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.


Psycho-Demographics and NLT

Submitted by Gary Natriello on Sat, 04/28/2012 - 10:54am.
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As we consider ways to define the audience for NLT, we might want to think about using a psycho-demographic profile like the one suggested by Steve Goldner. This targeting approach highlights both the dynamic nature of the target, and the trade-off between a tighter, more highly relevant focus and the need to reach a certain scale.


Free Wifi?

Submitted by Gary Natriello on Sat, 04/07/2012 - 7:36am.
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Many of us look for hotels with free wifi when we travel, but according to this piece in the Times that "free" wifi may soon be coming at the price of ads inserted into the web pages visited during your stay. If free wifi is at risk, can free beer be far behind?


Open Resources or Open Season on IP

Submitted by Gary Natriello on Fri, 04/06/2012 - 4:57pm.
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Three major textbook publishers are suing a start-up for stealing the creative expression of their authors and editors, according to this piece in the Chronicle of Higher Education. This is an interesting case because the claim has to do with the major structural elements of textbooks and the strategy employed to mimic such texts in creating free versions for students.


Javascript Forever or Nevermore?

Submitted by Gary Natriello on Fri, 04/06/2012 - 2:56pm.
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Check out this interesting discussion on the pros and cons of Javascript and emerging alternatives.

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