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7 Ways to Boost Your Tech Skills without Going Back to School

By Sameer Bhatia

Sameer Bhatia is founder and CEO of ProProfs.

In the rapidly changing tech world today, it is hardly an exaggeration to say that the skills you learned even just a year or so ago are fast on their way to becoming obsolete. Over the past few years, it has become essential for tech workers to engage in education as a lifelong pursuit — a constant cycle of learning, unlearning, and relearning — as new technologies become available and new knowledge and skills become in demand.

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How to Think About MOOCs?

By Nigel P. Melville

Nigel P. Melville is associate professor of Information Systems in the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

MOOCs are the latest in a long line of socio-technical systems to alter everyday work practices. One semester, a professor is teaching 85 MBA students in a large lecture hall, and the next, she's appearing in short online videos on Coursera viewed by thousands of students the world over. Overnight she's a household name. But what should we make of this?

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Hidden Costs and Subsidies Complicate TCO

By Jerrold M. Grochow and Kelli Trosvig

Jerry Grochow is senior advisor to NET+, Internet2. Kelli Trosvig is vice president of Information Technology and CIO, University of Washington.

Don't Bore Me with Your Presentation, Inform Me

Randall Alberts

Randall Alberts is assistant director, Project Management, Ringling College of Art and Design.

We have all been to presentations in the office, or even at conferences, where we feel as if the speaker is as soothing as a nice warm glass of milk or a fuzzy blanket. The hardest part of being in such an audience is staying awake. If the audience is fighting the sandman to listen to a presentation, then no one is really listening. The people listening to you when you give a presentation are there for a reason: either to learn something new or because they were required to be there by management. Regardless of the reason for their attendance, your job is to give them information they can use.

CIOs and Campus IT: Summer Technology Projects, by Theresa Rowe

Theresa Rowe is CIO at Oakland University.

Summer is a busy and exciting time for advancement of new tech initiatives and tech renewal projects. Campus CIOs generally expect to handle a mix of change-oriented projects during the summer, despite many programs and courses operating all summer. The mix of good weather in many parts of the country and reduced expectations for traditional support make summer an ideal time for change. CIOs shared their summer tech projects in an Educause CIO list discussion.

Aim for the Rectangle Outside the Box

by David Underwood

David Underwood is an academic technology consultant for the University of Colorado Boulder.

My first job after leaving art school back in the eighties was with the art department at a local television station, where I shared an office with three other designers. We produced varied work, from airbrushed portraits of the on-air talent to "personal checks" the size of beach towels for the station's public donations to local charities.

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Using the LMS as a Social Network in a Supersized Course

By Sidneyeve Matrix

Sidneyeve Matrix is associate professor, Media & Film, Queen's University.

Large class sizes make it infinitely more challenging for college instructors to connect and communicate with individual students. This might not be a big issue if professors have an army of teaching assistants running smaller tutorial groups, but that's not always the case; in my courses, for example, hundreds of students meet in a single learning space for a weekly lecture or webinar. As in online classes of any size, having a massive group of students in a single location creates the real risk that students will feel anonymous and disengaged due to a lack of meaningful interaction with their professor and peers.

Striving for Interdependence: Transparency Considerations when Expanding Globally

Rob Sparks

Rob Sparks is vice president of Product Management and Strategy, Education, and Research, UNIT4 Business Software.

The challenges in education and the opportunities education provides as the enabler for economic growth and employment remain a critical priority globally. Educational institutions across the world are under increasing pressure to produce high levels of student satisfaction, successful outcomes, and competitiveness on a global scale despite the current backdrop of cost cutting. These pressures, plus rapid growth in student populations, are driving intense reevaluation of people, programs, partners, and services that will transform higher education unlike anything before, often with a strong focus on technology as "the" solution to administrative costs and gaps.

Prevention and Retention: Identifying At-Risk Students Before It's Too Late

Jason Soffer

Retaining students is one of the most critical issues facing colleges and universities today, yet few have put into place a comprehensive system that empowers them to effectively address student attrition. When an early-warning system identifies an at-risk student, it may very well be too late for the school to intervene successfully. To be truly effective, these systems require controls that can identify students likely to become at-risk. If the only ways to identify at-risk students are a drop in grade point average or attendance, the term “early-warning system” is a misnomer.