Excerpt from Learning TRENDS by Elliott Masie – February 1, 2013 (emphasis DSC)

#760 – Updates on Learning, Business & Technology.
55,887 Readers – www.masie.com – twitter: emasie – The MASIE Center.
Host: Learning Directions Blended Seminars

2. Logitech Business Camera – Skype for the Classroom! I almost never endorse or highlight a product, as Learning TRENDS is vendor-neutral. But, we have been on a quest for a simple technology that finally arrived.

We wanted a camera, with High Definition capability, that could [offer remote Pan/Tilt/Zoom (PTZ) capabilities] – and also worked perfectly with both Skype, Gmail Video as well as a capture camera for content.  Why? In all of our classrooms, we have multiple large Plama/LCD Screens and wanted to add cameras for both video conferencing, class capture and knowledge clips.  While we could mount a nice single focus camera, the PTZ capability was missing.

Logitech BCC950 Conference Cam Video Conferencing Camera is perfect! We have tested in multiple settings and are delighted with the focus, quality and ease of use in a classroom or meeting room.  It has extensions that allow it to be mounted apart from the base and it would be ideal to add video capacity to a classroom – in our effort to evolve to the “connected classroom”.  The price is around $220 and we have purchased several for our Center.

 

Also see:

 

Conference Cam

50 interesting ways to use Skype in your classroom — from edudemic.com by Jeff Dunn

Excerpt:

I’m a so-so fan of Skype. I’ve used it on an infrequent basis and have had more than a few dropped calls. Audio and video alike. However, it’s a cheap way to make long distance calls and seems to work better over wi-fi and the video quality is improving on a regular basis. So therefore it’s probably a great tool for the classroom. But how can you use Skype to do more than just make calls? Well, there’s a pantload of interesting ways! Check out these fun ideas:

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From DSC:
And for “Skype on steroids”, consider using Blackboard Collaborate:

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Blackboard Collaborate - Skype on Steroids

 

 

From DSC:
I created this graphic, so I ask for
mercy from you lawyers  at
Microsoft and/or at Blackboard! 🙂

 

 

Also see:

 

 

Also see:

Higher Ed Tech" Where K-12 & Consumer Collide - Frank Catalano - March 2012

 

Excerpt:

What’s our agenda? It’s basically in three parts:

  1. What student expectations are
  2. Where innovation is coming from and what’s driving it
  3. And what it’s developing into over the next three years – in 5 transcendent trends that span K-20

 

Also see:

When Technologies Collide: Consumer, K-12 and Higher Ed -- by Frank Catalano -- April 2012

Blackboard launches mobile beta program for Blackboard Collaborate — from Blackboard.com
Company plans to bring live classes and collaboration to mobile devices

Excerpt:

WASHINGTON, June 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Blackboard Inc. today announced the launch of a Beta program for an interactive mobile application for Blackboard Collaborate, the leading Web conferencing platform built for education. The new app would let learners participate in live Web conferencing sessions from smartphone and tablet devices, significantly expanding access to sessions delivered through the platform.

The app, Blackboard Collaborate Mobile, would let users join a live Web conference through a learning management system (LMS) link, email link or calendar invite. After the session launches automatically, users would access a range of interactive tools enabling them to view content, communicate through chat and audio, respond to surveys, raise a hand, see the status of other participants, join breakout rooms and more.

Blackboard launches Open Source Services Group — from Blackboard
Company will support both commercial & open source systems

WASHINGTON – March 26, 2012 – Blackboard Inc. today announced the launch of Blackboard Education Open Source Services, a new effort to support clients using open source education technologies. With the announcement, the company will continue to focus on its flagship Blackboard Learn platform as well as ANGEL and Edline, while also helping institutions successfully manage open source learning management systems (LMS) including Moodle and Sakai.

The move complements Blackboard’s existing focus on supporting the entire education experience with products and services for learning management as well as mobility, real time collaboration, analytics, campus services and notification, and other needs. Blackboard already serves hundreds of institutions that use Moodle, Sakai and other LMS systems in tandem with these additional education-focused solutions. In extending its focus to include open source options, Blackboard can support a wider variety of approaches to online learning and help institutions increase the value they get from technology of all kinds.

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Blackboard acquires Moodlerooms, NetSpot

Blackboard acquires Moodlerooms, NetSpot — from Blackboard
Company now one of world’s largest education open source service providers Moodlerooms, NetSpot will continue to operate independently

WASHINGTON – March 26, 2012 – Blackboard Inc. announced a major investment in open source today with news that it has acquired Moodlerooms and NetSpot, two leading providers of open source online learning solutions to the education industry. Both organizations will continue to operate independently to support their clients.

Moodlerooms and NetSpot are official Moodle Partners, and each will continue their current programs to support clients with no changes to their leadership or their support and service models.

In addition, each team will also become part of Blackboard’s new Education Open Source Services group, dedicated to supporting the use and development of open source learning technologies globally.

Leaders from each company recently traveled to Perth, Australia to meet with Martin Dougiamas, founder of Moodle and Managing Director of Moodle Pty Ltd, and present their plans. The meeting included Blackboard CEO Michael Chasen and Chief Technology Officer Ray Henderson, Moodlerooms CEO Lou Pugliese and Chief Architect Tom Murdock, and NetSpot Managing Director Allan Christie.

Also see:

Blackboard speaks out on open source move — by Dian Schaffhauser

Excerpt:

Blackboard’s announcement that it had acquired Moodle service providers Moodlerooms and NetSpot to create a new business division focused on delivering open source services to educational customers may well be met with the same kind of astonishment Mac users showed in 1997 when Steve Jobs announced that Microsoft was investing $150 million in Apple. When long-time competitors are suddenly on the same team, you can’t help but ask, what’s going to happen to the game?

In this interview Blackboard Learn President Ray Henderson and Moodlerooms Chairman and CEO Lou Pugliese explain why Blackboard is getting into the open source business, what’s different about delivering services to those customers versus Blackboard’s traditional customers, and what might be next on the open source agenda for the No. 1 learning management system company in the world.

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Blackboard launches solution to improve developmental education
Fully online courses now include built-in assessment, analytics tools

Excerpt:

WASHINGTON – February 22, 2012 – Blackboard Inc. today announced the official launch of Blackboard Developmental Education™ (Blackboard DevEd), an innovative approach aimed at improving student outcomes and increasing completion rates in an area where many institutions have struggled. The solution, which was first piloted by several institutions in the fall, now includes built-in assessment and analytics tools that enable course instructors to further personalize their instruction.

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Blackboard Developmental EducationTM (Blackboard DevEd) is a comprehensive program of blended instruction and online remedial courses designed to improve student achievement levels cost-effectively.

Early reflections from DSC:

  • First of all, my congratulations go out to Blackboard for innovating! Nice work.
  • This is another example of the innovation occurring in the online/digital learning world — yet more tools and diagnostic powers are being made available to online-based teaching and learning environments
  • This should be another shot across the bow of how institutions of higher education are training our future teachers — student teachers NEED to know how to teach online!!!
  • Too early to tell how such endeavors will affect career paths (for teachers, administrators, counselors, nurses, and such)

 

Also see:


Some tools to consider:


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Blackboard Collaborate has real-time polling features

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Poll Everywhere -- real-time polling

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From DSC:
By the way, faith-based organizations might want to consider using this tool as well.  Also, my thanks to Professor Randall Pruim, in the Mathematics Department at Calvin College, for bringing the options below to my attention. Note: Professor Pruim doesn’t necessarily recommend these tools — as both SMS Poll and Lecturetools.com require that students pay a subscription. However, I list these tools here in case you want to compare functionality/pricing/etc.

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smspoll.net -- real time polling of your students

 

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http://www.lecturetools.com/

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Addendum on 2/2/12:

 

socrative.com -- engage the class using any device

NOTE:  Randy mentioned that Socrative requires access to the Internet (laptop or smart phone); there is no cell phone interface at this time. So you must have a web-enabled device.

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Addendum on 2/21/12:

 

Addendum on 7/18/12:

TopHatMonocle.com
A web based clicker and online homework tool; polls and quizzes

No clickers to buy! Students can use any device to participate in class

  • For in-class and homework use
  • Questions, open ended discussions and interactive demos
  • Use with any presentation software, such as PowerPoint
  • Amazingly simple! Takes minutes to setup

 

Addendum on 11/15/12:

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From Daniel Christian -- November 2011 -- An important note to publishers of academic/educational materials!

 

From DSC:
We really need a much more granular approach — like an iTunes for academic content.

 

Blackboard makes major investment to support online learning in China
Acquisition of CerBibo Enhances Company’s Ability to Invest in One of the World’s Fastest-Growing Markets

Excerpt:

WASHINGTON—November 9, 2011—Blackboard has made a major investment to support online learning in China, by acquiring full ownership of CerBibo, a company that has brought its online learning solution to hundreds of institutions in China, the company announced today. The move enhances the company’s ability to make deeper investments to support greater use of online learning in one of the world’s fastest-growing markets.

Blackboard has seen strong momentum in China with CerBibo, a joint venture launched in 2003 in partnership with CERNET, a public-private organization that provides technology and information services to Chinese education institutions. The venture has brought Blackboard’s online teaching and learning solution to over 270 Chinese higher education and K-12 institutions including Peking University, Renmin University, Sun Yat-Sen University and the China-Europe International Business School (CEIBS).

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Also see:

 

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Blackboard to partner with Internships.com — from Chief Learning Officer

New mentality entering LMS market — from deltainitiative.com by Phil Hill; this was also guest posted on Michael Feldstein’s eLiterate site

 Excerpt:

The real significance will be the entrance of a new mentality – one based on new investment (venture capital, private equity, strategic publisher moves), one based on startup companies willing to challenge the status quo with new approaches, and one that is almost naive in its assumptions about giving end users what they want.

http://mfeldstein.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/LMS_MarketShare_20110511_mid.jpg

Quo vadis, LMS? Trends, predictions, commentary — from CampusTechnology.com

The LMS market is in flux. According to a 2010 survey conducted by the Campus Computing Project, Blackboard‘s dominance of the higher education market declined from 71 percent in 2006 to 57 percent in 2010. Open source alternatives Moodle and Sakai have continued to make inroads, as has Desire2Learn–together they now control over 30 percent of the market. The entry of Instructure, whose Canvas LMS recently scooped up the business of the Utah Education Network, provides an additional plot twist. And hanging over it all is the imminent migration of hundreds of legacy Blackboard clients to new systems as their existing platforms are retired.

Often overlooked in the numbers game, though, are more fundamental–even philosophical–questions about the evolving role of the LMS and its ability to meet the needs of higher education today. If the debate of recent years has been between open source and proprietary systems, the focus is gradually shifting to how all of these systems will tackle the thorny issues of informal learning, social networking, assessment, and a mobile learning environment.

To gauge what the future may hold, CT asked leading educators and vendors for their thoughts on the evolution of the LMS in higher education.

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