Archive of ‘information technology’ category

VR in education

5 ways virtual reality is being used in education right now

By Meris Stansbury
1. For new research: using a state-of-the-art “haptic” floor of aeronautic metal that vibrates and moves to stimulate the physical world for research on how VR has the potential to change the way users feel and behave. There may also be implications for confronting racism, sexism, and aiding in empathy and humanitarian efforts, says Bailenson.
2. For coding and 3D design: According to Bob Nilsson, director of Vertical Solutions Marketing for Extreme Networking, the University of Maryland, College Park, now offers a class on virtual reality that gives students the opportunity to design their own interactive world, work with 3D audio and experiment with immersive technology through a combination of hands-on learning and case studies. Also, the University of Georgia is offering similar classes where students design and explore applications for VR. Conrad Tucker, an assistant professor of engineering at Pennsylvania State University, has received funding to build a virtual engineering lab where students hold, rotate, and fit together virtual parts as they would with their real hands.

3. For anatomy and dissection: Said one Extreme Networks survey respondent, “Our students have been developing a VR model of a cow’s anatomy for dissection and study. You have the ability to drill down to the circulatory system, brain, muscle, skeleton, etc. Our applied tech program is using VR in conjunction with Autocad for models of projects they design.”

4. For engagement: A whopping 68 percent of survey respondents said the major benefit of using VR in education is to excite students about the subject matter. 39 percent said it’s great for encouraging creativity.

5. For field trips: Google has eliminated restrictions on Expeditions, their VR field trips program. Google Expeditions was cited in the survey as one of the most popular sources of VR content, but with the complaint that it was a restricted program.

use of VR in education

Thomas S. McDonald ·

Virtual reality may have its place, but until traditional education moves away from their 20th century teaching methodology and replaces it with educationally innovative, 21st century learning methodology, within a blended and flipped learning environment, virtual reality is currently, much ado about nothing.
Unless any new application is educationally innovative and directly and measurably contributes to effective, efficient, consistent, affordable, relevant advanced student success outcomes for ALL students, future innovations must wait for current innovations to be implemented.
This process of appriate choice and appropriate implemention must start at the top and be beta tested for measured student success before its rolled out system wide.

more on VR in this IMS blog


Internet pioneer

Internet pioneer dies at 102

Leo Berane, native of Solon, Iowa, passed away Oct. 10 at the age of 10.

The same year that Neil Armstrong first walked on the moon and the Beatles gave their last live performance, the ARPANET was born.

“I never dreamed the internet would come into such widespread use, because the first users of the Arpanet were large mainframe computer owners,” said Beranek in the New York Times interview.


more on Internet history in this IMS blog:

private versus government

Hayden calls Russian email hack ‘honorable state espionage’

By Matt Leonard Oct 18, 2016

The Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued a joint statement earlier this month that condemned Russia for the attacks.

“Do not drop this in the cyber problem box, drop this in the Russia problem box,” Hayden suggested, saying the focus should be on the actor, not the means. “And by the way, that Russian problem box needs a bigger box, there’s a lot of stuff going on.”

Though there are aspects of cybersecurity that only government can handle, most of it will be driven by the private industry, Hayden said. Government can help the private sector by getting out of the way — removing liability, enabling legal protections, sharing information and redoing the classification system.

And since the government too depends on the private sector for security innovation, Hayden said he sides with Apple regarding whether the company should have to create a back door for the FBI to bypass iPhone encryption.


more on surveillance, government in this IMS blog:

IoT for Product Managers

Internet of Things: A Primer for Product Managers

The first step to becoming an IoT Product Manager is to understand the 5 layers of the IoT technology stack.

5 layers of IoT

1. Devices

Devices constitute the “things” in the Internet of Things. They act as the interface between the real and digital worlds.

2. Embedded software

Embedded software is the part that turns a device into a “smart device”. This part of the IoT technology stack enables the concept of “software-defined hardware”, meaning that a particular hardware device can serve multiple applications depending on the embedded software it is running.

Embedded Operating System

The complexity of your IoT solution will determine the type of embedded Operating System (OS) you need. Some of the key considerations include whether your application needs a real-time OS, the type of I/O support you need, and whether you need support for the full TCP/IP stack.

Common examples of embedded OS include Linux, Brillo (scaled-down Android), Windows Embedded, and VxWorks, to name a few.

Embedded Applications

This is the application(s) that run on top of the embedded OS and provide the functionality that’s specific to your IoT solution.

3. Communications

Communications refers to all the different ways your device will exchange information with the rest of the world. This includes both physical networks and the protocols you will use.

4. Cloud Platform

The cloud platform is the backbone of your IoT solution. If you are familiar with managing SaaS offerings, then you are well aware of everything that is entailed here. Your infrastructure will serve as the platform for these key areas:

Data Collection and Management

Your smart devices will stream information to the cloud. As you define the requirements of your solution, you need to have a good idea of the type and amount of data you’ll be collecting on a daily, monthly, and yearly basis.


Analytics are one of they key components of any IoT solution. By analytics, I’m referring to the ability to crunch data, find patterns, perform forecasts, integrate machine learning, etc. It is the ability to find insights from your data and not the data alone that makes your solution valuable.

Cloud APIs

The Internet of Things is all about connecting devices and sharing data. This is usually done by exposing APIs at either the Cloud level or the device level. Cloud APIs allow your customers and partners to either interact with your devices or to exchange data. Remember that opening an API is not a technical decision, it’s a business decision.

Related post: The Business of APIs: What Product Managers Need to Plan For

5. Applications

This is the part of the stack that is most easily understood by Product teams and Executives. Your end-user applications are the part of the system that your customer will see and interact with. These applications will most likely be Web-based, and depending on your user needs, you might need separate apps for desktop, mobile, and even wearables.

The Bottom Line

As the Internet of Things continues to grow, the world will need an army of IoT-savvy Product Managers. And those Product Managers will need to understand each layer of the stack, and how they all fit together into a complete IoT solution.


more on Internet of Things in this blog:

NISO Webinar IoT

Wednesday, October 19, 2016
1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. (Eastern Time)

About the Webinar

As the cost of sensors and the connectivity necessary to support those sensors has decreased, this has given rise to a network of interconnected devices.  This network is often described as the Internet of Things and it is providing a variety of information management challenges.  For the library and publishing communities, the internet of things presents opportunities and challenges around data gathering, organization and processing of the tremendous amounts of data which the internet of things is generating.  How will these data be incorporated into traditional publication, archiving and resource management systems?  Additionally, how will the internet of things impact resource management within our community?   In what ways will interconnected resources provide a better user experience for patrons and readers?  This session will introduce concepts and potential implications of the internet of things on the information management community.  It will also explore applications related to managing resources in a library environment that are being developed and implemented.

Education in the Internet of Things
Bryan Alexander, Consultant;

How will the Internet of Things shape education? We can explore this question by assessing current developments, looking for future trends in the first initial projects. In this talk I point to new concepts for classroom and campus spaces, examining attendant rises in data gathering and analysis. We address student life possibilities and curricular and professional niches. We conclude with notes on campus strategy, including privacy, network support, and futures-facing organizations.

What Does The Internet of Things Mean to a Museum?
Robert Weisberg, Senior Project Manager, Publications and Editorial Department; Metropolitan Museum of Art;

What does the Internet of Things mean to a museum? Museums have slowly been digitizing their collections for years, and have been replacing index cards with large (and costly, and labor-intensive) CMS’s long before that, but several factors have worked against adopting smart and scalable practices which could unleash data for the benefit of the institution, its collection, and its audiences. Challenges go beyond non-profit budgets in a very for-profit world and into the siloed behaviors learned from academia, practices borne of the uniqueness of museum collections, and the multi-faceted nature of modern museums which include not only curator, but conservators, educators, librarians, publishers, and increasing numbers of digital specialists. What have museums already done, what are they doing, and what are they preparing for, as big data becomes bigger and ever more-networked?
The Role of the Research Library in Unpacking The Internet of Things
Lauren di Monte, NCSU Libraries Fellow, Cyma Rubin Fellow, North Carolina State University

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a deceptively simple umbrella term for a range of socio-technical tools and processes that are shaping our social and economic worlds. Indeed, IoT represents a new infrastructural layer that has the power to impact decision-making processes, resources distribution plans, information access, and much more. Understanding what IoT is, how “things” get networked, as well as how IoT devices and tools are constructed and deployed, are important and emerging facets of information literacy. Research libraries are uniquely positioned to help students, researchers, and other information professionals unpack IoT and understand its place within our knowledge infrastructures and digital cultures. By developing and modeling the use of IoT devices for space and program assessment, by teaching patrons how to work with IoT hardware and software, and by developing methods and infrastructures to collect IoT devices and data, we can help our patrons unlock the potential of IoT and harness the power of networked knowledge.

Lauren Di Monte is a Libraries Fellow at NC State. In this role she develops programs that facilitate critical and creative engagements with technologies and develops projects to bring physical and traditional computing into scholarship across the disciplines. Her current research explores the histories and futures of STEM knowledge practices.

What does the internet of things mean for education?

Bryan Alexander:

I’m not sure if the IoT will hit academic with the wave force of the Web in the 1990s, or become a minor tangent.  What do schools have to do with Twittering refrigerators?

Here are a few possible intersections.

  1. Changing up the campus technology space.  IT departments will face supporting more technology strata in a more complex ecosystem.  Help desks and CIOs alike will have to consider supporting sensors, embedded chips, and new devices.  Standards, storage, privacy, and other policy issues will ramify.
  2. Mutating the campus.  We’ve already adjusted campus spaces by adding wireless coverage, enabling users and visitors to connect from nearly everywhere.  What happens when benches are chipped, skateboards sport sensors, books carry RFID, and all sorts of new, mobile devices dot the quad?  One British school offers an early example.
  3. New forms of teaching and learning.  Some of these take preexisting forms and amplify them, like tagging animals in the wild or collecting data about urban centers.  The IoT lets us gather more information more easily and perform more work upon it.  Then we could also see really new ways of learning, like having students explore an environment (built or natural) by using embedded sensors, QR codes, and live datastreams from items and locations.  Instructors can build treasure hunts through campuses, nature preserves, museums, or cities.  Or even more creative enterprises.
  4. New forms of research.  As with #3, but at a higher level.  Researchers can gather and process data using networked swarms of devices.  Plus academics studying and developing the IoT in computer science and other disciplines.
  5. An environmental transformation.  People will increasingly come to campus with experiences of a truly interactive, data-rich world.  They will expect a growing proportion of objects to be at least addressable, if not communicative.  This population will become students, instructors, and support staff.  They will have a different sense of the boundaries between physical and digital than we now have in 2014. Will this transformed community alter a school’s educational mission or operations?

How the internet could evolve to 2026: responding to Pew Posted on

instructional design librarian

Instructional Design Librarians #libraries #edtech #highered

Thursday, October 13 at 3:00 pm EST with guest Joelle Pitts from Kansas State University Libraries.


more on instructional design in this IMS blog

Information Technology and Teacher Education conference


Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education
March 5 – 9, 2017 Austin, Texas, USA

Proposals Due: October 21, 2016

SITE 2017 is the 28th annual conference of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education. This society represents individual teacher educators and affiliated organizations of teacher educators in all disciplines, who are interested in the creation and dissemination of knowledge about the use of information technology in teacher education and faculty/staff development.

SITE is unique as the only organization which has as its sole focus the integration of instructional technologies into teacher education programs. SITE promotes the development and dissemination of theoretical knowledge, conceptual research, and professional practice knowledge through conferences, books, projects, and the Journal of Technology and Teacher Education (JTATE).

You are invited to attend and participate in this annual international forum which offer numerous opportunities to share your ideas, explore the research, development, and applications, and to network with the leaders in this important field of teacher education and technology.

There are over 800 presentations in 25 major topic areas!

The Conference Review Policy requires that each proposal will be peer- reviewed by three reviewers for inclusion in the conference program, and conference proceedings.

Hosted By: – The Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education
Sponsored by: – The Learning and Technology Library

altmetrics in education

Altmetrics: A Practical Guide for Librarians, Researchers and Academics


In scholarly and scientific publishing, altmetrics are non-traditional metrics[2] proposed as an alternative[3] to more traditional citation impact metrics, such as impact factor and h-index.[4] The term altmetrics was proposed in 2010,[1] as a generalization of article level metrics,[5] and has its roots in the #altmetrics hashtag. Although altmetrics are often thought of as metrics about articles, they can be applied to people, journals, books, data sets, presentations, videos, source code repositories, web pages, etc. They are related to Webometrics, which had similar goals but evolved before the social web. Altmetrics did not originally cover citation counts.[6] It also covers other aspects of the impact of a work, such as how many data and knowledge bases refer to it, article views, downloads, or mentions in social media and news media.[7][8]


more on analytics and metrics in education in this IMS blog


bid data and school abscence

Data Can Help Schools Confront ‘Chronic Absence’

By Dian Schaffhauser 09/22/16

The data shared in June by the Office for Civil Rights, which compiled it from a 2013-2014 survey completed by nearly every school district and school in the United States. new is a report from Attendance Works and the Everyone Graduates Center that encourages schools and districts to use their own data to pinpoint ways to take on the challenge of chronic absenteeism.

The first is research that shows that missing that much school is correlated with “lower academic performance and dropping out.” Second, it also helps in identifying students earlier in the semester in order to get a jump on possible interventions.

The report offers a six-step process for using data tied to chronic absence in order to reduce the problem.

The first step is investing in “consistent and accurate data.” That’s where the definition comes in — to make sure people have a “clear understanding” and so that it can be used “across states and districts” with school years that vary in length. The same step also requires “clarifying what counts as a day of attendance or absence.”

The second step is to use the data to understand what the need is and who needs support in getting to school. This phase could involve defining multiple tiers of chronic absenteeism (at-risk, moderate or severe), and then analyzing the data to see if there are differences by student sub-population — grade, ethnicity, special education, gender, free and reduced price lunch, neighborhood or other criteria that require special kinds of intervention.

Step three asks schools and districts to use the data to identify places getting good results. By comparing chronic absence rates across the district or against schools with similar demographics, the “positive outliers” may surface, showing people that the problem isn’t unstoppable but something that can be addressed for the better.

Steps five and six call on schools and districts to help people understand why the absences are happening, develop ways to address the problem.

The report links to free data tools on the Attendance Works website, including a calculator for tallying chronic absences and guidance on how to protect student privacy when sharing data.

The full report is freely available on the Attendance Works website.

more on big data in education in this IMS blog

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