Practical Comparisons of Lecture Capture Systems, Blackboard

Practical Comparisons of Lecture Capture Systems

Wednesday, August 5, 2009
1:00-2:30 p.m. Eastern Time

This webinar from CCUMC, the Consortium of College and University Media Centers, will provide practical recommendations & comparisons of three major lecture capture capture systems: Accordent, Tegrity, & Camtasia Relay.

Free to CCUMC & Members
Non-Members: $99
ITC Members: $75

• Jeffrey B. Donahue – Binghamton University – Moderator • Elizabeth Fellendorf – University at Buffalo – Accordant User • Jason Spartz – St Mary’s University of Minnesota – Tegrity User • Blake Haggerty – New Jersey Institute of Technology – Camtasia Relay User

Blackboard Loses on Appeal
by Doug Lederman
July 28, 2009, Inside Higher Ed

“A federal appeals court on Monday invalidated Blackboard Inc.’s 1999 patent for its learning management software, overturning a lower court’s decision last year finding that the Blackboard competitor Desire2Learn had infringed the giant’s intellectual property. Blackboard officials expressed disappointment but played down the significance of the ruling by the three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, saying that new patents gained by the company — which Blackboard has again accused Desire2Learn of infringing — essentially make moot the issues present in the lawsuit in question.” . . .

“Monday’s ruling by the appeals court is the latest development in a several-year court battle initiated by Blackboard in July 2006. The behemoth accused Desire2Learn of infringing dozens of Blackboard patents for online course management and e-learning technologies, and sought $17 million in damages and an injunction barring the Canadian company from continuing to infringe the patent.” . . .

“But Blackboard has already initiated another lawsuit against Desire2Learn, accusing the Canadian firm in April of infringing new U.S. patents that the company received on its software. So while company officials continue to reassure higher education technology officials and others that Blackboard has no intention of asserting its patent rights against “open source or home-grown course management systems that are not bundled with proprietary software,” they show no signs of retreating in the wake of Monday’s stinging defeat.”

Practical Comparisons of Lecture Capture Systems, Blackboard

Academic Integrity, Fashion Site, Passwords, Broadband FAQs, Online Solutions, Vanish, Mobile Usage, Skills, Barnes and Noble

Best Practice Strategies to Promote Academic Integrity in Online Education
(July 2009)

The Instructional Technology Council created this document with WCET and the UT TeleCampus as a resource to our member institutions and the higher education community at large. Thanks go to all of the ITC member institutions that contributed. Please feel free to use this document at your institution – in whole or in part. We assigned a Creative Commons license to this work to send the message that we invite additional strategies used by others that have proven effective in an online learning environment.

Site Wins Fashion Fans by Letting Them Design
by Claire Cain Miller
July 26, 2009, New York Times

“The fashion magazines Vogue, InStyle and Lucky may rule the newsstand racks. But online, they are also-rans, overlooked by the fashion-conscious in favor of Polyvore, an upstart Web site far from Fifth Avenue. Polyvore is a user-generated fashion magazine filled with user-generated ads. The people who go to it play fashion editor and create collages featuring pictures of clothes, accessories and models from across the Web. Readers view the collages, which the site calls “sets,” and if they click on a dress or necklace, they are taken to the Web site that sells it.”

“Founded by three ex-Yahoo engineers, Polyvore has been focused on getting people to visit the site. It seems to be working. Polyvore had more than 835,000 unique visitors in June, almost 25 percent more than the traffic to, run by Vogue, and, according to Compete, a Web analytics firm. It is also far bigger than the Web sites of Lucky and Harper’s Bazaar. While other fashion magazine sites have been struggling to hold an online audience, Polyvore has tripled its traffic in the last year.” . . .

Blackboard Offers Student-Identity-Verification Service
by Erica Hendry
July 24, 2009, The Chronicle of Higher Education

“Students could encounter new verification questions when they log onto Blackboard this fall if their college or university chooses to add on the Acxiom Identify-X service. . . . Acxiom’s technology relies on a database of public information that is not stored at or collected by the student’s institution. The software ‘periodically and randomly’ poses challenge questions. Unlike the challenge questions typically used for bank and e-mail password retrieval, which rely on user-generated challenge quetions, these questions will ask things like ‘Which is a prior street name of yours?’ ‘Which is a prior zip code of yours?’ and ‘What is the last six digits of your phone number?’ Students can choose among multiple answers, one of them being ‘None of the above.’ “

“Clients of Blackboard won’t be required to use this service, said Matt Small, Blackboard’s chief business officer. How the service will work at a particular college will depend on the preference of the institution, he said. The timing of the questions, as well as how frequently they show up, will be in the hands of on-campus administrators.” . . .

BIP/BTOP Frequently Asked Questions
July 23, 2009, NTIA

Thirteen pages of questions and answers on 1) applying for broadband stimulus funds, 2) infrastructure issues, 3) public computers centers and sustainable adoption, 4) eligibility and matching, 5) the review and award process and 6) award terms and conditions.

Online Campus Could Solve Many U. of California Problems, a Dean Says
by Marc Beja
July 22, 2009, Chronicle of Higher Education

“Many transfer-ready students in the community-college system were opting to go to the University of Phoenix rather than go to UC. Even more surprising, this phenomenon was disproportionately true for blacks and Latinos. My hypothesis is that it is because of the convenience—the ability to do part-time, anytime course work, the ability to work part time, stay at home, et cetera. So the question is, How do we go about creating a model for online instruction that has the quality characteristic of a UC education and that can be done at a scale that would permit the university to service the entire 12.5 percent of the California college-aged cohort that the state’s master plan for higher ed contemplates? We’re currently only serving about 60 percent [of that proportion of the cohort].” . . .

Researchers Make Internet Messages Self-Destruct
by Marc Parry
July 22, 2009, Chronicle of Higher Education

. . . “The Washington team’s system for stamping an expiration date on that data is a free, open-source tool that works with text uploaded to Web services through a browser. Senders encrypt the information by highlighting the text and pressing the “vanish” button. The result is electronic communications that become ephemeral, like phone calls, negating the risk of having your messages exposed by lost laptops or hackers or subpoenas.” . . .

Mobile Internet Use Increases Sharply in 2009 as More than Half of All Americans Have Gotten Online by Some Wireless Means
July 22, 2009, Pew Internet & American Life Project

“An April 2009 survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project shows that 56 percent of adult Americans have accessed the internet by wireless means, such as using a laptop, mobile device, game console, or MP3 player. The most prevalent way people get online using a wireless network is with a laptop computer; 39 percent of adults have done this.”

“The report also finds rising levels of Americans using the internet on a mobile handset. One-third of Americans (32 percent) have used a cell phone or Smartphone to access the internet for emailing, instant-messaging, or information-seeking. This level of mobile internet is up by one-third since December 2007, when 24 percent of Americans had ever used the internet on a mobile device. On the typical day, nearly one-fifth (19 percent) of Americans use the internet on a mobile device, up substantially from the 11 percent level recorded in December 2007. That’s a growth of 73 percent in the 16 month interval between surveys.” . . .

“Wireless internet access using other devices, though much less common than with laptops or handhelds, has a foothold among some Americans. The April 2009 survey found that:
– 45 percent of adults have iPods or MP3 players and 5 percent of all adults have used such a device to go online.
– 41 percent of adults have game consoles and 9 percent of adults have used it to access the internet.
– 14 percent of adults have a personal digital assistant, and 7 percent of adults have used it for online access.
– 2 percent of adults have an e-book (i.e., a Kindle or Sony reader) and 1 percent of adults have used it to get online.

Students May Not Be as Software-Savvy as They Think, Study Says
by Erica Hendry
July 20, 2009, Chronicle of Higher Education

“When it comes to basic computer applications, even members of the millennial generation may not know as much as they think they do. A study by North Carolina Central University found that most students overestimated their skill levels when they were asked how they perceived their ability to complete certain tasks and then tested on those tasks. Researchers surveyed 171 undergraduates, the majority of whom believed they had either an average or high skill level in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. The students were then tested on three different skill levels — basic, moderate, and advanced — in each of those applications.”

See the study at

Barnes & Noble Plans an Extensive E-Bookstore
by Motoko Rich
July 20, 2009, New York Times

“Four months after acquiring an e-book retailer, Barnes & Noble, the world’s largest chain of bookstores, is starting its own mega e-bookstore on its Web site, In an announcement on Monday, Barnes & Noble said that it would offer more than 700,000 books that could be read on a wide range of devices, including Apple’s iPhone, the BlackBerry and various laptop or desktop computers. When Barnes & Noble acquired Fictionwise in March, that online retailer had about 60,000 books in its catalog.”

“More than 500,000 of the books now offered electronically on can be downloaded free, through an agreement with Google to provide electronic versions of public domain books that Google has scanned from university libraries. Sony announced a similar deal in March to offer the public domain books on its Reader device. Barnes & Noble is promoting its e-bookstore as the world’s largest, an implicit stab at, which offers about 330,000 for its Kindle device. Currently, Google’s public domain books cannot be read on a Kindle.” . . .

Academic Integrity, Fashion Site, Passwords, Broadband FAQs, Online Solutions, Vanish, Mobile Usage, Skills, Barnes and Noble

Obama Pledges $12b to CC’s, Digital Resources, Blackboard, Michael Wesch, Webinar on Broadband Grants, NSF Grants

President Obama Outlines $12 Billion Plan to Enhance Work Force Training at Community Colleges
by Molly Corbett Broad
July 14, 2009, President to President, American Council of Education

. . . “This is a bold proposal that would dedicate nearly $12 billion over 10 years to enhance work force training at community colleges at a time when these institutions are under increased financial strain and students need the help more than ever. The package includes money for curriculum development, expansion of online courses, and much needed funding for facilities improvement. As part of his speech, President Obama called for an additional 5 million community college graduates by 2020 to help the nation compete in the global economy.”

“As we understand it, the president’s proposal would:
▪ Provide $9 billion in funding over 10 years for two new grant programs — the Community College Challenge Fund and the College Access and Completion Fund — designed to help community colleges develop and improve programs aimed at degree completion and training and retraining workers.
▪ Make available $2.5 billion in loan funding to improve community college facilities. The low-interest loans would be distributed to states with demonstrated work force training needs.
▪ Expand online learning options with $500 million in new funding over 10 years to create an Online Skills Laboratory. The Departments of Defense, Education, and Labor will work together to make the courses under this initiative — developed by two- and four-year institutions and nonprofit entities — freely available through one or more community colleges and the Defense Department’s distributed learning network, explore ways to award academic credit based upon achievement rather than class hours, and rigorously evaluate the results.”

“Congress must act before the president’s plan can be implemented, since the bulk of the funding for the community college proposal would come from savings that would be generated through the president’s plan to eliminate the Family Federal Education Loan (FFEL) Program. The House is expected to release its reconciliation plans involving FFEL and making Pell Grants an entitlement sometime tomorrow and I will report on that in my regular update on Friday.” . . .

Obama Attacks on Economy and Seeks Billions for Community Colleges,” New York Times
Obama Calls for 5M More College Grads,” CBS News
Obama Plans Cash Infusion for Community Colleges,” The Washington Post
Obama Plans $12B Boost to Community Colleges,” USA Today
Obama Pledges $12B for Community Colleges,” The Detroit News
Obama to Propose Graduation Goal and $12-Billion in Programs for 2-Year Colleges,” The Chronicle of Higher Education

Rebuilding Something Better
by Barack Obama
July 12, 2009, Washington Post

. . . “We believe it’s time to reform our community colleges so that they provide Americans of all ages a chance to learn the skills and knowledge necessary to compete for the jobs of the future. Our community colleges can serve as 21st-century job training centers, working with local businesses to help workers learn the skills they need to fill the jobs of the future. We can reallocate funding to help them modernize their facilities, increase the quality of online courses and ultimately meet the goal of graduating 5 million more Americans from community colleges by 2020.”

The Obama Plan
by Scott Jaschik
July 15, 2009, Inside Higher Ed

“In his remarks, Obama talked about how this effort could both create courses where they aren’t offered and create educational materials for courses that exist. “Even as we repair bricks and mortar, we have an opportunity to build a new virtual infrastructure to complement the education and training community colleges can offer,” he said. “So we’re going to support the creation of a new online, open-source clearinghouse of courses so that community colleges across the country can offer more classes without building more classrooms. And this will make a big difference especially for rural campuses that a lot of times have struggled to attract students and faculty.”

“ ‘And this will make it possible for a professor to complement his lecture with an online exercise, or for a student who can’t be away from her family to still keep up with her coursework. We don’t know where this kind of experiment will lead, but that’s exactly why we ought to try it because I think there’s a possibility that online education can provide especially for people who are already in the workforce and want to retrain the chance to upgrade their skills without having to quit their job.’ “

“An early draft of the Obama plan, reported on here last month, specifically said that the funds to create online courses would be open to institutions beyond community colleges, including for-profit colleges. The materials released by the White House Tuesday were vague on the matter, and some lobbyists said that they interpreted comments in their briefings to mean that only community colleges would create the courses.”

“Asked via e-mail Tuesday if for-profit colleges and others could seek these funds, Robert Shireman, deputy under secretary of education, said: “Online course development would be by any type of entity, and the courses would be in the public domain and therefore could be used by anyone. (We will work with a community college to make sure there is a place that offers credit for the courses, but it would not be exclusive).” . . .

Digital — and Financially Viable
by Ben Eisen
July 15, 2009, Inside Higher Ed

“Scholars increasingly rely on digital resources, but who will pay for them? A new report released today by Ithaka — an organization that promotes scholarly digitization — aims to critically assess the sustainability of business models for non-profit digitization.”

“Researchers analyzed the diversity of revenue streams in 12 case studies, showing how each one combined funding sources to attempt financial stability. Projects ranged from a philosophy encyclopedia to a publishing corporation to an aggregated data set of bird sightings. The report — following a study last year that identified different strategies for funding — was created to help organizations work toward sustainable funding for their digitization projects.” . . .

Blackboard Buys iPhone-Application Company
by Stephanie Lee
July 15, 2009, Inside Higher Ed

“Continuing its expansion moves, Blackboard announced on Tuesday that it has purchased a student-run company that produces iPhone applications. Blackboard bought TerriblyClever Design for $4 million. Officials announced the purchase here at the Blackboard annual conference.”

“TerriblyClever was founded in 2007 by two Stanford students, Kayvon Beykpour and Aaron Wasserman. Their MobilEdu application lets users access a host of campus services on their iPhones or other mobile devices. Students can examine the course catalog, find out how the football team is faring, watch lectures on YouTube and navigate their way around campus using GPS.”

by Stephen Downes
July 13, 2009, Half an Hour

This is a blog summary of Michael Wesch at D2L Fusion.

“We need to move students being knowledgeable to knowledge-able. This is not simply a technological revolution, this is a cultural revolution. . . . Questions. I asked, how many do not like school? More than half. How many do not like learning? None. This is a really messed up system. We start paying attention to the cliches. Eg. ‘Some students are just not cut out for school.’ This is something faculty just believe. But what if we say ‘some students are just not cut out for learning.’ This makes no sense. So something is wrong with the environment.” . . .

“Students are not just learning about this objective ‘stuff’. They’re learning to engage with each other. They’re practicing loving and learning at once. And in doing all of this, we can move to a new version of ‘whatever,’ from ‘I don’t care’ to ‘I care, let’s do whatever it takes.’ “

Free Webinar on Broadband Stimulus Funding Now Available
July 9, 2009, American Library Association

Yesterday, the ALA Washington Office held an interactive webinar on the broadband stimulus funding programs led by John Windhausen from Telepoly, Chris McLean (former Administrator of the Rural Utilities Service) and Greg Rohde (former Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration), now partners in the e-Copernicus.

The webinar provides an overview of the application process for broadband stimulus funds and includes a question-and-answer section.

Guidance For The Library Community: Preparing a Proposal for the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP)
July 10, 2009

Grant: Science of Learning Centers (SLC)
National Science Foundation

Application Deadline: August 3, 2009

The Science of Learning Centers program (SLC) offers awards for large-scale, long-term Centers that create the intellectual, organizational and physical infrastructure needed for the long-term advancement of Science of Learning research. It supports research that harnesses and integrates knowledge across multiple disciplines to create a common groundwork of conceptualization, experimentation and explanation that anchor new lines of thinking and inquiry towards a deeper understanding of learning.

The goals of the Science of Learning Centers Program are to advance the frontiers of all the sciences of learning through integrated research; to connect the research to specific scientific, technological, educational, and workforce challenges; to enable research communities to capitalize on new opportunities and discoveries; and to respond to new challenges.

The SLC Program construes learning broadly, including that of animals, humans and machines. The program is open to many possible approaches and topics that can be brought to examine what learning is, how it is affected, how it works at different levels, how biologically-derived learning principles can inform artificial systems and vice versa. The Program places high value on creativity, integration of theoretical and empirical work, innovative models of research and research transfer, and inventive uses of technology.

Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program
National Science Foundation

Application Deadlines:
July 21, 2009 – Biology; Computer and Information Science and Engineering; Education and Human Resources
July 22, 2009 – Engineering:
July 23, 2009 – Geosciences; Mathematical & Physical Sciences; Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences; Office of Polar Programs

The CAREER budget request should reflect the scope of the research and education plans, and the practices within your discipline. The minimum CAREER award size is $400,000, including indirect cost or overhead, for a 5- year period except in the Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO). Proposals to that Directorate must request a minimum of $500,000 (approximately $100,000 per year) for the 5-year duration. There is no maximum award size.

CAREER: The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations. Such activities should build a firm foundation for a lifetime of leadership in integrating education and research. NSF encourages submission of CAREER proposals from junior faculty members at all CAREER-eligible organizations and especially encourages women, members of underrepresented minority groups, and persons with disabilities to apply.

PECASE: Each year NSF selects nominees for the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) from among the most meritorious new CAREER awardees. Selection for this award is based on two important criteria: 1) innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology that is relevant to the mission of the sponsoring organization or agency, and 2) community service demonstrated through scientific leadership, education or community outreach. These awards foster innovative developments in science and technology, increase awareness of careers in science and engineering, give recognition to the scientific missions of the participating agencies, enhance connections between fundamental research and national goals, and highlight the importance of science and technology for the Nation’s future. Individuals cannot apply for PECASE. These awards are initiated by the participating federal agencies. At NSF, up to twenty nominees for this award are selected each year from among the PECASE-eligible CAREER awardees who are most likely to become the leaders of academic research and education in the twenty-first century. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy makes the final selection and announcement of the awardees.

Obama Pledges $12b to CC’s, Digital Resources, Blackboard, Michael Wesch, Webinar on Broadband Grants, NSF Grants

Bing, Broadband Workshops, Need Reviewers, Free Lectures/News, Kuali, Kindle, Web Video, Web 2.0, Grants: Questions/Arts

Bing, the Imitator, Often Goes Google One Better
by David Pogue
July 8, 2009, New York Times

“The name, presumably, is supposed to evoke the sound of a winning game-show bell. The cynics online, however, joke that Bing is an acronym for “But It’s Not Google.” Here’s the shocker, though: in many ways, Bing is better. That’s quite a statement, of course — almost heresy. But check it out yourself. It’s easy to compare the two, thanks to sites like Here, you’re shown search results from both Bing and Google, side by side, on a split screen.” . . .

Broadband Initiatives Program and Broadband Technology Opportunities Program Workshops


The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) have announced the first series of public workshops about the application process for $4 billion in broadband grants and loans under the Recovery Act. Workshops will include an overview of BTOP-BIP, a review of the application process for NTIA and RUS grants and loans and remarks from notable public officials. The presentation materials are available at

Pre-registration will close for each city approximately 24 hours prior to each workshop. All workshops run from 9am-4:30pm local time
– Albuquerque, NM – July 23, 2009, Marriott Albuquerque Pyramid North, 87109, 800-262-2043
– Billings, MT – July 17, 2009 – Holiday Inn Grand Montana, 888-465-4329
– Birmingham, AL – July 14, 2009 – Sheraton Birmingham Hotel, 205-324-5000
– Charleston, WV – July 10, 2009 – Holiday Inn Charleston House, 888-465-4329
– Lonoke, AR – July 16, 2009 – Arkansas Rural Water Association/Dale Bumpers Training Facility
– Los Angeles, CA – July 24, 2009, Omni Los Angeles Hotel at California Plaza, 888-444-6664
– Memphis, TN – July 15, 2009 – Holiday Inn Hotel University of Memphis, 888-465-4329
– Minneapolis, MN – July 18, 2009 – Crowne Plaza St. Paul – Riverfront, 800-593-5708

See “Impressions From the First Broadband Stimulus Workshop,” by Bernie Arnason, July 7, 2009, Telecompetitor. See

Call for Reviewers: Broadband Technology Opportunities Program
July 6, 2009

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce is soliciting volunteers to serve as panelists to evaluate grant proposals for the $4.7 billion Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), an important part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. NTIA is accepting applications for its first round of BTOP grants from July 14, 2009 until August 14, 2009, and will conduct panel reviews through at least the end of September, 2009.

As a reviewer, your evaluations will be an important factor considered by NTIA in determining whether to award grant funding. To be considered as a reviewer you must have significant expertise and experience in at least one of the following areas: 1) the design, funding, construction, and operation of broadband networks or public computer centers; 2) broadband-related outreach, training, or education; and 3) innovative programs to increase the demand for broadband services. In addition you must agree to comply with Department of Commerce policies on conflict of interest and confidentiality.

College Lectures Should Be Free Online, Argues ‘Wired Magazine’ Editor in New Book
by Jeffrey R. Young
July 7, 2009, Chronicle of Higher Ed

“College lectures are one of the many information products that should be free to all online, according to Chris Anderson, editor in chief of Wired Magazine, in his new book Free: The Future of a Radical Price. Mr. Anderson praises the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and other universities for giving away course materials, though he does not advocate making tuition free. ‘A college education is more than lectures and readings,” he writes. “For universities, free content is marketing. Top students get their pick of schools. Sampling the mind-blowing fare of a particular program or professor can win them over.’ “

“Free lectures can be even bigger wins for professors than for their institutions, he argues, giving the example of Richard A. Muller, a physics professor at the University of California at Berkeley. The professor’s lectures on “Physics for Future Presidents” became a hit on YouTube, scoring some two million views, which helped him land a book contract.” . . .

Priced to Sell: Is Free the Future?
by Malcolm Gladwell
July 6, 2009, The New Yorker

“At a hearing on Capitol Hill in May, James Moroney, the publisher of the Dallas Morning News, told Congress about negotiations he’d just had with the online retailer Amazon. The idea was to license his newspaper’s content to the Kindle, Amazon’s new electronic reader. “They want seventy per cent of the subscription revenue,” Moroney testified.” . . .

“Had James Moroney read Chris Anderson’s new book, “Free: The Future of a Radical Price” (Hyperion; $26.99), Amazon’s offer might not have seemed quite so surprising. Anderson is the editor of Wired and the author of the 2006 best-seller “The Long Tail,” and “Free” is essentially an extended elaboration of Stewart Brand’s famous declaration that “information wants to be free.”

“The digital age, Anderson argues, is exerting an inexorable downward pressure on the prices of all things ‘made of ideas.’ Anderson does not consider this a passing trend. Rather, he seems to think of it as an iron law: ‘In the digital realm you can try to keep Free at bay with laws and locks, but eventually the force of economic gravity will win.’ To musicians who believe that their music is being pirated, Anderson is blunt. They should stop complaining, and capitalize on the added exposure that piracy provides by making money through touring, merchandise sales, and ‘yes, the sale of some of [their] music to people who still want CDs or prefer to buy their music online.’ To the Dallas Morning News, he would say the same thing. Newspapers need to accept that content is never again going to be worth what they want it to be worth, and reinvent their business. ‘Out of the bloodbath will come a new role for professional journalists,’ he predicts”….

Kuali: The Next Open Source Movement
by Scott Jaschik
July 6, 2009, Inside Higher Ed

“While the open source movement has taken off in course management systems, with Moodle and Sakai as alternatives to the dominant Blackboard, the administrative side of the house has been almost entirely corporate. While some colleges use home-grown systems, the norm has been to use any of a number of vendors for systems that allow colleges to manage and report on budgets, billing and many other functions crucial to running a college. These administrative software systems cost millions of dollars to install and manage, and any malfunctions can be hugely frustrating to institutions.” . . .

“The colleges involved say they have the potential to achieve millions in savings while gaining more control over technology systems that are essential to the smooth functioning of their institutions. The fact that two institutions have now moved from the idea stage to actual use — and a number of other prominent institutions are preparing to do so — could enable Kuali to become a major force in administrative systems, say not only those behind the project but some other observers as well. That’s because many colleges are anxious for open source alternatives, but don’t want to be the pioneers who are taking the potential risk of going first.” . . .

“Kuali was founded as a nonprofit in 2004 — the name is a Malaysian word for a small wok, consistent with the group’s idea that it is creating tools that can be used for many purposes. The basic idea is applying open source to the administrative side of operating systems, with consortium members contributing their expertise and helping one another with the creation of tools, fixing problems, adding new applications and so forth. Participating colleges pay membership fees (with a sliding scale based on their annual budgets) with no individual fee topping $25,000, which is a relatively modest amount when compared to the sums spent on major administrative computing systems, and then they pay costs of installing systems and training people to use them. Further, colleges pledge to help other members on projects, sharing expertise as appropriate.” . . .

Challenge to the Kindle
by Doug Lederman
July 6, 2009

“The slow but inexorable move to electronic textbooks, accelerated by the emergence of e-readers like Amazon’s Kindle and the Sony Reader, holds great promise for students who are visually impaired. Digital formats can easily be transferred into audio recordings or texts printed in Braille, avoiding the piecemeal system by which most colleges’ disability resource centers turn individual textbooks into versions that are accessible to the blind.”

“But instead of welcoming May’s news that numerous colleges were experimenting with Amazon’s Kindle DX as a way to bring digital textbooks to their students, advocates for the visually impaired are strenuously objecting to it. The National Federation of the Blind and the American Council of the Blind filed a lawsuit last month against Arizona State University, saying that its plan to use the Kindle to distribute books to students is illegal because blind people cannot use the device as currently configured. (The groups also asked the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice to examine the Kindle deployments planned by the five other colleges.) The Kindle DX has built-in technology that translates digital books into audio, but users can get to that feature only through on-screen menus that are not accessible to the blind.” . . .

Also see “Lawsuit says ASU Discriminates by Using E-books,” by Melissa Blasius
July 2, 2009, 12 News –

Rise of Web Video, Beyond 2-Minute Clips
by Brian Stelter
July 5, 2009, New York Times

“When motion pictures were invented at the end of the 19th century, most films were shorter than a minute, because of the limitations of technology. A little more than a hundred years later when Web videos were introduced, they were also cut short, but for social as well as technical reasons. Video creators, by and large, thought their audiences were impatient. A three-minute-long comedy skit? Shrink it to 90 seconds. Slow Internet connections made for tedious viewing, and there were few ads to cover high delivery costs. And so it became the first commandment of online video: Keep it short.”

“New Web habits, aided by the screen-filling video that faster Internet access allows, are now debunking the rule. As the Internet becomes a jukebox for every imaginable type of video — from baby videos to “Masterpiece Theater” — producers and advertisers are discovering that users will watch for more than two minutes at a time.” . . .

Web Squared: Web 2.0 Five Years On
by Tim O’Reilly and John Battelle

. . . “From Google and Amazon to Wikipedia, eBay, and craigslist, we saw that the value was facilitated by the software, but was co-created by and for the community of connected users. Since then, powerful new platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter have demonstrated that same insight in new ways. Web 2.0 is all about harnessing collective intelligence. Collective intelligence applications depend on managing, understanding, and responding to massive amounts of user-generated data in real time. The “subsystems” of the emerging internet operating system are increasingly data subsystems: location, identity (of people, products, and places), and the skeins of meaning that tie them together. This leads to new levers of competitive advantage: Data is the “Intel Inside” of the next generation of computer applications.” . . .

“With more users and sensors feeding more applications and platforms, developers are able to tackle serious real-world problems. As a result, the Web opportunity is no longer growing arithmetically; it’s growing exponentially. Hence our theme for this year: Web Squared. 1990-2004 was the match being struck; 2005-2009 was the fuse; and 2010 will be the explosion.” . . . “The Web is no longer a collection of static pages of HTML that describe something in the world. Increasingly, the Web is the world – everything and everyone in the world casts an “information shadow,” an aura of data which, when captured and processed intelligently, offers extraordinary opportunity and mind bending implications. Web Squared is our way of exploring this phenomenon and giving it a name.” . . .

Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
National Endowment for the Humanities
CFDA No. 45.163

Application Deadline: Sept. 15, 2009
Award Ceiling: $25,000

The Enduring Questions grant program supports a faculty member’s development of a new course that will foster intellectual community through the study of an enduring question. This course will encourage undergraduate students and a teacher to grapple with a fundamental question addressed by the humanities, and to join together in a deep and sustained program of reading in order to encounter influential thinkers over the centuries and into the present day. Examples include: What is the good life? What is freedom? What is beauty? Is there a human nature? What is the relationship between humans and the natural world? How do science and ethics relate to one another? What is good government? An Enduring Questions course may be taught by a faculty member from any department or discipline inside or outside the humanities so long as humanities sources are central to the course. The grant supports the work of a faculty member in designing, preparing, and assessing the course. It may also be used for ancillary activities that enhance faculty-student intellectual community, such as visits to museums and artistic or cultural events.

American Masterpieces: Presenting
National Endowment for the Arts
CFDA No. 45.024

Application Deadline: Sept. 24, 2009
Award: 40 grants ranging from $10,000 to $100,000. All grants require a nonfederal match of at least 1 to 1.

American Masterpieces: Three Centuries of Artistic Genius is a major initiative to acquaint Americans with the best of their cultural and artistic legacy. Through American Masterpieces, the National Endowment for the Arts will sponsor performances, exhibitions, tours, and educational programs across all art forms that will reach large and small communities in all 50 states. This component of American Masterpieces will celebrate the extraordinary and rich contribution that presenting organizations make in American communities. Through American Masterpieces: Presenting, presentations of the performing, visual, media, design, and literary arts of the highest quality will be experienced by Americans in communities across the nation. Projects must be accompanied by related educational, interpretive, or contextual components. These may include discussions, master classes, seminars, exhibitions, program material, or cooperative learning projects with educational or community institutions. Curriculum-based educational components for children and youth must ensure the application of national or state arts education standards.

Bing, Broadband Workshops, Need Reviewers, Free Lectures/News, Kuali, Kindle, Web Video, Web 2.0, Grants: Questions/Arts