digital skills is the how, digital literacy is the what where
NetDragon Websoft, a publicly-traded company based in Fuzhou, China, has agreed to pay $137.5 million for Edmodo.
The deal could mark the beginning of the end for the “free” model of education technology, at least for standalone education companies without other strong revenue streams to support them.
Edmodo was started in 2008 by a teacher and IT support person as a “Facebook-like” community aimed at connecting educators with students and with one another. Also like Facebook, Edmodo grew rapidly. Currently, the company, now based in San Mateo, Calif., claims more than 90 million registered users (both teachers and students) in 400,000 schools across 192 countries.
Edmodo struggled, however, to find a business model that would support its burgeoning community. It raised close to $100 million in funding, and began seeking another round last year. The company had shifted to an advertising-based model—although one in which the company was trying to move carefully and respect its audience of teachers and students.
According to a financial statement published by NetDragon, Edmodo lost $19.5 million in 2017, based on revenue of approximately $1 million.
That seems to be an increasingly popular path. A decade ago, the big education companies were traditional textbook providers such as Pearson. Now the most powerful players are technology companies that offer devices and software. At the top of the list: Google, which supports Chromebooks as well as Google Classroom, and Apple, which sells iPads, Macs and now the Schoolwork app.
By contrast, NetDragon began in 1999 and built its initial financial muscle with games. It has, however, long identified education as one of its top areas of interest. Recently the company has begun purchasing education technology assets at a rapid clip. In 2015, NetDragon paid approximately $130 million to acquire U.K.-based interactive whiteboard maker, Promethean, which gave it a hardware-based entry into classrooms.
The company, which refers to the hardware as “interactive panels,” is equipping 13,000 classrooms in Moscow with digital whiteboards.
Last year, NetDragon also acquired JumpStart, an educational game company behind iconic titles including Math Blaster. And earlier this year, it bought Sokikom, an online game-based math program.
more about Edmodo in this IMS blog
https://calibre-ebook.com/ — (https://lifehacker.com/5509965/how-can-i-convert-pdfs-and-other-ebooks-to-the-epub-format)
Using Adobe InDesign to convert PDF to ePub: https://forums.adobe.com/thread/976831
more on ePub in this IMS blog
There is a free version and a paid “pro” version of Screencast-o-Matic. The free version will let you record for up to 15 minutes, record as many videos as you like, save to your Google Drive or local drive, and use your webcam while recording a screencast. The pro version removes the time limit, removes the Screencast-o-Matic watermark, enables cursor highlighting (that yellow circle you see on my screencast videos), enables drawing tools, and enables access to the offline editor.
more on screen capture and screencast in this IMS blog
5 Tools for Creating Multimedia Books – 2018-25eo7ji
added Oct. 30, 2018
Storybird provides templates and artwork for creating digital stories.
Alphabet Organizer is a great little tool from Read Write Think
Widbook is a platform designed to help people collaboratively create multimedia books.
more on ebooks in this IMS blog
more on OER in this IMS blog
Erika Johnson and Kristin E. Martin
by discovery layer, the moderators were referring to the variety of tools available to libraries that bring together article-level content, specialized databases, and the content traditionally found inside a library catalog (e.g., books and journal titles) into a single searchable index. Based on the survey, 67% of e-forum participants are using a discovery layer and 83% maintain this layer alongside the traditional catalog. During the e-forum participants identified a number of commercial systems in use at their libraries (Summon, Encore, EDS, WorldCat Discovery, Primo), as well as some customized or open-source products. Participants at some specialized and public libraries expressed opinions that discovery layers do not fit their institutional needs, either because of the lack of sophisticated searching or specialized content, or because of overemphasis on article content.
In academic libraries, discovery layers tend to be the preferred tool for undergraduates, while more advanced scholars (and some library staff) prefer the traditional library catalog for known items, additional search features, and more specialized content. Discussion about the different levels of user sophistication and varying research needs continued through the entire e-forum. One participant put the difference between searching in terms of recall versus precision. Discovery makes an ideal tool for quickly returning at least some relevant results—great for basic research—but often brings back a large number of irrelevant results in a huge set.
From a technical services perspective, discovery layers have led to changes in technical services operations.
Discovery systems are not one size fits all. Special collections librarians and consortial members shared some concerns about the way discovery systems display information.
Why is a discovery layer needed for libraries?
Without a discovery layer, users have to search many separate silos of information one by one – the library catalog for books and journals, publisher sites and individual ejournals in particular subjects for articles, and other specialized databases. Even for experienced users who know which databases and resources are likely to be most relevant to their needs, this is time-consuming and involves duplicating the same search over and over in different places. For novice users, or those who want a broad, interdisciplinary search, the initial choice of resource can be daunting and frustrating, unless users already know to ask their librarians for help. In addition, every database or resource interface is different – there are many similarities, but users have to learn different procedures and strategies for each information silo. While specialized interfaces deliver a lot of power for the advanced user, sometimes they can get in the way for other kinds of tasks.
Why not just use Google or another search engine?
Many library resources are difficult to find using search engines, even if a user is savvy enough to be using Google Scholar or Microsoft Academic Search instead of regular Google or Bing. In addition, almost all online library resources, such as full-text articles and ebooks, are most decidedly not free or open access – academic libraries pay quite a bit of money for them
more on academic libraries in this IMS blog
by Serdar Abaci, Joshua Quick and Anastasia Morrone Monday, October 9, 2017
Although cost savings is often cited as a key advantage of electronic textbooks (aka, e-textbooks or simply e-texts), e-texts also provide powerful markup and interaction tools. For these tools to improve student learning, however, their adoption is critically important.
The Indiana University e-texts program, which began in 2009, has four primary goals:
To date, student savings on textbooks amount to $21,673,338. However, we recognize that many students do not pay the full list price for paper textbooks when they purchase online, buy used copies, or recoup some of their costs when they resell their texts after the semester is over.
herefore, we divide the calculated savings by two and report that total as a more accurate representation of student savings. Consequently, we claim that students have saved about $11 million since IU’s e-texts program started in spring 2012.
In addition to printing through the e-text platform, students can purchase a print-on-demand (PoD) copy of an e-text for an additional fee.
One downside of e-texts is that students lease their textbook for a limited time instead of owning it. This lease generally lasts a semester or six months, and students lose their access afterwards. However, with IU’s e-text model, students get access to the textbook before the first day of class and maintain their access until they graduate from Indiana University. That is, students can go back to the e-texts after their course to review or reference the content in the book. This could be especially important if the e-text course is a prerequisite for another course.
more on etext and ebooks in this IMS blog
more on Look in this IMS blog
more on screencasting in this IMS blog
I would also recommend going to conferences:
more on big data in an academic library in this IMS blog
academic library collection data visualization
more on library positions in this IMS blog:
on university library future:
A Comprehensive Guide To Digital Badges
An introduction to digital badges and a brief history
Simply put, a digital badge is an indicator of accomplishment or skill that can be displayed, accessed, and verified online. These badges can be earned in a wide variety of environments, an increasing number of which are online.
The anatomy of digital badges
In addition to the image-based design we think of as a digital badge, badges have meta-data to communicate details of the badge to anyone wishing to verify it, or learn more about the context of the achievement it signifies.
The many functions of digital badges
Just like their real-world counterparts, digital badges serve a wide variety of purposes depending on the issuing body and the individual. For the most part, badges’ functions can be bucketed into one of five categories.
Badges are issued by individual organizations who set criteria for what constitutes earning a badge. They’re most often issued through an online credential or badging platform.
Criticism of digital badges
There are various arguments to be made against the implementation of digital badges, including the common issuance of seemingly “meaningless” badges.
The future of digital badges
With the rise of online education and the increasing availability of high quality massive open online courses, there will be an increasing need for verifiable digital badges and digital credentials.
more on badges in this IMS blog
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