Applications, Integration and Mobile

Inside the Black Box: Open Source and Higher Education Systems (AIM1)

Monday, Oct. 17 8:30 - 9:15 a.m.

Modern applications are not built from scratch. Instead, we combine together a variety of open-source components, frameworks, and libraries to efficiently create products that meet our users' needs. But when it comes to higher education, the open-source landscape feels sparse: where are the components to process government file formats? Where is the framework for creating a campus tour? Why don't we have libraries for common financial aid calculations? In this session, we will explore how institutions can embrace the open-source development of their core systems, from student information systems to financial aid management, by breaking open these black box systems and viewing them as a composition of parts, parts that can be shared and developed across schools. Through this more granular perspective, higher education institutions don't have to view participating in open-source as a daunting "all or nothing" prospect. Instead, by sharing pieces of our systems, we create an open, collaborative ecosystem that allows us to leverage the contributions of our fellow campuses to remain flexible to the needs of our users. At the end of this session, you will have a better understanding of, and tangible strategies for, how your institution can participate in and benefit from a higher education open-source ecosystem.

At Your Service: The Next Generation of Offline Websites (AIM2)

Monday, Oct. 17 9:30 - 10:15 a.m.

Lets face it. There are more devices out there than you can support with dedicated native apps. And except for very specific cases, most of what you’ll want to do with your app is available through web API’s. And yes, this includes offline support. Whether it’s a loss of cellular connectivity or lousy wi-fi at a conference, there will be times when a site can and should be available when the network is not. During this presentation we’ll take a look at Service Workers, which can be used to store data in the client browser, and how you can leverage them.

Fienen's Totally Topical, Terrific Tutorial to Tag Manager (AIM3)

Monday, Oct. 17 10:45 - 11:30 a.m.

Google Analytics is an everyday part of most people's lives now in the web world. And it's just one of many third-party tools you might be using to manage your website. However, with large sites and disparate groups, it's common place to do little more beyond implementing basic tracking. It turns out, Tag Manager can vastly simplify how you enable people to track their websites without needing to intervene with extra coding, as well as enabling additional tools, features, and embeds for a site. Everything from analytics to live chat, from form tracking to social media conversions can all be tied together with this simple tool - all without adding any extra code to your side (besides the Tag Manager code, obviously). Let's make your life a little bit easier, and a lot cooler, by digging into Google complementary tool, Tag Manager, and look at ways you can streamline your site tracking process (and much, much more). We'll look at some real-world use cases, and maybe take some audience questions to do live demos, because that's just how we do, right?

Mastering Person Data: Making the Data About You, Work For You (AIM4)

Monday, Oct. 17 11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

If you were to ask three different business units what information about a person is key to them, there would most likely be three different answers with some commonalities. Take this example and apply it to the real world where it's not only university business units need information about a person, but also all of the cloud applications that exist or are on the horizon. Leveraging the EIP (Enterprise Information Platform), Ohio State was able to bring ALL of the important data points about a person to a single location. HR (appointments, hire dates, position info, department info, addresses), IAM (affiliations), Student (academic info), Building (space management link), and Research (KM Data link). This information flows from varying databases through EIP to a load process that builds the person documents and loads them into an Elasticsearch type and in turn exposed via EIP. Some notable consumers of this data currently are the Ohio Board of Regents, BuckeyeLearn (a cloud-based administrative LMS), and varying workflows in our Electronic Document Management (EDM) system. Within the next year, Ohio State’s move to WorkDay Financials will be leveraging the Person Master source for various data points. As a developer, you no longer have to manage a plethora of endpoints for varying data points about a person. Through the EIP, each developer or team can have one endpoint that serves the elements they need by the parameters they require. As the underlying data store is Elasticsearch the performance is enhanced immensely. The entire employed population , ~65k people, with HR data, affiliations, appointments, addresses, academic info, department info, building API link, and research data API link returned in minutes.

Easy, Affordable Digital Signs with WordPress (AIM5)

Monday, Oct. 17 3:00 - 3:45 p.m.

Learn how to set up low-cost, easy-to-maintain digital signs using WordPress, an HD-TV, and a Chromebit. Leveraging WordPress plugins, you can easily pull information from many existing sources for display on your digital sign. Creating new content is also easy, thanks to WordPress's straightforward, browser-based user interface.

“Forming” an Online Data Collection Strategy (AIM6)

Monday, Oct. 17 4:15 - 5:00 p.m.

In 2014, Illinois State University took their online forms to the next level by implementing a new form/survey system that supported data workflow. The biggest requirements that had to be addressed were to implement something that worked with our current web technology, was mobile friendly, and empowered users to manage their own forms and data flow. Big questions had to be answered along the way: Who will run it? How do we make it work with our web CMS? How do we train users? What policy will be enforced/created to support its implementation? How will we maintain it in the long run? Find out how Illinois State answered these questions when they implemented Formstack for data collection needs on their campus — and why having a plan matters.

"Give it a REST" (AIM7)

Tuesday, Oct. 18 8:30 - 9:15 a.m.

WordPress is ubiquitous. It powers small sites, large sites, blogs and just about everything else you can imagine, partially because it's so versatile. With the advent of the WordPress REST API, the platform became even more flexible. Depending on how things are configured, the REST API can be used to syndicate content from a WordPress-powered site to myriad other platforms, or it can be used to send and update content from an external source to a WordPress-powered site. In this session, we'll explore some of the ways the REST API is being used, and we'll talk about the possibilities that have been opened up as a result.

Still Slacking Off (AIM8)

Tuesday, Oct. 18 9:30 - 10:15 a.m.

An update to last year's Red Stapler winning presentation: we're still slacking off. In this session we'll explore how Vanderbilt University implemented Slack in their Web Communications office (and other offices around campus), integrated it with their help desk, project management system, and code repositories, and how it completely changed the culture of the office.

Self-Updating Social Media-Driven Digital Signage (AIM9)

Tuesday, Oct. 18 10:45 - 11:30 a.m.

Digital billboards are practically ubiquitous among college campuses now. They're a helpful tool to get information to students but they also require regular upkeep to keep their content fresh. With limited staff and time, we found that ours were often becoming stagnant. Learn how the Web/Marketing department at Jamestown Community College created a self-updating web-based solution, based on Ruby on Rails, React, CSS animations, and Raspberry Pi, to automatically pull information from a configurable list of social media services and display it with a simple, eye-catching design.

One Cool Thing -- Everyday (AIM10)

Tuesday, Oct. 18 11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Competing for the attention of prospective students, alumni and others is a huge challenge. Take a look at whether developing a mobile app ought to be part of your strategic mix. According to Nielsen, when it comes to using apps versus mobile web, 89% of people surveyed access content using mobile apps, while only 11% spent time using the web on mobile. Learn about how one college marketing department developed an app to ride this wave. One Cool Thing is an iOS and Android app that delivers content supporting key brand messaging — with the specific intention of becoming part of a person’s daily routine. This session will cover how the app was conceived, the technical work that was required to build the app -- but not too technical ;-) -- the editorial work required to maintain the app, and a look at the analytics. We’ll talk about how the app is connected to our alumni magazine, the physical campus via augmented reality, blogs, and other platforms.

You Get What You Pay For: Make Facebook Advertising Work for You (AIM11)

Tuesday, Oct. 18 3:00 - 3:45 p.m.

We've all spent countless hours and months -- for many of us, years -- growing our Facebook page likes and optimizing our content and calendars. Yet each year our organic reach shrinks, and our carefully crafted posts reach a smaller percentage of our fans. The reason for this is obvious: Facebook wants us to pay. The good news is, with even a small budget, you can make use of Facebook's robust, detailed, and, at times, creepy knowledge of their consumers, and spend your money and your energy reaching your target audiences. This session will focus on the backend of Facebook's native advertising tools, covering Facebook Power Editor, advanced keyword and geo-targeting, email match, remarketing, conversion tracking, Google Analytics integration, and more. We'll also touch on Instagram advertising, as it relates to Facebook, and touch on Twitter and LinkedIn as a bonus if time allows. Bring your laptops, your questions, and any of your own experiences with Facebook advertising to share–together we'll cut through the noise and get our content back in front of the people who care about it!