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Technology in Higher Education Virtual Case Study Competition New York University Rebecca Ahlstrom Paulina Abaunza Ashley Skipwith Technology Topics Institutional Spam Blogs Social Networking Sites iPods and Podcasting Second Life Institutional Spam

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Technology in Higher Education

Virtual Case Study Competition

New York University

Rebecca Ahlstrom

Paulina Abaunza

Ashley Skipwith

technology topics
Technology Topics
  • Institutional Spam
  • Blogs
  • Social Networking Sites
  • iPods and Podcasting
  • Second Life
institutional spam4
Institutional Spam
  • Email is an increasingly popular way for administrators to reach college students
  • Having policies in place for the use of bulk emailing is important for preventing overuse/abuse
  • This terms refers to emails sent to the entire institution or to targeted groups
benefits of mass email
Benefits of Mass Email
  • Cost-effective, efficient method of communicating with a large group of people
  • A main mode of communication for students — this is one way for institution to connect at their level
  • Particularly beneficial for communicating with commuter or non-traditional students
  • When used properly, students recognize that emails from the administration are important
potential problems with mass email
Potential Problems with Mass Email
  • Messages can be easily erased
  • Impersonal method of communication
  • Can be easily overused, leading to decreased effectiveness
  • Not all students have computers at home
  • Not an appropriate mode for some types of communication due to privacy/security issues and possible legal issues in some situations
  • Human error could lead to incorrect information being rapidly transmitted to a large group
  • Need to discuss issue of allowing students to opt out of some communication
sample bulk email policies
Sample Bulk Email Policies
  • EDUCAUSE: E-mail Policy Resources
  • Bryn Mawr College
  • New York University
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Central New Mexico Community College

An academic forum for graduate students

Harvard students express their feelings about their commencement speaker

Used by Santa Clara University as a recruiting tool for potential students


Blogs & BloggingAs adopted from ‘Exploring the Use of Blogs as Learning Spaces in the HigherEducation Sector’Australasian Journal of Educational Technology:

What is a blog or blogging?

'Blogging’ a contraction of the term 'web logging'

  • Blogging is perhaps best described as a form of micro-publishing on the internet.
  • Easy to use, from any Internet connection point, blogging has become firmly established as a web based communications tool.
  • Many blogs have large and dedicated readerships, and blog clusters have formed linking fellow bloggers in accordance with their common interests.
what are some of the benefits of blogs
What are some of the benefits of blogs?
  • Has many different applications (personal, professional, educational)
  • User-friendly: Easy to create and customize a blog using a variety of commercial sites (such as
  • Test ground for scholarly publications, allows scholars to get feedback from readers
  • Can be used by student affairs offices to communicate information and get feedback via comments
  • Can be used as a forum for outside of classroom debates and discussions
what are some of the problems associated with blogs
What are some of the problems associated with blogs ?
  • If using institutional resources (webspace), what responsibility does university have to police it?
  • Less face-to-face interaction with students when used in a scholarly setting in place of class time.
  • Information could be very easily distributed on a large scale, less damage control if a controversial topic is posted on an institutional blog.
  • Privacy issues: Students need to be aware of their postings and the fact that they can be read by anyone. In the same way that potential employers may look at someone’s facebook page, they can also read their blog.
examples of some fun blogs
Examples of Some Fun Blogs

As found at The Chronicle of Higher Education:

  • ABD Anonymous:"AA: a twelve-step program for dissertation writers/graduate students."
  • Academic Coach:"Earnest exhortations and random tidbits for dissertating grad students, post-doctoral job hunters and tenure-track faculty.“
  • Academinist:"Academics, literature, composition, pedagogy and general studies."
  • BlogScholar:A new site designed to serve as a community for academic bloggers. It currently includes news/newsfeeds about academic blogging and a directory of academic blogs
  • Confessions of a Community College Dean:"In which a veteran of cultural studies seminars in the 1990's moves into academic administration and finds himself a married suburban father of two. Foucault, plus lawn care.“
  • Campus Press Notes:"Daily glances at collegiate newspapers and university politics."
  • The Yale Insider:A blog by the unions at Yale.
ipods and podcasting
iPods and Podcasting

Apple Computer’s 3 types of iPods: The iPod, iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle

Stanford University on iTunes U

ipods and podcasting14
iPods and Podcasting
  • The iPod is a portable digital media player and hard drive sold by Apple Computer.
  • Podcasting combines the words “iPod” and “broadcasting.” A podcast is an audio or video broadcast that has been converted to an MP3 file or other audio / video file format for playback in a digital music player. Podcasts can also be played back on a computer.
importance to higher education
Importance to Higher Education
  • iPods are already used by many college students. In an interest poll conducted by USA today, students ranked the iPod as the #1 “in” thing on college campuses.
  • Since students know how to use these devices, their incorporation into academic and student affairs would be simple.
  • Incorporating this technology into the academic environment is an innovative use of a well-known device.
  • The iPod can be used in conjunction with podcasting, which allows information to be downloaded and carried wherever the student and his / her iPod goes.
  • Apple has created iTunes U, specifically designed for the benefit of colleges and universities. iTunes U is a free service for colleges and universities to host their content.
how has this technology already been used in higher education
How has this technology already been used in higher education?
  • In 2002, Georgia College & State University was the first higher education institution to launch academic programs using iTunes technology.
  • In 2004, Duke University introduced the iPod in the higher education sector by giving 20-GB iPods (retail price = $300) to all incoming freshman students. These iPods were preloaded with freshman-orientation information, an academic calendar and the Duke fight songs.
  • Many schools currently use iTunes U as a way to podcast academic and student affairs material (including UC Berkley, Stanford University, University of Michigan – School of Dentistry, University of Wisconsin – Madison, Drexel University, and more).
benefits of the ipod podcasting
Benefits of the iPod / Podcasting
  • Students can download lecture / course material from iTunes U, for use outside of the classroom.
  • This type of technology could enhance both online and distance learning.
  • There are added benefits for students with learning disabilities.
  • In student affairs, iPods and podcasting could be used to present student life material, such as campus tours for prospective students and workshops for current students (Example: New York University campus tour).
problems with ipods and podcasting
Problems with iPods and Podcasting
  • Not all students have or can afford an iPod (lowest cost of an iPod = $150). Costs would be large for the college / university also, if schools decide to provide each student an individual iPod (like Duke).
  • Students might not attend lectures, which takes away from professor-student and student-student interaction.
  • iPods only allow for one-way interaction, which does not permit feedback.
  • School’s development of a close affiliation with Apple Computer could affect other relationships with outside companies, as well as campus life as a whole.
  • iPod technology is constantly changing, so schools could have difficulty in keeping up with these changes.
  • Requirement of added administrative and technological support.
  • Issues with academic freedom.
  • iPods are currently used mostly for recreational purposes, which might conflict with their use in the academic realm.
more information on ipods and podcasting
More Information on iPods and Podcasting
  • iTunes U website.
  • Campus Technology article outlining iPods / podcasting in higher education.
  • Concerns about using iPods in the classroom.
  • Stanford University and iTunes.
facebook other social networking sites
Facebook &Other Social Networking Sites


Things you should know about Social Networking SitesAs adopted from ‘7 Things You Should Know About Facebook’

What are Social Networking Sites?

  • Social networking sites are designed to connect users. Facebook is the leading social networking site for college students.
  • On all networking sites users are able to create profiles that include everything from their basic information, to their interests, affiliations, and pictures.

Things you should know about Social Networking SitesAs adopted from ‘7 Things You Should Know About Facebook’

Why is this a hot topic issue in higher education today?

  • Millions of students are connecting to these sites
  • Social Networking sites are used by students from institutions of all types
  • It has made student affairs practitioners question their role in monitoring student profiles
what are some of the benefits of social networking sites
What are some of the benefits of social networking sites?
  • Student Affairs Benefits: Offices and student organizations can use them as a tool to reach students by advertising events, having office descriptions, or using them for recruitment (especially true for facebook)
  • Academic Benefits: students connect with other people in their classes, offers forum space for debating issues
  • Social Activism: politicians have facebook/myspace pages, there are pages for different issues
  • Can be used by the institution as a tool to help connect with students before they arrive; additional connection could help with retention efforts
  • Being used as career/recruitment tool by law firms, corporations, etc.
what are some questions and problems associated with social networking sites
What are some questions and problems associated with social networking sites?
  • Ethical issues: Faculty and staff having profiles that may not be appropriate, questions regarding the appropriateness of checking student profiles when considering for admissions; hiring decisions
  • Safety issues: kidnapping and legal issues (especially with Myspace)
  • Judicial Issues: to what degree should we police our students’ use of substances (alcohol, drugs, etc) and other behavior?
  • Student Privacy Issues: Is what students post or have in their profiles private? One example is the issue of LGBT students kicked out of conservative schools
  • Other Issues: institution can’t control content, students get preconceived notions about people they haven’t met (future roommates, etc.)
social networking sites points for discussion
Social Networking SitesPoints for Discussion
  • What responsibility does an institution have for teaching students about the potential dangers of social networking sites?
  • Are there any issues with being affiliated with/endorsing an outside site (Myspace and Facebook sponsors)?
  • Should faculty and staff be allowed to have profiles? If so, should the content they place in their profile be censored?
  • How does student engagement in social networking sites contribute to their identity development?
second life
Second Life

Harvard classroom in Second Life(image linked from

what is second life
What is Second Life?
  • Online virtual world that is built and owned by its residents
  • People create avatars (characters) to represent themselves in this virtual world
  • Through their avatars, people can create things in Second Life, including starting online businesses
  • Many real-life businesses are also getting involved in Second Life by having virtual branches
  • Allows for collaboration and interaction from anywhere in the world
how is second life relevant to higher education
How is Second Life relevant to higher education?
  • Schools can offer classes or other activities within Second Life
  • Can be used in distance education to create a greater sense of community among students
  • Allows for new ways of learning and interaction for students and faculty
  • Encourages collaboration
  • Can be utilized both as a tool for distance learning or as a supplement to traditional classroom interaction
  • Institutions can make classes available to anyone or purchase a private island and offer classes exclusively to registered students
  • Over 70 institutions of higher education are currently utilizing Second Life
benefits of second life
Benefits of Second Life
  • Increased interaction and sense of community when compared to other forms of distance education
  • Does not require classroom space for a discussion
  • Can be used by a wide range of institutions
  • Relatively affordable (cost of a private island is about $1,000, plus a $150 monthly maintenance fee)
  • Offers potential to prepare for real-life scenarios using simulation exercises
  • Classes tend to be more discussion based, allowing for more interaction and exchange between students and faculty
  • Offers a new medium for education whose options have not been fully explored yet
problems with using second life
Problems with using Second Life
  • Requires a relatively high level of technical knowledge and skill
  • Requires computers with reliable high-speed internet connections and graphic capabilities
  • New technology can be intimidating to both students and faculty
  • Works better for discussion-based classes rather than lectures
  • Questions about whether virtual communication and collaboration are an adequate substitute for real-life classes
  • Students under age 18 cannot access the adult area of Second Life and therefore could not participate in classes
  • Classes can occasionally be interrupted by intruders
where can i learn more about second life
Where can I learn more about Second Life?
  • What is Second Life?
  • Education in Second Life
  • The Ultimate Distance Learning (article from the New York Times)
  • Universities Register for Virtual Future (article from CNet News)
  • List of Higher Education Institutions currently using Second Life
  • Second Life Educator Workshop 2006
technology in higher education
Technology in Higher Education

Summary of Topics Covered

  • Institutional Spam
  • Blogs
  • Social Networking Sites
  • iPods and Podcasting
  • Second Life
concluding thoughts
Concluding Thoughts
  • Although technology can benefit higher education, institutions need to thoroughly review what type of devices best fit with their institutional mission and their students, faculty, and administrators.
  • Technology is undoubtedly part of education now. Higher education institutions should offer training to students, faculty, and administrators to keep them up to date with new technologies.
  • Perhaps the Dean’s Council should consider creating a “technology committee” to keep up to date with new technological developments and their applications in the higher education sector