Visit to Arizona State University

Submitted by Gary Natriello on Sun, 12/09/2012 - 6:39pm.
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I had the opportunity to visit Arizona State University with the Provost and several members of the Board to learn about both classroom technology and online learning initiatives.

Our first stop was at the Decision Theatre, a visualization facility that provides nearly immersive views of complex data. Here are some views of information regarding water resource planning:

And another set focusing on resource planning:

We also had the opportunity to visit a facility at the ASU Teachers College where we discussed both campus-based and online programs with the dean. Here you see Jack Hyland, co-chair of the Board of Trustees, and Provost Tom James at our meeting:

This view shows the glass walled conference room in a building that emphasizes openness at every turn:


News We Can Use - Best Time to Send Email Newsletters

Submitted by Gary Natriello on Fri, 10/19/2012 - 2:56pm.
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As we continue to send newsletters for on-going and special projects, it is useful to know how the time of day they are sent affects the rate at which they are opened. This piece from ReadWriteWeb provides plenty of ideas for maximizing impact, most of which is displayed in the info graphic below.


Another Visualized Strategy

Submitted by Gary Natriello on Fri, 09/21/2012 - 6:39am.
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We need to develop a standard visual for those occasions when we want to highlight an inappropriate mixing of old style (industrial age) education elements with new learning components. For example, the headline "Publishers See Online Mega-Courses as Opportunity to Sell Textbooks" seems strikingly out of step with the new age of learning. Really? Do we think students in MOOCs are just looking for new reasons to purchase expensive textbooks from old line publishers?

The classic way to represent this has been the phrase "putting buggy whip holders on automobiles" to remind people that early automobiles had buggy whip holders borrowed from horse-drawn carts, but there may be better ways to highlight odd juxtapositions. Once we have a standard visual for this, we can layer in any number of headlines.


NL Sector: eSpark

Submitted by Gary Natriello on Sun, 09/02/2012 - 8:29pm.
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As we imagine the kinds of connecting institutions that will develop to support new learning opportunities, it is intriguing to consider the model represented by eSpark, a platform for educational apps that promises to provide developers with access to k-8 schools as well as data on learning outcomes.


Brands vs Products: Identity, Disappointment, and Honesty

Submitted by Gary Natriello on Sun, 07/22/2012 - 8:50pm.
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As we approach the launch of the New Learning Times, a project designed to project the EdLab to a wider audience, it is a good time to think about exactly what we are projecting. I found this piece in Fast Company on branding as an artifact of the past thought provoking. The argument that it is more important to focus on products than building a brand seems related to several themes that we have been working on over the past year:

1) We have argued that it is important to continuously clarify purposes and goals and to have the integrity to align our activities with those purposes and goals.

2) We have argued that a clear and honest presentation of the EdLab is essential to our success and that it is core to how we will operate both internally and externally.

3) Finally, we have argued that the only acceptable departure from our stated goals is on the upside -- anything else leads to internal and external disappointment.


Making Sense of the Value of Accelerators

Submitted by Gary Natriello on Sat, 06/23/2012 - 10:08am.
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How should we assess the value added by accelerator programs intended to facilitate the launch of new enterprises? That is the question at the center of several recent articles.

The exchange begins with an account of a recent study indicating that many accelerators failed to produce any graduates that went on to raise venture funding.

The debate is joined by a response piece that offers alternatives for assessing the contribution of accelerators.

More details on the original study reviewing accelerators in the US and Europe are available on a set of presentation slides.


Data Journalism - Tips for Using Online Data

Submitted by Gary Natriello on Tue, 05/01/2012 - 7:22am.
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Check out the online version of the forthcoming Data Journalism Handbook for ideas on how to make use of online data. There may be some interesting opportunities for features for NLT.


Next Generation Learning Platforms Face Faculty Resistance

Submitted by Gary Natriello on Tue, 05/01/2012 - 7:10am.
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An article from the Chronicle of Higher Education highlights the major themes in a new report on next-generation online learning platforms. It seems that faculty want more control over these platforms and are resistant to platforms that do not let them tailor the student experience themselves. There are some useful lessons for us as we continue developing the mSchool environment.


Big Screens Coming to a Library Near You

Submitted by Gary Natriello on Sat, 04/28/2012 - 4:46pm.
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A recent report
in the Chronicle discusses the use of large screen installations on university campuses, notably in libraries. This trend is particularly interesting in view of our plans for the renovation of the fourth floor where we have planned several large screen components. What projects can you imagine that would make use of this type of display capacity?


Content Curation and NLT

Submitted by Gary Natriello on Sat, 04/28/2012 - 11:15am.
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This piece from Fast Company
discusses the value of content curation in light of the massive content explosion on the web. With the launch of NLT approaching, it will be useful to think about our role in such content curation. Beyond the issues raised in the article, it might be interesting to consider the role that libraries have played in such curation and how the library might evolve as a more powerful content curation force.

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