How Higher Ed Can Up Its Game: 3 Big Ideas
1. Doing more for low-income, high-achieving students
2. Teacher training programs need to change
3. Raising graduation rates
1. Doing more for low-income, high-achieving students
2. Teacher training programs need to change
3. Raising graduation rates
“unicorn” companies — startups that reach a $1 billion valuation before their IPO. IPOs: Initial Public Offerings
But unicorns are no longer so rare, and failure is part of a healthy economy’s means of turning over into new ideas and new leadership. With tech in the midst of a wide-ranging boom, there are other, more financially-stable and innovative companies hungry to hire away talent into positions better suited to the employees and the economy as a whole.
Aside from anecdotal stories like the Zirtual mess, unicorns don’t simply vanish over the weekend like Bear Sterns. Unicorns die a slow death as their core products lose relevance, new product initiatives fail, user growth slips away, costs mount, and key employees and talent drain from the system.
After a multi-year period of what can only be described radio silence from Evernote, the company made a change at CEO in late July of this year. Phil Libin, a member of the founding team who had repeatedly talked about building Evernote into a ‘100 year company,’ was departing and handing the role over to Google Glass executive Chris O’Neill.
Aside from Evernote’s success in China, the Evernote of 2012 sounds little like that of 2015. The short-term market conditions that Evernote of 2012 worried about failed to materialize
Evernote competes with Dropbox, Box, iCloud, and Google Drive in cloud storage, Instapaper and Spool in web clipping, and Photoshop and Gimp in image editing as Evernote acquired image annotator Skitch last year. The wealth of established competitors indicate a challenge for Evernote, but also a clear need for its products. Libin tells me he doesn’t see competitors as Evernote’s biggest threat, though.
Most business customers are using other products already that more than adequately address the need of a note taking application. Many customers have long converted to Google Apps, which bundles document sharing (and spreadsheets, and ‘power point’) into a larger, more valuable suite of products centered around Gmail. Microsoft’s OneNote is available for free, and its collaboration tools are available already for organizations running Microsoft’s Office 365.
The most interesting shift away from an Evernote-like model is Slack, which has seen its own meteoric growth into the unicorn club. Slack’s power is not just as a messaging platform; it’s a real, live, categorized and searchable history of business happenings sorted by channel.
Attached below is the entire correspondence:
Who is John Galt?
Sent: Wednesday, July 22, 2015 9:19 AM
To: Miltenoff, Plamen <email@example.com>
Subject: FW: Green Screen for Library Lawn Party?
Hi Plamen. Honestly and respectfully, the idea didn’t move forward because the planning group wasn’t excited about it and the scavenger hunt group had other ideas for ways they wanted to administer the scavenger hunt.
I apologize for not reaching out proactively to tell you that.
From: Miltenoff, Plamen
Sent: Tuesday, July 21, 2015 5:00 PM
Subject: RE: Green Screen for Library Lawn Party?
I am mighty curious why ideas, which had been repeatedly offered by IMS faculty to the lawn party committee were not considered and responded to, but ideas, which the lawn party committee thinks that fit the ideas of the IMS faculty are proposed.
Just curious. Don’t expecting answers. Not that they are coming anyhow…
Plamen Miltenoff, Ph.D., MLIS
worse then no hope is false hope: based on my experience working with administration
Sent: Tuesday, July 21, 2015 3:47 PM
Subject: Re: Green Screen for Library Lawn Party?
Our green screen has never been set up for these types of activities. It would be really complex to set it up. I’m quite leery of promoting something with no support and no prospect of support. There are no funds for student help and no one available to manage it. Before our days were cut, I offered to continue with some management, using my normal set of extra duty days. Now there are really no resources to operate the studio.
I think this would be logistically difficult to do and not useful for campus communication.
Date: Monday, July 20, 2015 at 12:42 PM
Subject: Green Screen for Library Lawn Party?
Hi . We continue to brainstorm ideas for promotion of library services for the Library Lawn Party. Wanting to learn a little more about the green screen…thinking it would be a nice promotion for the studio. Would you have ideas for how we could incorporate the green screen into the event? We could get students down to the studio and in front of the screen.
Perhaps we could have them read something on cue cards and then edit it together…you’ve probably seen things like that…where each word in a string is spoken by a different person.
Or could we somehow put students in front of it and put something crazy in the background and have the image stream to a monitor somewhere?
Would either of these ideas be feasible? Would it be difficult??
Copping a ’copter
In March, it [the French Government] held trials of anti-drone “detect and defeat” systems.
DroneShield’s system is centred on a sophisticated listening device that is able to detect, identify and locate an incoming drone based on the sound it makes
SCSU faculty asked for help with Kahoot.it Great tool. Especially the reward system, which most likely might engage students in the learning process. However, Kahoot is very “synchronous.” It assumes that the faculty is in a synchronous environment (F2F or online). At least the free version.
In 2012, six SCSU faculty members worked together and recommended “heavy duty” survey/polling options also known as Classroom Response Systems (CRS):
Among the considered vendors were Turning Technologies, which have both hardware and completely online option and integrate with D2L (http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2013/09/10/crs-clickers-turning-technology-instructions/) and TopHatMonitor (http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2013/04/10/clickers-documentation/), which is completely online, no hardware solution.
Here are additional free resources, as recommended for use in education:
1- Kwiqpoll (my note: seems out of business)
This is a simple poll making tool. It does not require any registration. Just visit the homepage and start creating you poll right away. You have the choice to provide multiple choice answers. You will also be provided with a generated URL to use when sharing your polls.
3- Urtak (my note: dead – server not found message)
4- Vorbeo (my note: seems out of business)
This is another free and simple to use poll tool. Teachers can use it to create their own polls and customize them the way they want by adding colours, adjusting width and many more before sharing them on their blogs or websites.
This is another popular polling service that allows users to create free polls and surveys containing up to ten questions.
Micropoll allows users to instantly create a poll using a set of questions and answers then one email address. It also provides embed codes to share polls online.
9- Kwik Surveys
This is another great polling service. It allows users to design their own surveys, form, polls and feedback forms. It is free but it does require a sign up.
This is a great polling tool. It has different pricing plans and also has a free plan but very limited and allows for just 40 responses per poll.
12- Poll Junkie
This is another easy and simple poll creating tool. It basically allows users to create their own surveys or online invitations. It does not require any registration.
Related story on the IMS blog:
In a new book, The End of College: Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere, author Kevin Carey distills a brave new world in which a myriad of lower-cost solutions–most in their infancy–threaten to upend the four-year, high-tuition business model by which colleges and universities have traditionally thrived.
Using cloud-based e-textbooks and course materials, Rafter helps campus bookstores digitize their offerings and keep their prices low, allowing them to regain the market share they were losing to other stores and course-materials marketplaces.
Piazza is an online study room where students can anonymously ask questions to teachers and other students. The best answers get pushed to the top through repeated user endorsement.
As do the above two companies, InsideTrack sells its services to universities. It provides highly personalized coaching to students and it helps colleges assess whether their technology and processes are equipped to measure student progress. nsideTrack recently announced a partnership with Chegg, through which it will provide its coaching services directly to students.
If you attended a four-year school, then you know the feeling of receiving relentless requests for alumni donations. USEED is like Kickstarter for school fundraising:
Other companies on this list provide services to schools or students. The Minerva Project is, literally, a new school.
In its own way, Dev Bootcamp is also a new school. Its program allows you to become a Web developer after a 19-week course costing under $14,000.
Founded by Stanford computer science professor Sebastian Thrun, Udacity creates online classes through which companies can train employees. AT&T, for example, paid Udacity $3 million to develop a series of courses, according to The Wall Street Journal.
In a nonprofit joint venture, MIT and Harvard created their own organization offering free online courses from top universities. Several other schools now offer their courses through EdX, including Berkeley, Georgetown, and the University of Texas system.
CMU’s OLI is another example of a nonprofit startup founded by a school to ward off its own potential disruption.
Founder Michael Saylor has been musing on how technology can scale education since he himself was an undergrad at MIT in the early ’80s. Anyone, anywhere, can take courses on Saylor.org for free.
Founded by Mozilla, Open Badges is an attempt to establish “a new online standard to recognize and verify learning.”
Calling itself the “future of certificate management,” Accredible is the company that provides certification services for several of the online schools on this list, including Saylor.org and Udacity.
The SAMR model, developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura, represents the stages of tech integration: Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition. This model challenges us to assess and reflect on not only how we integrate technology into our curriculum, but also how we modify, redefine and transform our classrooms through its use.
Integrating technology into the classroom can be exhilarating, fun, and at times a little scary. That said, I’ve often found that teachers are hungry for more information, and welcome the chance to bring new ideas to the classroom.
In the end, if teachers and their administration are ready to embrace the messiness and the risks that sometimes come with technology, the reward is that your school’s curriculum – which must be strong to start – can truly be taken to the next level, and beyond. Otherwise, we’ll all be still left trying to figure out how an abacus works.
“The relationship between IT and the institution really needs to change if we’re going to use technology to address the fundamental issues that need to be addressed in higher education,” Grajek said. “Higher education leaders need to not just let their IT leaders do their own thing, help them fund some initiatives, but they really have to understand the potential of IT.”
Colleges and universities are searching for new talent in part to answer demands for new technologies while simultaneously offering core services such as user support, which Grajek described as the “new normal” for higher education IT offices.
“The CIO has grown from a hardware- or software-focused person in the basement of a building to a higher education executive who is expected to not only understand technology and be able to lead a large, complex and expensive department, but who also should be a first rate communicator who understands the business (and higher education) and can build relationships while implementing all of these projects,”
Venmo, the peer-to-peer payments app, will offer a solution for in-store merchants.
By year-end 2015, more people will have used a smartphone to unlock their doors than will have used a mobile wallet.
The Amazon Echo will succeed
YouTube will get a ‘social’ make-over
Brazil’s EEG Exoskeleton
(See “Marginally Useful.”)
Sapphire iPhone Screens
Aereo’s Tiny Antennas
Here’s a handy list of where and how you can get rid of unwanted gadgets.
Please share your ideas for environment-friendly handling of gadgets