Technology Enabled Teaching November 2, 2005

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Viewpoint

What to Tell Your Campus About the Blackboard-WebCT Merger

By Steve Acker

What interesting times at Educause, one week after the announced Blackboard-WebCT merger. Most of those involved in running a course management system, any course management system, were reading tea leaves, seeking assurances, reflecting on the plane ride home about what to report to campus. And somewhat ironically, those with the courage of their convictions would have that opinion, any opinion, reinforced in some conversation held along those interminable halls of the Orlando Convention Center.

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News & Product Updates

‘Killer Maps’ Touted for Political Science and Geography Studies

Wade Rush in the October 2005 issue of MIT’s Technology Review describes “Killer maps,” the outcome of competition among Google, Yahoo, and Mapquest. One significant innovation is the new possibilities of user’s overlaying their own data on the base maps provided by such services. Applications in political science and geography are among the most obvious educational uses, but many other uses can be envisioned.
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Cornell Looks at How People Interact with Computers and Information Systems

Olivia Oran describes Cornell University’s Information Sciences program that emerged from an interdisciplinary core in 2002. The program looks at the way information systems affect society’s culture, economy, law, government and research. The major focuses on how people interact with computers and information systems, how these systems are designed and the effects of these systems on the world.
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New Study Finds Campuses Going Wireless But Faculty Backlash Predicted

Early glimmers from the results of the 2005 Campus Computing Survey are now available. The full survey will be released on Dec. 10. Wireless is one emphasized area, with nearly two-thirds of campuses describing strategic planning activities and more than a quarter offering wireless currently on campus. With success comes concerns, and faculty backlash on some campuses is occurring.
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Case Study

Elluminate: A Resource for Building Community within the Ohio Learning Network

By Cable T. Green
Ohio Learning Network

The Ohio Learning Network is charged by the Ohio Board of Regents with assisting colleges and universities to prepare for the knowledge economy. As such, OLN works closely and cooperatively with Ohio’s public and private institutions of higher education to meet this mission. A common course catalog (OhioLearns!) to help Ohioans locate online courses, E 4 ME, an innovative online course to give new learners a taste of eLearning, shared WebCT, Blackboard, and open source infrastructure to provide efficient hosting services, professional development communities, student services through regional coordinator outreach, grant programs, and an annual conference are among the services established by OLN to meet this mission.

To provide this basket of services requires a lot of participation from Ohio institutions and substantial facilitation from Columbus-based OLN. And, while Columbus is located almost in the exact center of the state, many of the member institutions are at least two hours away by car. Faced with the need to meet regularly to implement its many projects, and challenged by the busy schedules and increasingly costly travel of the multiple committee members, we’ve begun to “walk the walk” of eLearning by convening an increasing number of our meetings as electronic conferences.

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Tech Notes

Focusing on Administration for Distance Education

Jolene Schauer and colleagues focus on the administrative concerns regarding distance education to complement the often-discussed faculty issues in this realm. Using a modified Delphi approach with follow-up interviews, her research team identified six administrator concerns: faculty commitment and skill development, technology integration and support, incorporation of distance education into the departmental focus, financial issues, student engagement and support, quality control for courses and documentation of outcomes, developing policies and governances for course and delivery processes, and compliance with regulations and legal matters.

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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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