Thursday, March 05, 2009

Google, Moodle, Lurking Instructors, and other Tidbits

There have been a number of interesting news items appearing recently.

Moodlerooms announced that it is offering single sign-on integration with Google Applications Education Edition.

No doubt that students, faculty, and staff need modern collaborative productivity tools and all universities should be currently working to find an adequate solution to this pressing need. However, announcing a single sign-on integration is not quite as groundbreaking as press releases lead readers to believe. I would expect any new collaborative app that a university acquires to provide single sign-on through the campus's primary authentication system.

It will be interesting to track the growth of Moodlerooms. Universities can now completely outsource both their learning management and collaborative productivity systems...assuming they can reach agreements with the vendors over intellectual property issues.

Add Embanet to the growing assortment of open source ePortfolio systems available. Abilene Christian University, who does not shy away from launching innovative learning technology initiatives (or press releases), outsources their distance education delivery management to Embanet. ACU's vision of "mLearning" and the future of their campus is a very interesting read.

Students at the University of South Dakota, my alma mater, are discussing the issue of instructors tracking their activity within Desire2Learn.

This is 2009 -- don't they realize that they should assume all their web activity is likely to be tracked in some way or another? My hope is that instructors realize that a student's LMS usage data is only one small window into understanding the extent to which the student is learning.

I am very excited to be working with the faculty and staff who are delivering "American Foreign Policy: A History of U.S. Grand Strategy from 1901 to the Present" to both local UW students as well as a contingent of deployed military officers.

Instructors are planning to leverage a combination of Desire2Learn, iTunes U, and possibly our homegrown open-source media/presentation aggregator eTEACH to deliver the course.

And they're all integrated with single sign-on authentication.

Here is a great tutorial on setting up all sorts of privacy features in Facebook.

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