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Creating a Library App: Things to Know Before You Go Mobile
Tuesday, April 28, 2015 11AM-12PM PDT
Registration link: http://www.cla-net.org/?861
Mobile apps are a popular topic in libraries. But what does it take to create one and what kind of programming can you do with apps? Is an app the right solution, or should you create a responsive website? What is the process like, and what resources are needed? How do you manage privacy, security, and legal concerns? Who do you need to get the job done, and what skills should they have?
These are all important questions that should be asked (and answered) before you think about creating a mobile app. Learn from expert panelists from libraries and nonprofits who have created, developed, and managed mobile apps for their organizations. Panelists will share practical advice and information based on experience, as well as helpful tools and resources.
Zeth Lietzau is the Manager of Digital User Experience and the Community Technology Center at the Denver Public Library. He’s the leader of their Virtual Services initiative, which defines the direction of DPL’s online services, mobile & otherwise, including the Volume Denver project which is available as a mobile-responsive site.
A303_Lietzau Makers, Hackers, and Badges at the Denver Public Library
Anna Jaeger and her team at Caravan Studios create mobile apps that are designed in partnership with nonprofit and community-focused organizations to meet the needs of their constituents. Anna has been a frequent speaker on nonprofit and environmental technology since 2007. Prior to her work with Caravan Studios, Ms. Jaeger was a founder and co-director of TechSoup Global’s GreenTech initiative and the director of TechSoup Global’s IT Engineering department.
Ani Boyadjian has been a working librarian since 1990. An LAPL staffer since 1996, she is now Research & Special Collections Manager at the Los Angeles Public Library, where she also oversees the Library’s Digitization efforts. She most recently spearheaded the development of the ARchive LAPL app in a partnership with USC and app developers Neon Roots, to use augmented reality to tell stories about the historic Central Library.
More on mobile apps in general on this IMS blog:
College students love snapchat!
It’s personal, creative, quick, fun, and free.
“According to research by Sumpto…as much as 77 percent of college students use Snapchat every day.
37 percent of the study respondents cited “creativity” as their main use of the app. “Keeping in touch” and “easier than texting” were reasons for 27 percent and 23 percent, respectively.”
Reasons young adults ages 18-26 use snapchat:
- “I like sharing weird things I see when I’m out…When you get ugly selfies from someone, that’s how you know you’re good friends.”
- “I only ever use it for funny pictures or to show what I’m doing to my friends, but I have people that use it as a replacement for texting.”
- “Snapchat is the ultimate social media tool — users want to share their lives to anyone they choose to elicit possible feedback, but without the necessity of it being stored…Snapchat provides an easier answer to Facebook’s ‘What are you doing right now?’ I use it personally to stay in touch with friends and show people what I’m doing.”
Colleges are also starting to get on the bandwagon — Snapchat launched Our Campus Story in October 2014 to four schools.
How Colleges are using snapchat:
- Orientation: (Tennessee Wesleyan College) “Where’s Wesley” scavenger hunt
- Updates: (Tennessee Wesleyan College) Sharing updates about events and activities on campus
- Recruiting: (Eastern Washington University and the University of Kansas) communicating with young athletes interested in joining their teams
More IMS blog entries on Snapchat and its use in education:
Peer-reviewed and popular literature:
Robbins, S. P., & Singer, J. B. (2014). From the editor—The medium is the message: Integrating social media and social work education. Journal Of Social Work Education, 50(3), 387-390.
Waxman, O. B. (2014). Snapchat Grows Up: How College Officials Are Using the App. Time.Com, 1.
JO, M. (2014, March 22). Teacher sees value in online connection. Dominion Post, The. p. A2.
Couros, G. (n.d.). Snapchat and Education. Retrieved from http://georgecouros.ca/blog/archives/4866
Wiederman, K. (2014, May 2). Snapchat: The Newest Higher Ed Communication Tool | Merge. Retrieved from http://www.mergeagency.com/digital-marketing/snapchat-newest-higher-ed-communication-tool
Privacy and security:
Stretton, T., & Aaron, L. (2015). Feature: The dangers in our trail of digital breadcrumbs. Computer Fraud & Security, 201513-15. doi:10.1016/S1361-3723(15)70006-0
YOUNG, D. (2014). NOW YOU SEE IT, NOW YOU DON’T… OR DO YOU?: SNAPCHAT’S DECEPTIVE PROMOTION OF VANISHING MESSAGES VIOLATES FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION REGULATIONS. Journal Of Information Technology & Privacy Law, 30(4), 827.
Ekman, U. (2015). Complexity of the ephemeral – snap video chats. Empedocles: European Journal For The Philosophy Of Communication, 5(1/2), 97-101. doi:10.1386/ejpc.5.1-2.97_1
Flandez, R., & Wallace, N. (2014). Nonprofits Must Guard Against Imposters. Chronicle Of Philanthropy, (09),
O’Neil, M. (2014). Oh, Snap! A Q&A With DoSomething.org’s Snapchat Strategists. Chronicle Of Philanthropy, (01),
MESSITT, M. (2014). Cyberbullying Happens in Code. Break It. Education Digest, 79(9), 51.
MOOC and Libraries
New ACRL Discussion Group—Library Support for MOOCs
Libraries in the Time of MOOCs
issues related to MOOCs, such as intellectual property rights, privacy issues, and state regulations.
MOOCs have arrived on the scene at a time when many institutions of higher learning are in extreme financial crisis
OCLC conference, “MOOCs and Libraries: Massive Opportunity or Overwhelming Challenge? http://www.oclc.org/research/events/2013/03-18.html
The MOOC movement might change this copyright-ownership contract between university and faculty.
Stephens, M. m., & Jones, K. L. (2014). MOOCs as LIS Professional Development Platforms: Evaluating and Refining SJSU’s First Not-for-Credit MOOC. Journal Of Education For Library & Information Science, 55(4), 345-361.
xMOOCs. Using centralized learning platforms (e.g., Coursera),they emphasize individual learning usingautomated assessment tools.In contrast, cMOOCs stress the relationship between course content and a community of learners. Social learning, in thecase of cMOOCs, is emphasized through uses of distributed tools (e.g., a combination of a course site, student blogs, andsocial etworking sites) to build networks of knowledge and learners. Unlike their xMOOC counterparts, the role of an in istructor in a cMOOC is to be a “guide on the side,” a facilitator of the knowledge making process who uses connectivist learning theory (Siemens, 2004; Siemens,2012)
Learning 2.0 programs, also known as“23 Things,” have offered online technology-focused professional development for library staff and could be considered an early version of LIS-focused MOOCs (Stephens, 2013a). Utilizing concepts such as self-directed learning, play, and an emphasis on lifelong learning, these programs have been offered for individual libraries as well as consortial and state level iterations to reach thousands of library staff.
The course structure of the MOOCversion of the HL incorporated content updated from the SLIS course by the coinstructors. Ten modules were scheduled over a twelve-week “semester.” Students
could earn a certificate of completion, if they finished three of five artifact-based assignments of their choosing, in addition to blogging and participating in an end-of-course virtual symposium. The weekly schedule is available in Appendix A, and assignment descriptions are available in Appendix B
utilizing concepts such as self-directed learning, play, and an emphasis on lifelong learning, these programs have been offered for individual libraries as well as consortial and state level iterations to reach thousands of library staff. Benefits to staff include increased comfort with emerging technologies and an increased desire to continue learning (p. 348).
Mega shifts in social business will significantly affect the way that business will run in the future.
1. Big Data
How it works: Businesses collect multiple data points, helping to create hyper-specific marketing for users, while making better predictions with more information from a larger data set.
Examples: You’ve already seen this when Target figured out a teen was pregnant before her dad did. Even though she didn’t buy diapers or formula, her purchasing habits correlated closely with other customers’ who were pregnant, and Target sent her coupons for her upcoming baby.
Factors: Big data is being powered by the reduction in costs of data storage, as well as an explosion in the ability of businesses to capture data points. Never before have retailers been able to capture as much data about purchases, never before has online tracking been so robust, nor have social platforms offered access to so much data about users.
How to Prepare: As a user, you can expect to see much more targeted marketing, and not necessarily what you may expect. By drawing conclusions from large sets of data, companies might be even a little creepy in being able to predict your life – like the Target pregnancy. For marketers, you can expect to find new ways to streamline your sales funnel and get more analytical data about customers through social networks, web analytics groups and at retail.
2. Social Tool Aggregation
How it works: More and more third-party tools are springing up to help marketers and social network users make sense of multiple networks. Furthermore, networks themselves are offering ways of connecting to other apps and networks.
Examples: Tools like IFTTT and Zapier use social network APIs to trigger responses, while others like HootSuite allow users to aggregate multiple network communication into one tool. At the same time, tools like About.me allow a combined view of an individual’s social activity. Furthermore, networks themselves are beginning to integrate. Facebook allows cross posts from Instagram, Foursquare, Yelp and a variety of others.
Factors: It’s already taking too much time for individuals and marketers alike to keep up with just a couple social networks, and both the social networks and third-party tools know this. By consolidating social network interaction into a single place, users may be able to spend less time trying to make sense of the chaos.
How to Prepare: Users and marketers alike should keep an eye out for how this data is being used. What happens if you like Eminem on Facebook, but check into a venue during a Taylor Swift concert on Foursquare? What happens if you listen to the Glee channel on Pandora? What says more about who you really are? Do these networks share that information? Is it part of the authorization you okayed? The future may tell.
3. Social Network Consolidation
How it works: Social networks and tool providers are consolidating to remain competitive, both in creating a better offering for users, as well as buying market share.
Examples: Facebook has had nearly 40 different acquisitions since 2005 including technologies that help import contacts, manage photos, create mobile apps, and more, with their largest acquisition being Instagram for one beelion dollars (Doctor Evil style, of course.) Not to be outdone, LinkedIn has scored about 10 of their own acquisitions including Slideshare. Twitter has acquired tools like TweetDeck, platforms like Posterous and has created Vine, but acquisitions aren’t limited to social networks, they extend into social tools as well. Salesforce just had their largest couple years so far acquiring Radian6, Buddy Media and most recently, their largest, Exact Target. Adobe purchased Omniture, and Google bought YouTube and Wildfire Apps, and Oracle took over Involver social apps. Everyone is finding some value in social.
Factors: Not only is social the big thing, but it’s the logical next step after Social Aggregation. People want to be able to easily publish across social networks and marketers want to have the ability to create one true set of data. Rather than having multiple tools these companies are attempting to offer consolidated suites for data creation, storage and analysis.
How to Prepare: Marketers need to be aware of evolving tools and networks. When Twitter bought TweetDeck, it dropped many of the supported features for Facebook, LinkedIn, Myspace and others. Be aware of these types of changes so you can make plans for uninterrupted service.
How it works: Companies are offering bigger roles to consumers.
Examples: Small and medium business often resort to sites like DesignCrowd, who offers thousands of designers the opportunity to design a logo, print piece or something else. The customer picks the best designs, offers revisions and the winner gets about $200. Starbucks turned to crowdsourcing for coming up with new product ideas, with over 50,000 ideas coming through My Starbucks Idea. Doritos, Lincoln, Pepsi, Pizza Hut, Toyota and others have even crowdsourced Super Bowl ads.
Factors: Customers want to have a stake in companies. As more businesses go to greater and greater lengths to spotlight influential users or creative user-generated work, consumers are expecting to interact more and more with companies in these ways. Furthermore, consumers are expecting more unique messaging rather than traditional corporate marketing speak.
How to Prepare: Find new ways that you can incorporate customer feedback and ideas into marketing campaigns, product updates or other areas of the business.
5. Sharing Economy
How it works: Online networks, “peer-to-peer marketplaces” are set up to pay to use people’s spare assets – rent a bedroom, or car from, or even eat a meal with complete strangers.
Examples: Perhaps some of the first companies in this space followed the crowdfunding model – with Kickstarter and Indiegogo being the top two. Airbnb offers to rent out unoccupied living space from a bedroom to an entire island including 250,000 listings in 192 countries. Taskrabbit allows users to outsource small jobs such as picking up dog food and dropping it off at your door. RelayRides even offers unused personal vehicles to rent.
Factors: It could be the downturn in the economy making some folks want to rent out their cars and rooms for extra cash, or causing others to avoid committing to a car payment. Furthermore, people are increasingly aware of the toll on natural resources in manufacturing and the high costs of parking in major urban areas. Sharing based businesses help to alleviate these problems and make use of otherwise idle resources.
How to Prepare: See if there may be a natural fit in working with one of these sharing services or offering your services through one. Jeremiah Owyang offers an example where Marriott could work with a shared lodging hosts to offer a “stamp of approval” of sorts, where hosts could agree to abide by certain standards or receive certain training to become certified. Marriott could even offer bedding, linens or other materials that could both help guests feel more confident in their accommodations while helping guests distinguish themselves from competitors.
6. Quantified Self
How it works: Individuals using devices or social networks to track information about themselves. This data can be cross referenced to identify some interesting trends about yourself.
Examples: FitBit tracks your physical activity, while foursquare tracks the types of businesses where you check in. It’s not too difficult to find out that when you go to movie theaters, you tend to eat poorly, and when you go to museums, you add an extra thousand steps to your routine. Apply that across other areas of life, music, work, love and you can some very interesting trends can turn out.
Factors: People are increasingly using technology to extrapolate information to work more efficiently. Furthermore, an increase in the scrutiny of the NSA and increased awareness of privacy have perhaps made people more interested in creating and storing their own information.
How to Prepare: Companies need to offer APIs and other ways for users to control and access their own information where possible. Connect to services like IFTTT and Zapier so users can import data and manipulate it, and make accommodations for people using personal technology like FitBits, Nike Fuelband, Jawbone Up, and others.
Overall, these mega shifts in social networking and social business can significantly affect the way that business will run in the future. Are you prepared? Have you seen these shifts or experienced them? Look for our future posts on the Micro-Trends within each of these larger trends and let us know your thoughts in the comments.
CES 2014: Four mega-trends for the professionals
Summary: Trends matter at CES. While there may not be major product announcements, trends will emerge to shape 2014. Here’s what to watch in business tech.
2. The Internet of Things
3. Contextual computing
4. Consumerization of business tech
blog under the articles holds good information
From: Perry Bratcher [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, November 06, 2013 9:01 AM
Cc: Michael Providenti; Michael Wells; Millie Mclemore; Perry Bratcher; Stephen Moon
Subject: [lita-l] RE: Classroom iPads
All – Thanks to each of you for your responses to my email regarding classroom use of iPads (see email at the bottom). Listed below are is a summary of the comments I received. I cut/pasted and have reconfigured these comments for this email, so some may be taken out of context. NOTE: My systems staff have adamantly opposed using the Microsoft Surface. We have a campus “tech bar” where student/staff can check out new devices for experimentation. My staff said that the Surface doesn’t work in our particular situation for a variety of reasons and they prefer the iPad tablet option (if we go the tablet route).
Before deciding on implementation of PCs vs. laptops vs. tablet for use in a classroom setting, one needs to consider the motivation for doing so. Space? Portability? Availability of apps? Is there a demand for using personal devices for research, etc? What type of portable device to use (iPad, Microsoft Surface, etc.)
Pros for using iPad/tablets:
- Keep a few in there to provide examples of how to search on mobile devices.
- The amount of apps and types of apps out there. Great education apps exist that do not exist elsewhere online or on other platforms (Android or Windows).
- The iPad is flexible and allows you to regain that floor space you lose with computers and give the user privacy.
- If setup correctly, the devices can be erased when they are returned so any private data is wiped.
- Users can download additional apps, even purchase apps if you allow them.
- They hold a charge much longer then any laptop or ChromeBook on the market.
- Apple sold 94% of its iPads into education – the reason being that it’s a great education and research tool.
- Another advantage that I can see boot up time. The iPad is instantly on and connected to the network. Perhaps this most applicable to last-minute library instruction or ad hoc group research? However, if I had the choice, I would equip a classroom with MacBook Air SSDs
- Understand how they need to be configured and the tools needed to do so. I created a kit for this not long ago for public libraries: http://www.macprofessionals.com/new-library-ipad-checkout-solution/ Thank you Chris Ross, Macprofessionals
- UVA has been using iPads for instruction for about 2 years. They have been very pleased with the results.
- Our electronic classroom is very small, so we purchased 30 iPads over a year ago to allow teaching in our larger meeting room. There are definitely distinct advantages: flexibility, mobility, lack of technical infrastructure needed (wires, ports, etc.), and the myriad possibilities of apps.
Cons for using iPad/tablets:
- Most mobile devices have not become “workhorse” devices as of yet, so much of the students’ research will still need to be done on a computer.
- We haven’t seen any advantage to having them either – but our librarians use them sporadically for instruction.
- Charging, syncing, configuring, Apple ID’s, erasing, cases, restrictions, printing, presenting, etc. For example if you want to present with these, you will need an Apple TV or an adapter. If you want to print you will need AirPrint supported printers or software. If you want to configure and erase you will need a Mac.
- The challenge I have found is trying to use an inherently personal device in the typical one shot classroom environment. There are lots of things you need to consider. How will they access the wireless? What about taking notes? What about apps that require login? And much more.
- Someone on staff is equipped and has the time to manage them.
- We have a pool of 30 loan laptops, recently we have supplemented this with 11 loan iPads. The iPads have generally been very popular but wouldn’t work as a substitute for laptops. As many have mentioned when it comes to getting real work done they are inferior to laptops and people have commented as such.
- As a complement to laptops though they are great – they are more portable and our nursing students love being able to carry them around and quickly access medical apps, take notes, check calculations etc. I definitely see them as being a valuable resource but if it’s an either/or proposition then I would go on the side of laptops.
- My personal opinion is that it’s not a bad idea as a supplement to existing systems, but I’d be wary of replacing more flexible with more limited ones, and am particularly wary of committing to one operating system/vendor (particularly one that tends to charge half-again to twice as much as their competitors with only limited advantages).
- In a classroom setting (e.g. instruction room) I see little advantage of tablets; their sole advantage from I can figure out is their portability. Why force people into a limited device if it is only going to be in one room anyway?
How Social Media Is Being Used In Education
good graph on the bottom of the article (http://www.edudemic.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/social-media-for-teaching.jpg)
- The level of personal use of social media among faculty (70.3 percent) mirrors that of the general population
- 55 percent of faculty use social media in a professional context (any aspect of their profession outside of teaching), up from 44.7 percent last year
- Only 41 percent of faculty use social media in the classroom, but this use continues to experience steady year-to-year growth
- Faculty are sophisticated consumers of social media. They match different sites to their varying personal, professional, and teaching needs
- Concerns remain about privacy, maintaining the class as a private space for free and open discussion, and the integrity of student submissions
- Most faculty agree that “the interactive nature of online and mobile technologies create better learning environments” and that digital communication has increased communication with students
- Faculty believe that online and mobile technologies can be distracting, and that they have resulted in longer working hours and more stress
5 Excellent Videos to Teach Your Students about Digital Citizenship ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning
Ramspott’s blog entry best written for my personal taste, but here is a long list of additional and similar opinions:
Bramman, R. (n.d.). Digital Identity Essentials: Understanding Online Etiquette and the Rules Social Media Engagement. Research Personal Branding. Retrieved October 3, 2013, from http://www.reachpersonalbranding.com/digital-identity-essentials-understanding-online-etiquette-and-the-rules-social-media-engagement/
Dalton, J. C., & Crosby, P. C. (2013). Digital Identity: How Social Media Are Influencing Student Learning and Development in College. Journal of College and Character, 14(1), 1–4. doi:10.1515/jcc-2013-0001
Teach Digital Citizenship with … Minecraft
In the summer, there was an article about physics professor using Minecraft, but that’s not new because an MIT physics professor was using rap in the down of podcasting to teach physics and then another one later on was using Second Life. All of them gone by now…
From: Ewing, M Keith
Sent: Monday, September 30, 2013 4:43 PM
Subject: Eric Stoller on Digital Identity
A couple of interesting links to comments by Eric Stoller on “digital identity” – which he defines as “made up of their online interactions and exchanges.”
Character Clearinghouse – Interview with Eric Stoller, 2013 Jon C. Dalton Institute on College Student Values, Keynote Speaker
Digital Identity Keynote at Curry College (full video is about 63 minutes; includes transcript of the Twitter stream about his talk)
Eric might make a good speaker to students (and faculty) …
my (Plamen) note: Keith’s email and his suggestions for readings, e.g.
connects with “contemplative computing” and Turkle’s disconnect, so I am entering as tags
Thursday, April 11, 11AM-1PM, Miller Center B-37
We invite the campus community to a presentation by three vendors of Classroom Response System (CRS), AKA “clickers”:
11:00-11:30AM Poll Everywhere, Mr. Alec Nuñez
11:30-12:00PM iClikers, Mr. Jeff Howard
12:00-12:30PM Top Hat Monocle Mr. Steve Popovich
12:30-1PM Turning Technologies Mr. Jordan Ferns
links to documentation from the vendors:
Top Hat Monocle docs:
|Questions to vendor: firstname.lastname@example.org
- 1. Is your system proprietary as far as the handheld device and the operating system software?
The site and the service are the property of Poll Everywhere. We do not provide handheld devices. Participants use their own device be it a smart phone, cell phone, laptop, tablet, etc.
- 2. Describe the scalability of your system, from small classes (20-30) to large auditorium classes. (500+).
Poll Everywhere is used daily by thousands of users. Audience sizes upwards of 500+ are not uncommon. We’ve been used for events with 30,000 simultaneous participants in the past.
- 3. Is your system receiver/transmitter based, wi-fi based, or other?
- 4. What is the usual process for students to register a “CRS”(or other device) for a course? List all of the possible ways a student could register their device. Could a campus offer this service rather than through your system? If so, how?
Student participants may register by filling out a form. Or, student information can be uploaded via a CSV.
- 5. Once a “CRS” is purchased can it be used for as long as the student is enrolled in classes? Could “CRS” purchases be made available through the campus bookstore? Once a student purchases a “clicker” are they able to transfer ownership when finished with it?
N/A. Poll Everywhere sells service licenses the length and number of students supported would be outlined in a services agreement.
- 6. Will your operating software integrate with other standard database formats? If so, list which ones.
Need more information to answer.
- 7. Describe the support levels you provide. If you offer maintenance agreements, describe what is covered.
8am to 8pm EST native English speaking phone support and email support.
- 8. What is your company’s history in providing this type of technology? Provide a list of higher education clients.
Company pioneered and invented the use of this technology for audience and classroom response. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poll_Everywhere. University of Notre Dame
South Bend, Indiana
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Raleigh, North Carolina
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, California
San Diego State University
San Diego, California
King’s College London
London, United Kingdom
Fayetteville State University
Fayetteville, North Carolina
New Brunswick, New Jersey
Texas A&M University
College Station, Texas
University of Illinois
- 9. What measures does your company take to insure student data privacy? Is your system in compliance with FERPA and the Minnesota Data Practices Act? (https://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/statutes/?id=13&view=chapter)
- 10. What personal data does your company collect on students and for what purpose? Is it shared or sold to others? How is it protected?
Name. Phone Number. Email. For the purposes of voting and identification (Graded quizzes, attendance, polls, etc.). It is never shared or sold to others.
- 11. Do any of your business partners collect personal information about students that use your technology?
- 12. With what formats can test/quiz questions be imported/exported?
Import via text. Export via CSV.
- 13. List compatible operating systems (e.g., Windows, Macintosh, Palm, Android)?
Works via standard web technology including Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. Participant web voting fully supported on Android and IOS devices. Text message participation supported via both shortcode and longcode formats.
- 14. What are the total costs to students including device costs and periodic or one-time operation costs
Depends on negotiated service level agreement. We offer a student pays model at $14 per year or Institutional Licensing.
- 15. Describe your costs to the institution.
Depends on negotiated service level agreement. We offer a student pays model at $14 per year or Institutional Licensing.
- 16. Describe how your software integrates with PowerPoint or other presentation systems.
Downloadable slides from the website for Windows PowerPoint and downloadable app for PowerPoint and Keynote integration on a Mac.
|17. State your level of integration with Desire2Learn (D2L)?Does the integration require a server or other additional equipment the campus must purchase?Export results from site via CSV for import into D2L.
- 17. How does your company address disability accommodation for your product?
We follow the latest web standards best practices to make our website widely accessible by all. To make sure we live up to this, we test our website in a text-based browser called Lynx that makes sure we’re structuring our content correctly for screen readers and other assisted technologies.
- 18. Does your software limit the number of answers per question in tests or quizzes? If so, what is the max question limit?
- 19. Does your software provide for integrating multimedia files? If so, list the file format types supported.
Supports image formats (.PNG, .GIF, .JPG).
- 20. What has been your historic schedule for software releases and what pricing mechanism do you make available to your clients for upgrading?
We ship new code daily. New features are released several times a year depending on when we finish them. New features are released to the website for use by all subscribers.
- 21. Describe your “CRS”(s).
Poll Everywhere is a web based classroom response system that allows students to participate from their existing devices. No expensive hardware “clickers” are required. More information can be found at http://www.polleverywhere.com/classroom-response-system.
- 22. If applicable, what is the average life span of a battery in your device and what battery type does it take?
N/A. Battery manufacturers hate us. Thirty percent of their annual profits can be contributed to their use in clickers (we made that up).
- 23. Does your system automatically save upon shutdown?
Our is a “cloud based” system. User data is stored there even when your computer is not on.
- 24. What is your company’s projection/vision for this technology in the near and far term.
We want to take clicker companies out of business. We think it’s ridiculous to charge students and institutions a premium for outdated technology when existing devices and standard web technology can be used instead for less than a tenth of the price.
- 25. Does any of your software/apps require administrator permission to install?
- 26. If your system is radio frequency based, what frequency spectrum does it operate in? If the system operate in the 2.4-2.5 ghz. spectrum, have you tested to insure that smart phones, wireless tablet’s and laptops and 2.4 ghz. wireless phones do not affect your system? If so, what are the results of those tests?
- 27. What impact to the wireless network does the solution have?
Depends on a variety of factors. Most university wireless networks are capable of supporting Poll Everywhere. Poll Everywhere can also make use of cell phone carrier infrastructure through SMS and data networks on the students phones.
- 28. Can the audience response system be used spontaneously for polling?
- 29. Can quiz questions and response distributions be imported and exported from and to plaintext or a portable format? (motivated by assessment & accreditation requirements).
- 30. Is there a requirement that a portion of the course grade be based on the audience response system?
Fall 2011 Student Response System Pilot
NDSU has been standardized on a single student response (i.e., “clicker”) system for over a decade, with the intent to provide a reliable system for students and faculty that can be effectively and efficiently supported by ITS. In April 2011, Instructional Services made the decision to explore other response options and to identify a suitable replacement product for the previously used e-Instruction Personal Response System (PRS). At the time, PRS was laden with technical problems that rendered the system ineffective and unsupportable. That system also had a steep learning curve, was difficult to navigate, and was unnecessarily time-consuming to use. In fact, many universities across the U.S. experienced similar problems with PRS and have since then adopted alternative systems.
A pilot to explore alternative response systems was initiated at NDSU in fall 2011. The pilot was aimed at further investigating two systems—Turning Technologies and iClicker—in realistic classroom environments. As part of this pilot program, each company agreed to supply required hardware and software at no cost to faculty or students. Each vendor also visited campus to demonstrate their product to faculty, students and staff.
An open invitation to participate in the pilot was extended to all NDSU faculty on a first come, first serve basis. Of those who indicated interest, 12 were included as participants in this pilot.
Pilot Faculty Participants:
- Angela Hodgson (Biological Sciences)
- Ed Deckard (AES Plant Science)
- Mary Wright (Nursing)
- Larry Peterson (History, Philosophy & Religious Studies)
- Ronald Degges (Statistics)
- Julia Bowsher (Biological Sciences)
- Sanku Mallik (Pharmaceutical Sciences)
- Adnan Akyuz (AES School of Natural Resource Sciences)
- Lonnie Hass (Mathematics)
- Nancy Lilleberg (ITS/Communications)
- Lisa Montplaisir (Biological Sciences)
- Lioudmila Kryjevskaia (Physics)
The pilot included three components: 1) Vendor demonstrations, 2) in-class testing of the two systems, and 3) side-by-side faculty demonstrations of the two systems.
After exploring several systems, Instructional Services narrowed down to two viable options—Turning Technologies and iClicker. Both of these systems met initial criteria that was assembled based on faculty input and previous usage of the existing response system. These criteria included durability, reliability, ease of use, radio frequency transmission, integration with Blackboard LMS, cross-platform compatibility (Mac, PC), stand-alone software (i.e., no longer tied to PowerPoint or other programs), multiple answer formats (including multiple choice, true/false, numeric), potential to migrate to mobile/Web solutions at some point in the future, and cost to students and the university.
In the first stage of the pilot, both vendors were invited to campus to demonstrate their respective technologies. These presentations took place during spring semester 2011 and were attended by faculty, staff and students. The purpose of these presentations was to introduce both systems and provide faculty, staff, and students with an opportunity to take a more hands-on look at the systems and provide their initial feedback.
In the second stage of the pilot, faculty were invited to test the technologies in their classes during fall semester 2011. Both vendors supplied required hardware and software at no cost to faculty and students, and both provided online training to orient faculty to their respective system. Additionally, Instructional Services staff provided follow-up support and training throughout the pilot program. Both vendors were requested to ensure system integration with Blackboard. Both vendors indicated that they would provide the number of clickers necessary to test the systems equally across campus. Both clickers were allocated to courses of varying sizes, ranging from 9 to 400+ students, to test viability in various facilities with differing numbers of users. Participating faculty agreed to offer personal feedback and collect feedback from students regarding experiences with the systems at the end of the pilot.
In the final stage of the pilot, Instructional Services facilitated a side-by-side demonstration led by two faculty members. Each faculty member showcased each product on a function-by-function basis so that attendees were able to easily compare and contrast the two systems. Feedback was collected from attendees.
Results of Pilot
In stage one, we established that both systems were viable and appeared to offer similar features, functions, and were compatible with existing IT systems at NDSU. The determination was made to include both products in a larger classroom trial.
In stage two, we discovered that both systems largely functioned as intended; however, several differences between the technologies in terms of advantages and disadvantages were discovered that influenced our final recommendation. (See Appendix A for a list of these advantages, disadvantages, and potential workarounds.) We also encountered two significant issues that altered the course of the pilot. Initially, it was intended that both systems would be tested in equal number in terms of courses and students. Unfortunately, at the time of the pilot, iClicker was not able to provide more than 675 clickers, which was far fewer than anticipated. Turning Technologies was able to provide 1,395 clickers. As a result, Turning Technologies was used by a larger number of faculty and students across campus.
At the beginning of the pilot, Blackboard integration with iClicker at NDSU was not functional. The iClicker vendor provided troubleshooting assistance immediately, but the problem was not resolved until mid-November. As a result, iClicker users had to use alternative solutions for registering clickers and uploading points to Blackboard for student viewing. Turning Technologies was functional and fully integrated with Blackboard throughout the pilot.
During the span of the pilot additional minor issues were discovered with both systems. A faulty iClicker receiver slightly delayed the effective start date of clicker use in one course. The vendor responded by sending a new receiver, however it was an incorrect model. Instructional Services temporarily exchanged receivers with another member of the pilot group until a functional replacement arrived. Similarly, a Turning Technologies receiver was received with outdated firmware. Turning Technologies support staff identified the problem and assisted in updating the firmware with an update tool located on their website. A faculty participant discovered a software flaw in the iClicker software that hides the software toolbar when disconnecting a laptop from a second monitor. iClicker technical support assisted in identifying the problem and stated the problem would be addressed in a future software update. A workaround was identified that mitigated this problem for the remainder of the pilot. It is important to note that these issues were not widespread and did not widely affect all pilot users, however these issues attest to the need for timely, reliable, and effective vendor support.
Students and faculty reported positive experiences with both technologies throughout the semester. Based on feedback, users of both systems found the new technologies to be much improved over the previous PRS system, indicating that adopting either technology would be perceived as an upgrade among students and faculty. Faculty pilot testers met several times during the semester to discuss their experiences with each system; feedback was sent to each vendor for their comments, suggestions, and solutions.
During the stage three demonstrations, feedback from attendees focused on the inability for iClicker to integrate with Blackboard at that time and the substantial differences between the two systems in terms of entering numeric values (i.e., Turning Technologies has numeric buttons, while iClicker requires the use of a directional key pad to scroll through numeric characters). Feedback indicated that attendees perceived Turning Technologies’ clickers to be much more efficient for submitting numeric responses. Feedback regarding other functionalities indicated relative equality between both systems.
Based on the findings of this pilot, Instructional Services recommends that NDSU IT adopt Turning Technologies as the replacement for the existing PRS system. While both pilot-tested systems are viable solutions, Turning Technologies appears to meet the needs of a larger user base. Additionally, the support offered by Turning Technologies was more timely and effective throughout the pilot. With the limited resources of IT, vendor support is critical and was a major reason for exploring alternative student response technologies.
From Instructional Services’ standpoint, standardizing to one solution is imperative for two major reasons: cost efficiency for students (i.e., preventing students from having to purchase duplicate technologies) and efficient utilization of IT resources (i.e., support and training). It is important to note that this recommendation is based on the opinion of the Instructional Services staff and the majority of pilot testers, but is not based on consensus among all participating faculty and staff. It is possible that individual faculty members may elect to use other options that best meet their individual teaching needs, including (but not limited to) iClicker. As an IT organization, we continue to support technology that serves faculty, student and staff needs across various colleges, disciplines, and courses. We feel that this pilot was effective in determining the student response technology—Turning Technologies—that will best serve NDSU faculty, students and staff for the foreseeable future.
Once a final decision concerning standardization is made, contract negotiations should begin in earnest with the goal of completion by January 1, 2012, in order to accommodate those wishing to use clickers during the spring session.
Appendix A: Clicker Comparisons
Turning Technologies and iClicker
Areas where both products have comparable functionality:
- Setting up the receiver and software
- Student registration of clickers
- Software interface floats above other software
- Can use with anything – PowerPoint, Websites, Word, etc.
- Asking questions on the fly
- Can create questions / answers files
- Managing scores and data
- Allow participation points, points for correct answer, change correct answer
- Reporting – Summary and Detailed
- Uploading scores and data to Blackboard (but there was a big delay with the iClicker product)
- Durability of the receivers and clickers
- Free software
- Offer mobile web device product to go “clickerless”
Areas where the products differ:
Main Shortcomings of Turning Technology Product:
- Costs $5 more – no workaround
- Doesn’t have instructor readout window on receiver base –
- This is a handy function in iClicker that lets the instructor see the %’s of votes as they come in, allowing the instructor to plan how he/she will proceed.
- Workaround: As the time winds down to answer the question, the question and answers are displayed on the screen. Intermittently, the instructor would push a button to mute the projector, push a button to view graph results quickly, then push a button to hide graph and push a button to unmute the projector. In summary, push four buttons quickly each time you want to see the feedback, and the students will see a black screen momentarily.
- Processing multiple sessions when uploading grading –
- Turning Technologies uses their own file structure types, but iClicker uses comma-separated-value text files which work easily with Excel
- Workaround: When uploading grades into Blackboard, upload them one session at a time, and use a calculated total column in Bb to combine them. Ideally, instructors would upload the grades daily or weekly to avoid backlog of sessions.
Main Shortcomings of iClicker Product:
- Entering numeric answers –
- Questions that use numeric answers are widely used in Math and the sciences. Instead of choosing a multiple-choice answer, students solve the problem and enter the actual numeric answer, which can include numbers and symbols.
- Workaround: Students push mode button and use directional pad to scroll up and down through a list of numbers, letters and symbols to choose each character individually from left to right. Then they must submit the answer.
- Number of multiple choice answers –
- iClicker has 5 buttons on the transmitter for direct answer choices and Turning Technologies has 10.
- Workaround: Similar to numeric answer workaround. Once again the simpler transmitter becomes complex for the students.
- Potential Vendor Support Problems –
- It took iClicker over 3 months to get their grade upload interface working with NDSU’s Blackboard system. The Turning Technology interface worked right away. No workaround.
- 9:00-9:30am: Snacks, networking and welcome.
- 9:30-10:00am: D2L Version 10 update.
- 10:00-10:30am: Overview of D2L basics and share best practices. Dr. Plamen Miltenoff, LRS
- please enter ideas and suggestions
who is helping students with the new D2L interface?
PPT about the changes to the new version at:http://web.stcloudstate.edu/informedia/d2l10.pptx
the new version does not discrimante the teacher, versus T2 and GA unless you
change of Navbar. BE AWARE that you cannot add tools (you need to request via d2L@stcloudstate.edu) but you can take off tools from the new navbar. To take off a tool, go to “Edit Course” in the new version, click on “Tools” and find “Set Inactive”
Dropbox addition. Feedback left for students can be kept as a draft
- 10:30-11:00am: Automation of lab reports using D2L. Dr. Zengqiang “John” Liu, Physics
- please enter ideas and suggestions
– D2L dropbox:
1. when papers are a big stack of paper, versus electronic format in dropbox, is it a bigger psychological burden?
2. Navbar CANNOT be changed by faculty. Need to request the change from D2L@stcloudstate.edu
3. BWhen assignng bonus points work, they fine, but do not apply to the final grade
4. Naming the file deposited in the dropbox is crucial to navigating later on
5. “Properties: One file per sumbission | overwrite submissions” is probably the best way to streamline the dropbox flow
6. “Restrictions: Display in Calendar” helps student as a reminder, even if the D2L calendar is not populated and used regularly
7. “Restrictions: Additional Release and Conditions” is the overarching idea of successful teaching. Conditioning Dropbox with Content, Discussions and Quizzes can bring uniformity and structure in students’ learning
8. Restrictions: Special Access” is poorly phrased and can confuse faculty.
9. Downloading all files at once via zipped file attaches Last Name First name of the student to its paper’s file name
- 11:00-11:30am: Organization of D2L Content delivery and student learning. Dr. Lakshmaiah Sreerama, Chemistry
please have a link to Ram’s presentation: http://web.stcloudstate.edu/informedia/d2l/Organization_D2L_Content_Student_Learning.pptx
- please enter ideas and suggestions
1. what is optimal when using CMS.
2. the switch from WebCT to D2L was very consuming. Is it gonna be again when we switch to a different one?
3. How to deliver content is challange. write versus speak. Student takes notes or listens? Also engage, becomes to much. Classes become “flipped classroom”
4. Modular | recorded lectures | lectures notes in several formats | study guides
5. develop best practices for my discipline
6. modular guide: goals | outcomes | objectives | readings | activities | quizzes
7. recorded lexture: in sciences is easIER to organize, how it will be in humanities? This is where we can be creative
8. providing all this content in all thes[e] format[s] made me a better teacher. It also made students better prepared for class. student learning success
9. Best Practices used by Ram: check his PPT. -) choose simler presenation format -) listen to student feedback -) privacy issues (release form about taping students), intellectual property rights
10. Flipped classroom: -) capture
11. discussion – Camtasia versus Adobe Connect how do we manage this. Camtasia has larger file size. Kaltura is still tested. The MediaSite server as carrying the heavy duty files. Authentication not needed if the files are made public.
- 11:30-12:00pm: New tools in D2L. Greg Jorgensen and Karin Duncan, ITS
- please enter ideas and suggestions
1. search option in minibar only if faculty has ten or more classes
2. instant notifications: new features. ellect to receive emails
3. discussions managed in two spots: -) via subscription on the top as general, or -) subscribe for each topic. There is an option: include in my summary of activity
4. D2L now keeps “sent” email. Comibne an email to all six classes I teach; how do I do that?
5. Classlist has inconsistency, be aware, ask D2L@stcloudstate.edu about it
6. Assesst discussions has a sqaure ot check “must post first.” It is off by default. Edit topic, under Options: “A user must comopse a message before participating in the topic.”
7. reset dates by Manage Dates: instead of going to separate modules one by one and changing dates. Notice the checkbox on the right for Calendar. The offset option makes the dates relevant to this semester.
8. App for iPAD, free, Assignment Grader. leave feedback, asses using rubrics and review on PDF and feeds D2L.
9. SCORM user, can be reported into D2L. If Polleverywhere is SCORM complient it can be reported via SCORM like poll in Adobe Connect.
10. Grates, Discussions, and other areas, which are wide, the header image goes away
- 1:00-1:30pm: Case study and sharing best practices. Dr. David Switzer, Economics
- please enter ideas and suggestions
1. creating groups in class and each person in a group and locking up. but that before subscribing for discussions.
2. gradebooks exporting and importing. Problem. D2L graidng is not very flexible. First export to CSV file. Sort in excel by last name and have it in order.
3. bonus items in grades: to curve grades, instead exporting importing, go to grades, createa bonus item called “exam 1 curve” and thus not only automating the grading but seeing the curve next semester
4. switch in quiz from the default “users” to tab “questions” it saves time when grading
5. take home exam is in quiz, not in dropbox, because dropbox cannot be taimed
tip for students
6. tip for students: discussion forums. Subsribe to topics by students. It helps students a lot, since they don’t have to go and login into D2L, the get it via email. Quesion: how many of them are using now mobile devices to get this notifications?
7. New section shows only the most recent announcments. This can be changed via settings
8. Video, mp4 format, 7 min, intro screencapture walking students through D2L. A MnSCU video might exist.
9. Narrated PPTs does not act well when hand writting. Presenter for PPT. Or Camtasia
10. Surveys. Show in class that “anonymous” is real.
11. practice quizzes. also similar in Content. also the gamification: can go to the next quiz after 75% of the previous one is resolved
- 1:30-2:00pm: Creating and assigning online quizzes. Dr. Eugmin Kang, SOB
- please enter ideas and suggestions
1. quiz structure. the option for randomly assigning questions. So every time the student takes the trainng quiz again, new questions are assigned.
using different types: multiple choice, true/false, images as part of the quiz question. To ensure that equal questions from each section are chosen, one need to create separate sections in the library. To do it, create a new “random’ section, with name “random1” and import the quiz q/s from the book section 1 etc.
accumulative final. Pull questions for the final quiz from training quizzes randomly.
- 2:00-3:00pm: Open time for individual projects and problem solving.
please enter ideas and requests
You can also join us via virtual synchronous connection through Adobe Connect at:
Limited space; please consider registering at https://secure.mnsu.edu/mnscupd/login/default.asp?campusid=0073
We would like to organize similar event sometimes in January. Please share with us your preference for day/time in January 2013, as well as topics of interest.
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