The eCampus News 2014-15 Readers’ Choice Awards
This past spring, we asked readers to give us their top picks for school hardware, software, websites, and services—and more than 1,300 readers responded online.
In nominating their favorite products, we asked readers to tell us how they’re using these products to improve teaching, learning, or school administration—and to what effect. We then chose the 50 best responses, which appear alphabetically by product name.
The result is a list of ed-tech products and services that have proven to be effective, as noted by your colleagues in schools nationwide.
ATEM 1 M/E Production Studio 4K from Blackmagic Design
ATEM Production Studio 4K has features a college would need for the most innovative live concerts, sporting events, theater productions, and conferences on campus. When a school is doing live events with super large high resolution screens, simply switch your ATEM Production Studio 4K to Ultra HD brings incredible quality to the event, according to higher-ed customers. ATEM includes features such as a chroma key, creative transitions, media pool, downstream keyers, and audio mixer. “Harvard University installed six ATEM 1 M/E Production Studio 4K switchers as part of a new production workflow broadcasting and streaming the Harvard tennis season to the Ivy League Digital Network, a nine channel network that includes live and on demand content from a variety of sports across all eight United States Ivy League schools,” said Imry Halevi, director of multimedia and production for the Department of Athletics at Harvard. Each of the six tennis courts has a camera at one end for a wide angle shot, which is fed into an ATEM, along with audio input for the commentators’ feed and a second video input for a scoreboard shot, which is then used in the wide angle shot for the DVE effect. The ATEMs are linked to share scoreboard shots, with one scoreboard for each set of three tennis courts.”
Bomgar is a provider of secure remote support solutions that enable technology support professionals to access and fix any device, anywhere. Colleges and universities large and small have chosen Bomgar to improve end-user satisfaction while drastically reducing support costs. Bomgar offers a unified remote support solution that does not require expensive add-ons or upgrades to work with different platforms or for different use cases. Bomgar’s appliance-based remote support solution allows you to remotely access and fix nearly any system or device, anywhere, while keeping sensitive data and system access behind your own secure firewall. “Having a technician based on one side of campus trying to service classrooms that may be a 15 minute walk away can be problematic,” said Ed Nickerson, chief information officer at LaSalle University. “The growing online and international programs presented another challenge. We needed a way to support those remote users as well. Having the ability to log on to their system remotely allows us to more quickly solve their issue.”
Canvas LMS from Instructure
Among the Canvas LMS’s popular features is an app center that makes it easy for institutions and instructors to experiment and adapt new technologies into their courses. The platform is reliable — Canvas has featured a 99.9 percent guaranteed uptime Service Level Agreement (SLA) to all customers – and is built with openness in mind – something that has proven very attractive for campus technologists and educators alike. “We have found the folks at Instructure to be a breath of fresh air when it comes to technical support, feature requests, and bug fixes,” said David John, executive director of distance education at Reformed Theological Seminary in North Carolina. “Instructure also has made tremendous leaps in its mobile Canvas apps for both iOS and Android. As we continue to see a massive shift of students moving from desktops and laptops to mobile devices when accessing course content, we believe an LMS provider needs to be proactive in developing its platform for mobile access. Instructure has been making marked improvements to its mobile apps, especially over the last 6 months.”