VP for Information Technology & CIO

New Year, New Tech Trends

Just coming off the holiday season it may seem odd to talk about what’s new in tech trends. Yet targeted marketing knows no season and publishers, along with retailers, are constantly offering new “toys.”

University Business recently reported that podcasting is making a comeback. Traditional outlets such as NPR and newer ones such as Gimlet Media and the Panoply Network are releasing high-quality podcasts.   Video is still hot, especially on-line.

Duke University studied how video uploads to Facebook compared in reach and engagement with the same videos shared on YouTube.  Which platform won? Facebook. UCO has recently released its new video-on-demand platform, aptly labeled, UCO OnDemand.  Stay up-to-date with UCO videos available at https://streaming.uco.edu/.

Personal drones were a hot-selling item for December.  The jury is still out on the overall safety and use of drones.  An adult friend of mine launched his drone, only to be shot down by a neighbor.  Oops! Currently, UCO has prohibited the use of unmanned aerial vehicles — drones — on and above UCO property. http://blasts.uco.edu/centralities/special-centralities-from-president-betz-for-monday,-jan.-4,-2016.html.

Virtual reality is coming into its own (so to speak).  I remember the first VR computer I experienced with heavy headsets and mind-boggling graphics.  VR is much easier and a lot less expensive.  We will see more and more VR in the coming months.  At the same time, voice-activated digital assistants will play an increasingly important role in driving visitors to web content.  With UCO’s initiative to launch a new web site over the next year-and-a-half, we will want to consider optimizing this capability.

Wellness monitors such as FitBit are becoming the latest in “jewelry” as we count steps taken, check our heart rate, and receive notifications of incoming telephone calls.  Do people still talk on the phone?  Yes, we do at UCO.  The completion of the transition to VoIP has lead us to finalize a unified communications systems upgrade for the University.

Tech trends abound and UCO is on target with exciting opportunities to help students learn with enhanced technology.  Staying relevant and keeping up with new technology is a fund and mind-boggling challenge. Welcome to 2016.  Siri, can you get me some coffee?