rickyribeiro-5" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="shailaja.neelakantan_fM4b">shailaja.neela…</span></span> <span>Fri, 11/22/2019 - 10:48</span> <div><p>Student device usage is on the rise: As noted by recent <a href="https://www.educause.edu/ecar/research-publications/ecar-study-of-undergraduate-students-and-information-technology/2018/device-access-and-ownership" target="_blank">EDUCAUSE research</a>, 95 percent of postsecondary students have smartphones and 91 percent own laptops. The result is <strong>growing demand for anytime, anywhere access</strong> that supports peer-to-peer collaboration, project coordination and student-to-staff communication. To meet evolving expectations, colleges are embracing enhanced connection deployments, including <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/03/higher-education-invests-wi-fi-technology-smart-campus-projects-perfcon">smart campus Wi-Fi</a> and cellular frameworks such as 5G.</p> <p>Now, there’s a new wireless tech trend on the horizon: Wi-Fi 6. According to Dave Chen, senior product marketing manager for <strong>Aruba, an HPE company</strong>, Wi-Fi 6 “brings much faster speeds and delivers the latest in security for mobile users, Internet of Things devices and latency-sensitive applications, even in crowded areas.”</p> <p>But what exactly is Wi-Fi 6? How does it compare to 5G, where does it make sense to deploy each of these <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2018/09/5g-set-open-new-doors-education-technology-higher-ed">solutions on campus</a> and what’s the timeline for adoption? Here’s what you need to know.</p> <p><em><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/search?search_api_fulltext=5g" target="_blank"><strong>MORE FROM EDTECH</strong>: With 5G Networks, Your Campus Meetings Might Become Virtual</a></em></p> <h2 id="toc_0">5G Networks Will Provide Better Signaling for Mobile Campus Users</h2> <p>5G has been just over the digital horizon for years. This <strong>fifth generation of cellular connection </strong>offers enhancements to both speed and simultaneity: more devices connected at the same time, with improved download and upload speeds.</p> <p>To meet <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2018/06/universities-look-improve-bandwidth-streaming-demand-rises">user demand</a>, most campus cellular networks now leverage 4G or LTE (Long Term Evolution) infrastructure. With enhanced radio technologies and l<strong>arger frequency bands than current solutions</strong>, 5G delivers benefits such as: </p> <p>• Decreased latency: Using <strong>orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing </strong>(OFDM), <a href="https://www.edn.com/electronics-blogs/5g-waves/4460644/How-5G-reduces-data-transmission-latency-" target="_blank">5G networks</a> offer the potential for 1-millisecond latency, which is 10 times as fast as 4G.</p> <p>• Increased capacity: As noted by <a href="https://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/5g-vs-lte/" target="_blank">Digital Trends</a>, 5G should deliver 100 times the traffic capacity of current networks by replacing l<strong>arge connective “masts”</strong> at a distance with small cells densely packed at scale.</p> <p>• Improved signaling: Greater connection density paves the way for more <strong>efficient signaling</strong> and reliable connections.</p> <p>True mobility is the greatest strength of emerging 5G networks: reliable, authenticated connections at scale that travel with users as they move. </p> <p>The caveat? Don’t expect full 5G deployments from popular cellular providers or on-campus networks just yet. As noted by Cisco, <strong>rollouts across select cities are likely to happen late this year </strong>or in early 2020, with most smartphone makers on track to deploy 5G support for new devices sometime next year. </p> <p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2018/10/better-wi-fi-positions-colleges-leverage-smart-campus-tech" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM EDTECH</strong>: Better Wi-Fi Positions Colleges to Leverage Smart Campus Tech</em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_1">Wi-Fi 6 Promises Top Performance for Smart Campus Technologies</h2> <p>What about <a href="https://www.cisco.com/c/m/en_us/solutions/enterprise-networks/802-11ax-solution/nb-06-5-things-WiFi6-5G-infograph-cte-en.html" target="_blank">Wi-Fi 6</a>? This networking standard is on a speedier adoption track than 5G, but largely under the radar. Multiple device manufacturers now offer <strong>Wi-Fi 6-enabled access points</strong>, but it’s not generating the same hype as 5G. </p> <h3>What’s the difference, and why does it matter?</h3> <p>Chen puts it simply: “Wi-Fi 6 is the next iteration of the Wi-Fi Alliance standard for wireless connectivity based on the <strong>802.11ax protocol</strong> and is available now from a number of device manufacturers like Apple and Samsung, as well as enterprise networking vendors like Aruba.”</p> <p>Right now, most <a href="https://www.cdw.com/product/hpe-aruba-ap-555-us-campus-wireless-access-point/5520246?pfm=srh" target="_blank">campus networks</a> rely on the fifth-generation Wi-Fi Alliance standard: 802.11ac. Wi-Fi 6 is backwards-compatible with this standard, but offers critical advantages, in large part because the newest iteration leverages essential cellular technologies — such as orthogonal frequency-division multiple access and multi-user, multiple input, multiple output — to deliver <strong>faster speeds and improved security</strong> across indoor and outdoor environments.</p> <h3>Key components of Wi-Fi 6 include:</h3> <p>• Multi-user, multiple input, multiple output (MU-MIMO): While MU-MIMO is already used by current wireless connections to allow <strong>four simultaneous router connections</strong>, Wi-Fi 6 doubles this capacity to eight.</p> <p>• orthogonal frequency-division multiple access (OFDMA): With OFDMA, <strong>multiple devices can receive data from a single transmission.</strong></p> <p>While Wi-Fi 6 can potentially boost transfer speeds to 9.6 gigabits per second — up from 3.5Gbps on fifth-generation Wi-Fi — speed isn’t the primary advantage. According to Chen, Wi-Fi 6 “has been designed and optimized for the unique wireless challenges that educational environments typically face — radio frequency interference from electronics, signal attenuation from concrete, metal and glass — and especially <strong>network congestion</strong> from other Wi-Fi clients on the network.”</p> <p>In addition, Wi-Fi 6 can improve d<strong>evice battery life with targeted wake time</strong> (TWT); instead of being always on, devices wake at predetermined intervals and connect to the network.</p> <p>While Wi-Fi 6 excels in close-quarter environments with high traffic and connection volumes, <strong>5G facilitates connections on the move. </strong></p> <p>But the two do share common ground. According to Chen, “<strong>Wi-Fi 6 is also an on-ramp to 5G services in enterprise or campus networks</strong> because it can be used like small cells and distributed antenna systems, as a radio access network for 5G.” </p> <p>New cellular technology, meanwhile, can be used as <strong>WAN uplinks for Wi-Fi services</strong> to enhance total coverage.</p> <p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/03/higher-education-invests-wi-fi-technology-smart-campus-projects-perfcon" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM EDTECH</strong>: Higher Education Invests in Wi–Fi Technology for Smart Campus Projects</em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_2">Wireless Tech Trends Point to an Expanded Internet of Things</h2> <p>So, where does it make sense to deploy <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2019/2/21/18232026/wi-fi-6-speed-explained-router-wifi-how-does-work" target="_blank">Wi-Fi 6 on your campus</a>?</p> <p>Chen points to use cases such as <strong>leveraging Wi-Fi for Internet of Things applications</strong>. With the ability to connect more devices simultaneously and reduce interference in small spaces, Wi-Fi 6 is ideal for IoT devices on campus such as sensors and cameras. Paired with the TWT feature, even battery-operated devices can become part of campus IoT networks, as power drain drops off significantly. </p> <p>There’s also a <strong>future for 5G and IoT</strong>, especially as devices handle greater data volumes at speed. The small-cell nature of 5G deployments can shrink the distance between data and cloud-based compute resources to reduce total processing time. Wi-Fi 6 doesn’t rewrite the <strong>wireless playbook </strong>— instead, it updates current iterations with more device connections, reduced battery drain and improved security via WPA3 and the Enhanced Open standard.</p> <p>While <strong>5G remains a media mainstay</strong> as large-scale adoption looms over the next few years, Wi-Fi 6 upgrades are already possible, offering the potential for backwards-compatible communications that improve stability, enhance scalability and pave the way for dual-track campus connections.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/higher/taxonomy/term/11901" hreflang="en"><img src="/higher/sites/edtechmagazine.com.higher/files/styles/face_small/public/people/Bonderud-Headshot.jpg?itok=DLb_Z2cB" width="58" height="58" alt="Bonderud" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/higher/taxonomy/term/11901"> <div>Doug Bonderud</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Doug Bonderud is an award-winning writer capable of bridging the gap between complex and conversational across technology, innovation and the human condition. </p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Fri, 22 Nov 2019 15:48:43 +0000 shailaja.neelakantan_fM4b 42796 at https://edtechmagazine.com/higher Review: Cisco Meraki MX64 Cloud-Managed Platform Tightens Network Security https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/11/review-cisco-meraki-mx64-cloud-managed-platform-tightens-network-security <span>Review: Cisco Meraki MX64 Cloud-Managed Platform Tightens Network Security</span> <span><span lang="" about="/higher/dashboard/rickyribeiro-5" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="shailaja.neelakantan_fM4b">shailaja.neela…</span></span> <span>Thu, 11/21/2019 - 13:56</span> <div><p>Protecting college students, educators, visitors and other users of a <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/06/review-cisco-meraki-mv12w-makes-campus-security-management-easy">busy campus network</a> can be challenging.</p> <p>With so many people logging in and making use of resources, and so much personal information potentially flowing through the network, <strong>modern campuses are tempting targets for hackers</strong> and other cybercriminals. Institutions need to protect themselves as least as well as most businesses and corporations do. </p> <p>On many campuses, <strong>limited IT budgets and a lack of dedicated staff </strong>make network protection a challenge. What is needed is advanced cybersecurity that is both easily scalable and simple to manage.</p> <p>That’s where the <a href="https://www.cdw.com/product/cisco-meraki-mx64-cloud-managed-security-appliance/3612803?pfm=srh" target="_blank"><strong>Cisco Meraki MX64 cloud-managed security appliance</strong></a> can help. Designed to protect campus environments from cyberthreats without taxing IT budgets, it includes intrusion protection, anti-virus, content filtering and the ability to create secure VPN tunnels for authorized users. </p> <p>Unlike most security appliances, the MX64 can be installed in seconds and managed over the cloud. Here’s how that works: The <strong>MX64 connects through the cloud </strong>to a <a href="https://meraki.cisco.com/technologies/datacenter-architecture" target="_blank">Cisco Meraki data center</a>. It can then get all of its firmware upgrades through an SSL connection. </p> <p>Administrators can manage the device the same way, using a simple, graphical interface. <strong>Technical expertise is not required to install the MX64</strong> physically at an institution or to manage it remotely through the cloud — a plus for large environments or colleges with multiple locations.</p> <p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/10/5-tips-starting-campus-security-department-scratch" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM EDTECH</strong>: </em></a><em><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/10/5-tips-starting-campus-security-department-scratch" target="_blank">5 Tips for Starting a Campus Security Department from Scratch.</a></em></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Control User Search Options and Prioritize Bandwidth Use</h2> <p>The MX64 has Layer 7 functionality and <strong>automatically integrates with Microsoft Active Directory,</strong> which lets it enforce content filtering options for various groups, applications or individual users. Features also include web search filters that can be quite detailed, such as granting teachers and administrators greater access than students, or perhaps giving students more rights than guests. <a href="https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/510?co=GENIE.Platform%3DAndroid&amp;hl=en" target="_blank">Google SafeSearch</a> and <a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/teachers" target="_blank">YouTube for Schools</a> are also included.</p> <p>Admins can also <strong>prioritize applications or users in terms of bandwidth</strong>, so that critical applications aren’t slowed at peak use times. And regardless of how the bandwidth is configured, the <a href="https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/security/threat-grid/index.html" target="_blank">Cisco Threat Grid</a> and advanced malware protection cover all traffic.</p> <p>Amid the entire line of Meraki security appliances, the <strong>MX64 is designed for the smallest number of users</strong> and can simultaneously support 50 concurrent users as well as 50 VPN tunnels. Stack several MX64s for additional bandwidth. Also, larger institutions can install more enterprise models, such as the MX84, which supports 500 users, or the <a href="https://meraki.cisco.com/products/appliances/mx450" target="_blank">MX450,</a> which can handle up to 10,000 clients.</p> <p>For busy campuses with small IT budgets, the <strong>MX64 offers protection while streamlining most of the administrative homework </strong>that such an effort would normally entail.</p> <p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/09/behind-scenes-hardware-behind-keeping-campuses-safe-perfcon" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM EDTECH</strong>: </em></a><em><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/09/behind-scenes-hardware-behind-keeping-campuses-safe-perfcon" target="_blank">The Hardware Behind Keeping Campuses Safe.</a></em></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/higher/author/john-breeden-ii" hreflang="en"><img src="/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/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> Thu, 21 Nov 2019 18:56:10 +0000 shailaja.neelakantan_fM4b 42791 at https://edtechmagazine.com/higher Digital Alerts, Or Nudges, May Help College Students Stay on Track in STEM Courses https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/11/digital-alerts-or-nudges-may-help-college-students-stay-track-stem-courses <span>Digital Alerts, Or Nudges, May Help College Students Stay on Track in STEM Courses </span> <span><span lang="" about="/higher/dashboard/rickyribeiro-5" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="shailaja.neelakantan_fM4b">shailaja.neela…</span></span> <span>Wed, 11/20/2019 - 11:01</span> <div><p>Anecdotal evidence suggests that nagging college students doesn’t work. But it turns out that digital nudging — texts, emails and alerts — may actually spur them to continue in challenging disciplines like STEM. </p> <p>The digital nudge is a concept that draws from <strong>behavioral science and social psychology</strong>. It’s sent electronically — often using text-based technology — so there’s no in-person hectoring or browbeating. And it’s often personalized, so a student knows they aren’t the recipient of a mass message. </p> <p>“Nudging to STEM Success,” a recently released <a href="https://jfforg-prod-prime.s3.amazonaws.com/media/documents/Nudging_to_STEM_Success.pdf" target="_blank">report</a> by the nonprofit organization <a href="https://www.jff.org/" target="_blank">Jobs for the Future</a> and <a href="https://www.persistenceplusnetwork.com/" target="_blank">Persistence Plus</a>, an <strong>education technology</strong> company, focuses on a study conducted over the course of two years and involving 9,500 students at four community colleges. The report reveals that 72 percent of the students who participated in a nudges trial decided to continue on in <strong>science, technology, engineering and math </strong>courses after their first semesters, compared with just 56 percent of the students who opted to not receive nudges. Among students of color, 62 percent of those who received nudges persisted, compared to 46 percent of those who decided to opt out of the program. The cohort that responded best to nudges were students over 25, with 64 percent of those who received nudges continuing their STEM studies.</p> <p>For the study, which began in 2017, nudges were delivered through an <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/10/roadmap-student-success-and-technology-can-get-you-there-perfcon">intelligent texting software,</a> which then reacted to real-time student responses. <strong>Artificial intelligence and analytics</strong> were used to synthesize student responses, which enabled more personalized support to students. Colleges were also able to receive strong data on what students actually needed and accessed on campus. Nudging could then prove to be a key differentiator for students when choosing a college, because it’s a program that shows the institution cares about their well-being and not just about tuition and fees. </p> <p>The community colleges that participated were <a href="https://www.lakelandcc.edu/" target="_blank">Lakeland Community College</a>, <a href="https://www.lorainccc.edu/" target="_blank">Lorain County Community College</a> and <a href="https://www.starkstate.edu/" target="_blank">Stark State College</a> in Ohio and <a href="https://jtcc.edu/" target="_blank">John Tyler Community College</a> in Virginia. Following the success of the study, three of the four colleges plan to continue using these <strong>nudging strategies</strong> and expand them to beyond STEM programs.</p> <h2><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/11/institutions-must-better-support-students-definition-their-success" target="_blank"><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif"><em><span style="background:white"><span style="font-family:&quot;Prelo-Light&quot;,serif"><span style="color:#1583b3">MORE FROM EDTECH: Institutions Must Better Support Students’ Definition of Their Success</span></span></span></em></span></span></a></h2> <h2>Nudges May Help Overcome ‘Psychosocial Barriers’</h2> <p>Students interviewed for the study reported that the <strong>just-in-time nature of the messages</strong> helped increase their motivation and tenacity to overcome challenges, said the authors of the study. That’s because JFF and Persistence Plus carefully tailored and calibrated the timing and the messages of the nudges.</p> <p>For example, at Stark State College, particular attention was given to the <strong>fourth week of semesters</strong>, when the first exam of a course is generally scheduled.</p> <p>“Nudges were tailored to remind students to seek tutoring prior to the exam, to begin studying and to ask if they needed assistance. Students commented on the nudges making them realize that the college cared about them and was focused on helping them achieve their career goals,” says Lada Gibson-Shreve, provost and chief academic officer at Stark State.</p> <p>What’s more, nudges also alerted students to <strong>nonacademic services</strong> they might not have been aware of. This removed some stress, helping them focus more on academics. Such nudges were found particularly helpful for students with fewer personal resources, for those from the minority community and for students over 25. Many of these students face what another <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2332858419875715#_i26" target="_blank">short study</a> termed “psychosocial barriers.”</p> <p>“Often, the <strong>barriers that today’s students face</strong> are complex and multifaceted — balancing work, family, transportation, health and wellness, and finances. To overcome these challenges, students need encouragement. They need to know they are not alone and that there are resources available to help them keep going under adverse circumstances,” said Dr. Marcia Ballinger, president of Lorain County Community College, in a press release.</p> <p>For example, if some students didn’t have money for food —referred to as a <strong>“a hidden barrier”</strong> — they would miss meals. A nudge would alert them, without fear of social embarrassment, to utilize the food pantry. In the case of students over 25, nudges pointed them to amplified college support services in the areas of financial planning, tutoring and advising. Nudges also helped these students cope with having to support a family or working long hours while going to college.</p> <p>“Students experience life events that prevent them from persisting, but they also are not always aware of the academic and student support services that we offer at Stark State College. The nudging grant from the study tailored information to Stark State College so we could <strong>inform students of academic and support services</strong> available to assist them. Our counseling staff also makes referrals to community agencies, which can assist students with life events,” says Stark’s Gibson-Shreve. </p> <p>The results of the study are encouraging for the STEM field, where millions of jobs are going unfilled.</p> <p>“These results offer powerful evidence on the potential, and imperative, of <strong>using technology to support students</strong> during the most in-demand, and often most challenging, courses and majors. … [C]losing the gap in STEM achievement has profound economic — and equity — implications,” said Maria Flynn, president and CEO of JFF, in a <a href="https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/community-colleges-boost-stem-student-success-through-behavioral-nudging-study-finds-1028513019" target="_blank">press release</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/author/shailaja-neelakantan"> <div>Shailaja Neelakantan</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Wed, 20 Nov 2019 16:01:07 +0000 shailaja.neelakantan_fM4b 42786 at https://edtechmagazine.com/higher IT Staff Adds Valuable Expertise to Campus Building and Renovation Projects https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/11/it-staff-adds-valuable-expertise-campus-building-and-renovation-projects <span>IT Staff Adds Valuable Expertise to Campus Building and Renovation Projects</span> <span><span lang="" about="/higher/dashboard/rickyribeiro-5" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="shailaja.neelakantan_fM4b">shailaja.neela…</span></span> <span>Mon, 11/18/2019 - 14:28</span> <div><p>The “STCC shuffle” is a thing of the past.</p> <p>That’s what we used to call the crisscrossing journey that students had to make across the <a href="https://www.stcc.edu/"><strong>Springfield Technical Community College</strong></a> campus to access the array of services they needed. That’s no longer necessary, thanks to a comprehensive renovation of Building 19, now known as the <a href="https://www.stcc.edu/about-stcc/news/stcc-celebrates-grand-opening-of-ira-h-rubenzahl-student-learning-commons.html">Ira H. Rubenzahl Student Learning Commons.</a></p> <p>The task of turning Building 19, a former warehouse built between 1847 and 1863, into <strong>a full-service student center</strong> on the Massachusetts campus was obviously a challenge from a design and architecture perspective, but it was also a <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/11/elevate-campus-services-take-cue-consumer-facing-innovations">big project for the IT department</a>. Here’s how we did it and what we learned.</p> <p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2018/12/5-ways-get-it-staff-involved-campus-construction-projects" target="_blank"><em>MORE FROM EDTECH: 5 Ways to Get IT Staff Involved in Campus Construction Projects </em></a></p> <h2>Old-Style Brick Buildings Add Complexity to Wi-Fi Systems</h2> <p>Building 19 is a massive space; it’s <strong>longer than <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prudential_Tower">Boston’s Prudential Tower i</a>s tall</strong>. It was built to house the Springfield Armory, where U.S. government weapons were made until the armory’s closure in 1968. When STCC was established on the site in 1967, Building 19 served as surplus storage for the college, as an outpost of the Springfield Police Department’s mounted division and as the office of the college’s head maintainer. </p> <p>The building had a slaved ethernet connection running on older fiber-optic cable, but we knew we needed to build out an entirely new wireless architecture. Our goal was to ensure that all the offices being relocated to the building had the same quality of internet connection (or better) as they had in their previous locations. With the library also being housed in the Learning Commons, we needed <strong>strong Wi-Fi to support students </strong>as they worked and studied as well.</p> <p>Building materials posed another consideration. The Armory was made of brick, which propagates a Wi-Fi signal differently than concrete or drywall would.</p> <p>The facilities staff brought the IT department in at the end of the <strong>design and layout process</strong>, just as construction was set to begin. We reviewed all the specifications and looked for compatibility issues with all the systems we were tasked with putting into the building — everything from switches and wireless controllers to fire alarms and door locks.</p> <h2>IT Staff Reviews Blueprint and Site Survey Options</h2> <p>One big challenge was that the architectural plans included only five wiring closets, none of which are on the second floor. Each closet houses three to nine switches. Given the building’s size, we had to be careful to ensure we didn’t exceed the 328-foot <strong>wiring distance for our Ethernet protocols</strong>. </p> <p>We also had to route all the wiring for second-floor offices either up or down. A great deal of coordination was required to make it work and to ensure none of the wiring was left exposed.</p> <p>In hindsight, the wiring closet layout is one of the elements we might have pushed harder to change in the overall design. We’ve made it work, but looking forward, <strong>changes will be difficult and expensive to make.</strong></p> <p>On the other hand, we took a few chances that really paid off. Because the building was, at the start of construction, a shell, we elected not to conduct a wireless survey, which would have been the usual starting point. We were familiar with retrofitting buildings of a similar type and age — Building 27, Building 50 and Building 60 on our campus were previous IT projects — so we had an idea of how the <strong>materials might affect signal propagation</strong>. And, because there were no internal walls in place, a wireless survey would have been of limited value.</p> <p>Instead of a survey, we took a set of blueprints and sat down with our vendors to plot out a plan for our switches and cabling. To be on the safe side, we did include a line item for a wireless survey in the project budget, so we could troubleshoot at the end of the project and shift our access points if needed. But a year after cutting the ribbon on the student center, we haven’t found a need to do the survey. The <strong>blueprint approach </strong>worked for us.<br />  <br /> In the end, the IT department was able to make a major contribution to a building that is utterly transformed from its days of storing gunstocks and old computers and sheltering police horses. Today, as the heart of STCC, the <strong>Learning Commons</strong> is a building with a rich history and an exciting future.<br />  </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/david-czech-and-jim-danko-0"> <div>David Czech and Jim Danko</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>David Czech is the network/system administrator and Jim Danko is the media relations coordinator at Springfield Technical Community College in Massachusetts.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Mon, 18 Nov 2019 19:28:26 +0000 shailaja.neelakantan_fM4b 42781 at https://edtechmagazine.com/higher