IT Trends :: Thursday, June 22, 2006


Monoculture, Blackboard, the President’s Commission, and Accreditation

By Terry Calhoun

I’m not a big fan of monoculture. It is the concept of everything being too much alike. I keep hearing that some people are beginning to feel like learning management systems (LMS) are creating a vast monocultural crop of online course information, much in the way that agribusiness has with wheat, corn, and soybeans.

A couple of months ago, during a great discussion on UWEBD, Skip Knox of Boise State University made a passionate post. In reply to a side query from me, he was even more passionate. He said of learning management systems, “We find our choices have become traps, that we've adorned ourselves with an albatross.”

Those are strong words, but as I thought on those and other words Skip wrote, I also noted some news items that relate to “monoculture” and that also constitute a possible threat to higher education’s system of accreditation...

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IT News

Penn State IT Administrator Testifies Before U.S. Senate on Internet Neutrality Issue

U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee chair Sen. Arlen Specter invited Penn State’s senior director of Information Technology Services, Jeff C. Kuhns, to advocate for net neutrality...

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Cheating Students Outsource on the Web

The University of Central England in Birmingham is catching on to a new cheating technique...

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Georgia Tech and GSE Systems to Collaborate

GSE Systems Inc. in Maryland hopes to utilize research and development capabilities from Georgia Institute of Technology’s College of Computing...

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What if Civics Class Were an Online Game?

This first person piece discusses whether “understanding the rules of association online can help you understand the rules of association in the real world.”...

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Deals, Contracts, Awards

Microsoft Signs Pact with Anna University

Microsoft Corporation India will give Chennai’s Anna University access to...

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Monster and Kappa Alpha Psi Unveil Dedicated Career Site for Fraternity Members

One of the benefits of belonging to a fraternity in college is the career assistance fellow members offer each other after graduation…

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New Technology

University of Minnesota Selects BlueArc Storage

This is a technical explanation of why the University of Minnesota’s Supercomputing Institute Basic Sciences Computing Laboratory (BSCL) chose Titan Storage System...

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Case Study: Virtualization Delivers A Cost-Saving Lesson

In 2003, Maine’s Bowdoin College estimated their data center expansion to cost $2 million and consume twice as much physical space...

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Centre Plans Internet Kiosks for Education

Electronic testing kiosks may replace physical learning facilities and ease the problem of limited qualified instructors in India’s higher education systems...

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Santa Monica College Launches Pilot Podcasting Program

A federal grant will fund 25 new Apple iPods for students enrolled in Santa Monica College’s pre-freshman year six-week summer program...

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