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Aerohive Unveils Ruggedized 802.11ac Outdoor Access Point

Campus Technology - 16 Diciembre, 2014 - 21:55
Aerohive is rolling out a new 802.11ac access point designed to handle harsh outdoor environments.

Suffolk U Adds Data Colocation for Disaster Recovery

Campus Technology - 16 Diciembre, 2014 - 20:48
Boston's Suffolk University has entered a multi-year agreement for colocation of data to safeguard against disaster.

Skype Real-Time Language Translator Goes Live

OLDaily - 16 Diciembre, 2014 - 19:53

Angela Moscaritolo, PC Magazine, Dec 16, 2014

It's probably really bad (though I can't wait to try it) and it's limited to English and Spanish for now, but this is the face of the future: real-time translations of online conversations. How awesome is that? "The Microsoft-owned chat service on Monday launched the first phase of its Skype Translator preview program  first announced back in May. Jointly developed by Microsoft researchers and Skype engineers, the new feature uses real-time speech translation technologies to let you have a conversation with someone over the Internet who speaks a different language."

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Categorías: General

France plans elite top-10 mega-university

OLDaily - 16 Diciembre, 2014 - 19:53

Sean Coughlan, BBC News, Dec 16, 2014

I'm not sure whether this counts as education technology (I guess it does, in a way) but France has announced plans to combine 19 separate institutions into one large super-university that will be large enough in scale and ambition to compete with places like Harvard and Oxford. It will be called Paris-Saclay, and according to this article, will have "a campus south of the French capital. The project has initial funding of 7.5bn euros (£ 5.9bn) for an endowment, buildings and transport links." I personally can think of better ways to spend $10 billion.

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Categorías: General

Blackboard’s SVP of Product Development Gary Lang Resigns

e-Literate - 16 Diciembre, 2014 - 19:46

Gary Lang, Blackboard’s senior vice president in charge of product development and cloud operations, has announced his resignation and plans to join Amazon. Gary took the job with Blackboard in June 2013 and, along with CEO Jay Bhatt and SVP of Product Management Mark Strassman, formed the core management team that had worked together previously at AutoDesk. Gary led the reorganization effort to bring all product development under one organization, a core component of Blackboard’s recent strategy.

Michael described Blackboard’s new product moves toward cloud computing and an entirely new user experience (UX) for the Learn LMS, and Gary was the executive in charge of these efforts. These significant changes have yet to fully roll out to customers (public cloud in pilot, new UX about to enter pilot). Gary was also added to the IMS Global board of directors in July 2014 – I would expect this role to change as well given the move to Amazon.

At the same time, VP Product Management / VP Market Development Brad Koch has also resigned from Blackboard.[1] Brad came to Blackboard from the ANGEL acquisition. Given his long-term central role leading product definition and being part of Ray Henderson’s team[2], Brad’s departure will also have a big impact. Brad’s LinkedIn page shows that he has left Blackboard, but it does not yet show his new company. I’m holding off reporting until I can get public confirmation.

Blackboard provided the following statement from CEO Jay Bhatt.

The decision to leave Blackboard for an opportunity with Amazon was a personal one for Gary that allows him to return home to the West Coast. During his time here, Gary has made significant contributions to the strategic direction of Blackboard and the technology we deliver to customers. The foundation he has laid, along with other leaders on our product development team, will allow us to continue to drive technical excellence for years to come. We thank him for his leadership and wish him luck as he embarks on this new endeavor.

  1. The two resignations are unrelated as far as I can tell.
  2. starting at Pearson, then at ANGEL, finally at Blackboard

The post Blackboard’s SVP of Product Development Gary Lang Resigns appeared first on e-Literate.

Get a Free Active Learning Classroom from Steelcase Education

Campus Technology - 16 Diciembre, 2014 - 19:32
North American schools and universities have an opportunity to outfit an active learning classroom for free through a new grant program from Steelcase Education.

Video recordings and materials from Education in the Digital Era conference now online

Open Education Europa RSS - 16 Diciembre, 2014 - 17:58

The Education in the Digital Era conferece took place on December 11th, 2014, in Brussels, Belgium. Ministers, leaders of educational institutions, and educational innovators convened to discuss the opportunities and challenges of adapting education to a faster changing, digital society and economy, shaping education's place and priority in the EU's sustainable growth agenda.

Interest Area:  Schools Higher Education Training & Work Learning & Society

Video recordings and materials from Education in the Digital Era conference now online

Open Education Europa RSS - 16 Diciembre, 2014 - 17:58

The Education in the Digital Era conferece took place on December 11th, 2014, in Brussels, Belgium. Ministers, leaders of educational institutions, and educational innovators convened to discuss the opportunities and challenges of adapting education to a faster changing, digital society and economy, shaping education's place and priority in the EU's sustainable growth agenda.

Interest Area:  Schools Higher Education Training & Work Learning & Society

Moodle Partner Program Expands with an Addition Partner in Japan: e-Learning Co

Moodle News - 16 Diciembre, 2014 - 16:10
The e-Learning co Ltd in Japan has been added to Moodle’s growing roster of Moodle Partners worldwide. This is the 3rd Moodle Partner in Japan and brings the total Moodle partners to over 60....

Plugin: Full Screen for Atto

Moodle News - 16 Diciembre, 2014 - 14:33
Atto’s slowly been gaining functionality through plugins released at The newest plugin provides a familiar fullscreen option to help with editing a lot of html to give you self a...

iRobot Launches Roomba-Based Robot Platform for STEM Ed

Campus Technology - 16 Diciembre, 2014 - 14:30
iRobot has launched a preassembled robot platform, dubbed Create 2, designed to give students, teachers and developers experience programming robots.

An Open Education Reader

Educación flexible y abierta - 16 Diciembre, 2014 - 09:09

tl;dr - We've published An Open Education Reader, a collection of readings on open education with commentary created by students in my graduate course Introduction to Open Education taught at Brigh...

See it on, via Educación flexible y abierta

elearn Magazine: Online Learning and the Doctorate

Educación flexible y abierta - 16 Diciembre, 2014 - 08:21

As the popularity of online doctoral programs grows, its vital for learners to have an accurate picture of the professional opportunities that await them within industry and academia.

See it on, via Educación flexible y abierta

A business model view of changing times in higher education

OLDaily - 16 Diciembre, 2014 - 07:52

Lloyd Armstrong, Changing Higher Education, Dec 16, 2014

I've been exposed to this way of thinking about education (and innovation generally) a lot over the last couple of years. Parts of it I resist, parts of it I embrace, and all of it I view with a certain scepticism. But it's important to understand that there are large masses of people (specifically, the business community) who view all systems this way, including the education system. The key elements to focus on are, in my view, the value proposition and the profit formula. The former talks about what effects you want to produce (I think the current article has far too limited a view of the value proposition, as does the business perspective generally) and the latter has to do with costs and efficiency - not only for institutions (again, a limitation of the business-centric view) but also for individuals engaged in the system.

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Categorías: General

Outlook on instruction: Class around the clock

OLDaily - 16 Diciembre, 2014 - 07:52

Jessica Terrell, District Administration, Dec 16, 2014

It's only half way through December and already the predictions for next year are starting. This article features a headline that doesn't match the content, a poorly-conceived line graph that doesn't match the content, an even poorer comment (an engineer proposing multiplication chants? really?) and a few predictions. They are mostly based around the idea of personalization and self-management of learning. I expect this too. But watch for an even bigger pushback, from two directions - first, from the instructivists, who say everyone should learn common core content and eschew differentiated instruction, and from the paternalists, who insist students are incapable of managing their own learning. 2015, I expect, will be a year of retrenchment (aka the calm before the storm).

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Categorías: General

Are you broadcasting or networking when teaching online?

Tony Bates - 16 Diciembre, 2014 - 02:35

My next three or so posts will be looking at key characteristics of media and technologies, again as part of Chapter 8 on ‘Understanding Technology in Education’ for my open textbook, ‘Teaching in a Digital Age‘. In this post, I look at how media and technologies can be classified along the broadcast/communicative dimension.

Key technology characteristics

Understanding the characteristics or affordances of each medium or technology that influence its usefulness for education will help clarify our thinking of the possible benefits or weaknesses of each medium or technology. This will also allow us to see where technologies have common or different features.

There is a wide range of characteristics that we could look at, but I will focus on five that I think are particularly important for education:

  • broadcast (one-way) or communicative (two way) media
  • synchronous or asynchronous technologies
  • live (transient) or recorded (permanent) media
  • single or rich media
  • passive or interactive.

We shall see that these characteristics are more dimensional than discrete states, and media or technologies will fit at different points on these dimensions, depending on the way they are designed or used.

Broadcast or communicative technologies

A major structural distinction is between ‘broadcast’ technologies that are primarily one-to-many and one-way, and those technologies that are primarily many-to-many or ‘communicative’, allowing for two-way or multiple communication connections. Communicative technologies include those that give equal ‘power’ of communication between multiple end users.

Broadcast media and technologies

Television, radio and print for example are primarily broadcast or one-way media, as end users or ‘recipients’ cannot change the ‘message’ (although they may interpret it differently or choose to ignore it). Note that it does not matter really what delivery technology (terrestrial broadcast, satellite, cable, DVD, Internet) is used for television, it remains a ‘broadcast’ or one-way medium. Some Internet technologies are also primarily one way. For instance, an institutional web site is primarily a one-way technology.

One advantage of broadcast media and technologies is that they ensure a common standard of learning materials for all students. This is particularly important in countries where teachers are poorly qualified or of variable quality. Also one-way broadcast technologies allow for the organization to control and manage the information that is being transmitted, allowing for quality control. Broadcasting media and technologies are more likely to be favoured by those with an ‘objectivist’ approach to teaching and learning, since the ‘correct’ knowledge can be transmitted to everyone receiving the instruction. One disadvantage is that additional resources are needed to provide interaction with teachers or other learners.

Communicative media and technologies

The telephone, video-conferencing, e-mail, online discussion forums, most social media and the Internet are examples of communicative media or technologies, in that all users can communicate and interact with each other, and in theory at least have equal power in technology terms. The educational significance of communicative technologies is that they allow for interaction between learners and teachers, and perhaps even more significantly, between a learner and other learners, without the participants needing to be present in the same place.

Which is which?

This dimension is not a rigid one, with necessarily clear or unambiguous classifications. Increasingly, technologies are becoming more complex, and able to serve a wide range of functions. In particular the Internet is not so much a single medium as an integrating framework for many different media and technologies with different and often opposite characteristics. Furthermore, most technologies are somewhat flexible in that they can be used in different ways. However, if we stretch a technology too far, for instance trying to make a broadcast medium such as an xMOOC also more communicative, stresses are likely to occur. So I find the dimension still useful, so long as we are not dogmatic about the characteristics of individual media or technologies. This means though looking at each case separately.

Thus I see a learning management system as primarily a broadcast or one-way technology, although it has features such as discussion forums that allow for some forms of multi-way communication. However, it could be argued that the communication functions in an LMS require additional technologies, such as a discussion forum, that just happen to be plugged in to or embedded within the LMS, which is primarily a database with a cool interface. We shall see that in practice we often have to combine technologies if we want the full range of functions required in education, and this adds cost and complexity.

Web sites can vary on where they are placed on this dimension, depending on their design. For instance, an airline web site, while under the full control of the company, has interactive features that allow you to find flights, book flights, reserve seats, and hence, while you may not be able to ‘communicate’ or change the site, you can at least interact with it and to some extent personalize it. However, you cannot change the page showing the choice of flights. This is why I prefer to talk about dimensions. An airline web site that allows end user interaction is less of a broadcast technology. However it is not a ‘pure’ communicative technology either. The power is not equal between the airline and the customer, because the airline controls the site.

It should be noted too that some web 2.0 tools (e.g. YouTube and blogs) are also more of a broadcast than a communicative technology, whereas other social media use mainly communicative technologies with some broadcast features (e.g. personal information on a Facebook page). A wiki is clearly more of a ‘communicative’ medium. Again though it needs to be emphasized that intentional intervention by teachers, designers or users of a technology can influence where on the dimension some technologies will be, although there comes a point where the characteristic is so strong that it is difficult to change significantly without introducing other technologies.

The role of the teacher or instructor also tends to be very different when using broadcast or communicative media. In broadcast media, the role of the teacher is central, in that content is chosen and often delivered by the instructor. cMOOCs are an excellent example. However, in communicative media, while the instructor’s role may still be central, as in online collaborative learning or seminars, there are learning contexts where there may be no identified ‘central’ teacher, with contributions coming from all or many members of the community, as in communities of practice or cMOOCs.

Thus it can be seen that ‘power’ is an important aspect of this dimension. What ‘power’ does the end-user or student have in controlling a particular technology? If we look at this from an historical perspective, we have seen a great expansion of technologies in recent years that give increasing power to the end user. The move towards more communicative technologies and away from broadcast technologies then has profound implications for education (as for society at large).

Applying the dimension to educational media

We can also apply this analysis to non-technological means of communication, or ‘media’, such as classroom teaching. Lectures have broadcast characteristics, whereas a small seminar group has communicative characteristics. In Figure 8.7, I have placed some common technologies, classroom media and online media along the broadcast/communicative continuum.

Figure 8.7

When doing this exercise, it is important to note that:

  • there is no general normative or evaluative judgement about the continuum. Broadcasting is an excellent way of getting information in a consistent form to a large number of people; interactive communication works well when all members of  a group have something equal to contribute to the process of knowledge development and dissemination. The judgement of the appropriateness of the medium or technology will very much depend on the context, and in particular the resources available and the general philosophy of teaching to be applied;
  • where a particular medium or technology is placed on the continuum will depend to some extent on the actual design, use or application. For instance, if the lecturer talks for 45 minutes and allows 10 minutes for discussion, an interactive lecture might be further towards broadcasting than if the lecture session is more of a question and answer session;
  • the important decision from a teaching perspective is deciding on the desired balance between ‘broadcasting’ and ‘discussion’ or communication. That should then be one factor in driving decisions about the choice of appropriate technologies;
  • thus the continuum is a heuristic device to enable a teacher to think about what medium or technology will be most appropriate within any given context, and not a firm analysis of where different types of educational media or technology belong on the continuum.

You will note that I have placed ‘computers’ in the middle of the continuum. They can be used as a broadcast medium, such as for programmed learning, or they can be used to support communicative uses, such as online discussion. Their actual placement on the continuum therefore will depend on how we choose to use computers in education.

Thus where a medium or technology ‘fits’ best on a continuum of broadcast vs communicative is one factor to be considered when making decisions about media or technology for teaching and learning.

Comments, please

I find these media characteristics increasingly difficult to maintain as technology develops. It used to be easy to separate ‘broadcast’ technologies such as print, radio and television, from ‘communicative’ technologies such as mail, the telephone, and conferencing. However, as we increasingly digitalise technology and more importantly services, these distinctions tend to break down. Nevertheless we still see these distinctions appear even in the latest technology applications, such as xMOOCs and cMOOCs. My view then that it is important to be aware of these differences in technology, because trying to force an essentially broadcast technology to be communicative is, I believe, likely to lead to all kinds of problems for learners (as we have seen with peer assessment in xMOOCs).

So: what do you think? Is this still a useful distinction? Can it help in media and technology selection?

Also: some feedback on the graphics, particularly Figure 8.7. Does this work for you? How would you present this (apart from hiring a professional graphics designer!)?


Synchronous vs asynchronous

Live vs recorded

Passive vs active

Any other dimension that I’ve missed?


Top Ed-Tech Trends of 2014: Data and Privacy

Hack Education - 16 Diciembre, 2014 - 02:08

Part 7 in my Top 10 Trends of 2014 series

It’s the fourth year in a row that I’ve chosen “data and privacy” as one of the most important ed-tech trends. (See 2013, 2012, 2011.)

I’m not sure if I expected things to change substantially after last year’s revelations of the massive government surveillance by the NSA. But I guess I’d hoped that folks might be a little more cautious, a little more thoughtful, a little more skeptical about data and technology adoption. Americans are aware and increasingly concerned about the amount of data collection – by the government and by businesses. Some 39% of Internet users globally say they’ve taken steps to protect their privacy and security online.

But what effect has this had on education and the current policy efforts that demand data collection? What effect has this had on ed-tech?

Perhaps this sentence from Politico’s Stephanie Simon in an article on data-mining in educational products gives us a hint at what the answers to those questions might be: “The NSA has nothing on the ed tech startup known as Knewton.”

The Ideology of Data

We’ve been told – by politicians, by the Department of Education, by tech entrepreneurs, by investors, by industry analysts, by researchers, by journalists, by pundits – that “more data,” more data analysis, and more surveillance of students and teachers will “fix education.” (Whatever “fix” means.) “More data” – and by that, we often mean “more standardized testing” – has been a core part of US education policy at the K–12 level for over a decade now, and the demand for "more data" is seeping into higher education as well.

The adoption of more and more technologies in schools has some arguing that we now have an opportunity to collect more data than what we could glean from all those standardized tests. As testing giant Pearson wrote in its report on the “Impacts of the Digital Ocean on Education,”

“The devices and digital environments with which we interact are designed to record and store experiences, thereby creating a slowly rising ocean of digital data. We can imagine schools and individual learners using this ‘digital ocean’ to inform decisions about learning. As learners learn, they are able to collect information about their activities and get feedback about what they know and can do. Learning can occur in formal and informal contexts, and data can be drawn from both. In the digital ocean, we would expect to see data from all types of activities and contexts used to create persistent learner profiles, which could then be used to recommend future activity.”

A persistent learner profile. As in, this really will go down on your permanent record.

Although many companies are scrambling to cash in on the data-mining boom, one of the most vocal about the amazing and incredible and pretty much totally unbelievable potential for data and analytics has to be the aforementioned Knewton. Once a test-prep company, it now offers an “adaptive learning” engine that many textbook partners, including Pearson (which is an investor), are incorporating into their existing products. This year, Knewton announced partnerships with Cengage, with the Turkish educational publisher Sebit, with Microsoft, with Scandanavian publisher Sanoma, with publisher and former arms dealer Elsevier, with the Sesame Workshop, and with Latin American textbook publisher Santillana.

As Stephanie Simon writes, “The data analytics firm has peered into the brains of more than 4 million students across the country. By monitoring every mouse click, every keystroke, every split-second hesitation as children work through digital textbooks, Knewton is able to find out not just what individual kids know, but how they think. It can tell who has trouble focusing on science before lunch — and who will struggle with fractions next Thursday.” “We literally know everything about what you know and how you learn best, everything,” CEO Jose Ferreira says in a video posted on the Department of Education website. "We have five orders of magnitude more data about you than Google has. …We literally have more data about our students than any company has about anybody else about anything, and it’s not even close.”

I call “bullshit,” but hey, what do I know. (Not everything. Literally.) Yet ed-tech startups insist that, thanks to them, we’re cracking the code of how people learn, something into which educators never had any insight until this very moment in history. As the co-founder of survey startup Panorama told The New York Times this fall, “Education is just starting to figure out what measurement actually means.”

Read the rest of this 6500-ish post here. Image credits: r2hox. Special thanks to Bill Fitzgerald for reading the Terms of Service.

Challenged Public Research Universities Could Do Way More with Tech

Campus Technology - 16 Diciembre, 2014 - 00:32
Publicly-funded research universities aren't doing everything they could to leverage the technology in addressing two of their major challenges: budgetary pressures and changes in how students consume higher education, according to a new research report from Ithaka S+R.

Review: Sony Digital Paper

Campus Technology - 15 Diciembre, 2014 - 23:47
Sony's Digital Paper is probably unique in the tech universe. It's a device that comes in a tablet form factor, but it's decidedly unlike any tablet on the market.

Idaho State U Selects New Discovery Service for Improved Metadata

Campus Technology - 15 Diciembre, 2014 - 21:37
Idaho State University Library has decided to adopt a new discovery service after a side-by-side comparison between its previous service and a competitor.