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Title: Power

Studentaffairs.com Virtual Case Study Competition
2007 Hot Topics in Technology A
presentation to the Deans Council Christina
Mastrangelo, Ryan McKinney, and Amie Jackson Kent
State University
Committee Hot Topics Brainstorming Some of
Hot Topics we considered were YouTube Podcasti
ng Distance Learning Second Life Web-CT/Blackboa
rd PeopleSoft Banner Wikis Technology
Training Network Security Illegal
Downloads MySpace Facebook iPods, MP3s Instant
Messaging Cell phones Text messaging Laptops E-m
ail Teleconference Online Stalking Classroom
Technology Piracy Academic Dishonesty Computer
Viruses Cyber crime Disaster Recovery
  • Committees Selected Hot Topics
  • Blogs
  • Institutional Spam
  • Podcasts
  • Wikis
  • Distance Learning (Second Life)

  • Why the Committee Chose these Hot Topics
  • All topics are
  • Up and coming trends- they may not be new,
    but their use is increasing
  • Currently being used by institutions
  • Popular amongst traditional college students and
    responding to our fast-paced society
  • Impacting the way in which higher education
    institutions function
  • Relatively new to those unfamiliar with
    technology, despite the fact that these topics
    may directly impact their role within an
  • To address the benefits of these topics in
    improving higher education services
  • To create awareness of the possible issues
    associated with these topics and their use in
    higher education
  • To shed light on the ways in which these topics
    can be used in higher education

What is a blog?
  • A blog
  • is normally a single page of entries. There may
    be archives of older entries, but the "main page"
    of a blog is all anyone really cares about.
    (Brain, 2007)
  • is organized in reverse-chronological order
    (Brain, 2007)
  • is normally public for anyone to see (Brain,
  • The entries in a blog usually come from a single
  • Basically, a blog is a lot like an electronic
    journal or diary.

Types of Blogs One-way There is one
author/blogger who is responsible for the entry
that is read (Anton, 2006) Interactive Allows
readers to post comments and ask questions to
which the blogger can respond in an additional
comment or through a new post (Anton, 2006)
Example of a Blog
Benefits of Blogs 1. Student Recruitment
Boost Blogs provide prospective students with
real life answers about the colleges they are
interested in attending (Joly, 2006) Blogs
enable prospective students to gain a virtual
sense of the campus when they are unable to visit
(Joly, 2006) Blogs provide exposure to the
university in a non-threatening way (Joly,
2006) Examples of Blogs Used in the Recruitment
of Students University of Missouri-Columbia
www.missouri.admissions.edu Ball State
University www.bsu.ed/realife Simmons College
www.simmons.edu/realife Houghton College
Benefits of Blogs 2. Academic Enhancement Allows
for interactive classrooms (Baim,
2004) Improves students ability to use the
Internet as a research mechanism (Baim,
2004) Provides students with networking
opportunities Improves students writing skills
(Baim, 2004) Blogs can serve as catalysts in
stimulating critical thinking and inspiring
students to be lifelong learners (Oravec, 2003)
Benefits of Blogs 3. Communication Provides a
means of sharing an individuals thoughts, ideas,
opinions, and concerns Can help create
understanding and an open mind through the
exposure to different perspectives Enables a
group of individuals to communicate on specific
topics immediately, cost-effectively, and
flexibly Is an opportunity to increase
communication and information sharing between
  • Problems/Issues with Blogs
  • The effectiveness of blog usage in the
    recruitment process is difficult to measure
    (Joly, 2006)
  • It is difficult to regulate the information
    submitted in an interactive blog (Joly, 2006)
  • Inappropriate blogging has given various
    universities grounds for firing or expulsion
    (Anton, 2006)
  • Students, faculty, staff, and administrators need
    to be mindful on information posted as it may
    follow them into future positions

Institutional Spam
  • What is Institutional Spam?
  • Institutional Spam is when someone sends an
    announcement to a large number of email addresses
    within the institution.
  • Many institutions have created systems which
    control these mass emails and have set
    guidelines for which emails are sent.
  • Examples of institutional spam
  • Advertisement of events for Students, Faculty,
    Staff, Administration, surrounding
  • New hires, promotions, awards, engagements,
  • Members of the Institution in the news
  • Reminders of services provided for community
  • Announcements (i.e.- snow closing/delay)

  • Benefits of Institutional Spam
  • Email can be an great way to get information out
    to many people in a quick, cost effective way.
  • Students utilize their on-campus voicemail at
    lower rates because of cell phones, students
    typically check their email.
  • By having a system in place where institutional
    spam is regulated, we can help streamline the
    process of how and where important information is
  • It creates a central location for news and
    information related to the campus community.
  • Administration can more efficiently track where
    and when events are happening.

  • General Problems/Issues with Institutional Spam
  • When people become inundated with emails they
    tend to pick and chose which to read and which
    not to read. This trend can lead to important
    information not getting to those who need it (St
    Sauver, 2007)
  • Not everyone checks their email on a regular
    basis, if at all
  • Campus constituents that are not technically
    inclined may miss out on the benefits of
    institutional spam or become frustrated with its
  • Depending on who has the ability to send
    institutional spam, the mass emails may lack
    relevance and result in the individual ignoring
    the emails in the future

  • Proposed Approval Process for Institutional Spam
  • Specify a moderator email address for
    announcements to be sent to and checked before it
    is sent out
  • Create an online submitting form - this would be
    the recommended system because all the
    requirements would be specified in the
    announcement and it would be in the proper format
  • Sender must have a specific relationship to the
  • Email subject must be relevant for members of the
    campus community (specifically, the individuals
    receiving the email)

  • Proposed Approval Process for Institutional Spam
  • Must be in a particular format (i.e.- plain text,
    html, online form, PDF.)
  • Must have specific information so the receiver
    understands the email content (i.e.- Name of
    Event, Date, Time, Location, Contact Information)
  • Individual responsible for sending institutional
    spam must receive information 3 days to a week
    prior to when the sender wants it disseminated

  • Possible Institutional Spam Solutions
  • 1. Create Moderated Email Lists
  • Benefits
  • Can target a specific group of people instead of
    entire campus (i.e. faculty, class of 2010, Smith
    House Residents)
  • Can be edited for content or denied for
  • Can be labeled as coming from a specific
    moderated list so receiver knows a little more
    about what it pertains to
  • Issues
  • Could still lead to multiple emails
  • Can delay sending time sensitive announcements
  • Need to create strict guidelines as to what
    important email means

  • Example of Institutions Utilizing Moderated Email
  • Skidmore College http//www2.skidmore.edu/cits/sta
  • Northeastern State University http//www.nsuok.edu

  • Possible Institutional Spam Solutions
  • 2. Daily campus newsletter organized by
    Communications Department
  • Benefits
  • Put multiple announcements into one organized
    email which can cut down significantly on amount
    of emails
  • Can be edited for content or denied for
  • Can create summaries so readers to not have to go
    through entire email
  • Issues
  • Can become too time consuming to skim through one
    email to find what you need
  • Not all announcements are relevant to everyone
  • Some prefer to have individual emails so they can
    organize easier
  • Can delay time sensitive announcements

  • Example of a Daily Campus Newsletter

What is a Podcast? Bausch Han define
podcasting (or podcasts) as, enables users to
quickly and easily download multimedia files,
including audio and video, for playback on mobile
devices including iPods and other MP3 players
(Brown, 2006) Individuals subscribe to a podcast
and then automatically receive all newly
initiated installments.  (Brown, 2006) Read
states once a podcast is loaded onto a computer
or digital music device it can be accessed and
reviewed at the users leisure, such as during a
jog around the gymnasium track, waiting for the
campus bus, folding laundry, or commuting to
campus (Brown, 2006)
  • Benefits of Podcasts
  • Learning Styles- the use of audio and visual
    podcasts appeals to individual learning style
  • Meeting Students at their Level- students are
    already utilizing these methods of communication.
    As Campbell observed, This is a language they
    not only understand, but use, often on a daily
    basis (Brown, 2006)
  • Podcasts are Relatively Easy and Cheap to Create-
    the initial development, making the podcast
    available online, and upkeep is quick
  • Can increase communication outside of the
    classroom and expand a students understanding of
    course topics
  • Source Brown, 2006.

  • Benefits of Podcasts
  • The ability to listen to a lecture multiple times
  • Flexible- Available anytime, anywhere (so long as
    there is internet availability), which is
    especially helpful for non traditional and
    commuter students.
  • Increased interaction with the instructor
    (instead of focused note taking)
  • Supplement to traditional class notes
  • Audio resources for blind and distance education
  • Portability (using personal media players)
  • Multitasking (e.g. exercising while listening to
  • Source http//coe.sdsu.edu/eet/articles/podcastin

  • Problems/Issues with Podcasts
  • Institutional and technical support problems
  • Institutions are choosing to steer resources
  • Lack of personnel able to solve technical
  • Proper equipment and training is needed in order
    to fully benefit from podcasting
  • Quality control issues
  • Podcasting relies on being able to convey a
    spoken message. It is important to periodically
    check the quality of the equipment.
  • Podfading
  • A term coined by podcaster Scott Fletcher in
    February 2005, which refers to podcasts that
    simply vanish from cyberspace (Brown, 2006)
  • Friess stated Podcasting is one of those things
    thats cheap and easy to begin to do, but takes a
    tremendous amount of time to keep going, stated
    blogger and former podcast host Brian Reid
    (Brown, 2006)

  • Ways Podcasts can be Used in Higher Education
  • Training- can be used to train students and
    professionals from a distance and increases
    flexibility (i.e.- summer break, nontraditional
    students, commuter campuses)
  • Recruitment- can be used to attract new students
    to your institution
  • Transition- topics related to the transition to
    college can be created to help first year or
    transfer students learn more about the
    institution and the adjustment
  • Communication- can help students stay in touch
    with their parents and individuals within the
  • Academic Advising- help students choose a major
    and answer questions related to course
    registration and academic requirements
  • Involvement- informing students of the different
    out-of-class experiences available at the

Examples of Podcasts in Higher Education 1.
Audio Podcasts Miami Universitys (Ohio)
CareerChat (2006)
is a series of
informative podcast interviews with professionals
who discuss  job-search techniques and various
career topics (http//www.units.muohio.edu/career
s/podcast/ ) Title
Transitions (Click on the box)
North Carolina State University

has produced a number of podcast
episodes dealing with everything from how
employers look for qualified students to personal
hygiene and proper attire for interviews
Title Finding a College Student in a
Haystack (Click on the box)
Examples of Podcast in Higher Education 2. Video
Podcasting University of Connecticut, Waterbury
Campus These two-minute
scripted vignettes humorlessly address important
information entering students to the University
need to know. http//www.waterbury.uconn.edu/newhu
sky/videopod.htm Title
First Year Experience (Click on the box)
  • What are Wikis?
  • Originally created in 1995 by Ward Cunningham
    (Bean Hott, 2005)
  • In Hawaiian Wiki-wiki means quick (Bean
    Hott, 2005)
  • Is a website that can be edited in real-time by
    anyone with access (Bean Hott, 2005)
  • According to the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative
    (2005), Variously described as a composition
    system, a discussion medium, a repository, a mail
    system, and a tool for collaboration, wikis
    provide users with both author and editor
    privileges the overall organization of
    contributions can be edited as well as the
    content itself.


Example of a Wiki Wikipedia is a public online
encyclopedia setup as a wiki (therefore, users
control the content)
  • Benefits of Wikis
  • Its open- environment encourages collaboration,
    participation, a strong sense of community and
    common purpose, and trust in information sharing
    and wiki monitoring
  • Is a cost-efficient and quick means of sharing
    ideas and information
  • Can be worked on at any time, from any location
    with an internet connection
  • Easier to learn than creating an HTML website
  • Can include links to other sources (websites,
    podcasts, blogs, etc.)
  • Source Bean Hott, 2005

  • Benefits of Wikis
  • Responds to our fast-paced society by allowing
    real-time revisions
  • Users have ownership over the material because
    they are all editors and readers- students feel
  • Unlike blogs, is a two-way communication- is a
    more active, than passive web-based mode of
  • Is flexible in structure/format- users can be
    creative and specialize
  • Can be made public or kept private to a specific
  • Teaches students network literacy and current
    technology terms

  • Problems/Issues with Wikis
  • Liability and Accountability- users are free to
    edit content and without proper monitoring the
    information shared could have negative
  • Validity of content could be questionable- users
    may impose their personal views rather than facts
    which could impact the wikis credibility. In
    addition, if the site is created by non-experts
    on the subject, then the content may not be
    accurate, comprehensive, balanced, and
    consistent (Bean Hott, p. 7) 
  • Sense of Disorientation- If you are not familiar
    with how to use wikis it may be cumbersome to
    edit a wiki document. The lack of
    structure/format could make navigation and the
    overall organization of the wiki difficult at
    first (Lamb, 2004)

  • Problems/Issues with Wikis
  • Wikis tend to appear plain and lack excitement.
    However, this is all the result of the author and
    editors, so it could be more attractive with some
    time and effort.
  • If the wiki lacks the ability to tell you who
    edited the site then tracing work and course
    management can be complicated (Lamb, 2004)
  • The material in the wiki represents the
    collective perspective of the group that uses it-
    a wiki has a collaborative bias (EDUCAUSE, 2005)
  • Is more effective at reflecting on current
    thoughts and issues rather than those that are
    rapidly evolving (Lamb, 2004)

  • Ways to Use Wikis
  • To support meeting planning provisional agendas
    can be posted and commented on by participants,
    during the meeting the wiki can be used for note
    taking so notes will be available online
    immediately following the meeting, participants
    will be able to review, annotate, and revise the
    notes (Lamb, 2004)
  • Brainstorming can be used in group projects to
    brainstorm and sketch a presentation
  • Complement Coursework/Support Instructions
    professor and students can post materials
    pertinent to the course, class assignments, etc.
  • Collaboration groups can use it to collaborate
    on projects, solicit information or input, etc.
  • Training
  • E-portfolio

  • Examples of Wikis in Higher Education
  •  Bowdoin College Romantic Audience Project
  • Professor complimented the coursework by
    requiring students to complete weekly assignments
    on wikis. According to Professor Phillipson,
    The site has not just changed the way students
    think. It has also changed the way they write,
    pushing them into a more direct, self-aware
    style. (Read, 2005)
  • http//ssad.bowdoin.edu8668/space/snipsnap-index
  • Writing Instruction http//teachingwiki.org
  • Site for college faculty and instructors
    teaching rhetoric and composition. According to
    Joe Moxley, professor of English at University of
    Southern Florida, wikis invigorate
    writingprovide a low-cost but effective
    communication and collaboration toolpromote the
    close reading, revision, and tracking of
    draftsdiscourage product oriented writing
    while facilitating writing as a processease
    students into writing for public consumption
    (Lamb, p. 44)

  • Suggestions When Using Wikis in Higher Education
  • Dont follow the typical sense of classroom
    hierarchy- instructors must give up some control
    in order to empower students and create a sense
    of community. Instead, the instructor is
    responsible for creating opportunities for
    student engagement and allowing the students to
    be autonomous in interactions (EDUCAUSE, 2005)
  • Private or Public?- think about the implications
    of having open access vs. selective
    participation. Depending on the purpose of your
    wiki, you may want the information and ability to
    edit to be confined to a particular audience
    (i.e.- registered students in a course)
  • Explore ways to utilize wikis as a means of
    responding to a variety of education needs-
    involvement, activities, etc. (EDUCAUSE, 2005)

  • Distance Learning Second Life

  • What is Distance Learning?
  • Distance Learning is when students take academic
    courses through the use of internet resources,
    video and/or audio, print materials, and email
    correspondence instead of the traditional lecture
    or class discussion in a classroom. It allows
    students to take class when and where they want
    (Hardesty, 2007)

  • What is Second Life?
  • Second Life is a virtual world created by an
    organization called Linden Lab in which members
    create a character, known as an avatar, to
    represent them (Prisco, 2006)
  • With an avatar, a member can interact like people
    do in the real world.
  • Instead of just traditional websites, Second Life
    members create 3-Dimensional virtual spaces where
    information can be shared and new ideas are
  • These spaces can be developed to mirror a
    location in the real world or create something
    completely new.
  • Second Life currently has over 3.7 million

Examples of Second Life in Higher
Education There are almost 50 colleges and
universities that are currently have or are
creating campuses with in Second Life. Some
examples of such institutions are 1. Harvard
Law School http//www.youtube.com/watch?vZUNAhzwZ
kdU Harvard Law Professor Charles Nesson and his
daughter, Rebecca Nesson, Harvard Extension
Instructor, taught a class in Fall 2006 in Second
Life (Foster, 2006). The classes were held in a
replica classroom Ames Court Room at Harvard Law
Examples of Second Life in Higher Education 2.
Ohio University http//www.youtube.com/watch?v
aFuNFRie8wA Ohio University (OU) has recently
developed an entire campus on Second Life where
the classroom has not just been recreated, but
reinvented (YouTube Inc., 2007e). OU offers
anywhere from one hour training modules to entire
semester long college credit courses. Audio and
Visual podcasts are used throughout the campus as
well as text in various forms. The virtual
campus also has space available for conferences
and trade shows. Music and Art of students and
professors can be showcased. The campus even has
a student center where students can hold meetings
and partake in social events from full scale
musical concerts to a game of pool.
Examples of Second Life in Higher
Education 3. Texas State University San
Marcos http//www.youtube.com/watch?viRNP6IJwY90
Bobcat Village, the virtual campus of Texas
State University is currently being constructed
to be a center for gathering, exploration and
learning (YouTube Inc., 2007a). Avatars can use
a golf cart to travel around campus. The campus
will include a gift shop, art gallery, a café,
docks, and a student union.
  • Second Life Distance Education Benefits
  • Helps alleviate issues of limited space on campus
  • Increase enrollment without new buildings needed
  • Allows more nontraditional students to pursue a
  • More flexible and convenient than traditional
  • Gives students ability to attend an institution
    without relocating
  • Faculty members maybe easier to access
  • Provides unique accommodations opportunities for
    those with disabilities
  • Can create new markets
  • Opportunity to share resources
  • Source Hardesty, 2007

  • Second Life Distance Education Weaknesses
  • Students could become so involved in their Second
    Life that their real life could be neglected
    (Nino, 2007)
  • Still in development so kinks in the system
    (Nino, 2007)
  • Would need to train faculty, staff, and students
    on how to use distance learning and Second Life
    technology (Hardesty, 2007)
  • Could become more costly purchasing the virtual
    land and materials needed to construct your
    campus, hiring of staff to create and maintain
    the virtual campus, training, updates in
    technology, etc. (Linden Research Inc., 2007)

  • Second Life Distance Education Weaknesses
  • Technology competency required, may deny less
    technologically inclined users access
  • Financial-aid for distance learning is limited
  • Must train faculty on technology use
  • Increase in the amount of work for faculty
  • Many potential security issues
  • Many intellectual-property issues
  • Source Hardesty, 2007

References Anton, C. (2006). Student blogs in
recruitment. Recruitment Retention in Higher
Education, 20 (8), 8. Bean, L. Hott, D.D.
(July/August 2005). Wiki A speedy new tool to
manage projects. The Journal of Corporate
Accounting and Finance, 3-8. Brown, S. (2006).
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