Collaboration & Web 2.0


Delft U Adds Interactive Walls for Collaborative Projects

A university in the Netherlands has adopted wide wall technology that helps teams of collaborators —faculty and students — display and revise their projects in person and remotely. Delft University of Technology has deployed two Nureva Walls, one 10 feet wide and another 20 feet long, along with Nureva's Span software, in a new teaching lab. Both walls provide large digital workspaces where users can share, add and interact with the visuals and information through Span, which runs on their computers and mobile devices.

Blackboard LMSes to Add Day-One Access to VitalSource Catalog

Shortly, colleges and universities that use the Blackboard Learn or Moodlerooms learning management systems will also be able to offer "day-one access" to digital curriculum for their students, through an agreement between Blackboard and VitalSource. Under the terms, faculty will be able to select content from VitalSource's catalog of digital textbooks and make them available to students on the company's digital textbook platform through their LMS from the first day of class.

Flipping with Short Lab Videos May Help Students Learn in Science Courses

Flipping a science course, by having students watch videos first to learn basic concepts and step-by-step procedures for doing lab work, can improve the outcomes. That's the finding of an experiment run at DeSales and Clemson Universities in a research project sponsored by a journal publisher that produces such videos. The project was undertaken by TERC, a nonprofit STEM education research and development organization, on behalf of the Journal of Visualized Experiments.

MIT's Poverty Action Lab Launches Ed Tech Competition

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab North America has launched the Education, Technology and Opportunity Innovation Competition in an effort to identify effective technology use and provide examples of how learning can be improved through innovation. The competition asks school networks, education agencies, nonprofits and post-secondary institutions to evaluate their education programs based on technology, especially those focused on disadvantaged students.

Global Ed Tech Investment Soars to Record High

There's never been a better time to seek funding for education technology. According to Metaari, 2017 turned out to generate the most investment dollars ever in the learning technology industry. It topped $9.5 billion globally, up from $7.3 billion in 2016, which was itself 46 percent higher than the $6.5 billion in investments made in 2015. The latest year's funding went to 813 ed tech companies, the highest ever recorded, according to the learning market research company.



Bundles and Access Codes Destroy Efforts to Cut Textbook Pricing

The practice of faculty relying on bundled textbooks and, specifically, access-code materials to provide course problem sets, quizzes, tests and case studies, has wreaked havoc with student efforts to find cheaper textbook alternatives. According to a new report from the Student PIRGs, among a sample group of schools, 45 percent of these supplemental resources were unavailable from any source other than the campus bookstore. As the report's authors noted, the use of those bundles, which exist behind paywalls, eliminates the ability of students to "shop around," which means they're "forced to pay full price for these materials." They also can't resell their textbooks because the access codes typically have expiration dates.

How to Be an Ed Tech Futurist

While no one can reliably predict the future, these four forecasting methods will help you anticipate trends and spur more collaborative thinking.

Knewton Releases $44 Adaptive Digital Textbooks

Ed tech company Knewton has launched a collection of digital courseware that integrates its adaptive technology with open education resources, with the intention of selling directly to instructors and students. Previously, the company licensed its adaptive functionality to textbook publishers for integration with their course content. Under the new strategy, the company noted, it could own "all aspects of the user experience" and "make a greater impact on outcomes and affordability." Each title in the new line costs $44 for two years of digital access.

Chalk & Wire Launches Digital Credentialing Network

E-portfolio and assessment company Chalk and Wire today announced the launch of MyMantl, a learning recognition network that allows users to showcase their skills and credentials with verified digital badging.

Google Adds Security Features to G Suite for Education, Launches Enterprise EDU Edition

Google today took the wraps off new security features for its education productivity suite, G Suite for Education, which includes Google Classroom, Docs, Sheets, Slides and a range of other tools.

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