[Itech] Fwd: [oln-news] eLearning MOOC, Blackboard Buy, Digital Learning Environments, State Authorization

Teresa Franklin franklit at ohio.edu
Thu Jul 7 12:20:05 EDT 2011


News on BB purchase and other tech things!

Dr. Franklin

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Nancy Ragias <nragias at oln.org>
Date: Wed, Jul 6, 2011 at 8:23 AM
Subject: [oln-news] eLearning MOOC, Blackboard Buy, Digital Learning
Environments, State Authorization
To: OLN-NEWS <OLN-NEWS at lists.oln.org>

  *Massive Open Online Class: Online Learning Today...and Tomorrow*

June 27-August 19

University of Illinois Springfield


“The Center for Online Learning, Research and Service at the University of
Illinois Springfield welcomes you to a Massive Open Online Class (MOOC) on
“Online Learning Today...and Tomorrow.”  It will continue through August 19.
It is totally open, free, and collaborative. It can be totally asynchronous,
or those attending can join in weekly paneldiscussions with experts in
various aspects of the topic. This is an active and growing resource and
networking center on the topic of "Online Learning Today, and Tomorrow." You
will have the opportunity to meet many people around the world who share
your interest in this topic.” . . .

*Blackboard Gets Bought*

by Steve Kolowich

July 5, 2011, Inside Higher Ed


. . . “ ‘We have some concerns,’ says Sam Segran, chief technology officer
at Texas Tech University. ‘Any time somebody goes into private equity, one
of the concerns we have is profit motivation and less motivation in terms of
meeting educational needs.’  Blackboard’s transition from publicly traded
company (its status since 2004) to private equity holding could indeed mean
a greater emphasis on earnings, says Trace Urdan, a senior analyst at the
investment firm Signal Hill. The new owners will not have to worry about
feverishly acquiring other companies in order to make the company’s stock
price go up, Urdan says. More likely, Providence will treat its new
investment like a cash cow, focusing on the Blackboard products that
reliably make money and possibly unloading the ones that do not.  Still, the
sale of Blackboard might have a greater impact on Wall Street than on Campus
Drive, experts say. The ‘losers’ in this case may be confined to small
software companies hoping to be bought out and short-sellers who bet against

*Investment Bankers and Blackboard’s Future, Part One: If …*

by Jim Farmer, Chairman of Sigma Group Inc.

July 2, 2011, e-Literate


 “If this acquisition is completed, the question then turns to the impact it
will have on higher education. From the Wall Street perspective Blackboard
is a very successful and well managed company. The founders’ goal at Cornell
University was to save faculty time by automating typical faculty
communications with students, and making the administrative tasks of a
lecture more convenient for students. Since then, through software
development and recent acquisitions, Blackboard has a suite of complementary
learning applications. Blackboard’s learning management products have become
a successful source of revenue. Some acquisitions products, such as
Blackboard Connect, seem to be leading in their market segment.”

 “However, the expectation of private equity firms for earnings exceeds
Blackboard’s 2010 earnings. A combination of higher prices for annual
software licenses and reduction of staff and lower services will, in the
short run, be needed to achieve this higher profitability.” . . .

*No Going Back*

by Libby A. Nelson

June 24, 2011, Inside Higher Ed


 “Will a House of Representatives bill intended to overturn two of the
Education Department’s ‘program integrity’ rules -- one creating a federal
definition of a credit hour and another requiring colleges to get state
approval to operate -- make it through both houses of Congress? Would
President Obama ever sign the legislation into law, undermining his own
Education Department?  When it comes to the state authorization
requirements, at least, there’s another question: Wouldoverturning the
federal rule even make a difference? Probably not, observers say.”

 “The state authorization rule would require colleges and universities to
obtain approval from every state in which they operate -- even if
"operating" consists only of enrolling students from that state. The rule
proved unpopular as soon as it was introduced, drawing protests from across
all sectors of higher education. Institutions that offer distance education
said the federal regulation would force them to follow state laws and rules
that predate online learning and create a nightmare of red tape. The
complaints eased only slightly when the Education Department announced it
would delay enforcing the rule until 2014.” . . .

 “But in at least one way, the rule has already accomplished the
department’s goal of applying more scrutiny to institutions whose students
receive federal financial aid. It has drawn attention to state regulations
and authorization requirements that were previously overlooked, or ignored,
by all parties. Some states have begun to review their authorization
processes. Even if the federal rule is overturned, those state policies will
be part of theregulatory landscape for the foreseeable future.” . . .

*Notes from "What's New in Digital Learning Environments" Webinar*

by Ted Bohrer

June 29, 2011, BohrerEd


“On June 28, 2011, the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) hosted
presentations by Michael Feldstein (Cengage Learning) and Niall Sclater
(Open University) in a webinar, "What's New in Digital Learning
Environments".  I was hoping to learn more about Michael's work on the
MindTap product and hear for the first time from Niall who is very
well-respected in the higher ed LMS/VLE community. Turns out they didn't
disappoint.  I jotted the following notes which I thought would be of
interest to many. I apologize for the brevity. Please, if you have questions
or comments, just post them below.”

“Niall's presentation discussed some future directions for the LMS/VLE.  The
future is:

*Interactive* - This includes more advanced quizzing technologies that
provide feedback andoptions for adaptive learning.

*Mobile* - Users will demand unfettered access to LMS on mobile devices and
tablets. Niall said that a student "should be able to do a whole degree" via
mobile device. eBooks and eReaders will continue to be important. eBooks are
different than basic PDFs of articles, chapters, or books in that the
student owns the book and likely views and treats it differently than an
ephemeral document such as those we so frequently use online.

*Social* - How will learning environments interact with Facebook? Should
these systems even interact with Facebook at all? A survey of Open
University students revealed that more than 50% reject Facebook use for
their studies. (~30% accept.) Privacy is the biggest concern; students also
want to separate their personal and academic worlds. Niall also pointed out
a number of other online tools such as iSpot where learners can participate
socially online for specific learning activities (without integrating with

*Personal* - Learners will likely want to continue to construct their own
environments through tools like iGoogle. Learning environments should evolve
so that they "push out bits" of the LMS for external consumption (example:
course calendar, course news, other notifications). Niall thinks students
would prefer to construct their own dashboard rather than use their
institution's system(similar to how most of us use the Twitter service and
not the Twitter web site).”

“Michael Feldstein, Cengage Learning, discussed the future of MindTap.
MindTap is not a new LMS, rather it is a unique way to deliver content and
learning activities. If I heard Michael correctly, he called MindTap ‘a
meBook wrapped in a weReader’.” . . .

*UCLA Joins Venture to Offer Online Education to Baby Boomers*

by Josh Keller

June 23, 2011, Chronicle of Higher Education


“In an unusual partnership, the University of California at Los Angeles has
joined with venture capitalists, a former contender to be the Republican
nominee for governor, and the leading Los Angeles talent agency, to offer
online education to baby boomers who want to switch careers.  A for-profit
company, the Encore Career Institute, will offer online professional
certificate programs starting next fall, through courses taught by
instructors from the UCLA Extension program. The curriculum may include one-
to two-year certificate programs in projectmanagement, paralegal studies,
and fund raising, among others.”

“Encore has raised $15-million from two venture-capital firms and hopes to
attract tens of thousands of students across the country, said its chief
executive, Steve Poizner, a former technology executive who lost in the
primary runoff for governor last year.  Mr. Poizner said 35 million American
baby boomers are interested in a second career, but they are an untapped
market in higher education. ‘A lot of boomers who have been able to survive
this difficult economy still find their jobs are not necessarily satisfying,
so they’re looking for an encore career,’ Mr. Poizner said.” . . .

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Dr. Teresa Franklin
Professor, Instructional Technology
Instructional Technology Program Coordinator
Dept. Educational Studies
Gladys W. & David H. Patton College of Education and Human Services
Ohio University
Athens, OH 45701
740-593-4561 (office)
740-593-0477 (fax)
also: franklinteresa at gmail.com
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