Technology-Enabled Teaching October 5, 2005

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ANGEL ePortfolio Demos Live at EDUCAUSE Booth 931

ANGEL ePortfolio is much more than a traditional assessment system. Developed directly from best practices of visionaries in the field, ANGEL ePortfolio’s student-centered design promotes coaching and reflection. Unique concept of certified artifacts ensures validity of evidence. Visit ANGEL at EDUCAUSE booth 931 or download a product overview.

Click here to download ANGEL ePortfolio overview.


The Economic Case for Creative Commons Textbooks

By Fred M. Beshears
Senior Strategist
University of California at Berkeley

Talk to virtually any student about the cost of textbooks and you will likely hear loud complaints about the expense associated with course texts. According to a recent General Accounting Office report:

"... the average estimated cost of books and supplies per first-time, full-time student for academic year 2003-2004 was $898 at 4-year public institutions, or about 26 percent of the cost of tuition and fees. At 2-year public institutions, where low-income students are more likely to pursue a degree program and tuition and fees are lower, the average estimated cost of books and supplies per first-time, full-time student was $886 in academic year 2003-2004, representing almost three-quarters of the cost of tuition and fees."

While there are explanations that attempt to justify textbook prices in the report, there are few suggestions to contain or reduce the cost to students.

Recently, however, proposals have been advanced that might significantly reduce the cost of textbooks benefiting students as well as faculty, colleges and universities. One significant proposal put forward by Ira Fuchs, Vice President for Research at the Mellon Foundation, called for the creation of Educore--an organization dedicated to the development of open source educational software. The Educore proposal envisions a consortium of 1,000 colleges and universities around the world where each member institution would be asked to contribute between $5,000 and $25,000 per year, based on size.

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Nortel Learning on the Go eSeminar – Hear from Award Winning Campus

Attend Tuesday, October 11th. Coppin State University, 2005 EDUCAUSE Award winner for excellence in networking, will share the secrets of success on how Nortel mobility solutions are enabling new ways of teaching, improved access to university services, and learning-on-demand.

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News & Product Updates

Global Consortium Forms Open Content Alliance to Bring Additional Searchable Content Online

The Open Content Alliance (OCA), a global consortium has been formed to provide open access to content while respecting the rights of copyright holders. OCA members includes The University of California, the University of Toronto, Internet Archive, Yahoo! Inc., Adobe Systems Inc., the European Archive, HP Labs, the National Archives (UK), O'Reilly Media Inc. and Prelinger Archives. The OCA provided content includes cultural, historical and technological digitized print and multimedia content from libraries, archives and publishers. The Content Repository's complete works will be searchable and downloadable for free by anyone.

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MIT Design of $100 Laptop for Kids Unveiled

The MIT Media Lab announced the One Laptop Per Child initiative with a goal of making the Internet's educational and communications advantages accessible to students everywhere. The initiative seeks to produce between 5 million and 15 million $100 laptops within a year. The laptop, running Linux, features an AC adapter/carrying strap, a 500 MHz processor, a tight rubber casing to protect the unit from damage, a hand crank that supplies power when electricity is unavailable, a tint-adjustable display, four USB ports for multimedia and data storage, and flash memory. (AP)

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SmartPros Ltd. Launches SmartPros eLearning Player

“SmartPros eLP delivers crisp video and audio at a wide range of bandwidths, incorporating slides, testing and survey capabilities in an intuitive learning environment,” says Joseph Fish, SmartPros Chief Technology Officer. (Yahoo!)

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Case Study

CMS in Transition: Managing Change

By Joanne Dehoney
Director, eLearning, TELR
Ohio State University &
Rebecca Andre’
eLearning Consultant, TELR

In a relatively short time – three years – e-Learning offerings at The Ohio State University (representing supplemental, blended and fully online courses) grew to include a significant share of total courses. In FY04, 1,643 instructors in 135 departments at the university offered 2,507 courses (3,487 sections) through WebCT. Forty-five thousand students--about 77% of the student body--had a WebCT account in FY 2004. Large first year courses in the departments of biology, statistics, chemistry, and theater depended on WebCT’s course management and testing functions–-unaware that WebCT 3.2 was really not designed to manage the high load. Given the importance of robust and scalable courseware to the university’s educational mission, it was time to explore CMS options.

In June 2003, the Office of the CIO determined that the WebCT environment would meet Ohio State’s needs for no more than twelve to eighteen more months. A committee of 42 OSU administrators, systems engineers, and faculty users, representing multiple colleges, formed three groups to review policy, product strategy, and stakeholder CMS perspectives. Four CMS finalists (WebCT, Desire2Learn, Blackboard, and Angel) were thoroughly tested by users from across the university. In winter 2004, the recommendation of the majority of team members was to purchase Desire2Learn (D2L). Ohio State’s eLearning support organization, Technology Enhanced Learning & Research (TELR), was given responsibility for the implementation.

Moving from a reasonably entrenched system to something completely unfamiliar is not a task to be taken lightly, particularly for an institution as large as Ohio State. For TELR the central challenge would be to meet the needs of large numbers of students and instructors with a small number of support personnel. Six months of planning went into the D2L implementation effort before TELR even finalized the licensing agreement. Planning covered every detail of the project from an 18-month projected calendar of communications, to service level agreements with internal partners such as the Help Desk, to user support.

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Keynotes and Highlights from Syllabus2005 Online Now

See and hear the keynotes and general sessions from Syllabus2005, featuring Tracy Futhey, Diana Oblinger, Lev Gonick, and other higher ed visionaries and leaders. It's the next best thing to being able to attend.

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Tech Notes

Katrina Articles and Resources for Campus IT

Campus Technology's coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina includes articles and resources focused on disaster planning and recovery for IT. Read more: target="_blank">Read more

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Reader Response

From the Reader Response Forum

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina share experiences, lessons learned, and your opinions on disaster planning and recovery.

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