Category Archives: Technology

Tech trends on campus.


2-Year Colleges in Calif. Hope Online-Course Upgrades Will Improve Completion

Representatives of the California Community Colleges on Monday announced upgrades in their online-course system, the California Virtual Campus, that are intended to improve students’ completion rates.

The college system said the effort was designed to make it easier for students to find courses that fulfill transfer requirements and create pathways to the California State University system. Among the improvements are a design that works better on mobile phones and includes an improved search fun…


U. of Florida Gets Few Takers for Online Path to Campus

The University of Florida made an unusual offer to more than 3,000 high-school students who would otherwise have been rejected for admission: Pass two semesters of online coursework, and then you can enroll on the campus. But less than 10 percent of them took the offer.

Joseph Glover, the provost, defended the new option, called the Pathway to Campus Enrollment, or PACE, saying it hadn’t been well explained. “This year, now that the program is in place and there is time to advertise and explai…


Temple U. Professor Is Charged With Offering China Sensitive Technology

The chairman of Temple University’s physics department has been charged in connection with an alleged scheme to provide China with sensitive U.S. defense technology, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Federal prosecutors said in a news release that the professor, Xi Xiaoxing, had been indicted on four counts of wire fraud. He allegedly sought prestigious appointments in China in exchange for providing information about a device invented by a private American company.

The charges were announced …


Mass Email About Gay Marriage Irks Some at Hillsdale College

Hillsdale College is re-examining how it sends mass emails after the whole campus received one on Tuesday that seemed to worry urgently that the U.S. Supreme Court would legalize same-sex marriage, Michigan Live reports.

Students, faculty, and staff received the email stating that “ugly things are happening in the Supreme Court right now,” and that “I do not even think we can imagine the effects this could have on our nation, the church, and families.” The email was sent from the account of Bish…


How Would You Describe College in 5 Words? The Question Is Burning Up Twitter

The hottest hashtag in the higher-ed Twittersphere right now is #collegein5words, an admirable undertaking to boil down the college experience to just five words. Everybody’s getting in on the action, from the White House …

… to Domino’s Pizza …

Here are some of my favo…


First Takes: Will Arizona State and edX’s Freshman-Year Project Live Up to the Hype?

Will the partnership between edX and Arizona State University to “reimagine” the freshman year live up to the hype?

That’s the question being passed around in higher-ed circles on Thursday morning. Under the plan, Arizona State will offer its freshman-year general-education requirements in MOOC form. Students who complete the courses and want to use them as college credit can do so at a price of $200 per credit.

It’s novel, and at first blush it may seem like a promising option for low-income st…


Arizona State and edX Will Offer an Online Freshman Year, Open to All

Arizona State University is joining with the MOOC provider edX in a project that it says “reimagines the freshman year” and opens a new low-cost, low-risk path to a college degree for students anywhere in the world.

The project, called the Global Freshman Academy, will offer a set of eight courses designed to fulfill the general-education requirements of a freshman year at Arizona State at a fraction of the cost students typically pay, and students can begin taking courses without going through …


LinkedIn Will Buy Online-Learning Company for $1.5 Billion

LinkedIn announced Thursday it has agreed to acquire the online-learning company for $1.5 billion, The Wall Street Journal reports. It is the social-networking giant’s largest acquisition to date, and signals its continued expansion into the education realm. offers more than 2,900 courses online, which include video tutorials for various skills.

“Imagine being a job seeker and being able to instantly know what skills are needed for the available jobs in a desired city, like D…


Auburn Accidentally Published Personal Information of Students Who Didn’t Apply to Auburn

The personal information of 364,012 current, former, and prospective students was accidentally exposed on Auburn University’s website for six months, The Birmingham News reports. The information may include the Social Security numbers of students who didn’t even apply to Auburn.

“We didn’t apply, we didn’t send our SAT/ACT scores, we have nothing to do with Auburn, and we’re angry,” Lyndsay Medlin, a student at the University of Virginia School of Law, told the newspaper, referencing herself and…


Watch a Professor’s Elaborate April Fools’ Joke Slay His Lecture Class

April Fools’ Day can be treacherous, especially in academe (I’m looking at you, student newspapers). But I’m happy to report that pulling off a good, wholesome joke — one that doesn’t make light of both racism and genocide — is possible in an academic setting.

Cue Matthew Weathers, an assistant professor of mathematics and computer science at Biola University, who on Wednesday delighted his students with an impressively choreographed — and exceedingly nerdy — piece of pedagogy:

It’s worth notin…