April 20, 2015

The Digital Campus: Tech Innovators 2015

Meet this year's tech innovators — eight men and women who are helping to drive change through education technology (or, in one case, questioning that technology). This is the third time in recent years that The Chronicle has showcased creative efforts to solve problems — to enliven the classroom, cut instructional costs, recruit more women into computer science, keep students on track to graduate, conduct cutting-edge research, and more. As part of the selection process, we asked readers and higher-education leaders for suggestions. We were just as interested in a scrappy project on a shoestring budget as we were in a big-ticket outlay. We also considered leaders in various sectors, so you'll meet a professor of the Harlem Renaissance, tech-company chief executives, a college president who paints on the side, and a registrar who's looking out for struggling students. The final selections were made by a group of Chronicle editors and reporters.

It’s a professional school for the digital age.

His college-search portal, Noodle, can cut through the clutter and help searchers find what’s really useful, he says.

Using apps and virtual-reality environments, a professor brings African-Americans’ past to life in the classroom.

For her, the work of providing open-access learning materials is more than a business; it’s a social-justice cause.

Women like to solve problems and to be seen as creative, says a female computer scientist who leads a college.

The website helps the University of Tennessee at Martin tap into parental interest to try to improve retention rates.

The study he did with Facebook caused a huge backlash. Is there a better way?

Animating her work is a conviction that technology needs to be not just used but questioned.

"I have hopefully become a much better, more informed and useful global citizen," he says, "all without ever physically leaving my apartment."

You can’t just plant a tree outside your office. And you shouldn’t be allowed to clutter up your college’s website, either.

A Graduate Center program pursues a loftier and, its founders insist, more practical goal than simple "work-force readiness."

Almost no one who is involved in creating learning materials relies on the evidence from learning science.

At heart, it’s a contextual science, and tweeting can help students see that context.