Blackboard Open Enrollment Announcement

In another move following Blackboard’s March 26th announcement (aggregated responses on e-Literate site), yesterday Blackboard announced that Instructors using their CourseSites™ can make their courses available for enrollment by anyone, effectively supporting an open courseware model. It means individuals can set up open teaching initiatives, community outreach and volunteer training, as well as collaborative research programs. Of course, Sakai Project Sites also support these activities, but Sakai servers are not usually set up outside institutions. Instructure Canvas is another company that also supports these activities, with their “Free for Teachers” version. I don’t know whether it supports open enrollment. Yet. … Continue reading Blackboard Open Enrollment Announcement

Observations on Entrepreneurialism, Startups and Education

Normally I write about higher ed and educational technology of some sort. This post is about the startup weekend I attended at Innovation Park, Notre Dame’s entrepreneurial incubator. Bear with me there *is* a connection. The competition’s finalists all presented evidence of their proposition’s value addition to the marketplace. This included the ideas which, as solutions, were “solutions” to pretty trivial problems in the grand scheme of things. One of the finalists, for example, will be launching a smartphone app which creates a connection between you and the clubs you attend – effectively moving you to the head of long … Continue reading Observations on Entrepreneurialism, Startups and Education

Making this easy: LMS Evaluations

My brain just did a flashback as my fingers poised over the keyboard ready to begin this post. The song, “War is a Science,” from Pippin has started to syncopate through my skull: the rule that every gen-er-al kno-ws by he-art: it’s smarter to be lucky than it’s lucky to be smart!   I value ‘smart’ (O how I value smart!) but  in my experience we overthink LMS evaluations. It’s not about a Request for Proposal process. It’s not about a comparison of features. It’s not about the best software package out there. It’s not even primarily a decision of … Continue reading Making this easy: LMS Evaluations

Notes on Penn State Learning Design Podcast #4: Throw out the LMS?

They title it “Baby and the Bathwater,” Jeff Swain and Brian Young. Full podcast available from ITunes :EdTech episode #4_ Baby & the bath water These snippets of their conversation stuck out to me. “If we implement it as we did in the past, if we support it as we did in the past, we will end up with what we had in the past.”  (Brian’s voice I think) The LMS’s of today pretty much all have the same functionality. In what way are they flawed? What is it about an LMS as a tool that still needs to change… … Continue reading Notes on Penn State Learning Design Podcast #4: Throw out the LMS?

No Wonder Video is Not For the Faint of Heart!

(…Or maybe just not for users who are PC-based, as I’m sure some of my readers would point out to me). This story starts out with an online course I’m taking in Advanced Technologies for Distance Education (this course description page is due for revision so it may not be up when you click on it). My assignment this week was to explore video for teaching – read about it, find some I like and why, and make some. As someone firmly planted in-between supporting the backend of an LMS and supporting the faculty who use it, this is excellent … Continue reading No Wonder Video is Not For the Faint of Heart!