15 Free Digital Tools to Boost Students’ Engagement Online
A review of digital tools and ideas for teachers to support formative assessment in online classrooms
more on engagement in this IMS blog
Leaked documents show how police used social media and private Slack channels to track George Floyd protesters from r/technology
Police monitored RSVP lists on Facebook events, shared information about Slack channels protesters were using, and cited protesters’ posts in encrypted messaging apps like Telegram.
How police used social media to track protesters
warning sent to police departments on June 6, the FBI says it’s been tracking “individuals using Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram” who post about organizing protests.
more on surveillance in this IMS blog
Watch Out, Corporate Learning: Here Comes Disruption
Josh Bersin March 28, 2017 https://www.forbes.com/sites/joshbersin/2017/03/28/watch-out-corporate-learning-here-comes-disruption/#5bd1a35edc59
The corporate training market, which is over $130 billion in size, is about to be disrupted. Companies are starting to move away from their Learning Management Systems (LMS), buy all sorts of new tools for digital learning, and rebuild a whole new infrastructure to help employees learn. And the impact of GSuite, Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Workplace by Facebook could be enormous.
The corporate L&D market has been through wrenching change over the last decade. In only 15 years we’ve come from long, page-turning courses to a wide variety of videos, small micro-learning experiences, mobile apps, and intelligent, adaptive learning platforms.
A new marketplace of tools vendors has emerged, most less than five years old, each trying to stake out a new place in the landscape. These includes tools for external content curation, tools to build MOOCs internally, tools to deliver adaptive, micro-learning content, and intelligent tools to help recommend content, assess learning, practice and identify skills gaps.
We know employees badly need these kinds of tools. Employees are pretty overwhelmed at work ,and typically only have 20 minutes a week to set aside for learning. So rather than produce two to three hour “courses” that require page-turning and slow video or animation, we need to offer “learning on-demand” and recommended content just as needed.
These changes will disrupt and change the $4 billion-plus for corporate learning management systems (LMS). Companies like IBM, Sears, and Visa are starting to turn off their old systems and build a new generation of learning infrastructure that looks more like a “learning network” and less like a single integrated platform.
more on digital learning in this IMS blog
Microsoft Takes a Bite Out of BrightBytes, Acquiring Its DataSense Platform and Team
Tony Wan Feb 5, 2019
From launching new tablets to virtual-reality curriculum, Microsoft has added plenty to its educational offerings
DataSense, a data management platform developed by Brightbytes.
DataSense is a set of professional services that work with K-12 districts to collect data from different data systems, translate them into unified formats and aggregate that information into a unified dashboard for reporting purposes.
DataSense traces its origins to Authentica Solutions, an education data management company founded in 2013.
A month later, BrightBytes acquired Authentica. The deal was hailed as a “major milestone in the industry” and appeared to be a complement to BrightBytes’ flagship offering, Clarity, a suite of data analytics tools that help educators understand the impact of technology spending and usage on student outcomes.
Of the “Big Five” technology giants, Microsoft has become the most acqui-hungry as of late in the learning and training space. In recent years it purchased several consumer brand names whose services reach into education, including LinkedIn (which owns Lynda.com, now a part of the LinkedIn Learning suite), Minecraft (which has been adapted for use in the classroom) and Github (which released an education bundle).
Last year, Microsoft also acquired a couple of smaller education tools, including Flipgrid, a video-discussion platform popular among teachers, and Chalkup, whose services have been rolled into Microsoft Teams, its competitor to Slack.
No Slacking Off! How Savvy Teachers Are Turning to Trello and Slack
My note: Email is for old people (https://www.chronicle.com/article/E-Mail-is-for-Old-People/4169) compare with Trello + Slack
“The idea behind us using Slack [last fall] was to kill internal email,” says Green. That’s a common refrain in pro-Slack headlines, with good reason. Users can drop links and files into any Slack conversation.
documented here how educators use Trello to manage project-based learning activities that involve group work and peer review.
Slack has been described as “ a private Twitter on steroids.” At first glance, the tool looks like a chat room—but it’s got more going on inside.
Like Twitter, Slack features hashtags that denote specific “channels” dedicated to topics, but each channel operates like its own chat room. Users can send messages to a channel or directly to one another (one-to-one), and also create private groups for focused discussions (one-to-few).
connected Trello to Slack so that he receives a notification whenever his students make edits on a Trello card. He turns to Slack to communicate directly with students and groups, often leaving feedback on assignments. “It hasn’t been effective as a way to broadcast information to the entire class,” Green admits. “But it’s become a very important tool for us to share resources for kids, and have 1-on-1 conversations with students.”
Other educators are exploring how to use Slack as a professional learning network.
a SlackEDU group
more on Trello in this IMS blog
“unicorn” companies — startups that reach a $1 billion valuation before their IPO. IPOs: Initial Public Offerings
Evernote, the first dead unicorn
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.