Copyright Debate, NPR and USA Today on Online Learning, Geography, Cell Phone Classes, E-Mail, Corporate e-Learning Presentations

There have been a lot of articles in the press on online learning in the past couple of days – many were spurred by the release of the Sloan report, “Online Nation: Five Years of Growth in Online Learning,” which I noted in the e-mail I sent you on Nov. 7.

ITC will be archiving the e-mails I have sent you on a WordPress blog – Meghan Maxwell will be sending you an invitation to view the blog today and tomorrow – since we are restricting access to ITC members. You need to register for WordPress to view the blog, but it only takes a minute to register and there is no charge. Chris.

December 7 – The MPAA vs. Higher Education: A Debate
Terry W. Hartle, Senior Vice President, Government and Public Affairs, American Council on Education
vs. Stewart McLaurin, Executive Vice President of Education Affairs, Motion Picture Association of America
Date: Dec. 7, 2007 from 1:00 to 2:00pm Eastern Time

Despite years of working together through the Joint Committee of the Higher Education and Entertainment Communities, higher education and the content industry still don’t quite see eye to eye. Campuses feel they’re working hard to deal with a problem they didn’t cause and can’t solve while the recording and motion picture associations insist that not enough is being accomplished. In this session, two influential representatives of these feuding camps will discuss their differences.

The event is free, but registration is required and virtual seating is limited. REGISTER NOW.

Online Courses Catch On in U.S. Colleges (the first of a two-part report)
by Larry Abramson
Nov. 28, 2007, Morning Edition, National Public Radio

“When today’s college graduates get together for a reunion someday, they may decide to do it by computer. That’s because right now, nearly one in five college students takes at least one class online, according to a new survey. For professors, the growth of e-learning has meant a big shift in the way they deal with students.” . . .

“Online student-teacher relationships are getting deeper and warmer, thanks in part to growing sophistication about how to teach effectively online.”

Illinois School Looks to Tech Tools to Teach (the second of a two-part report)
by Larry Abramson
Nov. 29, 2007, Morning Edition, National Public Radio

“To see the future of higher education, look no further than your computer screen. Online education is growing at many times the rate of higher education overall, according to a new survey. In the past, some prestigious schools have looked down on distance learning, fearing the quality could never measure up. But now some colleges require that students take at least one course online. The University of Illinois campus in Springfield is small, about 5,000 students. Compared with the campuses in Chicago and Urbana-Champaign, Springfield is a tiny outpost on the prairie. But when it comes to online education, this school is a titan.” . . .

“If any of this seems strange, get over it. Because the next wave in e-learning about to crash on our shores is m-learning, as in mobile learning, delivered to your cell phone.”

Geography Emerges in Distance Ed
by Andy Guess
Nov. 28, 2007, Inside Higher Ed

“If it’s been possible so far to paint a generalized picture of the online student – an adult starting a second career, for example, enrolled in a large institution such as the University of Phoenix – that’s only because the market for distance education hasn’t fully matured. Now, a new report suggests, that process is well underway.”

“As demand shifts to different age groups and students looking for specific types of programs, the era of “one size fits all” is coming to an end, argues a study by Eduventures, a research firm that provides advice and consulting services to its members in the online higher education market. Most notably, the idea that learning online renders geography irrelevant is challenged by trends in survey data.”

“Two-thirds of the 2,033 representative survey respondents – all interested in online education over the next several years – preferred to enroll in online programs located in their state, but only 47 percent had done so; the rest were enrolled in institutions located elsewhere. The report points to that finding as a signal that better-tailored programs and improved marketing could exploit a market demand for localized online education that hasn’t entirely been filled. Although Eduventures makes its full reports available only to paying members, charts provided to Inside Higher Ed point to a correlation between living in larger communities and a desire for online providers that are based locally.”

‘Distance Learning’ Gets Its Close-Up
by G. Jeffrey MacDonald
Nov. 28, 2007, USA Today

“Hannah Cross, a marketing major at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith, hasn’t let anything derail her from her college degree – not having a baby, not having back surgery, not having to hold down a job. The 22-year-old single mother plans to graduate on time this spring – because she can take classes online and fit her education around her life, instead of the other way around.” . . .

“Online education – also known as “distance learning” – has become an increasingly convenient way to get a college education, especially for students with jobs and families to support. Nearly 3.5 million students enrolled in online classes during the fall of 2006-07, according to the 2007 Sloan Survey of Online Learning, which surveyed more than 2,500 schools and released results last month. Over the past five years, the survey found, online enrollments have grown by an annual average of 21.5%.”

Cell Phone College Class Opens in Japan
by Yuri Kageyama
Nov. 28, 2007, Associated Press

“TOKYO (AP) — Japanese already use cell phones to shop, read novels, exchange e-mail, search for restaurants and take video clips. Now, they can take a university course. Cyber University, the nation’s only university to offer all classes only on the Internet, began offering a class on mobile phones Wednesday on the mysteries of the pyramids.”

“For classes for personal computers, the lecture downloads play on the monitor as text and images in the middle, and a smaller video of the lecturer shows in the corner, complete with sound. The cell phone version, which pops up as streaming video on the handset’s tiny screen, plays just the Power Point images. In a demonstration Wednesday at a Tokyo hotel, an image of the pyramids popped up on the screen and changed to a text image as a professor’s voice played from the handset speakers.”

“Cyber University, which opened in April with government approval to give bachelor’s degrees, has 1,850 students.”

When E-Mail Is Outsourced
by Andy Guess
Nov. 27, 2007, Inside Higher Ed

“In 1998, Dartmouth College was considered at the forefront of campus e-mail. Its homegrown system, BlitzMail, continued to reflect the college’s reputation for being ahead of the curve on technology. Dartmouth students still rely on BlitzMail today, downloading their messages with a traditional Windows- or Mac-based client. But nearly 10 years later, even David L. Bucciero, the director of technical services, calls the service “archaic.” It lacks some of the “bells and whistles,” he said, that most students take for granted with the personal Web-based e-mail accounts they take with them to college. Such features might include the ability to view and compose messages in HTML, which allows the customization of fonts and colors, or virtually unlimited storage space.”

“Those inadequacies – combined with occasional downtime – explain why Dartmouth might go back to the drawing board. And in rethinking its e-mail strategy, officials there will confront similar issues as many other colleges and universities in a time of rapid shifts in messaging habits and in the economics of Internet applications. Bucciero and a planned study group will soon consider whether it’s worthwhile to continue maintaining BlitzMail, or whether Dartmouth should consider for e-mail what colleges routinely do for many other basic operational functions: outsource it.” . . .

“The availability of viable options outside of the university IT department has forced administrators to consider the consequences of abandoning their in-house e-mail systems. Does it make financial sense to keep spending resources on aging proprietary software when it’s available on the Web? Do colleges’ services still offer advantages over those reflexively preferred by students? And in offloading a primary function of the campus information technology infrastructure, what role would remain for administrators who previously oversaw e-mail services?”

What is Corporate Learning: Trends and Innovations?
Nov. 15-20, 2007

You can access the following presentations from this online conference at no charge. Chris

Elearning 2.0 – Introduction And Implication: Tony Karrer, TechEmpower
From Lessons Learnt To Learning Lessons: David Snowden, Cognitive Edge
Learning without a Foundation: Jay Cross
Towards The Perfect Storm – A Golden Age for e-Learning?: Richard Straub, IBM Europe, Middle-East and Africa; European Learning Industry Group; European Foundation for Management Development
Strategic eLearning: From Tactics to the Performance Ecosystem: Clark Quinn, Quinnovation
Let’s Get Real About the Virtual: Steve Mahaley, Duke Corporate Education
Getting Going with Web2.0 Based Learning in the Enterprise: Gaurav Rastogi and Jai Ganesh, Infosys Technologies
It’s Not Innovative If It Doesn’t Educate: Keith Resseau, PricewaterhouseCoopers
Capability Management: Opportunity, Threat or Hot Air for L&D?: Donald H. Taylor, InfoBasis
Corporate Learning Today: How Organizations Are Implementing Ideas: Janet Clarey, Brandon Hall Research
Talent and Workforce Performance: The Fractured Reality: David Wilson, Elearnity
Funeral for a Friend: Industrial Age Learning (1965-2000): Rae Tanner, and Cindy McCann, Custom Performance Solutions, Inc.
Increasing Speed to Proficiency: A Blended Approach: Bill Bruck, Q2Learning
Designing Your Organizational Learning Architecture: George Siemens, Learning Technologies Centre, University of Manitoba; Complexive Systems Inc.

Copyright Debate, NPR and USA Today on Online Learning, Geography, Cell Phone Classes, E-Mail, Corporate e-Learning Presentations

Online Nation: Five Years of Growth, Libraries and Digitization, 20 Years for Hacking?, Media Literacy, Blended Learning – 25 Case Studes

Online Nation: Five Years of Growth in Online Learning
From the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
October 2007

This study is based on responses from more than 2,500 colleges and universities. Here are some highlighted statistics – the entire report is available online.

How Many Students are Learning Online?
– Online enrollments have continued to grow at rates far in excess of the total higher education student population, albeit at slower rates than for previous years.
– Almost 3.5 million students were taking at least one online course during the fall 2006 term; a nearly 10 percent increase over the number reported the previous year.
– The 9.7 percent growth rate for online enrollments far exceeds the 1.5 percent growth of the overall higher education student population.
– Nearly 20 percent of all U.S. higher education students were taking at least one online course in the fall of 2006.

Where has the Growth in Online Learning Occurred?
– Two-year associate’s institutions have the highest growth rates and account for over one-half of all online enrollments for the last five years.
– Baccalaureate institutions began the period with the fewest online enrollments and have had the lowest rates of growth.

Why do Institutions Provide Online Offerings?
– Improving student access is the most often cited objective for online courses and programs. Cost reduction is not seen as important.
– All types of institutions cite improved student access as their top reason for offering online courses and programs.
– Institutions that are the most engaged in online education cite increasing the rate of degree completion as a very important objective; this is not as important for institutions that are not as engaged in online learning.
– Online is not seen as a way to lower costs; reduced or contained costs are among the least-cited objectives for online education.
– The appeal of online instruction to non-traditional students is indicated by the high number of institutions which cite growth in continuing and/or professional education as an objective for their online offerings.

What are the Prospects for Future Online Enrollment Growth?
– Approximately one-third of higher education institutions account for three-quarters of all online enrolments. Future growth will come predominately from these and similar institutions as they add new programs and grow existing ones.
– Much of the past growth in online enrollments has been fueled by new institutions entering the online learning arena. This transition is now nearing its end; most institutions that plan to offer online education are already doing so.
– A large majority (69 percent) of academic leaders believe that student demand for online learning is still growing.
– Virtually all (83 percent) institutions with online offerings expect their online enrollments to increase over the coming year.
– Future growth in online enrollments will most likely come from those institutions that are currently the most engaged; they enroll the most online learning students and have the highest expectations for growth.

What are the Barriers to Widespread Adoption of Online Education?
– Identification of the most important barriers differs widely between those with online offerings and those who do not offer any. Current results replicate our previous studies in identifying faculty acceptance and the need for more discipline on the part of students as the most common concerns.
– Academic leaders cite the need for more discipline on the part of online students as the most critical barrier, matching the results of last year’s survey.
– Faculty acceptance of online instruction remains a key issue. Those institutions most engaged in online do not believe it is a concern for their own campus, but do see it as a barrier to more wide-spread adoption of online education.
– Higher costs for online development and delivery are seen as barriers among those who are planning online offerings, but not among those who have online offerings.
– Academic leaders do not believe that there is a lack of acceptance of online degrees by potential employers.

Digitization and its Discontents
by Anthony Grafton
Nov. 5, 2007, The New Yorker

. . . “It’s an old and reassuring story: bookish boy or girl enters the cool, dark library and discovers loneliness and freedom. For the past ten years or so, however, the cities of the book have been anything but quiet. The computer and the Internet have transformed reading more dramatically than any technology since the printing press, and for the past five years Google has been at work on an ambitious project, Google Book Search. Google’s self-described aim is to “build a comprehensive index of all the books in the world,” one that would enable readers to search the list of books it contains and to see full texts of those not covered by copyright. Google collaborates with publishers, called Google Publishing Partners – there are more than ten thousand of them around the world—to provide information about books that are still copyright protected, including text samples, to all users of the Web. A second enterprise, the Google Library Project, is digitizing as many books as possible, in collaboration with great libraries in the U.S. and abroad. Among them is Kazin’s beloved New York Public Library, where more than a million books are being scanned.”

“Google’s projects, together with rival initiatives by Microsoft and Amazon, have elicited millenarian prophecies about the possibilities of digitized knowledge and the end of the book as we know it. Last year, Kevin Kelly, the self-styled “senior maverick” of Wired, predicted, in a piece in the Times, that “all the books in the world” would “become a single liquid fabric of interconnected words and ideas.” The user of the electronic library would be able to bring together “all texts – past and present, multilingual – on a particular subject,” and, by doing so, gain “a clearer sense of what we as a civilization, a species, do know and don’t know.” Others have evoked even more utopian prospects, such as a universal archive that will contain not only all books and articles but all documents anywhere – the basis for a total history of the human race.”

“In fact, the Internet will not bring us a universal library, much less an encyclopedic record of human experience. None of the firms now engaged in digitization projects claim that it will create anything of the kind. The hype and rhetoric make it hard to grasp what Google and Microsoft and their partner libraries are actually doing. We have clearly reached a new point in the history of text production. On many fronts, traditional periodicals and books are making way for blogs and other electronic formats. But magazines and books still sell a lot of copies. The rush to digitize the written record is one of a number of critical moments in the long saga of our drive to accumulate, store, and retrieve information efficiently. It will result not in the infotopia that the prophets conjure up but in one in a long series of new information ecologies, all of them challenging, in which readers, writers, and producers of text have learned to survive.”

. . .

20 Years in Jail: The Price for Hacking a University Computer
by Josh Fischma
Nov. 6, 2007, Chronicle of Higher Ed

“Two men, one of whom worked on the computer help desk at the California State University at Fresno, could be sentenced to 20 years of jail time if convicted of breaking into the university system to change their grades.” . . .

“The length of the possible sentence – along with a potential fine of $250,000 – has roiled the tech blogs. Many people seem outraged by the severity, arguing that the offense is no different than picking the lock on your grade school teacher’s desk and changing test grades recorded in her notebook. Bad, but not horrible.” . . . “But others point out that it’s not the grade-changing that’s terrible in itself.” . . .

New Media Literacy In Education: Learning Media Use While Developing Critical Thinking Skills
by Robin Good
Oct. 21, 2007

“Media literacy is the notion that learning how to use new media technologies, online collaboration tools, personal publishing and live video streaming gear is not just about being cool and hip but it is a set of fundamental skills every young person should be equipped with to be able to navigate the digital realities increasingly surrounding us.”

“Learning to use participatory media technologies, refining one’s own ability to speak, present and communicate visually may indeed be among the most precious skills that the young generations of digital natives need to learn if you want them to be able to affect sensible change in the future.”

The following two-part essay is the basic script for a keynote presentation that Howard Rheingold delivered a couple of weeks ago to It introduces the foundations for understanding media literacy role in today’s education and its critical importance in providing the intellectual assets required to face today’s highly complex information-based realities.” . . .

Blended Learning – Effective Practices
by Keith Bourne
July 18, 2007

Twenty-five case studies from Sloan–C.

Online Nation: Five Years of Growth, Libraries and Digitization, 20 Years for Hacking?, Media Literacy, Blended Learning – 25 Case Studes

Librarians Protest Surveillance Bills, Online Legal Education, K-12 Online Learning Stats and Quality Standards, FERPA

Librarians Say Surveillance Bills Lack Adequate Oversight
by Ellen Nakashima
Nov. 2, 2007, The Washington Post

“A little-remarked feature of pending legislation on domestic surveillance has provoked alarm among university and public librarians who say it could allow federal intelligence-gathering on library patrons without sufficient court oversight.”

“Draft House and Senate bills would allow the government to compel any “communications service provider” to provide access to e-mails and other electronic information within the United States as part of federal surveillance of non-U.S. citizens outside the country.”

“The Justice Department has previously said that “providers” may include libraries, causing three major university and library groups to worry that the government’s ability to monitor people targeted for surveillance without a warrant would chill students’ and faculty members’ online research activities.” . . .

Legal Education at a Distance
by Scott Jaschik
Oct. 31, 2007, Inside Higher Ed

“As online education has become more and more popular, law schools have largely been on the sidelines. The American Bar Association will not accredit distance programs, and has strict limits on the use of distance education in traditional programs.”

“On Tuesday, however, the online only Concord School of Law – which has managed to grow without ABA recognition – announced a merger with Kaplan University. In terms of corporate ownership, this isn’t much of a change – both Concord and Kaplan are divisions of Kaplan Inc., a major player in for-profit higher education. But because Kaplan University is regionally accredited (which Concord is not), the merger will make Concord students eligible for federal student loans and to defer repaying their past student loans when enrolled. These are seen as advances for Concord – whose officials say that they believe law school’s efforts will eventually change attitudes about distance legal education.”

“While the ABA has not changed its rules, it has quietly approved an unusual variance from its procedures to allow the Penn State Dickinson School of Law to offer many more courses at a distance than ABA rules permit. While the effort relates in part to particular characteristics of the Penn State program (which makes use of two physical campuses), the ABA waiver represents the broadest experiment to date in the association giving its blessing to the extensive use of distance education.” . . .

Online Learning Grows More Popular: Improved Technology Has Made Online Classes More Attractive to More and More Students
by Tom Regan
Christian Science Monitor, Oct. 31, 2007

“With the spread of broadband technology and improved online teaching tools, students and teachers are finding online classes to be a more fluid and rewarding experience.”

“The use of Skype, an Internet-based phone service, for example has enhanced the teaching of foreign languages online. Yu-Hsiu Lee, a doctoral student in the Language Education Department of Indiana University, Bloomington, praised Skype for allowing anyone who wants to learn Chinese to have one-on-one instruction with a native speaker. Skype allows students to both see and hear the instructor on their computer screens, he wrote last week in the Skype Journal, a blog devoted to the evolution of Internet phone service. Unlike using a CD to learn a language, he says, Skype allows students to get instant feedback and to ask instructors specific questions.”

When Wikipedia Is the Assignment
by Andy Guess
Oct. 29, 2007, Inside Higher Ed

“Wikipedia: time-saver for students, bane of professors everywhere. Or is it?”

. . . “At a morning session featuring a professor and a specialist in learning technology from the University of Washington at Bothell, presenters showed how Wikipedia – often viewed warily by educators who worry that students too readily accept unverifiable information they find online – can be marshaled as a central component of a course’s syllabus rather than viewed as a resource to be banned or reluctantly tolerated.”

“That’s what Martha Groom, a professor at the university’s Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences program, tried to do for the first time last fall by requiring term papers to be submitted to the popular, user-edited online encyclopedia. The project comes at a time when instructors and administrators continue to debate the boundaries of certain technologies within the classroom and how to adapt to students’ existing online habits.” . . .

Learning in the 21st Century: A National Report of Online Learning
by Karen Greenwood Henke for Project Tomorrow and Blackboard
Oct. 18, 2007

“This report explores student, teacher, and parent attitudes toward online learning based on surveys completed by 232,781 K-12 students, 21,272 teachers, and 15,316 parents as part of Speak Up, a national research project facilitated by Project Tomorrow, as well as interviews with administrators and teachers in six school districts using a range of different online learning models. This report focuses on the use of online learning for sixth through twelfth grade students and for teacher professional development.”

• Online learning is becoming widespread in U.S. education. One in five students in grades 6-12 have taken an online or distance learning course at school or on their own, and 1 in 3 students selected online classes as a component of their ideal school.

• While 47% of students in grades 9-12 pursue online learning to secure courses not offered at school and 43% to work at their own pace, extra help was the top reason for 6-8th grade students (42%), teachers (57%) and parents (58%). Both parents and teachers also value online courses as a way for students with an extended absence to make up their work.

• More teachers (46%) have taken an online course than students, however only 3% have ever taught an online class. On a weekly basis, 17% of teachers use online tools for professional development and 12% seek advice or counseling outside of the school community.

• Seventy-seven percent of teachers believe that technology makes a difference in learning and 28% would like to see online courses offered as an alternative in their district. Only 3% of Speak Up teachers report they have taught an online class, however 24% are interested in teaching one.

• Compared to 18% of teachers, 30% of 6-8 grade students, 39% of 9-12 grade students, and 42% of parents believe that online classes are a good investment to improve student achievement. More parents selected online classes than laptops and white boards (the top choice for many students and teachers). Interviews suggest that parents value their own online access to the curriculum and the ability to track their child’s progress.

NACOL National Standards of Quality for Online Courses

“On September 12, 2007, the North American Council for Online Learning (NACOL) endorsed the National Standards of Quality for Online Courses.” . . .

“NACOL conducted a comprehensive review of course standards available. Based on this review, the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Standards for Quality Online Courses, used by the 16 states in the southern United States is adopted as the source for the NACOL National Standards for Quality for Online Courses. NACOL added a standard to include 21st Century Skills.”

The express purpose of the organization [North American Council for Online Learning] is to facilitate collaboration, advocacy, and research to enhance quality K-12 online learning.

Balancing Student Privacy and School Safety: A Guide to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act for Colleges and Universities
October 2007, Department of Education

U.S. Secretary of Education Spellings has announced the availability of new brochures that provide guidance on the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) to enable institutions to better balance students’ privacy rights with safety concerns. Three brochures — for K-12, postsecondary and parents are available.

Librarians Protest Surveillance Bills, Online Legal Education, K-12 Online Learning Stats and Quality Standards, FERPA

2007 Campus Computing Survey – Executive Summary

The 2007 Campus Computing Survey
IT Security and Crisis Management
Pose Continuing Challenges

IT security and crisis management present continuing challenges for college and university officials according to new data from 2007 Campus Computing Survey. The survey data reveal solid improvements in some areas but continuing problems in others. For example, just three-fifths (59.1 percent) of the institutions participating in the 2007 survey report a strategic plan for IT disaster recovery, up slightly from 2006 (55.7 percent) and reflecting only modest gains from 2004 (55.5 percent) or even 2002 (53.0 percent).

The good news is that the percentage of campuses reporting hacks or attacks on campus networks continues to decline, down to 45.6 percent in 2007 from 51.1 percent in 2005. Similarly, fewer campuses report major problems with computer viruses (14.8 percent, compared to 35.4 percent in 2005) and spyware (15.9 percent, compared to 40.8 percent in two years ago). But the incidents of stolen computers with sensitive data increased slightly from 2006 to 2007 (17.1 percent in 2007, compared to 13.5 percent in 2006 and 15.3 percent in 2005). And although the numbers are generally low (under 15 percent), more campuses report student security incidents linked to social networking sites such as Facebook or MySpace (13.2 percent in 2007 vs. 9.8 percent in 2006) and institutional data security due to data loss on a server not under the control of central IT services (14.6 percent this past year, compared to 11.3 percent in 2006). A new item on the 2007 survey reveals that 6.5 percent of institutions experienced an IT security incident this past year due to an intentional employee transgression.

Additionally, in the wake of the tragic events at Virginia Tech in spring 2007, many campuses are moving quickly to expand and enhance IT and communication services and resources as part of a broader IT and campus crisis management plan. As of fall 2007, more than two-fifths (44.0 percent) of institutions report a strategic plan for emergency communication or notification services. Yet for most institutions, the key elements of the emergency communication/notification plan appear based to be existing IT resources such as email (66.4 percent), campus web sites or portals (62.6 percent), and campus phone services (44.6 percent). Although there are some variations by sector, comparatively few institutions have emergency communication plans that incorporate notification to off-campus phones (18.0 percent) or cell phones (22.1 percent).

“The 2007 survey data confirm the continuing security and crisis management challenges confronting campus IT officials across all sectors of higher education,” says Kenneth C. Green, founding director of The Campus Computing Project and a visiting scholar at the Center for Education Studies at the Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, CA. “Two years after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and six years after the 9-11 attacks, it its still surprising that so many colleges and universities – approximately 40 percent – have yet to complete or update their IT disaster plans. Additionally, and not surprisingly, recent events at Virginia Tech, Delaware State, and other institutions have created new expectations, or in some cases new mandates, regarding emergency notification services that will now need to be incorporated into these campus plans and procedures.”

Although IT security issues pose continuing challenges for campus IT officials, the proportion of CIOs who identify IT security as the “single most important IT issue affecting my institution over the next two-three years” declined slightly in 2007 to 25.5 percent, down from 30 percent in both 2005 and 2006. Ranked second in 2007 is “upgrading/replacing administrative IT/campus ERP systems” (13.0 percent), followed closely by “hiring/retaining qualified IT staff” (12.3 percent). The ERP upgrade/replacement issue moves from third in the 2004-2006 surveys to second in 2007, replacing “the instructional integration of information technology.” The new concern about hiring suggests the growing competition for qualified IT talent in the campus and corporate sectors.

Wireless campus networks now reach two-thirds (60.1 percent) of college classrooms, compared to half (51.2 percent) in 2006 and just a third (31.1 percent) in 2004, according to the 2007 survey data. Additionally, more than three-fourths (76.7 percent) of the campuses participating in the annual survey have a strategic plan for deploying wireless as of fall 2007, up from 68.8 percent in and 55.3 percent in 2004. By sector, the proportion classrooms with wireless access ranges from over two- fifths (44.4 percent) in community colleges (up from 26.8 percent in 2005) to more than two-thirds (69.8 percent) in private research universities (up from 52.8 percent in 2005 and 47.4 percent in 2004).

“Wireless can be a wonderful resource for everyone on campus,” says Green. “It fosters access, mobility, and collaborative work among students and faculty.” But he also notes there is continuing evidence of backlash against wireless from some faculty who would prefer that students not hide behind their computer screens during class. Additionally, Green comments that the arrival of the Apple iPhone and other Wi-Fi phones and PDA devices will present new challenges for campus IT officials and new demands for access to the campus network from students, faculty, administrators and staff who will come to campus with these devices: “To date campus IT officials have preferred not to deal with mobile phones and PDAs on campus networks. That will have to change with the arrival of a new generation of network compatible phones and PDAs in the coming year. ”

The 2007 survey data point to little change in the orientation towards Open Source applications among senior campus technology officers first reported in 2004. Almost three-fifths (57.3 percent, compared to 51.9 percent in 2004) agree that “Open Source will play an increasingly important role in our campus IT strategy.” However, less than a third of the survey respondents (27.6 percent, compared to 28.9 percent in 2004) agree that Open Source “offers a viable alternative” for key campus administrative or ERP applications such as student information systems, campus finance systems, or personnel/human resource software.

Yet even with the continuing “affirmative ambivalence” about Open Source among many campus IT leaders, the 2007 survey data document key gains for Open Source applications, specifically Open Source Learning Management Systems (LMS). A growing number of colleges and universities have made an Open Source LMS their campus standard. The proportion of institutions that have established Sakai as the campus standard LMS remains steady at approximate 3 percent, while the proportion using Moodle as the campus standard LMS almost doubled between 2006 and 2007, rising from 4.2 to 7.8 percent over one year. Moodle is particularly popular among private four-year colleges: almost one-fifth (17.2 percent) of private four-year institutions have made Moodle the campus standard LMS, up from 10.2 percent in 2006.

“There is ample of evidence of growing interest in and the slow but rising deployment of Open Source applications,” says Green. “The recent gains for Moodle and Sakai are very interesting, suggesting that ten years after the deployment of the first commercial LMS applications, campus officials and faculty advisory committees are reviewing seriously the various LMS offerings from both commercial providers and the collaborative Open Source movement.”

The 2007 survey brings new data to the discussion of how campus officials are addressing the problem of peer-to-peer (P2P) downloading of music and movies on campus networks. As noted in past surveys, the vast majority of colleges and universities (82.9 percent) have campus policies to address inappropriate P2P downloading. The 2007 survey provides new information about the campus procedures that enforce these policies. More than two-thirds of institutions (70.5 percent) report that students can lose their campus network privileges for P2P violations, while almost half (45.9 percent) impose other kinds of sanctions for inappropriate P2P activity. Almost of a third (29.1 percent) of colleges and universities have installed some type technology product as part of campus efforts stem P2P piracy on campus networks, while 12.8 percent now have mandatory user education programs to inform students about copyright and P2P issues.

“The 2007 survey data confirm that colleges and universities are making significant efforts to address the problem of P2P piracy on campus networks,” says Green. “Unfortunately, some critics will point to the survey data to argue that campuses are not doing enough in this area. But the fact remains that colleges are universities are far more conscientious, indeed far more aggressive about addressing P2P piracy issues than are the consumer market broadband service providers such as AT&T, Comcast, Earthlink, and TimeWarner. Colleges and universities are engaged in user education and are imposing sanctions for P2P violations. Additionally, many institutions are spending significant sums to deploy software that providers claim will stem P2P downloading. Yet we know that the proposed P2P software solutions are far from perfect, as was acknowledged in recent congressional hearings.”

Begun in 1990, The Campus Computing Survey is the largest continuing study of computing and information technology in American higher education. The survey data are based on the responses provided by senior campus officials, typically the senior institutional technology officer (CIO/CTO, vice president for information technology, etc.). The 2007 survey report is based on data provided by campus officials representing 555 two- and four-year public and private colleges and universities across the United States. Survey respondents completed the online questionnaire during September and October, 2007.

Copies of the 2007 Campus Computing Report will be available for delivery beginning December 10, 2007 (price $37, plus $2.00 shipping/handling to US addresses) from Kenneth Green, c/o Campus Computing, PO Box 261242, Encino, CA 91426-1242. The report can also be ordered from The Campus Computing Web Site.

2007 Campus Computing Survey – Executive Summary