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Academic Technology Notebook
Because the current application running CULearn will no longer be supported in the coming years, and because its functions do not fully meet the needs of faculty and students even now, ITS is working with the procurement services center and campus constituents to choose a new, flexible product to support the online components of courses at CU-Boulder.
A request for proposals (RFP) went out to learning management system vendors and hosting companies earlier this semester. A committee of twelve faculty and staff will be scoring proposals on Tuesday, April 27 and expects to review proposals for both closed source and open source products. After initial scoring, top vendors and hosting companies will present to the committee and to any interested campus members. In addition, vendors and hosting companies will set up online “sandboxes” that will allow faculty, students, and committee members to try out and evaluate possible learning management solutions.
The committee hopes to make a final decision about a product in June, allowing for beta testing and development over the summer. The goal is to have a fully-functional solution available for the start of the spring 2011 semester. To facilitate an easier transition, the new system will run concurrent with the old for at least three semesters as faculty migrate their courses. “Of course, we’re hoping the new system will be so attractive that everyone will jump right on during the first semester that it’s up,” said Director of Academic Technology, Deborah Keyek-Franssen.
If you are interested in attending any or all vendor presentations, or in evaluating the solutions, the committee would love to hear from you. “Campus input is vital to this process, so please consider participating.,” said Keyek-Franssen. To participate, send an e-mail to Deborah Keyek-Franssen, at email@example.com.
Questions, suggestions, comments, and any CULearn feedback is welcome, but do know that we will try to recruit you to help us evaluate the products and help us with the rollout!
Start planning now for this summer's Colorado Learning and Teaching with Technology (COLTT) conference scheduled for August 12 and 13 on the CU-Boulder campus. Early registration will start in April at www.cu.edu/coltt.
COLTT 2010, in its 13th year, offers an exceptional professional development opportunity for individuals in education and related fields who are interested in the latest innovations, current research, the opportunity for hands on workshops and more sessions that explore learning, teaching, and technology. Sponsored this year by the Provost, ATLAS, ASSETT and ITS at CU-Boulder.
A call for proposals has been issued and the deadline for submission is April 23. Organizers invite you to consider sharing your research presentation or hands-on workshop with an audience that ranges from the relatively novice to expert. Enthusiastic presenters will find an audience seeking advice, consultations, and experience with new technologies designed to engage this century's digital students. Join us, bring a new friend, and submit a proposal. An exciting event awaits you this summer at COLTT 2010!
For further inquiries and support with proposals please contact Jill Lester, COLTT Conference Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While having lunch at Half Fast Subs recently, Professor Oliver Gerland of the Theater and Dance Department noticed the establishment’s technologically-advanced atmosphere, which included a video display with patrons' live text-messages. It was then and there that he had an idea: What would happen if a theatrical performance included a similar mechanism allowing for the live participation of its audience?
Through research, Professor Gerland quickly determined that the particular display at Half Fast Subs was cost-prohibitive, so he enlisted the help of Academic Technology Consultants Steve Bailey and Mark Gammon in the hope that they could brainstorm some less expensive alternatives.
After evaluating both Facebook and Twitter, Steve and Mark recommended Twitter’s free ancillary "Twitterfall" application, as it allowed for a variety of inputs, worked via wireless connectivity, and included a full-screen display ideal for projecting audience feedback.
Tune in next time to hear how Professor Gerland's experiment went.
Education Technology Support (ETS) helped bolster the ideals of journalism by assisting in the support of a video connection between the School of Journalismís CU Independent and students from the University of Punjab in Lahore, Pakistan. A standard two-way videoconference solution wasnít possible, due to bandwidth and hardware issues, but a collaborative effort on the part of ETS, ATLAS, and Streambox ensured that the event was successful.
The CU Independent team had hoped to use CU’s videoconferencing services to meet with their counterparts in Pakistan. Since the availability for Internet bandwidth in Punjab is limited though, the Pakistani users suggested using a product called Streambox, a videoconference solution available to them through a government network. Here at CU-Boulder, we did not have the specific hardware available to do a two-way call, but the manufacturers of Streambox provided a software-based streaming product on short notice that helped overcome the technical differences on each end of the call. With the help of ATLAS studio staff, a one-way video stream of a panel here in Boulder was achieved, which was viewed by students in Punjab. The students in Punjab sent questions back to CU-Boulder via e-mail. Pakistani students learned about the evolution of U.S. media, and CU-Boulder students articulated their ideas about freedom of the press for students.
Check out the write-up of the event in the CU Independent:
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