Perspectives on IT Governance from the Gartner Symposium

This is the first of my blog posts about the 2012 Gartner Symposium that I’m attending this week. I’m organizing these around themes that have cropped up from one or more sessions. I’m also going to keep these short so I can ensure that I get them out while the ideas are still fresh. Leave a comment or contact me if you have questions.

The first theme for the sessions that I’ve been attending is around the Educational Ecosystem. Universities are working hard on their core mission, vitamin but IT-related changes have created many sources of disruption that are creating a labyrinth where it is easy to lose your way. For example, students can take courses from universities around the world without being limited by their location, demands to make educational resources available on any and all consumer devices, and competition with other education-related sectors and user-generated educational resources.

Here is Gartner’s visualization of this concept:

I like this representation because it is a good reminder that all of these disruptions are happening simultaneously and require solutions that take multiple factors into account.

From the perspective of products and services, Bill Rust, the Gartner analyst presenting one of the sessions, provided this quadrant system to help visualize your current service portfolio:

The Ed Tech Desert quadrant is for services that don’t contribute to organizational efficiency and aren’t requested or desired by users. The Silicon Castle describes tools that focus on back-office efficiency, but aren’t understood by users. The Wild Kingdom quadrant is where services go that are desired by users, but may be too new or too chaotic to be efficient. Finally, the Promised Land quadrant is for services that are desired by users and help the institution function more efficiently.

The next step that Bill Rust took really began to set my wheels in motion. He mapped some of the technologies from the Hype Cycle on to this quadrant system. The result can be seen below:

Things in the Ed Tech Desert are technologies such as Virtual Worlds and attempts to do mobile learning on low-end mobile devices. On the other end of the scale, the development of mechanisms for “Bring Your Own Device” are in the Promised Land because users (students of course, but also faculty and staff) want to bring and connect their personally-owned devices to campus and connect them to the network and university services. Developing BYOD processes and policies will help the institution reduce the chaos that this trend would cause otherwise. The idea of a “District App Store” is creating a localized app store through which the university can distribute free, licensed, and specialized apps to faculty, students, and staff.

In short, what I have really been enjoying at the Gartner Symposium is that we are being presented with concrete evidence of large-scale trends, an interpretation of what those trends mean now and in the future, and simple tools for moving forward. It’s a great way to run a conference.
This is the first of my blog posts about the 2012 Gartner Symposium that I’m attending this week. I’m organizing these around themes that have cropped up from one or more sessions. I’m also going to keep these short so I can ensure that I get them out while the ideas are still fresh. Leave a comment or contact me if you have questions.

The first theme for the sessions that I’ve been attending is around the Educational Ecosystem. Universities are working hard on their core mission, vitamin but IT-related changes have created many sources of disruption that are creating a labyrinth where it is easy to lose your way. For example, students can take courses from universities around the world without being limited by their location, demands to make educational resources available on any and all consumer devices, and competition with other education-related sectors and user-generated educational resources.

Here is Gartner’s visualization of this concept:

I like this representation because it is a good reminder that all of these disruptions are happening simultaneously and require solutions that take multiple factors into account.

From the perspective of products and services, Bill Rust, the Gartner analyst presenting one of the sessions, provided this quadrant system to help visualize your current service portfolio:

The Ed Tech Desert quadrant is for services that don’t contribute to organizational efficiency and aren’t requested or desired by users. The Silicon Castle describes tools that focus on back-office efficiency, but aren’t understood by users. The Wild Kingdom quadrant is where services go that are desired by users, but may be too new or too chaotic to be efficient. Finally, the Promised Land quadrant is for services that are desired by users and help the institution function more efficiently.

The next step that Bill Rust took really began to set my wheels in motion. He mapped some of the technologies from the Hype Cycle on to this quadrant system. The result can be seen below:

Things in the Ed Tech Desert are technologies such as Virtual Worlds and attempts to do mobile learning on low-end mobile devices. On the other end of the scale, the development of mechanisms for “Bring Your Own Device” are in the Promised Land because users (students of course, but also faculty and staff) want to bring and connect their personally-owned devices to campus and connect them to the network and university services. Developing BYOD processes and policies will help the institution reduce the chaos that this trend would cause otherwise. The idea of a “District App Store” is creating a localized app store through which the university can distribute free, licensed, and specialized apps to faculty, students, and staff.

In short, what I have really been enjoying at the Gartner Symposium is that we are being presented with concrete evidence of large-scale trends, an interpretation of what those trends mean now and in the future, and simple tools for moving forward. It’s a great way to run a conference.
I’ve been going to several sessions on Governance at the Gartner Symposium, order primarily because it has been a common topic of discussion related to overall IT Leadership at Penn State as well as more project specific cases such as governance of the Learning Management System (ANGEL).

Jan-Miller Lowendahl, illness discussed IT governance in the education sector, approved especially if a new structure is being put into place. Here are some of his key points mingled in with some ideas from other analysts:

First, a good way to look at governance is to think about investments. Where are we investing our time and money? What are we getting in return? What do we need to do to get or maintain a competitive edge? What should we stop doing? How are we adapting to predicted trends? In this regard, it’s easy to see how governance is directly connected to activities such as developing a service catalog, determining total costs of ownership, defining metrics, analyzing big data, and strategic planning.

Second, there are levels of governance, each with a specific purpose. This is the simplest division: At the highest level, you have the board of directors (Trustees in our case), who oversee the entire mission of the university and ensure that the organization doesn’t do anything to put people in jail, go bankrupt, or succumb to some other catastrophic event. At the IT level, you have a group of the highest-level decision makers who can bring both key information and critical resources to the table. They advise the CIO on major investments and help enable those by contributing what they can from their units. This gets a bit tricky in the typical distributed IT scenario since the CIO doesn’t control all of the IT resources. In those cases, commonly defined metrics and consolidation of institution-wide services are key success factors. Finally, there is a governance group below the IT Leadership group that deals primarily with operational-level issues, short-term issues, or minor modifications. This final group uses the same structures and metrics as the bigger IT governance group so they can communicate with each other and to prepare the more junior staff for higher-level roles down their career paths.

Third, you need some analytic tools from time to time that help these groups step back, get a new perspective, and make some decisions based on data. Here is one example from a real client. In this graph, Jan has plotted a group of services based on their focus on increasing faculty/student experience and their focus on improving institutional efficiency. The size of each bubble is an indication of the cost of the service. Seeing this, the IT staff at the client institution were able to make decisions about working to create a more balanced portfolio. Some other activities included things like asking people to list their top priorities and comparing that to the flow of resources over the past few years to see where there are disconnects.

My fourth and final take-away was that governance doesn’t need to be overly complicated. Often, formality can put people in a defensive mode where they are concerned with their own budgets and lock-down policies instead of considering where a university should be investing its resources. Using more informal language, occasional gamification techniques, and informal get-togethers can often break the ice and keep things positive.

So overall, I thought these sessions on governance have been great for putting many of our administrative processes into perspective. I’m hoping to get more involved in these kinds of activities.

Posted in strategy | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Navigating the Educational Ecosystem

http://allangyorke.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/KnowledgeCommons.jpg
http://allangyorke.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/KnowledgeCommons.jpg
Interesting development in MOOCs and Prior Learning Assessment discussions. It makes me wonder if I would be able to earn a degree that I already possess by passing some tests – or whether I could add a degree based on experience that I’ve gotten over the past 22 years of working in higher education.

Are degrees being reduced to a series of examinations? Or is there something more about the educational experience that can’t be measured by the correct responses to well-designed prompts? What I remember most about my educational experiences have little to do with exams or papers. They’re moments of insight, ed surprise, heart frustration, and inspiration.

In any case, here is the article:

Under California Bill, Faculty-Free Colleges Would Award Exam-Based Degrees

A bill being considered this month by the California Assembly would create a fourth division of the state’s higher-education system that would provide no instruction and would issue college credit and degrees to any student who could pass a series of examinations.

via Under California Bill, Faculty-Free Colleges Would Award Exam-Based Degrees – Government – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

http://allangyorke.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/KnowledgeCommons.jpg
Interesting development in MOOCs and Prior Learning Assessment discussions. It makes me wonder if I would be able to earn a degree that I already possess by passing some tests – or whether I could add a degree based on experience that I’ve gotten over the past 22 years of working in higher education.

Are degrees being reduced to a series of examinations? Or is there something more about the educational experience that can’t be measured by the correct responses to well-designed prompts? What I remember most about my educational experiences have little to do with exams or papers. They’re moments of insight, ed surprise, heart frustration, and inspiration.

In any case, here is the article:

Under California Bill, Faculty-Free Colleges Would Award Exam-Based Degrees

A bill being considered this month by the California Assembly would create a fourth division of the state’s higher-education system that would provide no instruction and would issue college credit and degrees to any student who could pass a series of examinations.

via Under California Bill, Faculty-Free Colleges Would Award Exam-Based Degrees – Government – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

These are two of my favorite videos that talk about creativity. The first one is from Chris Staley who has taught art for decades. It’s a short piece highlighting his own process that involves a playful approach to design. The second is from Monty Python’s John Cleese who talks about getting into an open state that is less purposeful and more relaxed, resuscitator expansive, website like this and playful so creativity can surface. [Oddly enough, cure both talk about the discovery of penicillin.]

I think their ideas are helpful for those of us who are asked to do things like imagine the future and generate new solutions to real problems.


I’d be happy if this happens. Right now, women’s health visit this institutions need to pay tens of thousands of dollars in application fees to operate distance education programs in other states. This proposed framework would make it easier by requiring adherence to a common set of standards.

A group of higher-education leaders, malady accreditors, information pills and regulators led by a former U.S. education secretary is seeking to streamline distance-education and state-authorization regulations to make it easier and more affordable for colleges to enroll students across the country.

To participate in the reciprocity system, the home state of a college would oversee and regulate the institution’s work in other states to ensure that it met a set of national baseline standards. Other states in which the college operates could not regulate that institution unless it had a “physical presence” in the state, which the report defines as a continuing occupation of a physical location for instruction or the maintenance of an administrative office to facilitate instruction.

via Former Education Secretary Seeks to Simplify States' Distance-Education Rules – Government – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

I’d be happy if this happens. Right now, women’s health visit this institutions need to pay tens of thousands of dollars in application fees to operate distance education programs in other states. This proposed framework would make it easier by requiring adherence to a common set of standards.

A group of higher-education leaders, malady accreditors, information pills and regulators led by a former U.S. education secretary is seeking to streamline distance-education and state-authorization regulations to make it easier and more affordable for colleges to enroll students across the country.

To participate in the reciprocity system, the home state of a college would oversee and regulate the institution’s work in other states to ensure that it met a set of national baseline standards. Other states in which the college operates could not regulate that institution unless it had a “physical presence” in the state, which the report defines as a continuing occupation of a physical location for instruction or the maintenance of an administrative office to facilitate instruction.

via Former Education Secretary Seeks to Simplify States' Distance-Education Rules – Government – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

This is the first of my blog posts about the 2012 Gartner Symposium that I’m attending this week. I’m organizing these around themes that have cropped up from one or more sessions. I’m also going to keep these short so I can ensure that I get them out while the ideas are still fresh. Leave a comment or contact me if you have questions.

The first theme for the sessions that I’ve been attending is around the Educational Ecosystem. Universities are working hard on their core mission, bronchi but IT-related changes have created many sources of disruption that are creating a labyrinth where it is easy to lose your way. For example, web students can take courses from universities around the world without being limited by their location, glands demands to make educational resources available on any and all consumer devices, and competition with other education-related sectors and user-generated educational resources.

Here is Gartner’s visualization of this concept:

I like this representation because it is a good reminder that all of these disruptions are happening simultaneously and require solutions that take multiple factors into account.

From the perspective of products and services, Bill Rust, the Gartner analyst presenting one of the sessions, provided this quadrant system to help visualize your current service portfolio:

The Ed Tech Desert quadrant is for services that don’t contribute to organizational efficiency and aren’t requested or desired by users. The Silicon Castle describes tools that focus on back-office efficiency, but aren’t understood by users. The Wild Kingdom quadrant is where services go that are desired by users, but may be too new or too chaotic to be efficient. Finally, the Promised Land quadrant is for services that are desired by users and help the institution function more efficiently.

The next step that Bill Rust took really began to set my wheels in motion. He mapped some of the technologies from the Hype Cycle on to this quadrant system. The result can be seen below:

Things in the Ed Tech Desert are technologies such as Virtual Worlds and attempts to do mobile learning on low-end mobile devices. On the other end of the scale, the development of mechanisms for “Bring Your Own Device” are in the Promised Land because users (students of course, but also faculty and staff) want to bring and connect their personally-owned devices to campus and connect them to the network and university services. Developing BYOD processes and policies will help the institution reduce the chaos that this trend would cause otherwise. The idea of a “District App Store” is creating a localized app store through which the university can distribute free, licensed, and specialized apps to faculty, students, and staff.

In short, what I have really been enjoying at the Gartner Symposium is that we are being presented with concrete evidence of large-scale trends, an interpretation of what those trends mean now and in the future, and simple tools for moving forward. It’s a great way to run a conference.

Posted in educational technologies, mobile learning, mobile technology, strategy | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Can You Teach Creativity?

http://allangyorke.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/KnowledgeCommons.jpg
http://allangyorke.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/KnowledgeCommons.jpg
Interesting development in MOOCs and Prior Learning Assessment discussions. It makes me wonder if I would be able to earn a degree that I already possess by passing some tests – or whether I could add a degree based on experience that I’ve gotten over the past 22 years of working in higher education.

Are degrees being reduced to a series of examinations? Or is there something more about the educational experience that can’t be measured by the correct responses to well-designed prompts? What I remember most about my educational experiences have little to do with exams or papers. They’re moments of insight, ed surprise, heart frustration, and inspiration.

In any case, here is the article:

Under California Bill, Faculty-Free Colleges Would Award Exam-Based Degrees

A bill being considered this month by the California Assembly would create a fourth division of the state’s higher-education system that would provide no instruction and would issue college credit and degrees to any student who could pass a series of examinations.

via Under California Bill, Faculty-Free Colleges Would Award Exam-Based Degrees – Government – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

http://allangyorke.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/KnowledgeCommons.jpg
Interesting development in MOOCs and Prior Learning Assessment discussions. It makes me wonder if I would be able to earn a degree that I already possess by passing some tests – or whether I could add a degree based on experience that I’ve gotten over the past 22 years of working in higher education.

Are degrees being reduced to a series of examinations? Or is there something more about the educational experience that can’t be measured by the correct responses to well-designed prompts? What I remember most about my educational experiences have little to do with exams or papers. They’re moments of insight, ed surprise, heart frustration, and inspiration.

In any case, here is the article:

Under California Bill, Faculty-Free Colleges Would Award Exam-Based Degrees

A bill being considered this month by the California Assembly would create a fourth division of the state’s higher-education system that would provide no instruction and would issue college credit and degrees to any student who could pass a series of examinations.

via Under California Bill, Faculty-Free Colleges Would Award Exam-Based Degrees – Government – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

These are two of my favorite videos that talk about creativity. The first one is from Chris Staley who has taught art for decades. It’s a short piece highlighting his own process that involves a playful approach to design. The second is from Monty Python’s John Cleese who talks about getting into an open state that is less purposeful and more relaxed, resuscitator expansive, website like this and playful so creativity can surface. [Oddly enough, cure both talk about the discovery of penicillin.]

I think their ideas are helpful for those of us who are asked to do things like imagine the future and generate new solutions to real problems.

Posted in innovation, play | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Visit to the WisCEL Space at University of Wisconsin, Madison

This is a little ironic for several reasons. Our group (Education Technology Services) is currently involved with some pilot projects
I’m done with the Educause Learning Initiative Annual Meeting now and thought I’d share a few of my observations. This is part 1 of 3 (probably).

About the Educause Learning Initiative Annual Meeting:
For those who don’t know, advice website the ELI conference is a gathering of about 700 people who are focused on various aspects of educational technology, mind mostly from higher education. I knew that others in our group would be attending sessions on topics like analytics and gaming, visit this so I spent all of my time at sessions focused on mobile learning and eTextbook/Paperless initiatives. Here are some of the highlights related to those topics:

eTextbooks at Indiana University
Anastasia Morrone from Indiana University talked about rolling out a eTextbook initiative aimed at reducing the student cost of textbooks to 35% of the cost of new books. They are doing this in partnership with a company called CourseLoad and a mandatory eTextbook fee that students pay as part of their tuition bill when they have signed up for one of the courses in the initial rollout. Indiana University is working through Internet2 to expand this program to other universities. I think it’s an impressive initiative that has focused on reducing student costs and ensuring accessibility. By expanding this to other universities, they are hoping to use collective bargaining power to keep costs low. For more, see: Indiana University eTextbook Site

iPad Initiative at Anderson University
Ben Deaton from Anderson University talked about their iPad initiative for all of its incoming students. This year, 580 freshmen received iPads as well as abut 90% of their faculty who were only required to say that they would try using the iPad for teaching and learning purposes. Six of the faculty were involved in extensive course redesign projects that involved using the iPad as an active element in the course. For example, a biology class identified mitosis and meiosis as difficult concepts, so they had students use their iPads to create stop-motion animations that illustrated those concepts. Pre/post test data showed that student understanding went way up.

That’s all for part 1. My flight out of Austin is taking off soon.
I’m done with the Educause Learning Initiative Annual Meeting now and thought I’d share a few of my observations. This is part 1 of 3 (probably).

About the Educause Learning Initiative Annual Meeting:
For those who don’t know, advice website the ELI conference is a gathering of about 700 people who are focused on various aspects of educational technology, mind mostly from higher education. I knew that others in our group would be attending sessions on topics like analytics and gaming, visit this so I spent all of my time at sessions focused on mobile learning and eTextbook/Paperless initiatives. Here are some of the highlights related to those topics:

eTextbooks at Indiana University
Anastasia Morrone from Indiana University talked about rolling out a eTextbook initiative aimed at reducing the student cost of textbooks to 35% of the cost of new books. They are doing this in partnership with a company called CourseLoad and a mandatory eTextbook fee that students pay as part of their tuition bill when they have signed up for one of the courses in the initial rollout. Indiana University is working through Internet2 to expand this program to other universities. I think it’s an impressive initiative that has focused on reducing student costs and ensuring accessibility. By expanding this to other universities, they are hoping to use collective bargaining power to keep costs low. For more, see: Indiana University eTextbook Site

iPad Initiative at Anderson University
Ben Deaton from Anderson University talked about their iPad initiative for all of its incoming students. This year, 580 freshmen received iPads as well as abut 90% of their faculty who were only required to say that they would try using the iPad for teaching and learning purposes. Six of the faculty were involved in extensive course redesign projects that involved using the iPad as an active element in the course. For example, a biology class identified mitosis and meiosis as difficult concepts, so they had students use their iPads to create stop-motion animations that illustrated those concepts. Pre/post test data showed that student understanding went way up.

That’s all for part 1. My flight out of Austin is taking off soon.
I went to two sessions about iPad initiatives.

California State, melanoma Fullerton:
They have a university-wide initiative to go as paperless as possible. That includes ideas such as converting all forms and meeting documents t electronic formats. As part of this plan, store they offered iPads to faculty and staff as long as they participate in mandatory training and their departments pay for ongoing service. They signed an agreement with CourseSmart to provide electronic textbooks. CourseSmart was selected because of the cross-platform support, accessibility of their platform, and their publisher agreements.

The program cost them about $700K. They figure that they have made this money back already by saving $560K in printing costs and $170K by extending the lifespan of faculty and staff computers from three years to four years.

Overall, I found it interesting that this is a faculty and staff initiative. Students are not part of the program and are expected to bring their own technology. Also, we have been wondering what groups are doing regarding lifecycling iPads. The idea of extending the time for buying new laptops makes sense as a way to help mitigate costs. Finally, I believe that part of their success can be attributed to a tie-in with larger university-wide “going paperless” theme. That changes it from a technology initiative to a strategic one.

Fullerton iPad Site

Notre Dame:
An ePublishing Working Group, composed of people from the bookstore, library, university press, and faculty, was already meeting when the iPad was announced. Two faculty members (Angst and Crutchfield) decided to create a paperless class and get iPads for students. This meant no paper for content, assignments, or quizzing.

Angst surveyed his students several times. Overall, they liked the portability of their course materials, the long battery life of iPads, the versatility of the device versus something like a Kindle, being constantly connected, and being able to add social media apps and games. They didn’t like that there wasn’t a real keyboard, limited features of some eReaders, lack of multitasking, and that there wasn’t a “save” button. The save button concern turned out not to be an issue as the students got used to the devices and how they didn’t really need a save button.

I’m done with the Educause Learning Initiative Annual Meeting now and thought I’d share a few of my observations. This is part 1 of 3 (probably).

About the Educause Learning Initiative Annual Meeting:
For those who don’t know, advice website the ELI conference is a gathering of about 700 people who are focused on various aspects of educational technology, mind mostly from higher education. I knew that others in our group would be attending sessions on topics like analytics and gaming, visit this so I spent all of my time at sessions focused on mobile learning and eTextbook/Paperless initiatives. Here are some of the highlights related to those topics:

eTextbooks at Indiana University
Anastasia Morrone from Indiana University talked about rolling out a eTextbook initiative aimed at reducing the student cost of textbooks to 35% of the cost of new books. They are doing this in partnership with a company called CourseLoad and a mandatory eTextbook fee that students pay as part of their tuition bill when they have signed up for one of the courses in the initial rollout. Indiana University is working through Internet2 to expand this program to other universities. I think it’s an impressive initiative that has focused on reducing student costs and ensuring accessibility. By expanding this to other universities, they are hoping to use collective bargaining power to keep costs low. For more, see: Indiana University eTextbook Site

iPad Initiative at Anderson University
Ben Deaton from Anderson University talked about their iPad initiative for all of its incoming students. This year, 580 freshmen received iPads as well as abut 90% of their faculty who were only required to say that they would try using the iPad for teaching and learning purposes. Six of the faculty were involved in extensive course redesign projects that involved using the iPad as an active element in the course. For example, a biology class identified mitosis and meiosis as difficult concepts, so they had students use their iPads to create stop-motion animations that illustrated those concepts. Pre/post test data showed that student understanding went way up.

That’s all for part 1. My flight out of Austin is taking off soon.
I went to two sessions about iPad initiatives.

California State, melanoma Fullerton:
They have a university-wide initiative to go as paperless as possible. That includes ideas such as converting all forms and meeting documents t electronic formats. As part of this plan, store they offered iPads to faculty and staff as long as they participate in mandatory training and their departments pay for ongoing service. They signed an agreement with CourseSmart to provide electronic textbooks. CourseSmart was selected because of the cross-platform support, accessibility of their platform, and their publisher agreements.

The program cost them about $700K. They figure that they have made this money back already by saving $560K in printing costs and $170K by extending the lifespan of faculty and staff computers from three years to four years.

Overall, I found it interesting that this is a faculty and staff initiative. Students are not part of the program and are expected to bring their own technology. Also, we have been wondering what groups are doing regarding lifecycling iPads. The idea of extending the time for buying new laptops makes sense as a way to help mitigate costs. Finally, I believe that part of their success can be attributed to a tie-in with larger university-wide “going paperless” theme. That changes it from a technology initiative to a strategic one.

Fullerton iPad Site

Notre Dame:
An ePublishing Working Group, composed of people from the bookstore, library, university press, and faculty, was already meeting when the iPad was announced. Two faculty members (Angst and Crutchfield) decided to create a paperless class and get iPads for students. This meant no paper for content, assignments, or quizzing.

Angst surveyed his students several times. Overall, they liked the portability of their course materials, the long battery life of iPads, the versatility of the device versus something like a Kindle, being constantly connected, and being able to add social media apps and games. They didn’t like that there wasn’t a real keyboard, limited features of some eReaders, lack of multitasking, and that there wasn’t a “save” button. The save button concern turned out not to be an issue as the students got used to the devices and how they didn’t really need a save button.

I’m done with the Educause Learning Initiative Annual Meeting now and thought I’d share a few of my observations. This is part 1 of 3 (probably).

About the Educause Learning Initiative Annual Meeting:
For those who don’t know, infertility the ELI conference is a gathering of about 700 people who are focused on various aspects of educational technology, mostly from higher education. I knew that others in our group would be attending sessions on topics like analytics and gaming, so I spent all of my time at sessions focused on mobile learning and eTextbook/Paperless initiatives. Here are some of the highlights related to those topics:

eTextbooks at Indiana University
Anastasia Morrone from Indiana University talked about rolling out a eTextbook initiative aimed at reducing the student cost of textbooks to 35% of the cost of new books. They are doing this in partnership with a company called CourseLoad and a mandatory eTextbook fee that students pay as part of their tuition bill when they have signed up for one of the courses in the initial rollout. Indiana University is working through Internet2 to expand this program to other universities. I think it’s an impressive initiative that has focused on reducing student costs and ensuring accessibility. By expanding this to other universities, they are hoping to use collective bargaining power to keep costs low. For more, see: Indiana University eTextbook Site

iPad Initiative at Anderson University
Ben Deaton from Anderson University talked about their iPad initiative for all of its incoming students. This year, 580 freshmen received iPads as well as abut 90% of their faculty who were only required to say that they would try using the iPad for teaching and learning purposes. Six of the faculty were involved in extensive course redesign projects that involved using the iPad as an active element in the course. For example, a biology class identified mitosis and meiosis as difficult concepts, so they had students use their iPads to create stop-motion animations that illustrated those concepts. Pre/post test data showed that student understanding went way up.

That’s all for part 1. My flight out of Austin is taking off soon.
One of the last sessions that I went to at ELI was about classrooms designed to promote active learning at the University of Iowa. Their designs are based on the SCALE-UP classrooms. However, epidemic order while the SCALE-UP design was created for STEM courses, no rx the University of Iowa wanted to use their classrooms for Liberal Arts courses as well.

Their active learning spaces are called TILE classrooms. Each of these spaces have round tables that can accommodate nine students each. Each table has three laptops and a nearby screen that can be set to display what is on one of those laptops. Another key element is putting these tables in a room large enough to provide plenty of space for students and faculty to walk around comfortably. The nine-person tables seem a little counter intuitive, but that provides three groups of three students each a good angle to work together and see what’s on their laptops.

So far University of Iowa has three TILE classrooms with different capacities. One room holds 27 people (3 tables of 9 students), one holds 54 (6 tables), and one holds 81 (9 tables). Out of these, the 27-person room is the most popular, which is likely do to increased faculty comfort running active learning courses at a smaller scale.

Video about the TILE classrooms:

Overall, there is a lot that we can learn from this project as we look at the design of new spaces and the redesign of existing ones. The design of a space sends a strong message about what is supposed to happen there. I don’t think we should be asking students to take a more active role in their learning unless we are willing to take a critical look at the spaces we provide for them.
Last week, remedy eczema I went to the University of Wisconsin, Madison for a CIC Learning Technologies meeting. Essentially that’s a meeting of all of the Learning Technology leaders from Big-10 schools (plus the University of Chicago).

During the campus tour, we stopped at the WisCEL Space. I made a panorama while I was there to try to capture a sense of the space. Sorry if it’s a bit off-axis:

This is essentially a large active learning classroom. Students work in six-sided tables throughout the room on their laptops. There are glass-walled side rooms for breakout sessions or services like “drop-in tutoring”. There are screens throughout the space that can be used to share information with everyone in the WisCEL space. The overall feel is not that different from our Knowledge Commons, but where the Knowledge Commons is intended to be primarily a library/group/computer space, the WisCEL room is meant to be a classroom/tutoring/computer space.

Here’s the big question that this raises for me: can we do something like this on the second floor of Pollock? A massive space that could be used either for active learning, group collaboration, or individual work. A space that would integrate media production assistance (Media Commons), computer assistance, and tutoring assistance (Penn State Learning). I think it would be a more modern use of that floor and something that is sure to be popular with students in the surrounding residence halls.

Posted in learning spaces | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Panoramas of the Knowledge Commons

This is a little ironic for several reasons. Our group (Education Technology Services) is currently involved with some pilot projects
I’m done with the Educause Learning Initiative Annual Meeting now and thought I’d share a few of my observations. This is part 1 of 3 (probably).

About the Educause Learning Initiative Annual Meeting:
For those who don’t know, advice website the ELI conference is a gathering of about 700 people who are focused on various aspects of educational technology, mind mostly from higher education. I knew that others in our group would be attending sessions on topics like analytics and gaming, visit this so I spent all of my time at sessions focused on mobile learning and eTextbook/Paperless initiatives. Here are some of the highlights related to those topics:

eTextbooks at Indiana University
Anastasia Morrone from Indiana University talked about rolling out a eTextbook initiative aimed at reducing the student cost of textbooks to 35% of the cost of new books. They are doing this in partnership with a company called CourseLoad and a mandatory eTextbook fee that students pay as part of their tuition bill when they have signed up for one of the courses in the initial rollout. Indiana University is working through Internet2 to expand this program to other universities. I think it’s an impressive initiative that has focused on reducing student costs and ensuring accessibility. By expanding this to other universities, they are hoping to use collective bargaining power to keep costs low. For more, see: Indiana University eTextbook Site

iPad Initiative at Anderson University
Ben Deaton from Anderson University talked about their iPad initiative for all of its incoming students. This year, 580 freshmen received iPads as well as abut 90% of their faculty who were only required to say that they would try using the iPad for teaching and learning purposes. Six of the faculty were involved in extensive course redesign projects that involved using the iPad as an active element in the course. For example, a biology class identified mitosis and meiosis as difficult concepts, so they had students use their iPads to create stop-motion animations that illustrated those concepts. Pre/post test data showed that student understanding went way up.

That’s all for part 1. My flight out of Austin is taking off soon.
I’m done with the Educause Learning Initiative Annual Meeting now and thought I’d share a few of my observations. This is part 1 of 3 (probably).

About the Educause Learning Initiative Annual Meeting:
For those who don’t know, advice website the ELI conference is a gathering of about 700 people who are focused on various aspects of educational technology, mind mostly from higher education. I knew that others in our group would be attending sessions on topics like analytics and gaming, visit this so I spent all of my time at sessions focused on mobile learning and eTextbook/Paperless initiatives. Here are some of the highlights related to those topics:

eTextbooks at Indiana University
Anastasia Morrone from Indiana University talked about rolling out a eTextbook initiative aimed at reducing the student cost of textbooks to 35% of the cost of new books. They are doing this in partnership with a company called CourseLoad and a mandatory eTextbook fee that students pay as part of their tuition bill when they have signed up for one of the courses in the initial rollout. Indiana University is working through Internet2 to expand this program to other universities. I think it’s an impressive initiative that has focused on reducing student costs and ensuring accessibility. By expanding this to other universities, they are hoping to use collective bargaining power to keep costs low. For more, see: Indiana University eTextbook Site

iPad Initiative at Anderson University
Ben Deaton from Anderson University talked about their iPad initiative for all of its incoming students. This year, 580 freshmen received iPads as well as abut 90% of their faculty who were only required to say that they would try using the iPad for teaching and learning purposes. Six of the faculty were involved in extensive course redesign projects that involved using the iPad as an active element in the course. For example, a biology class identified mitosis and meiosis as difficult concepts, so they had students use their iPads to create stop-motion animations that illustrated those concepts. Pre/post test data showed that student understanding went way up.

That’s all for part 1. My flight out of Austin is taking off soon.
I went to two sessions about iPad initiatives.

California State, melanoma Fullerton:
They have a university-wide initiative to go as paperless as possible. That includes ideas such as converting all forms and meeting documents t electronic formats. As part of this plan, store they offered iPads to faculty and staff as long as they participate in mandatory training and their departments pay for ongoing service. They signed an agreement with CourseSmart to provide electronic textbooks. CourseSmart was selected because of the cross-platform support, accessibility of their platform, and their publisher agreements.

The program cost them about $700K. They figure that they have made this money back already by saving $560K in printing costs and $170K by extending the lifespan of faculty and staff computers from three years to four years.

Overall, I found it interesting that this is a faculty and staff initiative. Students are not part of the program and are expected to bring their own technology. Also, we have been wondering what groups are doing regarding lifecycling iPads. The idea of extending the time for buying new laptops makes sense as a way to help mitigate costs. Finally, I believe that part of their success can be attributed to a tie-in with larger university-wide “going paperless” theme. That changes it from a technology initiative to a strategic one.

Fullerton iPad Site

Notre Dame:
An ePublishing Working Group, composed of people from the bookstore, library, university press, and faculty, was already meeting when the iPad was announced. Two faculty members (Angst and Crutchfield) decided to create a paperless class and get iPads for students. This meant no paper for content, assignments, or quizzing.

Angst surveyed his students several times. Overall, they liked the portability of their course materials, the long battery life of iPads, the versatility of the device versus something like a Kindle, being constantly connected, and being able to add social media apps and games. They didn’t like that there wasn’t a real keyboard, limited features of some eReaders, lack of multitasking, and that there wasn’t a “save” button. The save button concern turned out not to be an issue as the students got used to the devices and how they didn’t really need a save button.

I’m done with the Educause Learning Initiative Annual Meeting now and thought I’d share a few of my observations. This is part 1 of 3 (probably).

About the Educause Learning Initiative Annual Meeting:
For those who don’t know, advice website the ELI conference is a gathering of about 700 people who are focused on various aspects of educational technology, mind mostly from higher education. I knew that others in our group would be attending sessions on topics like analytics and gaming, visit this so I spent all of my time at sessions focused on mobile learning and eTextbook/Paperless initiatives. Here are some of the highlights related to those topics:

eTextbooks at Indiana University
Anastasia Morrone from Indiana University talked about rolling out a eTextbook initiative aimed at reducing the student cost of textbooks to 35% of the cost of new books. They are doing this in partnership with a company called CourseLoad and a mandatory eTextbook fee that students pay as part of their tuition bill when they have signed up for one of the courses in the initial rollout. Indiana University is working through Internet2 to expand this program to other universities. I think it’s an impressive initiative that has focused on reducing student costs and ensuring accessibility. By expanding this to other universities, they are hoping to use collective bargaining power to keep costs low. For more, see: Indiana University eTextbook Site

iPad Initiative at Anderson University
Ben Deaton from Anderson University talked about their iPad initiative for all of its incoming students. This year, 580 freshmen received iPads as well as abut 90% of their faculty who were only required to say that they would try using the iPad for teaching and learning purposes. Six of the faculty were involved in extensive course redesign projects that involved using the iPad as an active element in the course. For example, a biology class identified mitosis and meiosis as difficult concepts, so they had students use their iPads to create stop-motion animations that illustrated those concepts. Pre/post test data showed that student understanding went way up.

That’s all for part 1. My flight out of Austin is taking off soon.
I went to two sessions about iPad initiatives.

California State, melanoma Fullerton:
They have a university-wide initiative to go as paperless as possible. That includes ideas such as converting all forms and meeting documents t electronic formats. As part of this plan, store they offered iPads to faculty and staff as long as they participate in mandatory training and their departments pay for ongoing service. They signed an agreement with CourseSmart to provide electronic textbooks. CourseSmart was selected because of the cross-platform support, accessibility of their platform, and their publisher agreements.

The program cost them about $700K. They figure that they have made this money back already by saving $560K in printing costs and $170K by extending the lifespan of faculty and staff computers from three years to four years.

Overall, I found it interesting that this is a faculty and staff initiative. Students are not part of the program and are expected to bring their own technology. Also, we have been wondering what groups are doing regarding lifecycling iPads. The idea of extending the time for buying new laptops makes sense as a way to help mitigate costs. Finally, I believe that part of their success can be attributed to a tie-in with larger university-wide “going paperless” theme. That changes it from a technology initiative to a strategic one.

Fullerton iPad Site

Notre Dame:
An ePublishing Working Group, composed of people from the bookstore, library, university press, and faculty, was already meeting when the iPad was announced. Two faculty members (Angst and Crutchfield) decided to create a paperless class and get iPads for students. This meant no paper for content, assignments, or quizzing.

Angst surveyed his students several times. Overall, they liked the portability of their course materials, the long battery life of iPads, the versatility of the device versus something like a Kindle, being constantly connected, and being able to add social media apps and games. They didn’t like that there wasn’t a real keyboard, limited features of some eReaders, lack of multitasking, and that there wasn’t a “save” button. The save button concern turned out not to be an issue as the students got used to the devices and how they didn’t really need a save button.

I’m done with the Educause Learning Initiative Annual Meeting now and thought I’d share a few of my observations. This is part 1 of 3 (probably).

About the Educause Learning Initiative Annual Meeting:
For those who don’t know, infertility the ELI conference is a gathering of about 700 people who are focused on various aspects of educational technology, mostly from higher education. I knew that others in our group would be attending sessions on topics like analytics and gaming, so I spent all of my time at sessions focused on mobile learning and eTextbook/Paperless initiatives. Here are some of the highlights related to those topics:

eTextbooks at Indiana University
Anastasia Morrone from Indiana University talked about rolling out a eTextbook initiative aimed at reducing the student cost of textbooks to 35% of the cost of new books. They are doing this in partnership with a company called CourseLoad and a mandatory eTextbook fee that students pay as part of their tuition bill when they have signed up for one of the courses in the initial rollout. Indiana University is working through Internet2 to expand this program to other universities. I think it’s an impressive initiative that has focused on reducing student costs and ensuring accessibility. By expanding this to other universities, they are hoping to use collective bargaining power to keep costs low. For more, see: Indiana University eTextbook Site

iPad Initiative at Anderson University
Ben Deaton from Anderson University talked about their iPad initiative for all of its incoming students. This year, 580 freshmen received iPads as well as abut 90% of their faculty who were only required to say that they would try using the iPad for teaching and learning purposes. Six of the faculty were involved in extensive course redesign projects that involved using the iPad as an active element in the course. For example, a biology class identified mitosis and meiosis as difficult concepts, so they had students use their iPads to create stop-motion animations that illustrated those concepts. Pre/post test data showed that student understanding went way up.

That’s all for part 1. My flight out of Austin is taking off soon.
One of the last sessions that I went to at ELI was about classrooms designed to promote active learning at the University of Iowa. Their designs are based on the SCALE-UP classrooms. However, epidemic order while the SCALE-UP design was created for STEM courses, no rx the University of Iowa wanted to use their classrooms for Liberal Arts courses as well.

Their active learning spaces are called TILE classrooms. Each of these spaces have round tables that can accommodate nine students each. Each table has three laptops and a nearby screen that can be set to display what is on one of those laptops. Another key element is putting these tables in a room large enough to provide plenty of space for students and faculty to walk around comfortably. The nine-person tables seem a little counter intuitive, but that provides three groups of three students each a good angle to work together and see what’s on their laptops.

So far University of Iowa has three TILE classrooms with different capacities. One room holds 27 people (3 tables of 9 students), one holds 54 (6 tables), and one holds 81 (9 tables). Out of these, the 27-person room is the most popular, which is likely do to increased faculty comfort running active learning courses at a smaller scale.

Video about the TILE classrooms:

Overall, there is a lot that we can learn from this project as we look at the design of new spaces and the redesign of existing ones. The design of a space sends a strong message about what is supposed to happen there. I don’t think we should be asking students to take a more active role in their learning unless we are willing to take a critical look at the spaces we provide for them.
Last week, remedy eczema I went to the University of Wisconsin, Madison for a CIC Learning Technologies meeting. Essentially that’s a meeting of all of the Learning Technology leaders from Big-10 schools (plus the University of Chicago).

During the campus tour, we stopped at the WisCEL Space. I made a panorama while I was there to try to capture a sense of the space. Sorry if it’s a bit off-axis:

This is essentially a large active learning classroom. Students work in six-sided tables throughout the room on their laptops. There are glass-walled side rooms for breakout sessions or services like “drop-in tutoring”. There are screens throughout the space that can be used to share information with everyone in the WisCEL space. The overall feel is not that different from our Knowledge Commons, but where the Knowledge Commons is intended to be primarily a library/group/computer space, the WisCEL room is meant to be a classroom/tutoring/computer space.

Here’s the big question that this raises for me: can we do something like this on the second floor of Pollock? A massive space that could be used either for active learning, group collaboration, or individual work. A space that would integrate media production assistance (Media Commons), computer assistance, and tutoring assistance (Penn State Learning). I think it would be a more modern use of that floor and something that is sure to be popular with students in the surrounding residence halls.
Last week, remedy eczema I went to the University of Wisconsin, Madison for a CIC Learning Technologies meeting. Essentially that’s a meeting of all of the Learning Technology leaders from Big-10 schools (plus the University of Chicago).

During the campus tour, we stopped at the WisCEL Space. I made a panorama while I was there to try to capture a sense of the space. Sorry if it’s a bit off-axis:

This is essentially a large active learning classroom. Students work in six-sided tables throughout the room on their laptops. There are glass-walled side rooms for breakout sessions or services like “drop-in tutoring”. There are screens throughout the space that can be used to share information with everyone in the WisCEL space. The overall feel is not that different from our Knowledge Commons, but where the Knowledge Commons is intended to be primarily a library/group/computer space, the WisCEL room is meant to be a classroom/tutoring/computer space.

Here’s the big question that this raises for me: can we do something like this on the second floor of Pollock? A massive space that could be used either for active learning, group collaboration, or individual work. A space that would integrate media production assistance (Media Commons), computer assistance, and tutoring assistance (Penn State Learning). I think it would be a more modern use of that floor and something that is sure to be popular with students in the surrounding residence halls.
The Knowledge Commons facility in the Pattee Library has been in the works for quite some time. It was created by doing a massive renovation to a room on the first floor that used to have quite a few books, approved a computer lab, and several group meeting spaces. The new facility is technology-infused from end to end. It has individual standing and sitting computer stations, casual seating for laptop use, glass-enclosed group meeting rooms, studios for audio and video, a Media Scape room for small group instruction, a podium-less classroom, and a green wall (plants for air quality and aesthetic appeal). In addition to all of this, there are plenty of staff nearby that can help with library, technology, and media needs.

Words can’t really describe the feel of the space when all of this comes together, so the last time I went, I made some panoramas with my phone:

The interactive map is also helpful in seeing what is available and how it all fits together.

Posted in educational technologies, learning spaces | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Reflections on ELI Part 4: Active Learning Classrooms at Iowa

This is a little ironic for several reasons. Our group (Education Technology Services) is currently involved with some pilot projects
I’m done with the Educause Learning Initiative Annual Meeting now and thought I’d share a few of my observations. This is part 1 of 3 (probably).

About the Educause Learning Initiative Annual Meeting:
For those who don’t know, advice website the ELI conference is a gathering of about 700 people who are focused on various aspects of educational technology, mind mostly from higher education. I knew that others in our group would be attending sessions on topics like analytics and gaming, visit this so I spent all of my time at sessions focused on mobile learning and eTextbook/Paperless initiatives. Here are some of the highlights related to those topics:

eTextbooks at Indiana University
Anastasia Morrone from Indiana University talked about rolling out a eTextbook initiative aimed at reducing the student cost of textbooks to 35% of the cost of new books. They are doing this in partnership with a company called CourseLoad and a mandatory eTextbook fee that students pay as part of their tuition bill when they have signed up for one of the courses in the initial rollout. Indiana University is working through Internet2 to expand this program to other universities. I think it’s an impressive initiative that has focused on reducing student costs and ensuring accessibility. By expanding this to other universities, they are hoping to use collective bargaining power to keep costs low. For more, see: Indiana University eTextbook Site

iPad Initiative at Anderson University
Ben Deaton from Anderson University talked about their iPad initiative for all of its incoming students. This year, 580 freshmen received iPads as well as abut 90% of their faculty who were only required to say that they would try using the iPad for teaching and learning purposes. Six of the faculty were involved in extensive course redesign projects that involved using the iPad as an active element in the course. For example, a biology class identified mitosis and meiosis as difficult concepts, so they had students use their iPads to create stop-motion animations that illustrated those concepts. Pre/post test data showed that student understanding went way up.

That’s all for part 1. My flight out of Austin is taking off soon.
I’m done with the Educause Learning Initiative Annual Meeting now and thought I’d share a few of my observations. This is part 1 of 3 (probably).

About the Educause Learning Initiative Annual Meeting:
For those who don’t know, advice website the ELI conference is a gathering of about 700 people who are focused on various aspects of educational technology, mind mostly from higher education. I knew that others in our group would be attending sessions on topics like analytics and gaming, visit this so I spent all of my time at sessions focused on mobile learning and eTextbook/Paperless initiatives. Here are some of the highlights related to those topics:

eTextbooks at Indiana University
Anastasia Morrone from Indiana University talked about rolling out a eTextbook initiative aimed at reducing the student cost of textbooks to 35% of the cost of new books. They are doing this in partnership with a company called CourseLoad and a mandatory eTextbook fee that students pay as part of their tuition bill when they have signed up for one of the courses in the initial rollout. Indiana University is working through Internet2 to expand this program to other universities. I think it’s an impressive initiative that has focused on reducing student costs and ensuring accessibility. By expanding this to other universities, they are hoping to use collective bargaining power to keep costs low. For more, see: Indiana University eTextbook Site

iPad Initiative at Anderson University
Ben Deaton from Anderson University talked about their iPad initiative for all of its incoming students. This year, 580 freshmen received iPads as well as abut 90% of their faculty who were only required to say that they would try using the iPad for teaching and learning purposes. Six of the faculty were involved in extensive course redesign projects that involved using the iPad as an active element in the course. For example, a biology class identified mitosis and meiosis as difficult concepts, so they had students use their iPads to create stop-motion animations that illustrated those concepts. Pre/post test data showed that student understanding went way up.

That’s all for part 1. My flight out of Austin is taking off soon.
I went to two sessions about iPad initiatives.

California State, melanoma Fullerton:
They have a university-wide initiative to go as paperless as possible. That includes ideas such as converting all forms and meeting documents t electronic formats. As part of this plan, store they offered iPads to faculty and staff as long as they participate in mandatory training and their departments pay for ongoing service. They signed an agreement with CourseSmart to provide electronic textbooks. CourseSmart was selected because of the cross-platform support, accessibility of their platform, and their publisher agreements.

The program cost them about $700K. They figure that they have made this money back already by saving $560K in printing costs and $170K by extending the lifespan of faculty and staff computers from three years to four years.

Overall, I found it interesting that this is a faculty and staff initiative. Students are not part of the program and are expected to bring their own technology. Also, we have been wondering what groups are doing regarding lifecycling iPads. The idea of extending the time for buying new laptops makes sense as a way to help mitigate costs. Finally, I believe that part of their success can be attributed to a tie-in with larger university-wide “going paperless” theme. That changes it from a technology initiative to a strategic one.

Fullerton iPad Site

Notre Dame:
An ePublishing Working Group, composed of people from the bookstore, library, university press, and faculty, was already meeting when the iPad was announced. Two faculty members (Angst and Crutchfield) decided to create a paperless class and get iPads for students. This meant no paper for content, assignments, or quizzing.

Angst surveyed his students several times. Overall, they liked the portability of their course materials, the long battery life of iPads, the versatility of the device versus something like a Kindle, being constantly connected, and being able to add social media apps and games. They didn’t like that there wasn’t a real keyboard, limited features of some eReaders, lack of multitasking, and that there wasn’t a “save” button. The save button concern turned out not to be an issue as the students got used to the devices and how they didn’t really need a save button.

I’m done with the Educause Learning Initiative Annual Meeting now and thought I’d share a few of my observations. This is part 1 of 3 (probably).

About the Educause Learning Initiative Annual Meeting:
For those who don’t know, advice website the ELI conference is a gathering of about 700 people who are focused on various aspects of educational technology, mind mostly from higher education. I knew that others in our group would be attending sessions on topics like analytics and gaming, visit this so I spent all of my time at sessions focused on mobile learning and eTextbook/Paperless initiatives. Here are some of the highlights related to those topics:

eTextbooks at Indiana University
Anastasia Morrone from Indiana University talked about rolling out a eTextbook initiative aimed at reducing the student cost of textbooks to 35% of the cost of new books. They are doing this in partnership with a company called CourseLoad and a mandatory eTextbook fee that students pay as part of their tuition bill when they have signed up for one of the courses in the initial rollout. Indiana University is working through Internet2 to expand this program to other universities. I think it’s an impressive initiative that has focused on reducing student costs and ensuring accessibility. By expanding this to other universities, they are hoping to use collective bargaining power to keep costs low. For more, see: Indiana University eTextbook Site

iPad Initiative at Anderson University
Ben Deaton from Anderson University talked about their iPad initiative for all of its incoming students. This year, 580 freshmen received iPads as well as abut 90% of their faculty who were only required to say that they would try using the iPad for teaching and learning purposes. Six of the faculty were involved in extensive course redesign projects that involved using the iPad as an active element in the course. For example, a biology class identified mitosis and meiosis as difficult concepts, so they had students use their iPads to create stop-motion animations that illustrated those concepts. Pre/post test data showed that student understanding went way up.

That’s all for part 1. My flight out of Austin is taking off soon.
I went to two sessions about iPad initiatives.

California State, melanoma Fullerton:
They have a university-wide initiative to go as paperless as possible. That includes ideas such as converting all forms and meeting documents t electronic formats. As part of this plan, store they offered iPads to faculty and staff as long as they participate in mandatory training and their departments pay for ongoing service. They signed an agreement with CourseSmart to provide electronic textbooks. CourseSmart was selected because of the cross-platform support, accessibility of their platform, and their publisher agreements.

The program cost them about $700K. They figure that they have made this money back already by saving $560K in printing costs and $170K by extending the lifespan of faculty and staff computers from three years to four years.

Overall, I found it interesting that this is a faculty and staff initiative. Students are not part of the program and are expected to bring their own technology. Also, we have been wondering what groups are doing regarding lifecycling iPads. The idea of extending the time for buying new laptops makes sense as a way to help mitigate costs. Finally, I believe that part of their success can be attributed to a tie-in with larger university-wide “going paperless” theme. That changes it from a technology initiative to a strategic one.

Fullerton iPad Site

Notre Dame:
An ePublishing Working Group, composed of people from the bookstore, library, university press, and faculty, was already meeting when the iPad was announced. Two faculty members (Angst and Crutchfield) decided to create a paperless class and get iPads for students. This meant no paper for content, assignments, or quizzing.

Angst surveyed his students several times. Overall, they liked the portability of their course materials, the long battery life of iPads, the versatility of the device versus something like a Kindle, being constantly connected, and being able to add social media apps and games. They didn’t like that there wasn’t a real keyboard, limited features of some eReaders, lack of multitasking, and that there wasn’t a “save” button. The save button concern turned out not to be an issue as the students got used to the devices and how they didn’t really need a save button.

I’m done with the Educause Learning Initiative Annual Meeting now and thought I’d share a few of my observations. This is part 1 of 3 (probably).

About the Educause Learning Initiative Annual Meeting:
For those who don’t know, infertility the ELI conference is a gathering of about 700 people who are focused on various aspects of educational technology, mostly from higher education. I knew that others in our group would be attending sessions on topics like analytics and gaming, so I spent all of my time at sessions focused on mobile learning and eTextbook/Paperless initiatives. Here are some of the highlights related to those topics:

eTextbooks at Indiana University
Anastasia Morrone from Indiana University talked about rolling out a eTextbook initiative aimed at reducing the student cost of textbooks to 35% of the cost of new books. They are doing this in partnership with a company called CourseLoad and a mandatory eTextbook fee that students pay as part of their tuition bill when they have signed up for one of the courses in the initial rollout. Indiana University is working through Internet2 to expand this program to other universities. I think it’s an impressive initiative that has focused on reducing student costs and ensuring accessibility. By expanding this to other universities, they are hoping to use collective bargaining power to keep costs low. For more, see: Indiana University eTextbook Site

iPad Initiative at Anderson University
Ben Deaton from Anderson University talked about their iPad initiative for all of its incoming students. This year, 580 freshmen received iPads as well as abut 90% of their faculty who were only required to say that they would try using the iPad for teaching and learning purposes. Six of the faculty were involved in extensive course redesign projects that involved using the iPad as an active element in the course. For example, a biology class identified mitosis and meiosis as difficult concepts, so they had students use their iPads to create stop-motion animations that illustrated those concepts. Pre/post test data showed that student understanding went way up.

That’s all for part 1. My flight out of Austin is taking off soon.
One of the last sessions that I went to at ELI was about classrooms designed to promote active learning at the University of Iowa. Their designs are based on the SCALE-UP classrooms. However, epidemic order while the SCALE-UP design was created for STEM courses, no rx the University of Iowa wanted to use their classrooms for Liberal Arts courses as well.

Their active learning spaces are called TILE classrooms. Each of these spaces have round tables that can accommodate nine students each. Each table has three laptops and a nearby screen that can be set to display what is on one of those laptops. Another key element is putting these tables in a room large enough to provide plenty of space for students and faculty to walk around comfortably. The nine-person tables seem a little counter intuitive, but that provides three groups of three students each a good angle to work together and see what’s on their laptops.

So far University of Iowa has three TILE classrooms with different capacities. One room holds 27 people (3 tables of 9 students), one holds 54 (6 tables), and one holds 81 (9 tables). Out of these, the 27-person room is the most popular, which is likely do to increased faculty comfort running active learning courses at a smaller scale.

Video about the TILE classrooms:

Overall, there is a lot that we can learn from this project as we look at the design of new spaces and the redesign of existing ones. The design of a space sends a strong message about what is supposed to happen there. I don’t think we should be asking students to take a more active role in their learning unless we are willing to take a critical look at the spaces we provide for them.

Posted in learning spaces | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Reflections on ELI Part 3: iPads at Notre Dame and Cal State Fullerton

This is a little ironic for several reasons. Our group (Education Technology Services) is currently involved with some pilot projects
I’m done with the Educause Learning Initiative Annual Meeting now and thought I’d share a few of my observations. This is part 1 of 3 (probably).

About the Educause Learning Initiative Annual Meeting:
For those who don’t know, advice website the ELI conference is a gathering of about 700 people who are focused on various aspects of educational technology, mind mostly from higher education. I knew that others in our group would be attending sessions on topics like analytics and gaming, visit this so I spent all of my time at sessions focused on mobile learning and eTextbook/Paperless initiatives. Here are some of the highlights related to those topics:

eTextbooks at Indiana University
Anastasia Morrone from Indiana University talked about rolling out a eTextbook initiative aimed at reducing the student cost of textbooks to 35% of the cost of new books. They are doing this in partnership with a company called CourseLoad and a mandatory eTextbook fee that students pay as part of their tuition bill when they have signed up for one of the courses in the initial rollout. Indiana University is working through Internet2 to expand this program to other universities. I think it’s an impressive initiative that has focused on reducing student costs and ensuring accessibility. By expanding this to other universities, they are hoping to use collective bargaining power to keep costs low. For more, see: Indiana University eTextbook Site

iPad Initiative at Anderson University
Ben Deaton from Anderson University talked about their iPad initiative for all of its incoming students. This year, 580 freshmen received iPads as well as abut 90% of their faculty who were only required to say that they would try using the iPad for teaching and learning purposes. Six of the faculty were involved in extensive course redesign projects that involved using the iPad as an active element in the course. For example, a biology class identified mitosis and meiosis as difficult concepts, so they had students use their iPads to create stop-motion animations that illustrated those concepts. Pre/post test data showed that student understanding went way up.

That’s all for part 1. My flight out of Austin is taking off soon.
I’m done with the Educause Learning Initiative Annual Meeting now and thought I’d share a few of my observations. This is part 1 of 3 (probably).

About the Educause Learning Initiative Annual Meeting:
For those who don’t know, advice website the ELI conference is a gathering of about 700 people who are focused on various aspects of educational technology, mind mostly from higher education. I knew that others in our group would be attending sessions on topics like analytics and gaming, visit this so I spent all of my time at sessions focused on mobile learning and eTextbook/Paperless initiatives. Here are some of the highlights related to those topics:

eTextbooks at Indiana University
Anastasia Morrone from Indiana University talked about rolling out a eTextbook initiative aimed at reducing the student cost of textbooks to 35% of the cost of new books. They are doing this in partnership with a company called CourseLoad and a mandatory eTextbook fee that students pay as part of their tuition bill when they have signed up for one of the courses in the initial rollout. Indiana University is working through Internet2 to expand this program to other universities. I think it’s an impressive initiative that has focused on reducing student costs and ensuring accessibility. By expanding this to other universities, they are hoping to use collective bargaining power to keep costs low. For more, see: Indiana University eTextbook Site

iPad Initiative at Anderson University
Ben Deaton from Anderson University talked about their iPad initiative for all of its incoming students. This year, 580 freshmen received iPads as well as abut 90% of their faculty who were only required to say that they would try using the iPad for teaching and learning purposes. Six of the faculty were involved in extensive course redesign projects that involved using the iPad as an active element in the course. For example, a biology class identified mitosis and meiosis as difficult concepts, so they had students use their iPads to create stop-motion animations that illustrated those concepts. Pre/post test data showed that student understanding went way up.

That’s all for part 1. My flight out of Austin is taking off soon.
I went to two sessions about iPad initiatives.

California State, melanoma Fullerton:
They have a university-wide initiative to go as paperless as possible. That includes ideas such as converting all forms and meeting documents t electronic formats. As part of this plan, store they offered iPads to faculty and staff as long as they participate in mandatory training and their departments pay for ongoing service. They signed an agreement with CourseSmart to provide electronic textbooks. CourseSmart was selected because of the cross-platform support, accessibility of their platform, and their publisher agreements.

The program cost them about $700K. They figure that they have made this money back already by saving $560K in printing costs and $170K by extending the lifespan of faculty and staff computers from three years to four years.

Overall, I found it interesting that this is a faculty and staff initiative. Students are not part of the program and are expected to bring their own technology. Also, we have been wondering what groups are doing regarding lifecycling iPads. The idea of extending the time for buying new laptops makes sense as a way to help mitigate costs. Finally, I believe that part of their success can be attributed to a tie-in with larger university-wide “going paperless” theme. That changes it from a technology initiative to a strategic one.

Fullerton iPad Site

Notre Dame:
An ePublishing Working Group, composed of people from the bookstore, library, university press, and faculty, was already meeting when the iPad was announced. Two faculty members (Angst and Crutchfield) decided to create a paperless class and get iPads for students. This meant no paper for content, assignments, or quizzing.

Angst surveyed his students several times. Overall, they liked the portability of their course materials, the long battery life of iPads, the versatility of the device versus something like a Kindle, being constantly connected, and being able to add social media apps and games. They didn’t like that there wasn’t a real keyboard, limited features of some eReaders, lack of multitasking, and that there wasn’t a “save” button. The save button concern turned out not to be an issue as the students got used to the devices and how they didn’t really need a save button.

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Reflections on ELI Part 2: Chris Dede, EcoMUVE, and Active Learning

Jane McGonigal is coming to Penn State for a keynote address in the spring. Jane is into gaming, rubella especially games for good. She was one of the people behind World Without Oil, which is an alternative reality game that people “play” by living and producing media as if the world had run out of oil.

Since Jane is coming to Penn State, I was looking at some of Jane’s other work. Hannah Inzko pointed me to SuperBetter, a game that Jane created after suffering a brain injury and being faced with the long road to recovery. SuperBetter is currently in beta and has many options from recovering from other things (like surgery, illness, addiction, or depression) or working toward a health goal (like losing weight, run a marathon, sleeping better, or going vegan). I created a profile on SuperBetter with the goal of completing a Tough Mudder event in April.

Image showing the SuperBetter interface

Here are the interesting elements of the game:

  • Your secret identity in the game is someone that you want to be like. I picked Neville Longbottom from the Harry Potter series. What I like about Neville is that he’s often overlooked and underrated, but comes through as fiercely loyal and willing to fight for what he believes in.
  • The goal is something that you decide upon for yourself, not something pre-determined by the game designers.
  • The power-ups are things that get you motivated. For example, I make some killer eggs before long workouts that get me motivated: sauteed garlic in olive oil, egg whites, spinach, salt, pepper, and a little parmesan cheese – good stuff. When you use a power-up, you track it in SuperBetter.
  • The enemies are things that get in your way and divert you from your goal. When you battle an enemy and win, you can track it in SuperBetter along with the difficulty of the battle.
  • Allies are people that help you along the way – friends with profiles in SuperBetter who can post achievements to your profile, give you quests, and help in other ways. When you check in with an ally, you can track it in SuperBetter.
  • Quests are tasks that you can do to work toward your goal – either one-time quests or ones that repeat on a regular basis. When you complete a quest, you can track it in SuperBetter.
  • You can take inventories in SuperBetter to track your mental outlook and other factors that can help you achieve your goal.
  • There are other elements in the game such as audio recordings explaining why all of the above are important to establish positive health behaviors

As you can see, SuperBetter is not about playing a character and achieving fictional goals. It’s about you, your life, and your goals.

SuperBetter is great for what it is, but since I work for a university, I was thinking of ways that it could be expanded and adapted for academic purposes. For example, I have a nephew who is in his first year at Penn State and who is learning how to live on his own and establish good study habits without parents looking over his shoulders. So I was thinking of version of this game called “SuperScholar”, which would essentially be like SuperBetter, but focused on “workouts of the mind” – studying, homework, forming study groups, doing research, etc… It would also be applicable for younger students (probably middle school and higher), college students, grad students working on research and dissertations, and faculty who are working toward publications and tenure.

There could be a kind of reminder personal agent to keep everyone on task and completing small steps toward a distant goal. A timer system as well – so students who are taking a break don’t turn a 15 minute break into hours playing games or watching TV. You could use a mobile version to track a check-in with a tutor or a meeting with a faculty member during his or her office hours. It could help you balance free time between homework and the kinds of activities that make college life truly memorable (student government, THON, team sports, etc…). This would be similar to the work that RIT is doing on a student achievement system where students track progress and “level up” through their college experience except that, similar to SuperBetter, students and young faculty would set their own goals and milestones, making the whole game experience much more personal.

I’d love to hear thoughts on this idea. Technically, it doesn’t sound implausible. The question is: would people use it? I think I would. It would help me organize the steps that I need to move from where I am now toward the completion of my PhD. In fact, I might try using SuperBetter for this purpose. It’s not meant for academic goals, but it’s so customizable, that I think I can use it for that purpose.
Jane McGonigal is coming to Penn State for a keynote address in the spring. Jane is into gaming, rubella especially games for good. She was one of the people behind World Without Oil, which is an alternative reality game that people “play” by living and producing media as if the world had run out of oil.

Since Jane is coming to Penn State, I was looking at some of Jane’s other work. Hannah Inzko pointed me to SuperBetter, a game that Jane created after suffering a brain injury and being faced with the long road to recovery. SuperBetter is currently in beta and has many options from recovering from other things (like surgery, illness, addiction, or depression) or working toward a health goal (like losing weight, run a marathon, sleeping better, or going vegan). I created a profile on SuperBetter with the goal of completing a Tough Mudder event in April.

Image showing the SuperBetter interface

Here are the interesting elements of the game:

  • Your secret identity in the game is someone that you want to be like. I picked Neville Longbottom from the Harry Potter series. What I like about Neville is that he’s often overlooked and underrated, but comes through as fiercely loyal and willing to fight for what he believes in.
  • The goal is something that you decide upon for yourself, not something pre-determined by the game designers.
  • The power-ups are things that get you motivated. For example, I make some killer eggs before long workouts that get me motivated: sauteed garlic in olive oil, egg whites, spinach, salt, pepper, and a little parmesan cheese – good stuff. When you use a power-up, you track it in SuperBetter.
  • The enemies are things that get in your way and divert you from your goal. When you battle an enemy and win, you can track it in SuperBetter along with the difficulty of the battle.
  • Allies are people that help you along the way – friends with profiles in SuperBetter who can post achievements to your profile, give you quests, and help in other ways. When you check in with an ally, you can track it in SuperBetter.
  • Quests are tasks that you can do to work toward your goal – either one-time quests or ones that repeat on a regular basis. When you complete a quest, you can track it in SuperBetter.
  • You can take inventories in SuperBetter to track your mental outlook and other factors that can help you achieve your goal.
  • There are other elements in the game such as audio recordings explaining why all of the above are important to establish positive health behaviors

As you can see, SuperBetter is not about playing a character and achieving fictional goals. It’s about you, your life, and your goals.

SuperBetter is great for what it is, but since I work for a university, I was thinking of ways that it could be expanded and adapted for academic purposes. For example, I have a nephew who is in his first year at Penn State and who is learning how to live on his own and establish good study habits without parents looking over his shoulders. So I was thinking of version of this game called “SuperScholar”, which would essentially be like SuperBetter, but focused on “workouts of the mind” – studying, homework, forming study groups, doing research, etc… It would also be applicable for younger students (probably middle school and higher), college students, grad students working on research and dissertations, and faculty who are working toward publications and tenure.

There could be a kind of reminder personal agent to keep everyone on task and completing small steps toward a distant goal. A timer system as well – so students who are taking a break don’t turn a 15 minute break into hours playing games or watching TV. You could use a mobile version to track a check-in with a tutor or a meeting with a faculty member during his or her office hours. It could help you balance free time between homework and the kinds of activities that make college life truly memorable (student government, THON, team sports, etc…). This would be similar to the work that RIT is doing on a student achievement system where students track progress and “level up” through their college experience except that, similar to SuperBetter, students and young faculty would set their own goals and milestones, making the whole game experience much more personal.

I’d love to hear thoughts on this idea. Technically, it doesn’t sound implausible. The question is: would people use it? I think I would. It would help me organize the steps that I need to move from where I am now toward the completion of my PhD. In fact, I might try using SuperBetter for this purpose. It’s not meant for academic goals, but it’s so customizable, that I think I can use it for that purpose.
The second day of ELI 2012 was kicked off by Chris Dede from Harvard. He’s attempting to reinvent K-12 science education. The project called EcoMUVE is a virtual environment where students can explore a pond and the surrounding area. Students can talk to people who live near the pond, online catalog animals in the pond and surrounding area, and take various types of environmental measurements. At some point, the fish in the pond die and students are tasked with exploring hypotheses presented by characters in the game. They use virtual instruments to find evidence to disprove or support these hypotheses until they have their answer.

Even better: they are now taking students who have done the simulation to a real pond where they can use real instruments to take readings. This is a great addition because it could help students make the transfer between what they did in the game to an actual ecosystem. Dede and his team are still working on assessing the outcomes to see how it all plays out.

One of Dede’s points that really hit home with me was that this was not a sprinkling of active learning on a mostly-passive model of content presentation. EcoMUVE has active learning at its core. He encouraged us to take a similar approach with our course designs.

Here’s a bit more about EcoMUVE:

EcoMUVE Site

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Reflections on ELI Part 1: eTextbooks at Indiana and iPad Initiative at Anderson

This is a little ironic for several reasons. Our group (Education Technology Services) is currently involved with some pilot projects
I’m done with the Educause Learning Initiative Annual Meeting now and thought I’d share a few of my observations. This is part 1 of 3 (probably).

About the Educause Learning Initiative Annual Meeting:
For those who don’t know, advice website the ELI conference is a gathering of about 700 people who are focused on various aspects of educational technology, mind mostly from higher education. I knew that others in our group would be attending sessions on topics like analytics and gaming, visit this so I spent all of my time at sessions focused on mobile learning and eTextbook/Paperless initiatives. Here are some of the highlights related to those topics:

eTextbooks at Indiana University
Anastasia Morrone from Indiana University talked about rolling out a eTextbook initiative aimed at reducing the student cost of textbooks to 35% of the cost of new books. They are doing this in partnership with a company called CourseLoad and a mandatory eTextbook fee that students pay as part of their tuition bill when they have signed up for one of the courses in the initial rollout. Indiana University is working through Internet2 to expand this program to other universities. I think it’s an impressive initiative that has focused on reducing student costs and ensuring accessibility. By expanding this to other universities, they are hoping to use collective bargaining power to keep costs low. For more, see: Indiana University eTextbook Site

iPad Initiative at Anderson University
Ben Deaton from Anderson University talked about their iPad initiative for all of its incoming students. This year, 580 freshmen received iPads as well as abut 90% of their faculty who were only required to say that they would try using the iPad for teaching and learning purposes. Six of the faculty were involved in extensive course redesign projects that involved using the iPad as an active element in the course. For example, a biology class identified mitosis and meiosis as difficult concepts, so they had students use their iPads to create stop-motion animations that illustrated those concepts. Pre/post test data showed that student understanding went way up.

That’s all for part 1. My flight out of Austin is taking off soon.

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The Shape of the Horizon to Come #NMChz

I’m about to start Day 2 of a meeting to examine the 10-year history of the Horizon Report. Last night was scheduled as a reception, public health but that launched right into a couple of presentations and a large discussion about what the Horizon Report has done so far, there what it has predicted accurately, and how we use it for inspiration as we look to implement new projects of our own. This is a panographic view of the visual summary created by David Sibbet that represents out discussion. Seeing that method of visual facilitation has already made this trip worthwhile.

So coming off of that, I had a good night sleep and had some dreams about the Scooby-Doo gang talking to universities about new technologies. I woke up with two questions:

1. What are the last names of all of the Scooby-Doo characters?
2. What would I like to see change about the Horizon Report.

The first question was easily answered by a quick visit to Wikipedia (thank God the blackout is over): Blake, Jones, Dinkley, and Rogers. As for the second question, here are some quick ideas that came to mind this morning:

1. The Horizon Report Technologies to Watch (the six main featured tools/practices) should be closely tied to each of the trends and challenges. For example, how do electronic books relate to the trend that people are increasingly using cloud-based services? Quite well – but in answering that question, we will show why the technology is relevant. In turn, the technology becomes an example of how the trend affects our work.

2. It may need to focus more on verbs than nouns. In other words, saying “electronic books” says what a technology is, but not what it does. This need may actually be met if #1 is implemented.

3. Include an image or preferably video about each of the technologies that are being highlighted. That would help someone who is new to a technology develop a better sense of what a technology is and its potential. The Horizon Report is put together by experts in new media and technology. I’m certain that group could assemble some killer images and video.

4. Each of the technologies may need a section about what it takes to get started – “Interested? Here’s how you try it yourself…”

5. We need a reunion issue: something like a review of all of the technologies covered over the past 10 years and with a “Where are they now?” update about them. This particular idea came out of a discussion that I had last night with my small group (specifically Cyprien and Nick) and other discussions around the room about technologies whose potential came to fruition (3D printing), have not had as much adoption as expected (Virtual Worlds), or that were replaces by something else. In this last case, I talked about Open Educational Resources – we don’t have the big open eRepositories of content organized by academic institutions with embedded intellectual property controls. What we have are systems like YouTube – massive repositories in the wild that provide faculty with a rich media collection to draw upon when they need to illustrate a topic.

Anyway, those are my quick thoughts. Time to head off to breakfast and Day 2.

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